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Your financial checklist for 2024

12 December 2023
• 3 minute read
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You don’t need us to tell you that times are tough at the moment. Wherever you look it’s ‘cost-of-living crisis’ this and ‘interest rate rise’ that. But while the current economic climate is undoubtedly challenging for many people, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your money situation so that you start the new year on the right financial footing.

So, without further ado, let’s count down your financial checklist for 2024.

Create (or review) your budget

Some people find the idea of creating a budget intimidating but there’s no need. It’s nothing more complicated than a record of your income and expenses which, once up and running, unlocks your ability to set financial goals… and achieve them!

Sort your money into account buckets

Perhaps the most straightforward way to organise your finances is with account buckets. Now that you’ve got an accurate idea of where your money goes (cheers, budget!), you can create separate accounts for bills, savings, entertainment and so on. Simples.

Pay yourself first

The reason this is the most famous piece of advice ever given by billionaire American investor Warren Buffet is that literally anyone can do it. It just means that you add to your savings before you spend money on anything else - even if it’s just $1 a month.

And if you’re worried about dipping into your savings, why not consider The Vault? Once set up (which takes less than five minutes), the balance of your savings account will be hidden from view, so you won’t be tempted to splurge. Don’t worry though, it’s not a real vault! You can still access your funds in the event of an emergency.

Automate payments where possible

So you’ve paid yourself first – which just leaves everyone else! But that shouldn’t be a worrying prospect because, if you’ve followed the checklist so far, you’ll know roughly how much you owe and have a dedicated account from which to pay it. Automating your payments (e.g. via direct debit) means you won’t forget any.

Speaking of automation, you could also set up The Boost. Simply choose an amount between $0.01 and $5 to be automatically added to your Great Southern Bank Savings Account every time you use your Visa Debit card. Now saving’s as easy as spending!

Shop around for better deals

Just before you start setting up those direct debits, it’s always worth shopping around to see if you can get better deals on everything from insurance to gas and electricity to phone and internet. A couple of hours spent on this could save you a small fortune over the year.

For more hints and tips for saving money on everyday essentials, check out our Thrifty Thursdays page.

Set your savings goals

Things are getting interesting now. You know how much you can afford to save (which might just have increased thanks to your shopping around efforts), you’ve opened a dedicated savings account, and you’ve committed to paying into it before you do anything else. Guess what? You can now set realistic, achievable savings goals. Woohoo!

Oh, and to ensure you reach those goals as quickly as possible, check that you’re fulfilling the criteria for earning bonus interest where applicable.

We’re here to help

If you would like more information about any of the products mentioned in this article, please feel free to give us a call on 133 282. Alternatively, you can always pop into your nearest branch for a chat.

Important Information

Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence Number 238317. Conditions, fees and charges apply. This is general information and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider the appropriateness of the information, including the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) booklet, before acting on it. The Financial Claims Scheme may apply to this product; refer to the T&Cs for more information.

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