Sometimes financial progress is slow. Like any other habit, getting sorted with money is an ongoing process.
Sometimes, you just need an easy win.
Here are a few quick financial wins I’ve found recently – there’s nothing quite like that sense of accomplishment!
Check your credit report
A quick win if there ever was one – requesting your credit report doesn’t cost any money and only takes a few minutes of your time. Hopefully there are no surprises! If all looks good, you get to sit back and relax for awhile. If there are any errors, it’s better to know about them now and get onto addressing them sooner rather than later.
Organise financial paperwork
I feel like I’m constantly chasing a pile of papers, even though I’ve transitioned to getting most things by email. Banking, mortgage, tax, investing, insurance and any other kind of financial documents lying around deserve a place to live. I sat down awhile ago and sorted them into various folders. Having some semblance of order there felt like a massive step forward!
Make an extra payment
Whatever amount you can throw at that loan, credit card, mortgage! Every little bit counts and results in less interest paid overall. WIN.
Set up an automatic transfer to savings/investing
For the first time, I have an automated investing plan (outside of KiwiSaver). It’s only $100 a month ($50 into 2 different funds) but you know, it was really hard to push the button on. I still have a massive fear of financial commitments but I am so, so aware of the power of paying yourself first.
Start tracking net worth
I kind of did this a couple of times, randomly, between the time I started working full time and the time I took a six-month leave to travel. I was pleasantly surprised, upon returning home, to see that the number wasn’t quite as low as I expected! Obviously I’d drained most of my liquid funds, but the investments I had kept growing, and so the total sum looked a little healthier than I anticipated. Anyway, since buying a house I’ve started tracking my net worth every month. It’s incredibly motivating to see the steady progress!
And while I’m on a roll, here are a few more ideas I came up with! All it takes is ONE thing for each of these – a single focus at a time.
Pick 1 thing to cut back on buying
Delicious pies. Overpriced juices. Skincare that never lives up to its miraculous claims. Whatever. Choose a line item and reduce spending there! Not saying cut it out – just trim it back.
Review 1 bill
You know, those boring but important and regular-as-clockwork bills. Power. Internet. Insurance. Choose one, do some research, shop around for a better deal. Maybe even negotiate with your current provider – they might sharpen up the price on your package. (Confession: I seriously never make time to do this, and I should!)
Track spending for 1 month
If you’ve never really tracked your spending, have fallen out of the habit, or perhaps had major changes to your financial situation, give it a go – it might be illuminating. People always go on about the hidden costs of home ownership – in my case I’ve been making do as much as possible and haven’t really spent much on the actual place, but between setting up a veggie garden, the chickens, and the dogs? Yeah…
Got any money moves to share that give you that sweet, sweet feeling of accomplishment?