When it comes to your financial life, you’re doing okay. You’re earning a decent income, putting a bit of money aside in a savings account … but you’re never quite getting ahead. Sound familiar?
If you think it’s time to have your money work a bit harder for you, to supercharge you on your path to financial success, there are a few things to think about.
Depending on your goals, increasing your KiwiSaver contribution can be a good way to accelerate your financial firepower. You can increase your automatic payments up to 10 per cent of your income.
If you can time this to happen with a pay rise, you might not even notice the change at all – until it comes time to tap into the account and you have much more set aside than you would have, otherwise.
When interest rates are low, saving in a bank account probably won’t cut it.
In recent years, new platforms have made it easier and more affordable for retail investors to start investing their hard-earned money in shares and managed funds.
As well as putting some money into savings, you could consider allocating a portion to go to a platform such as Sharesies, to be invested in a way that fits your circumstances.
And of course, if you’d like to put in place a more comprehensive, diversified investment plan, we’re here to help. There are several options to choose from, depending on your goals, needs and budget.
If you have a mortgage, any extra money you can put towards repayments now will pay off for you many times over down the track.
Depending on the size of the loan, even a payment of an extra $20 a week could cut years of the term and reduce your overall interest costs significantly. Extra payments made in the early years of your mortgage are particularly useful in this way.
Many people don’t look at their tax returns any more, because it’s no longer an annual requirement if you are a PAYE taxpayer. But there are some things that it’s worth claiming for – if you’ve made donations during the year, you can claim back a third of these against your taxable income, and then either save or re-donate the money.
You can use the IRD website to check whether you’re owed a tax refund, too.
It’s really common to have built up a situation where you have multiple accounts and credit cards, but this can lead to extra annual fees that you don’t really need to pay, and if you’re not super careful, missed payments can end up expensive and credit record-busting.
Simplify things by only having the credit cards and store cards you really need. Funneling all your transactions through one key card or bank account makes it easier to monitor what you’re spending, too.
You may be surprised at how often there’s a more affordable option available, if you only ask. By getting in touch with the provider, you may be able to get a cheaper credit card, a lower price on your power or an upgrade on your broadband account.
It’s worth scheduling this in your calendar every year to ensure that you maximise the benefits on offer and don’t pay more than you have to for the basic services you need.
Whether you’re planning small tweaks or a major financial overhaul, get in touch today. We’re help to help you make the most of your finances, now and over time.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.