8 ways to declutter your finances

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by money and it’s easy to turn a blind eye. We’ve got some easy tips to help you declutter your finances and get more in control of your money.

8. Know the numbers

Your first step to getting clarity around your money is to know your numbers. This includes things like knowing your total debt (things like credit cards or personal loans), how much you’re able to save, and what your KiwiSaver balance is. Look at your bank statements for the last few months to know how much you’re spending between pays, and on what.

7. Track your subscriptions

It can be hard to keep track of all your subscriptions, but it’s important to know what money is coming out of your account. Maybe you have a cloud storage payment, Spotify, Netflix, or food delivery services. Monitor these, and make sure you’re getting value from them. Knowing what’s coming out of your account can bring clarity to your spending. 

6. Sort your pantry 

Feeling overwhelmed by your food spend? Sorting your pantry and fridge is a great place to start. Organise and make a list of the items you can use up first, before heading to the supermarket again. Remove all expired items and give your pantry and fridge a clean. 

5. Start a budget 

If you feel your money’s a mess, setting up a budget can help. Knowing how much you have to spend, and what you’ll spend it on, can help declutter your finances. Look at your bank statements for the last three months. Decide what things you want to cut down on and other changes to make, and set a budget up for future months. Make sure you allow for money to go into savings too, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up from time to time. 

4. Clear your debt 

Within your budget, make a plan to clear what’s called consumer debt – that’s high interest debt like credit cards and personal loans. The high interest charged on this debt can make it easy to fall into a debt cycle, and it can be hard to get out. Start by checking you’re meeting all the minimum repayments. Then look at how to pay off additional amounts. Start by paying off the debt that has the highest interest. Or, if it’s better for your mindset, aim to pay off the smallest debt first. You can do it! 

3. Make savings goals 

Having goals for your money is a great way to declutter your finances. Pick some SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely). Perhaps you want to save for a first-home deposit, a new car or fridge, have money in an emergency fund as a buffer during bad times, or simply increase your KiwiSaver balance. Having goals can help give you a clearer head about your money. 

2. Check your KiwiSaver account 

Confused about your KiwiSaver account? You know you should learn about it but maybe you’ve ignored it for a while. Learn who your provider is, if you’re in the right fund for you, and make sure you’re putting in enough to get your employer and government contributions. 

1. Become a mindful consumer 

Think about things carefully before you buy. Ask yourself questions like ‘Will I use this enough?’ ‘Is this a good way to spend my money?’ and ‘Do I really need this?’. If you’re feeling your spending is all over the show, using these techniques can really help you feel more in control.

Story by Claire Connell, JUNO

Published 25 May 2020

Pie Funds Management Limited is the issuer of the JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme. You can read our Product Disclosure Statement. This article is general in nature only and has not taken into account any particular person’s objectives or circumstances. We recommend you speak with an independent financial adviser. All content is correct at time of publication date.