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Written by: Laura Ripley
A fruit smoothie packs a punch for your physical wellness, but here's why your finances also need a berry boost.

Who doesn’t love a refreshing berry boost on a hot summer’s day? The perfect blend of berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries), give the extra kick of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed at times to help maintain overall wellness.

Just as the icy berry drink rejuvenates your physical wellbeing, sipping through your financial situation and conducting a simple half-year review of your goals will help reenergise your financial health.

Below are four tips to ‘berry boost’ your financial wellbeing over the summer break, before the ‘back to school’ commotion hits and spicy pumpkin infusions are all the rage.

Tip #1 – blackberry budgeting

Financial wellbeing starts with budgeting. By keeping track of your income vs outgoings, you stay in control of your finances and can allocate funds toward your financial goals, whether it’s buying a house, reimbursing debt, saving for a wedding, etc.

It also relieves stress and creates behavioural awareness of personal spending habits. Online budget planners like the one accessible on MoneyHelper can help facilitate a seamless transition from non-budgeting to budgeting.

Tip #2 – strawberry savings

Budgeting will also help highlight spending on leisure and discretionary items, for which the cost is often underestimated.

Use the budget planner to identify areas where savings can be made. For example, do you really need the full TV package? Can you negotiate a better deal on your broadband or mobile phone bill? You’d be surprised how these simple tricks can yield surprisingly high monthly savings.

Tip #3 – blueberry blueprint

Setting your financial goals sounds easy but the task should be met with careful consideration. It’s essential that the goals align with your current financial state and are realistically achievable.

Once the objectives are clearly defined, be sure to regularly review them to avoid getting sidetracked, especially in the event of unexpected expenses which could impact your financial situation.

It may be worth considering speaking with a financial planner who can provide guidance by assessing your overarching needs, setting up financial protection (like insurance), regularly reviewing your financial situation and helping you prioritise your objectives while ensuring your risk profile is still appropriate and matches the purpose for which it was established.

Tip #4 – raspberry revamping

Spring cleaning has a bad rep, but perhaps timing is the problem – who has time for thorough cleaning in the midst of March?

August is the new March. It’s an ideal time to tidy up your financial files and digitise paper documents, ridding your home of excess clutter. However, be sure to use ‘digital sunblock’ on your financial accounts to repel cyberattacks by regularly changing your passwords.

Additionally, the summer break is a good time to calmly reflect on your will. While it may seem a bit gloomy, the task is a necessary step to make sure it still reflects your current aspirations and will grant you the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be upheld.

Laura Ripley is chartered financial planner at BRI Wealth Management

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