A senior financial planner's six top tips for your finances

3 min watch

Westpac Senior Financial Planner Diana Saad provides her top tips to help you get on top of your finances.

As a senior financial planner with Westpac, Diana Saad helps her clients achieve their financial goals through providing effective financial planning strategies. Here are some of Diana’s top tips to help you get on top of your finances.

1. Be clear on your financial goals

Sitting down and thinking about your financial goals is a good place to start, and will give you an idea of the amount of money that you’ll need to make them happen. Knowing your financial goals and keeping them in mind could also help you make wiser day-to-day financial decisions.

2. Control your debt

Start by calculating all the money you owe to give you the full picture. This could be a hard exercise for you depending on your situation, but remember it’s a step in the right direction for you to take control. Consider the types of debt you have and associated interest rates, prioritising the debt with the highest interest rate. If you have credit card debt, you could look around for a lower interest rate, or try to make payments above the minimum amount.

Getting some financial advice could also help with taking control of your debt.

3. Start saving

It's never too late to start saving, so what are you waiting for? Sometimes even saving little amounts, like spare change can make a difference over time. If you have a goal amount to save for, make sure you track your progress to see how far you have come.

4. Create a budget

Creating a budget can show if you are spending more or less than you can afford. Start by working out your income, then work out your expenses, then subtract the expenses from your income. You will instantly know if you are living within your means or not. You may want to scrutinise your expenses to see if you can make any adjustments. If you are able to cut down in certain areas, you could save that money, or put it to better use, such as paying down your debt.

5. Get your super sorted

To sort your super, you can start by finding out how many super accounts you have. If you have more than one super account, you may like to consider consolidating it all into the one account to make it easier to manage and cut down on the number of account keeping fees you are paying. You can also look at how your super is invested. Finally, it's a good idea to check if you have any lost super.

6. Make sure you have the right insurance cover for yourself

Have you overlooked getting some insurance cover for your most valuable asset - yourself? You could have some life insurance cover in your super, but this may not be sufficient for your personal situation. Income protection is also worth considering, to make sure you're covered if you cannot work due to injury or illness. And if you are not sure what types and levels of insurance cover are best for you, it might be worth speaking to a financial adviser.

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The information is current as at 01/12/2015.

Diana Saad is a representative of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL & ACL 233714.

This information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. There is no charge for accepting any rollovers, however before requesting the rollover, you should consider where your future employer contributions will be paid (if your employer contributions are currently being paid to another fund) and check with your other fund(s) to determine whether there are any exit or withdrawal fees for moving your benefit, or other loss of benefits (e.g. insurance cover), noting that you may not receive the same type or level of benefits after the rollover. You may not be covered for injuries or illnesses that have arisen since you took out previous insurance, and you may lose loyalty benefits.