By Adele Blair
"I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it." - Dorothy Parker
We aren't experts in investments or banking but we can help you get the basics sorted.
Being financially unorganised can cost you big-time: late fees; missing out on discounts for early payment; unclaimed medical or Medicare benefits; unread notices of increase/decrease to terms and conditions or rates.
And that's just for starters. So let’s deal with the basics:
1. Get all your financial records all in the one place.
If you can't find bills how can you pay them? At a minimum create a file for "Bills to Pay", "Paid Bills", "Bank Statements", "Credit Card Statements". This can become very detailed, but this is a great place to start if you have no system in place.
2. Direct Payments.
Many services such as telcos, utilities and credit cards have facilities to automatically take payment for your accounts each month. This ensures you will never pay late fees.
3. Create a schedule.
Put a recurring appointment in your calendar reminding you to look in the "Bills To Pay" folder every week, it will take 10 minutes to open the file, check the due dates, process a Credit Card or EFT, done and dusted!
4. Check the mortgage/loans.
Find out the date upon which your mortgage and/or loan repayments are due. Create another recurring appointment in your calendar to double check the balance the day before so you don't go over drawn and incur any fees. Consolidate accounts. As I said we aren't financial planners, but if you can consolidate a number of savings/cheque accounts into one, it doesn't take a genius to work out that you may save on some bank fees.
Check for unclaimed superannuation at the government's SuperSeeker website.
For medical insurance, try www.iSelect.com.au or Australian Heath Insurance Advisory. For other insurance comparisons, check out Compare The Market or get a broker who will do all the leg work for you. www.needabroker.com.au