Give your finances a spring makeover

Joseph Darby

We have now officially said goodbye to winter and are enjoying the first days of spring. Now is the time to take a fresh look at your finances to ensure you are on track to achieve your financial goals. Talk with us about your financial plan but, before doing so, consider the following:

Are you getting the best from your mortgage?

Interest rates are likely to start rising, so do you fix a low rate or continue to float? Are you paying interest-only or interest and principal? How many years will it be before the mortgage is paid off?

What are your power and telecommunication costs?

Have you reviewed these in the past 12 months to ensure you are getting the best deal possible based upon price, service and functionality? Can you bundle your phone, cell phone and data plans to maximise discounts?

Do you need all the credit cards you currently own?

If you are paying an annual fee for these cards, can you rationalise to one or two?

Can you save on transport?

Calculate how much your car costs to operate per km driven over a 12-month period. The IRD 2017-2018 mileage rate is 73 cents per km and factors in both fuel and fixed vehicle costs. Multiply this rate by the number of kilometres you do to estimate what it costs to run your car. Consider catching the bus, carpooling, combining tasks when you go out, etc.

Can you save more?

Do you have the ability to save more money so it can compound for future goals? If so, how much? What is your current investment risk profile and are you aware of the implications that has on your investment performance?

Is your insurance sorted?

How much are you spending on your insurances each year? Do you have enough cover and of the right type? Can you bundle insurances to achieve added discounts?

What are the kids costing you?

How much are you spending on the kids? Is this absolutely necessary and can it be reduced at all?