John McIlroy, Executive Director of financial services firm Crystal Wealth Partners, has given five simple tips to take control of your personal finances during this spring clean:

1. Steam clean your budget

Establishing a budget, and sticking to it, is often the most critical pillar in helping people achieve their financial goals. 

Our spending patterns have changed dramatically during COVID-19.

With less opportunity to travel, eat at restaurants or go out with friends, our spending has been diverted to ordering in or shopping online.

Now is a good time to assess your spending - what was essential and what could be cut back - and set up a budget that you can stick to as we emerge from lock downs and our borders open up. 

2. Blow the cobwebs off your super

Check your Super. If you have multiple accounts then you are just paying away your retirement savings in additional fees.

Make sure your investment choice suits your goals and check you have adequate insurance cover.

3. Give your investments a fresh coat of paint 

Do you know what investment return your super fund had in the last couple of years? Not many people do. 

You can find this information usually from your super fund's website.

If the return doesn't look OK then get some advice and see if there are better alternatives for you. 

4. Iron out the wrinkles on your investment choices 

More and more people are thinking about whether the investments they have (or within their super) are consistent with personal values. 

This is often referred to as ethical, ESG or responsible investing

Do you want your finances to do good - then you may need to adjust some of your direct investments. 

5. Wash off those term deposit options

The rates being offered by banks on term deposits currently are at historic lows so it is worthwhile to consider some options for re-investment of deposits as they mature.

There are low risk options that can give you returns of 3% plus. 

It's worthwhile to get some advice about whether these options are suitable for you. 

Image by Este'e Janssens via Unsplash