If you have communed with your socks, thanked your shoes for their hard work or bowed (even internally) to your home in appreciation, maybe it’s time to consider doing so with your money.
Marie Kondo, best-selling author and ‘all round tidy person’ sees tidying as a cheerful conversation in which anything that doesn’t “spark joy” is to be touched, thanked and ceremonially sent on its way towards a better life elsewhere, where it can discover a more appreciative owner.
That may not quite work for finances, but is there some thing ‘close’ and just as good. Maybe there is:
- Budgeting based on what’s important to you
Just as Marie Kondo lays down the challenge to only keep things that bring you joy, it’s just as important to prioritise things we value when spending money in the first place. Understanding what you value most, and then taking a good look at where your money is actually going can be a powerful way to shift your spending habits.
- How many bank accounts?
Although it can help to have different bank accounts for savings goals, and another to make sure all your regular expenses are covered, keep multiple accounts to a minimum to save time and effort. Monitoring balances, interest and outgoings for so many accounts just makes things complicated. You may find further benefit accessing our wealth portal, further info on which is here.
- Simplify your super
Over a lifetime your super balance has the potential to become one of your biggest financial assets. So making sure you’re receiving all the super contributions you’re entitled to and knowing where they are is an important part of financial housekeeping. It’s not unusual to lose track of super if you’ve changed jobs or moved house a few times. The ATO estimates that there is approximately $14 billion dollars in lost super, which doesn’t include the ‘not lost’ super where people just have multiple accounts. Not only will consolidating super give you fewer funds and statements to keep track of, it can also save you a fair amount in fees. Before you decide to close any of your existing accounts, it’s important to check whether you’ll still have the right level of insurance cover as you’ll often have personal insurance policies – such as life or income protection insurance – arranged and paid for through each super fund.
- Do away with debt
Clearing multiple personal debts once and for all can seem like an impossible task. As you struggle to get back to zero, temptation can creep in to just borrow more and become resigned to debt as a permanent part of your financial situation. One option is to consolidate your personal borrowing into a single repayment to make it easier to chip away at the outstanding balance. Your mortgage provider may be able to refinance your home loan so you can bundle debt repayments with your mortgage and benefit from a lower rate of interest as a result.
Budgeting, superannuation, insurance and debt may not sound like the most ‘joy inducing’ topics, but getting your fundamentals right goes a long way towards sparking some serious joy later in life.