This Wednesday’s Working Girl Saga I’m looking at money. Pounds, dollars, yen, whatever you call it it makes the world go around and is the sole reason we put up with Candy the world’s most incompetent receptionist.
Every year around this time I have a little freakout about the state of my finances and wrack my brain on how to fill in my tax return again. Yes it’s sad and pathetic but it is a vicious cycle I am trying to get out of. Starting now.
So here’s the 5 things I’m committing to doing this June to improve the organisation of my finances. Well by appearances at least.
1. Go to the bank
Ok so not a difficult task but as soon as you start a real grown up job where you actually have to attend 8 hours a day or you will get fired (Toto we’re not at university anymore) it is hard. You end up working through your lunch break or cancel on your bank date in favour of Tuesday afternoon drinks. Seriously though just do it. Go and cash the cheques that have gathering in your purse, or deposit your piggy bank or enquire about that high savings account. It’s like going to the gym, you will feel better for it afterwards and you won’t get nearly as sweaty!
2. Review your direct debits
Over the years I had accrued quite a few direct debits that have been secretly coming out of my account and bleeding my wealth (not that you can really call $5.00 wealth). My half of the internet every month, the fortnightly rent, my gym membership, the girl’s week away to Koh Samui. It all adds up. Have 16 pairs of coloured nikes but none of them have actually seen a gym floor? Cancel your membership. Could you pay off the holiday out of your next pay and just go a little skint for a week or so? Get your butt to the travel agent. Consider saving up and paying your car insurance and registration in one lot as well. You do not want you bank statement be harder to decipher than Charlie Sheen’s marriage history.
3. Become a paperwork demon
A couple of years ago I bought a crappy second hand filing cabinet for $30 and crammed all of my paperwork in it. Step one done. Then a few months later I actually got down to organising it all and now it has saved me HOURS of searching under my bed and ringing the bank saying “Yes I did get that letter about my account being overdrawn… but I think my dog ate it?’. It’s tedious, and kinda frightening to see how many categories of paperwork you will have but trust me, just do it. You will feel so much better afterwards.
4. Get help
Not of the psychotherapy kind but from a finance professional. The older we get, the more “Financy Stuff” is relevant to us and no longer can I rely on filling out my tax return based on the sections that I understand. With buying houses and making more money comes mortgages, term deposits and all sorts of other jargon that sends some of our skin crawling. Do yourself a favour and get a friend who understand this stuff to help you. Or as a last resort as your parents. I know, it’s drastic and there will probably be an accompanying lecture of some kind but they will have good advice. I mean they’re old, they know about these adult stuff right?
Last year I changed jobs and accumulated yet another superannuation account. Once I realised I had more of them then I did high heels, I knew I had to do something about it. After too much paperwork and a little going back and forth between old employers I combined ALL of my accounts into the current one and then commenced a little happy super dance. You will lose SO much money in fees having hundreds of accounts open, and you might not care now, but your future 70 year old self will kick your skinny ass when you can’t afford that 6 speed gopher you have been eyeing off.
Now that we’re feeling jubilant about our finances on the lead up to July 1st let’s celebrate with a little funds related tune. See even finances can be cool!