Signs that it's time to check your financial fitness
We explore some red flags that should tell you it’s time to sit down and sort out your money – like using all your pay up before payday, getting into credit card debt and more.
Forget saving – sometimes it can feel as though you don’t even have enough cash to get you through to next payday. If you’re a top-heavy spender, i.e. everything seems to disappear soon after you get paid and you have nothing left before payday, it might be time to try to even things out.
Credit cards can work for you – earning you points or rewards, or breathing room until your next pay – as long as you pay the balance in full before the due date, when you start to incur interest charges. Paying your credit card off in full each month is the healthiest habit, and at the other end of the scale is only paying the minimum repayment amount each month. By paying only the bare minimum, you’ll end up with a much bigger overall cost over time.
For example; with an interest of 20.95%, if you buy a $200 pair of shoes and you only pay a monthly repayment of $5, it could end up costing you $346 and taking you over 5 years to pay off!
Hey, no one’s perfect – we all splurge sometimes. When we know we’re doing it, there’s that little nagging feeling of guilt, and we vow to tone it down from now on. The more dangerous version of this is when you’re spending without paying attention to the costs – like if you’ve got yourself into a habit of buying your lunch most days, or buying rounds of drinks at the pub – and it’s just become normal.
It’s never too late to stop, go through all your spending and make a budget so you can see where your money’s going. A great tool for this is our CashNav app, because it puts every transaction you make into a category automatically and can notify you when you might spend more than you usually do!
Do you know how much money you have in the bank right now? If you don’t, chances are you’re not paying close attention to how much money you actually have. We have a couple of handy solutions:
If you can relate to any of these signs, it’s probably also time to set up a budget, so you know your income and expenses, and can see how much disposable income you might have, or how much you’re spending beyond your means. Once you know more about where your money’s going, you can make changes to help get back into financial fitness.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article above are not necessarily those of Westpac and the content is provided for information purposes only. Westpac makes no representation as to the accuracy or currency of the materials, which are provided without taking your personal financial situation or goals into account. Westpac accepts no responsibility for the availability or content of any third party material to which this article may refer.