Super check

Check your last super statement and if your fees are more than 1,5 per cent, ask why. Switch funds if you are not happy with the explanations.

Pay it off

This goes for credit cards, personal loans, furniture repayments, personal debts, investment loans, mortgages and back rent. Pay off the most expensive debts first.

Pick it

If you can`t live without a credit card, pick the one that works for you. If you can`t pay the total off each month, pick a credit card without frills but the cheapest interest rate.

Have a game plan

Lurching from pay day to pay day is a sure way to stay broke. Use an independent financial expert to work out a long term plan.

Build a nest egg

Start small. Cut back on coffee and lunch money by $20 next week, or save $10 a week on transport fees by walking a few extra stops or parking further away.

Try a budget

Set out a 12-month budget. Estimate your income and expenses for the year ahead and adjust amounts as you go. It will show where you can save.

Be safe, not sorry

It may hurt to pay health, life and home insurance but if you don`t, the consequences could be severe. Don`t take the risk.

Show will power

Dying without a will can leave a nasty mess to tidy up. If you can`t afford a lawyer, will kits can be bought from the newsagent or post offices.

Protect your identity

Identify theft causes billions of dollars of fraud around the world each year. Keep banks statements, bills, rate notices and other financial information secure and never give out personal details.

Manage big events

Marriage, deaths, births and divorce all affect your finances. Think ahead.

Prepare for the credit crunch

Credit card bills and school fees are coming. Prepare by putting the odd $10 to $20 in the credit crunch kitty.

Check your investments

Are your chares, superannuation or investment property running full throttle? Give them (and your investment manager) a health check.

Ditch bank fees

Bank fees are often triggered if your balance falls below minimum level or you go beyond a set number of transactions. Take control by avoiding the trigger points or switch to a low-fee account.

Consider a merger

Combine your financial business into one account and it will pay dividends. A bank will often waive fees and offer better interest rates if you deal solely with them.


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