As we welcome in the New Year, now is the perfect time to work towards making your New Year’s resolutions a reality.
A must for your New Year’s resolution list for 2016 should be to get your finances in order and live a ‘financially fit’ 2016. Although we tend to not want to think about our finances and budgeting, it does not have to be a difficult task and is a lot simpler than you might think.
Budgeting does not necessarily mean cutting out all of life’s luxuries –it is far from it. Successful budgeting is about making better financial choices. It is a perfect way to get more bang for your buck. Budgeting will ultimately help you to achieve your financial goals sooner.
When setting a budget you need to be realistic about your goals. You also need to ensure that you allow for treats every now and then, otherwise your budget will not work. When creating a savings plan, you are not required to cut out all of your favourite things, a savings plan means that you need to have control and just scale back on these things from time to time. By re-evaluating your expenses and spending, you will be surprised by the impact it could have on your hip pocket.
These are our top financial tips to assist you in becoming ‘financially fit’ in 2016.
1. Review your financial alliances
Data from Mortgage Choice shows more than 50% of Australians worry about their finances on a regular basis. But while the majority of Australians are worried about their money, it would appear they don’t want to do anything to change their situation, with 53% indicating that they will not make changes to their financial situation over the coming year. While reviewing your financial situation can seem like a hassle, it can save you a lot of money. Ask yourself, have you been with the same lender, health care provider or even insurance company for years? If the answer is yes, you could be doing yourself out of a bargain. Research your options online and see whether or not there is another provider or lender on the market that can offer you a better deal, like lower fees or greater interest on your savings account.
2. Be diligent with your finances
One of the easiest ways to spend less and save more is to keep yourself accountable for the money you spend. If you know you do not have the diligence to pay off your credit card in full each month, cancel it. If you do take a diligent attitude towards your finances, then frequent credit card use could provide you with significant perks. Today, lenders offer great incentives to those who use their credit cards on a regular basis, including frequent flyer points, cash-back bonuses and extended interest free periods. Of course before you commit to a credit card, it pays to read the fine print, so you know what you are getting yourself in for and always make sure you pay your bill in full and on time each month.
3. Find free entertainment
During the holiday season people will want to go out more in order to catch up with family and friends. Unfortunately, frequent outings aren’t necessarily cheap and can cause your budget to blow out. Thankfully there is a way you can still go out without breaking the bank. Getting online and hunting down free entertainment in your local area will allow you to still go out and save money in the process. Opting for free or low-cost concerts, lectures, outdoor movies and art shows even one night per weekend can easily reduce the entertainment budget by $50 to $100 per month.
If you would like to learn more or to speak to someone for financial advice, contact our office on 02 9826 0333.