Signs it's time to check you're financially fit.
We explore some red flags that indicate it's time to sit down and make your money work for you.
Are you using all your pay before pay day?
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.
Being a conscious spender, someone who is aware of what they're spending, is going to be the best way for you to make changes. Check out Sorted's budgeting tool1 so you can see where your salary is going each payday. Or make the most of our Salary Splitter to help you manage your bills and savings.
1 By clicking on this link, you will be redirected to a calculator hosted on the Sorted website. Westpac NZ and Sorted are not associated companies, and Westpac NZ does not endorse the accuracy of this calculator. You will be governed by Sorted's Terms & Conditions when using this calculator.
You can't pay off your credit card bill in full each month
Credit cards can work for you, earning you points or rewards, or offering breathing room until your next pay, as long as you pay the balance in full before the due date to avoid interest charges. Paying your credit card off in full each month is the healthiest habit while, at the other end of the scale is paying only 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 rate 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 five years to pay off! This can make it a pretty tough debt to tackle.
You're giving in to temptation frequently
Hey, no one's perfect, we all splurge sometimes. When we know we're doing it, there might be a little nagging feeling of guilt, and we vow to tone down the spending. The more dangerous version of the splurge 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 coffees for your workmates. 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.
You don't know what you're spending money on
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:
- Set up alerts on your accounts: In Westpac One® online banking you can easily set up a range of alerts, including ones that tell you when your balance has gone above or below a set amount.
- Download the CashNav app: It tracks and categorises your spending, and helps you to set budgets for each category.
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. Use a budget calculator to help guide you and don't hesitate to talk to your financial provider. They may have some great tips and tricks to support you in your budgeting journey.