So often we talk about setting financial goals, having a household budget, updating your will and a myriad of other financial tasks. While all of these tasks are essential financial housekeeping, behavioural change is the most potent influencer.
Here are 11 behaviours which will change your life.
1. Be a year-round discount shopper/negotiator
Ask for a discount on every purchase. Australians have become enormous “sale” shoppers since the start of the Global Financial Crisis and that’s a great behaviour to have.
But when an item isn’t on sale, ask for one anyway. It should be part of your behaviour to ask for a better deal on everything. Don’t be embarrassed, the supplier can only say “no”, while a “yes” makes it all worthwhile.
2. Save 10 per cent of your income
Make it automatic all year round. An automatic transfer of at least 10 per cent of your salary every payday across to an “untouchable” investment account.
You’ll change your behaviour to live within the 90 per cent which is left, while letting compounding work its magic on the nest egg.
3. Have a plan for credit card rewards
Credit card reward schemes are usually not worth what they’re cracked up to be because the program is not generous, we don’t maximise the program, or both. First make sure you have the best credit card with the best rewards program for your spending pattern. Then think how each purchase can maximise points.
4. Be more demanding on your bank
Question your bank on everything. The interest rate on your home loan, discounts if insurance is part of the bundle, slashing/abolishing account keeping fees.
But don’t do it once, keep the pressure up all year round. If a penalty fee comes in, ask to have it removed. Be relentless.
5. Question any insurance premium renewals
Never, ever, automatically pay an insurance premium renewal. Always go to one of the insurance comparison quote sites to compare alternatives.
Ring at least one other insurance company for a quote.
6. Opportunities to earn money on the side
Whether it is a second job, a garage sale, starting a market stall or turning a hobby into a money spinner, there are a myriad of ways to earn extra cash. Keep all of this constantly in mind to identify any opportunities.
7. Manage your time … don’t waste.
Analyse your day, your week, your year. We all need downtime but there is a difference between leisure time and waste time.
8. Identify the waste time and turn it into earning or learning time with specific projects
From light bulbs to appliances and renovations, think energy efficiency when choosing a replacement. Electricity bills are set to skyrocket over coming years and this is where big savings can be made.
From solar hot water to simple door snakes to stop drafts, energy efficiency should be the first criteria behind selecting anything to do with the home.
9. Constantly ask the question: “Do I need?”
Rather than looking at something and thinking “I’d like” or “I want”, train your first thought to be “do I need?”
We’re not saying don’t spoil yourself on occasions, life’s too short, but asking “do I need?” before any purchase will cause you to pause, think and avoid those impulse buys which waste so much money.
10. Check that you are getting all your government entitlements
The facts are, an incredible number of people simply don’t apply for the government benefits they’re entitled too. Make sure you’re not one of them. Make a habit of checking all policies and contracts available in your health insurance policies;Pension funds for eligibility and the benefits that are available.
11. Organise all of your financial paperwork – For Companies and Individuals
The Tax Office wins most disputes because of the poor record keeping of taxpayers. – Well i know this is a nightmare to most of us, You know you are supposed to submit your annual personal returns to TRA, right? for self employees and business holders that is.
Spend time keeping the paperwork under control.
Happy Wealthy Year..2013 ALL