We say it every year – “this year I am going to”… save money, reach my financial goals, cut back my debt, invest, be more money smart…
The list of New Year promises to ourselves is endless.
Somehow, the 50 motivational memes we have committed to memory encouraging us to break the spell and the enthusiasm we have in January to actually “DO IT” this year, often fall short of the task at hand and the promises we make to ourselves quickly become broken. In reality, studies show only 8% of us actually follow through and achieve our New Year’s Resolutions.
No matter what your financial goals are for this year, you will only achieve them with a plan. Saying “I’m going to save money” is a goal, but it can only be achieved with a plan.
The first step is to set your target early, so you know what to aim for. Make your target SMART: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It is important to give yourself hope of achieving your financial goals. By setting a realistic time frame to achieve your goal in, you will often work harder to make sure you succeed.
Breakdown big goals into smaller bite sized chunks. If your overall goal is to be debt free in 12 months and you have no stepping stones to achieve this, the chances are you could be in as much or more debt at the beginning of next year.
Most importantly, whether you have large or small financial New Year’s Resolutions, you need to be able to ask for help. What seems impossible to you may be a simple affordable fix for an expert. Too often we give up on our “saving money” goals because we neglect to seek help on the best way to do it.
Simple steps you can take now to start saving straight away are:
- Do a budget. I know, “yuck”. But a budget is the simplest way to making a plan to save money. ASIC has a great online budget planner which is simple to use and will really help you stay on track. You can find it on their website or follow this link: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner
- Check your insurance policies. The New Year is a great time to do an online search to compare other policies with yours. Make sure you are not paying more for the same thing.
- Organise your debt into manageable bite sized chunks. Start with the smallest and most achievable and focus on getting this paid. Then move onto the next smallest. You will stay motivated when you see how achievable this is.
- Find a high interest savings account where you can watch your money growing.
- Consolidate your Super. Consolidating multiple super funds into one will save you money on fees and help you grow your lump sum faster.
Once you see where your money is being spent, simple adjustments to your habits will ensure you don’t fall into the 92% category of failed New Year’s resolutions.
We want to see you achieving your financial goals this year. Be an 8%’er, ask for help and see where you land. It’s your year for success.