Over the last few weeks, I’ve been taking a good look at my finances. There are a few things I always like to stay on top of.

1. Do I understand my current financial position without question; and
2. Am I getting the best deal?

organising finances1. Do I understand my current financial position?

I am a spreadsheet nerd. I created a spreadsheet to track my finances in 1999. I’ve used that spreadsheet ever since. So for every year, I’ve tracked my tax returns, my credit card expenses, my mortgage, my savings, my bills. Everything. I’m going to share this template with you in case you’d like to use it too.  It will be posted here next week!

2. Am I getting the best deal?

I am a big advocate for reviewing all your current contracts, constantly.

For example, if you signed up for a phone plan 12 months ago, are you now ‘out of contract’ on that plan?

If so – check with the phone service providers to see if there are better deals about.  I’ve done this just last week. My monthly bill for my internet, mobile, home phone and pay TV combined was around $320 per month.

I went into the Telstra store and as it turns out, I can now get exactly the same benefits for around $240 a month. Yes, it means I’m signing up for another 24 month contract but to save $80 per month, I don’t care!

I’m also looking into refinancing my mortgage. There are so many good interest rate deals at the moment that you’d be mad not to at least look into them.

For example, a mortgage of $350,000 at 5.25% interest is a repayment of $1932 per month.

At 4.62% interest, the monthly repayment is $1799.

A saving of $133 per month.

Now what would happen if you moved over to the loan with the ‘cheaper’ interest rate, but still kept paying $1932 per month?

(In other words, paid your minimum mortgage repayment PLUS an extra $133 per month.

Do you know how many years that would cut off your loan?

You would save 3 years and 10 months off your mortgage.

Do you know how much interest you would save on your loan?

You would save $42,582 in interest repayments.

All for the sake of swapping to a new lender, with a lower interest rate, yet continuing to pay the amount you’ve originally already budgeted for!!

Cool, hey?!

If you’re feeling disorganised with your finances, it’s time to start organising them.

Grab my spreadsheet template.  I’ll post it next week when I go into more detail about how it works.  Take the time start tracking everything. Know where your finances are at all times. Ring around. Call other phone providers. Call the cable company.  Call the electricity, gas and water providers. Call other banks. For those in Australia, have a look at Choice magazine’s ‘Better Banking’ website for all different types of banking products.

Being informed and being organised can be the difference between the money being in your pocket or someone elses!

I’d love to hear about a great deal you’ve had in the past – drop me a line in the comments below!