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Financial Health Review: Have You Had Your Checkup?

Why is it important to have a financial 'checkup'? And what areas do you need to pay specific attention to? Adelaide accountant Todd Bond shares his tips.

At this point, we are already well into the new year! How are you doing with those resolutions?

Many people make resolutions to learn something new, get healthier, improve relationships, quit bad habits, and so on. If you're reading this, then you're likely one of the many who are wisely looking for some financial fine-tuning.

The new year isnít the only time to reflect and change - there is no time like the present to review your financial situation.

Set Goals and Reach Them

Setting financial goals will make it easier to realise them. Put them down in writing and you may like to share them with someone you trust. This will give you the support and accountability to get yourself where you want to be, financially.

Talk to your accountant and financial planner. Expert advice is crucial to ensure youíre heading in the right direction.

Your financial goals should be as dynamic as you and your lifestyle are. Don't just leave the same old goals on your list to be reached 'someday'. Review them in the light of your current situation. Your goals may need adjustment, and that's a good thing.

You can't set realistic goals unless you know exactly where you currently stand. A review of your financial health will give you a starting point to work from.

Areas That Need Attention

When planning your financial review, what aspects should you be considering?

Tax affairs - Making sure that your outstanding tax affairs are up-to-date can be daunting. If you are confused, seek the advice of an experienced tax accountant.

Wills and estate plans - Life happens! Take a little time to make sure all affairs will be in order should anything happen to you. This will spare your loved ones a lot of stress and ensure your estate is managed according to your wishes.

Insurance - From personal insurance to car insurance, your needs and circumstances change from year-to-year. Don't forget to review your policies on occasion to make sure you still have the coverage you need.

Regular Direct Debit Payments - Expenses such as energy costs can sneak up on you. Be proactive and set a goal to make payments on a regular basis before they add up to become an overwhelming burden. Importantly, ensure you arenít paying for services or subscriptions that you no longer use.

Loans Ė Review your loans and make sure you are getting the best possible rate. Interest rates and products from financial providers are constantly changing. Again, talk to your accountant or seek the advice of a reputable finance broker.

Spending habits - Track your previous income and expenditures and design a budget based upon those figures. These days this is easier than ever, thanks to a range of web budgeting services such as Xero. Using such a tool can make a major difference in tracking your progress and could really help you to curb the unnecessary spending.

Consult an expert

Donít go it alone. Tap into the knowledge of an experienced accountant who will provide guidance around your financial goals, outline a plan and resolve any issues that may exist, such as tax.

Take some time to consider where you want to be a year from now and what you have to do to get there. A financial checkup will help you reach those goals sooner.

For advice about your financial review or any other accounting need, we can help. Contact the team at Wallace Vroulis Bond.

- By Todd Bond

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