7 hot tips to manage your money.

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29 August, 2019

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Ever felt like you can’t do anything to make a difference to your finances? Take a look at these 7 simple tips that can make a real difference in managing your money.

1. Know how much you've got and where it goes

Self monitoring makes a difference and actually slows down your spending. One way to do this is through the Moneysmart app ‘Track My Spend’ which you can download for free in the App Store.

2. Stop! Think! 

Advertisers and sales people encourage us to "buy it now" before its too late. Spending money quickly can be easy. Choose one of these ideas to help slow down your thinking:

  • Reduce the limit on your credit card
  • Wait a week to see if you still really need an item if it's over $100
  • Make a list of what you need before you shop

3. Find your support team!

Managing money is tough - we all need help and support. Chat to family and friends who you trust and who have knowledge or skills to help with your financial position. Find someone who can help hold you accountable with your money decisions (you can do the same for them!). There are other places you can get help. For example, free financial counselling is available for people experiencing financial stress by calling 1800 007 007.

4. Make savings a bill! 

Saving something is better than nothing. Set up a system that helps you save regularly and consistently. Reward yourself along the way! It’s the habit that makes the difference and you’ll feel good seeing your savings grow.

5. Shop smart!

The cheapest deal isn’t always the best value. Before you buy a product make sure it's suited to your needs. Search for good deals in products such as insurance, electricity, white goods and internet plans.

6. Know how much it really costs 

If you don’t know the full cost of a product with interest, fees and charges, then don’t buy it! Ask the retailer to tell you how much it will end up costing you in the long run. If they can’t tell you, leave it on the shelf.

7. Persevere!

Everyone faces challenges managing their money. Jump back from minor rebounds before they become major ones. Your friendly Financial Counsellor at your local Salvos would be happy to support you through this!

Copyright © 2019 The Salvation Army - You're The Boss, All rights reserved. 

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Post-Christmas Blues

I often find that it’s around this time of the year when the shiny excitement of Christmas has well and truly worn off.

We all went through that strange period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when we didn’t know what day it was. Easter buns then made a sudden and controversial appearance in supermarkets just days into the new year with Easter eggs following closely behind, in abundance. You may have already spent all the money on the gift card you received from your aunt as department stores push back-to-school items to the front of the aisles where the Christmas decorations once sparkled.

Christmas 2019 has now well and truly been left behind with credit card payments already eating into your 2020 earnings.

There are 8,760 hours in a year and Christmas Day makes up 24 yet planning for those brief hours of indulgence can take weeks of effort and sometime months of repayments. Here on the Helpline, we see the repercussions that the cost of Christmas can have on people’s financial situations. If not budgeted for, the ripple effect of Christmas can lead to electricity disconnections, defaults on credit reports, etc.

If the 2019 festive season caused you financial stress, consider starting to plan now…Christmas is only 336 days away!

We sat down with our Financial Counsellors and Financial Capability Workers here on the Helpline to discuss ways to plan for Christmas 2020.

‘One way to approach Christmas 2020 is to look at what you roughly spent in 2019 and divide that into fortnightly amounts (or however you get paid) and put that amount away each fortnight into a separate bank account or Christmas Club’.

‘Work out early on who is going to host Christmas lunch because if it is your turn, you may have to put extra money aside’.

‘If you are casually employed, find out early if your employer is closing over the Christmas break and for how long so you can start putting money aside now to cover essential living expenses while you are not working’.

‘Consider alternative options before signing up for a Christmas Hamper’ -https://www.affordablesa.com.au/news-articles/dont-let-a-christmas-hamper-put-a-damper-on-your-finances

For more tips on how to plan for Christmas 2020, see the attached link from the Moneysmart website, '12 Money Tips for Christmas’.

Christmas should be a time of enjoying family and friends without stressing about making basic ends meet. If you're counting the costs not the calories with each bite of the Christmas pudding, then you're setting yourself up for the Post-Christmas Blues and destined to lose any of the magic that Christmas brings.

If you've started 2020 and you are struggling with the financial repercussions of Christmas, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to speak to a free Financial Counsellor about your options or search for The National Debt Helpline on the Affordable SA App.

[By Sam](https://www.affordablesa.com.au/team/sam)

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Think outside the box

Our lives are filled with stuff.

Stuff can be found falling out of bathroom cabinets, hidden under beds, tucked into ceiling cavities, wedged behind couches, stacked up against garage walls and shoved into cupboards. To deal with stuff, many people choose to rent large metal boxes to lock their stuff away for months or even years at a time.

There are many reasons why people choose to put their stuff into storage. People may downsize their home, separate from a partner, leave their house, go into a retirement home or pass away, which ultimately leaves their stuff without a place to go.

Self-Storage can be a useful option for some people. However, as Financial Counsellors we often speak to people who have a storage unit but due to financial hardship have fallen behind on their payments. What people may not realise is that some storage facilities may not release your belongings to you unless you are up to date with your payments. Furthermore, if you fall too far behind on your payments your belongings may be sold at auction.

Therefore, before deciding to put your stuff into storage it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

- Can I afford a storage unit?

- Have I read the contract?

- Do I know what happens to my belongings if I cannot make the payments?

- Is the cost of maintaining the storage unit more than the cost of replacing my items?

- Do the items have sentimental value? If yes, is there an alternative option, such as a storing the items with a friend or family member?

- Can some of my belongings be stored electronically (e.g. documents and photos)?

- Will I need the items within the next 12 months? If not, could the items be sold or donated?

If you have fallen behind on your storage repayments and you would like to talk to a Financial Counsellor about your situation, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or search for the National Debt Helpline on the Affordable SA App.

By Sam

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