YOU AND YOUR MONEY
Posted on Feb 01, 2019
Welcome to the New Year and your Christmas spending credit card statement! If you would rather walk over broken glass than open it perhaps you should look at tips from our Incolink Financial Rights Counsellor to get better at managing your money.
CREDIT CARD TIPS – USING YOURS BETTER
- Try to pay off more than the minimum each month.
- Try to limit your credit card spend to what you can afford to pay off. Credit card money is the banks money so try to live within your means (see Budget Tips).
- Before you buy, ask yourself ‘do I really need this right now?’
- If there is interest free layby offered take advantage of being able to pay off something gradually over a set time.
- Consider swapping your credit card for a debit card.
- Cash advances from a credit card are very expensive.
- If you run into difficulties, always contact your credit card issuer ASAP.
- Does the card charge interest from purchase or have Interest free days? Paying off your card each month may mean you pay low or no interest.
- Research credit card rates before you apply; look online or visit a comparison website, find a card with a low rate, no annual fee and/or no balance transfer fee.
- When you find the deal you want – ask your bank if they can match it.
- Do not base your decision on reward points.
- Ask the card issuers for a key fact sheet, that tells you: - How minimum repayment is calculated. - Your interest free payments and period. - If there are fees and charges.
- No idea what you spend your money on? Download TrackMySpend, the ASIC budgeting app, and start a spending record. At the end of the month - do a budget with your partner or family and work out where the money goes and where you can save.
- Use your bank statements to find where your ‘spending leaks’ are – these are things you buy that you want but don’t really need. Plug that leak for a month (or two!) and see how much you have saved.
- Incolink is there for you when the work isn’t, but savings will help you in an emergency at any time. Set up a just-for-emergencies account with a higher interest online provider. Direct Debit a small amount every week and don’t touch it. Banking $25 per week means you will have $1,300 plus interest at the end of the year to cover you and the family in an emergency.
Food delivery apps – finished work, you’re hungry and it’s so easy. It might not feel like you are paying $20-25 for each meal (more when the cost goes on your credit card and stays there) – but you are. After a week of that you have spent $175 just on your dinner and there is still nothing in the fridge!
Eating out – If you eat out a few times a week think about cutting back. And skipping the dessert is a good idea for both your tum and your pocket.
Drinking big drains the wallet – restaurants put a pretty high margin on drinks so choose water over soft drinks and steer away from the more expensive side of the drinks list.
NEED SOME HELP? Call the Incolink Financial Rights Counsellor on (03)9668 3061 to get help for you and your family with:
- Working out a budget that will help you live well, pay your bills and save money.
- Understanding your rights in all financial transactions.
- The rules and laws relating to debts.
- Information on bankruptcy.
- Government assistance that might be available.
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