WA Super News
Tidy up your finances like Marie Kondo
Letting go can be liberating. In partnership with Industry super fund-owned bank ME, we look at four ways to declutter your finances, inspired by tidying guru Marie Kondo.
Decluttering expert Marie Kondo is riding a wave of popularity with her Netflix series based on the KonMari¹ method of tidying up homes.
It’s no surprise Kondo’s ideas are a hit. Psychologists have long-known that mess causes stress², so why stop at our homes? Inspired by Kondo, ME looks at four ways to declutter your finances and regain control of your money.
1) Get the easy stuff out of the way first
Kondo recommends kick-starting the declutter process by clearing out items that hold the least emotional attachment. When it comes to money matters, that’s likely to be your transaction account.
Having multiple transaction accounts can mean paying unnecessary account fees. It can also make it hard to track debits and credits into and out of various accounts. Who needs that confusion?
Moving to a single transaction account can help you stay on top of your money and save on fees.
The same goes for super accounts. 40%³ of Aussies have more than one super fund and could be paying multiple sets of fees and insurance premiums.
That means, with 3 accounts, you could be paying $13,500^ in super admin fees over the next 25 years!! $13,500^ that could be better invested back into your WA Super account. Check how many super accounts you have using our Find and Combine tool available in member online.
2) Get a clear understanding of what you have
Kondo asks her clients to gather all their clothing and pile it in one spot for a clear view of everything they own.
Try the same step with your finances. Line up all of your accounts and take a close look at what’s involved with each of them.
It can be quite an eye-opener. You could find, for instance, that your home loan and savings account no longer offers a competitive interest rate. If that sounds like you, take the opportunity to look for a product that’s better suited to your needs.
While you're at it, check your super account. Find out how much you have, check that your employer is paying your super guarantee (if you're eligible) and how your super is invested.
3) Don’t spread the clutter
Kondo has found that people often hide items in different rooms, spreading the clutter rather than addressing the problem.
It can be a similar story with credit cards. Constantly shifting balances from one maxed out card to a new card doesn’t mean taking control of the debt. It merely delays the responsibility of paying off the balance.
If juggling multiple cards sounds familiar, consider consolidating to just one card.
4) Have a system in place to stay on top of the mess
When the cameras stop rolling on Kondo’s clients, we’re left wondering whether they’ll keep their homes clutter-free.
Don’t leave your newly tidied finances to chance. Staying on top of money matters calls for a system.
Consider putting your bills on autopilot by setting up direct payments out of your transaction account. Set calendar dates to regularly review your key accounts – it can prevent old bad habits from creeping in. Check your super account regularly, or at least ensure that when you get your annual super statement, you open it, read it and understand it.
By taking a few tips from Marie Kondo, it’s possible to see your finances through fresh eyes.
This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit www.mebank.com.au
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679.
WA Super and ME are not agents or representatives of one another. WA Super does not accept responsibility or liability for any loss or damage caused by the products or services provided by ME. WA Super does not receive any commissions as a result of members using ME products and services.
³ATO - Super Accounts Data Overview, at 30 June, 2017.
^Calculated using the average MySuper product administration fees of $180 pa for a $50,000 account balance. This amount does not take into account investment fees and costs, investment earnings or inflation. Source: Chant West Super Fund Fee Survey for March 2018.