Dan and I have had a huge year, we moved across the world, got married, honeymooned in the Maldives and Sri Lanka and a month ago purchased our first home! It certainly wasn’t an easy process but thanks to our organisation we didn’t end up too stressed. We are loving being homeowners but there are also a lot of important administrative things we need to do in order to keep on top of everything! Sorting out your life admin can be tough but also super satisfying – and our friends at Noble Oak here to help!
In an ideal world, we’d all have virtual assistants that efficiently take care of life admin for us, but in the real world, most of us carry around a rather long list of life admin tasks that we put off, week in, week out. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australians have around five hours of free time each day – which is typically swallowed up in front of the TV, listening to radio or reading. Imagine if you took just half an hour of that time each day and spent it on your life admin to-do list? You’d work through it in no time! Becoming the master of your own life shouldn’t be overwhelming and breaking your life admin down into manageable tasks is the first step. To help get you started, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 10 Life Admin hacks with an extra bonus at the end.
1. WRITE OR UPDATE YOUR WILL
No one likes to think about dying, but there is no getting around the fact that it happens to us all. To protect your loved ones, it is important to leave financial and guardian instructions in a legal document. Try to review your will annually and update it to reflect your current situation.
2. UPDATE YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES
It is important to review and update your Life Insurance, Income Protection, Car and Health Insurance covers on a regular basis. Many people automatically renew their insurances each year without scrutinising the details – even though their circumstances may have changed. It can pay to shop around for a better deal, too and we’ve included an excellent tool at the end of this article that will help you tick this off today.
3. REVIEW YOUR HOUSEHOLD UTILITIES
Take a close look at how much you are spending on broadband and energy bills. Growing families have growing needs, and with costs rising all the time you might want to consider alternative providers. Plus, a lot of people don’t know but energy providers offer discounts, all you need to do is ask (we currently have a 25% discount on our energy bills).
4. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MAIL
Sit down and sort through your emails, filing important correspondence and responding to any outstanding personal emails. We love to personalize our emails, but at the same time, we do not like to spend a lot of time behind the computer. However, when you have a travel blog, it is even more pleasant to use one of the thousands of photos of your journeys in your email. We always try to keep on top of our mailing, replying to emails promptly and managing our email marketing for the blog. Trust me, you feel so much better with an organized mailing situation going on!
5. RE-EVALUATE YOUR HOME LOAN
Even a slightly lower interest rate could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year and thousands over the life of your home loan. You may want to consider switching home loan products – it could help you to pay off your mortgage earlier. Due to Dan’s visa, we weren’t eligible to get a home loan through a lot of lenders which means we couldn’t get the best interest rate around. Once he is a permanent resident we certainly plan on looking around and potentially switching banks!
6. TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR PERSONAL BANKING
Have you got bank accounts or credit cards sitting unused? It might be time to close them. Or, you could look at your banking products to make sure you are getting the best deal and not spending more than you should on bank fees. These pesky bank fees have a way of adding up, and that money is certainly better in your pocket than the banks!
7. ORGANISE YOUR TAX
Tax time is so much easier if you keep on top of your documents throughout the year. Make sure you find, sort and file deductible receipts, Group Certificates and tax statements. The Australian Taxation Office also has an app you can use to help keep track of your deductible expenses.
8. UNDERSTAND YOUR SUPERANNUATION
It is important to check whether you have any past super funds that you may have forgotten about and, if you do, consolidate them into one. Review your investment options and use a comparative website like Canstar to see how your fund stacks up against its competitors.
9. SORT IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS
Now you’ve sorted through all your paperwork be sure to file all your investment details, insurance covers, wills, house deeds and banking in a logical way – so that not only you know where to find it, but your nearest and dearest can, too, should the need arise. I have a filing cabinet in our home office where I keep all our documents filed away. We
10. SCHEDULE THE APPOINTMENTS YOU’VE BEEN AVOIDING
You know the ones: your annual medical and dental check-ups and the car service. Once you’ve done these you can relax, enjoy time with your friends and family or maybe even book yourself a massage (because you’ve earned it)!
Remember, the more time you give yourself to do something, the more time it takes. To increase efficiency, set time limits for each of your tasks – and try to stick to them. You might want to set aside a day to get on top of your life admin, or tackle it in ten minute blocks of time. That way you’ll get it done in no time!
To get a head start on your list you can try out Noble Oak’s new life insurance calculator right now to receive a personalised life insurance report that will provide you with clarity and confidence for the future. We took out life insurance as soon as we were approved for our home loan, in the event that the worst happens to ensure our loved ones are protected. You can access the calculator here to understand the exact amount of cover you need in only a few clicks and swipes. After you receive the report, you can discuss your Life Insurance and Income Protection needs with NobleOak on 1300 041 494.
Our opinions are as always, our own.