How to keep your financial New Year’s resolutions

Ausure Scone: How to keep your financial New Year's resolutions Nearly half of the population make New Year’s resolutions with the top five resolutions typically being lose weight; get organised; spend less and save more; enjoy life to the fullest and stay fit and healthy. While everyone intends to achieve their resolutions, only 8 per cent of people are actually successful in achieving them.

Here are some tips to help achieve your money resolutions for the year:

Have goals

Here’s the good news, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions so just by making them puts you in a better position than those who don’t.

Put your goals on paper and tell people around you about them. This will also help keep you accountable.

Break habits

According to some research, it takes about 66 days to form a new habit so don’t give up early. If you have decided this year that you would save money or not spend money on eating out, you can expect the new behaviour to feel like part of your day-to-day life by around the first week of March.

Look back on where you have spent your money in 2016 and work out where you need to break your financial habits.  It may be the two coffees a day or the generous gifts to friends that might be the weak spot.  Breaking these habits early will enhance your ability to get ahead in 2017.

Routines and discipline

Having a routine with what you do with your money is key and will add discipline to how your money works for you. If you are putting a savings plan in place get your employer to do the hard work. Ask them to direct a proportion of your salary directly into a savings or investment account so you don’t even see it in your everyday accounts. With the rest of your pay, only direct enough money into your everyday account that you wish to spend. Keep the rest of your pay in savings or for short-term goals.

Keep track

Don’t forget to monitor your progress each month. If you have a home loan, investment or savings account, it’s time to look at whether the balance has increased or decreased from the previous month.

If balances have gone sideways, it is likely that you need to re-evaluate your budget.

Reduce costs

It’s time to call your bank and ask for a better deal. Look at bank fees and your home loan interest rate and consider increasing payments or frequency to save interest.

If you have credit card debt or personal loans, it’s time to trim them.  Make them a priority to knock over when you receive your pay as they become a burden on your everyday cash flow if you lose track of them.

Think super 

You can’t rely on your employer’s superannuation contribution to provide the lifestyle that you are probably used to.

With this in mind, start adding some more to your superannuation fund early in the year. Seek professional advice of what is going to be best for your personal circumstances.

With a little bit of time invested in your New Year’s resolutions, your 2017 could be a much more prosperous year all round.

If you’d like help in setting your financial goals or would like a financial health check, get in touch with Ausure Scone.