4 ways to freshen up your finances this new year

Don’t you love a new year? A page turns, and we have a blank chapter in front of us. It’s time to start setting some goals, and getting things organised, so we kick some serious goals in 2019.

Make financial resolutions

Nothing like a new year to set new financial goals, or maybe rework your old goals. What’s on your financial horizon? A new home? Renovations? A family holiday? A new car? Pay off your credit card debt? Pay off some of your mortgage?

Whatever you hope for, speak it aloud, talk to your loved ones, write it down and make it real. The more you share your goals with others, the more accountable you are.

Make sure your financial goals are realistic and achievable. Ensure the goal is specific, and concrete. There’s no point shooting for a pie in the sky if you know you are going to miss. Better to ensure your goal is something that might eventuate.

If the goal feels enormous, break your goal into achievable steps, and focus on achieving the first step. For instance, if your goal is to buy your first home, the first step might be reducing your monthly spend, so you can put away for your deposit. Assess how much you need, and discuss with your loved ones, your accountant and your mortgage adviser how to do this. Then, take action. You might consider starting a savings plan.

Clear your debts

Christmas is a time for spending and indulging. In fact, Australians racked up $29 billion in credit card debt in 2017, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

A credit card debt though means you are more than likely paying interest. This increases your overall expenditure. If you let your debts get away from you, not only will you pay more, but it may also inhibit your ability to get a loan in the future.

A new year could be the perfect time for you to square off your debts; or at the very least, pay off what you can. Siphoning off some of your weekly or monthly income, and putting it straight into your credit card can help reduce your debt.

Give yourself a financial audit

As life trips away from us, it’s easy to spend and spend, but not actually know where our money is going to. People who do well financially generally have a pretty good idea about what money is coming in, and exactly where money is going out.

Audit your finances. Sit down with a pen, paper and calculator, or your computer, and log all your monthly expenses and income. Categorise spending. For example, tally up your entertainment costs, and your retail spending. Calculate what you spend on subscriptions each month. Can you identify where you can save?

Touch base with your support network

Whatever your financial goals for 2019, know that your support networks can help you get there. Who helps you financially? Maybe you have a friend, or family member who helps you stay financially accountable. Maybe you have a trusted tax accountant, who can help you make a financial plan for 2019. Check in with your Mortgage Choice Broker, to make sure your loans are up-to-date, or to make a plan to check off some of your financial goals.

Happy new year! We hope 2019 has lots in store for you!