Juggling your finances?

If you want to kick off 2022 with a bang, getting your finances in order may be a good starting point.

Whether you’re looking to increase your savings or simply be more comfortable financially, there are literally thousands of possible money saving ideas. We’ve chosen to focus on money saving ideas that relate to your savings and loans.

Don’t let fees eat away your savings

Choose savings accounts that are fee free. Fees only eat away at your savings and reduce the return you get on your hard earned money. 

Your budget is your friend not your enemy

It’s amazing what your budget can tell you. For some, it can be a confronting experience. Do you really spend $1,200 a year on coffee or $1,000 a year on car washes? Perhaps you’re spending $1,600 a year on that extra night a week you and your partner have take away or an extra $500 a year more than you need to on high priced pet food. Wherever your money is going, your budget can tell you. You may think a splurge of $25 here and $15 there doesn’t deserve much thought. But when you add up how much you are splurging on these sorts of purchases over a 12 month period (not a weekly period), you could get a shock.
• Revisit your budget on a regular basis to identify where you need to start making some savings
• Don’t start by making dramatic changes- they will be too hard to stick to.

• Keep all your receipts so you can keep track of the cost of individual items – it will help you hunt down cheaper alternatives
You will then quickly find you’ll have cash freed up to put towards your savings. Our budget planner calculator can be a useful tool when putting your budget together.

Rid yourself of high interest debts

High interest debts can include credit cards, interest free loans that have expired (which can revert to rates as high as 25%p.a.) and other high priced personal loans. These types of high interest debts can result in you paying so much interest, you are reducing the amount you actually borrowed so slowly that you're still years away from paying it off. Until these debts are dealt with, you’re simply throwing money down the drain. If you have any high interest debts, reducing the amount of interest you pay will help you pay more off the principal. And that means getting rid of the debt sooner.

Consider the following:

Complete a balance transfer on your credit card or store card to a low rate card. Look for a card that gives you a low ongoing rate, and be sure to check that the rate for purchases and cash advances is competitive as well. Our low rate credit cards give you an ongoing rate of 8.99% p.a.1 and 0%p.a.* on Balance Transfers for 6 months.

If you have more than one high interest debt, consolidate them in to a competitively priced personal loan. This will give you just one loan payment instead of a few, making it easier to keep up with your loan repayments and direct debit arrangements. Your overall interest rate should be lower than your high interest debts so you will save money on interest and you could relieve some financial pressure by choosing a longer loan term to lower your regular repayments, helping you to free up some money to manage your day to day bills and expenses.

Our low variable rate personal loan might be a good option if you are looking at consolidating some high interest loans.

Think ahead

Are you still paying off Christmas? If you found you had to use credit card debt, buy now pay later solutions and store credit to pay for Christmas, now is the time to think ahead. The costs over the silly season aren’t just presents. There’s Christmas parties, holidays, school holiday entertainment and more. The festive season can put a strain on your finances if you aren’t careful, it can slow your efforts to get on top of your finances in the New Year.

Sometimes saving an amount you won’t miss will give you a pleasant surprise later. For example, if you put away just $20 a week from February to the end of October this year, you’d have $780 to put towards the cost of next Christmas. Once you’re use to this and don’t miss the $20, then increase it to $30.

Community First’s Christmas Cracker savings account is designed to help you do just that, by rewarding you with interest on your savings, and best of all, restricting access to your savings until the silly season is upon us (Nov – Feb each year) so you won’t be tempted to dip in.

The same rules apply for other things you need to save for. Whether it’s holidays, home improvements, bigger purchases, school costs and just rainy day savings. Think about what you’re planning for and set up an automatic regular payment of an amount you won’t miss to start with, and watch it grow over time.

Credit eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply.

1 Rates are current as at 31/03/2018 and subject to change without notice. *Offer terms and conditions: Rate is current as at 15 February 2021 and subject to change without notice. This is an introductory rate for 6 months only on balance transfers from funding date. After the initial 6 month introductory period, the interest rate for the balance transferred will revert back to the standard credit card rate at the time - currently this is 8.99% p.a. Offer available for new and existing card holders where new balances are transferred to the card and offer can be withdrawn at any time. Excludes Balance Transfers from Community First or Easy Street cards.
This information is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs (your "personal circumstances"). Before deciding whether to buy any products you should consider your personal circumstances. You should read and consider the Terms and Conditions when deciding to use any product (terms and conditions, fees and charges may apply).

Community First Credit Union LimitedABN 80 087 649 938 | AFSL and Australian credit licence 231204 | BSB 512-170