New Year’s Eve – traditionally a time to make your resolutions for the following year, generally things you are going to do better (exercise more) or achieve (lose weight, give up smoking).
Unfortunately, those resolutions seem to have a habit of becoming a distant memory by the time Easter rolls around. If you want to make a resolution to manage your money better and boost your savings, check out our tips to help make sticking to that resolution easier.
Make a budget
Even if you sometimes blow it, having a budget is your first step in thinking about where your money goes. By being aware of this, you can start to make better choices in actively managing your money, rather than just frittering it away.
Having a budget will help you allocate more money to savings and paying off debt, rather than funding the local coffee shop instead of your own retirement.
Have you paid off debt in the last 12 months?
Once a debt has been repaid, it can be easy for those repayments to get sucked into your regular disposable income. However, as you are used to not having the money that was going into those repayments, consider how you can use that money more effectively.
If you still have debt (including a mortgage), why not use the extra money you now have to pay off another debt more quickly? This will see you become debt-free more quickly, and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest, which you can use to boost your own savings account.
Did you get an increase in income in the last 12 months?
Like paying off debt, additional income can easily become part of your disposable income, rather than being put to use. If you can already meet your commitments on your current income, consider putting the extra income into your savings or retirement plans, to help boost your balance and your returns.
Set goals, rather than New Year’s resolutions
Think about what you want to achieve financially over the next twelve months. Maybe you want to pay off debt, so you can increase your savings for your first-home deposit. While you are setting some financial goals, do think about your retirement – remember every New Year is a step closer to it.
Don’t keep putting it off because you think you don’t have the money to put away or think that the small amount you can put away won’t be worth it. Budgeting and setting goals work hand in hand – and even saving small amounts will help you progress to your financial goals.
Get rid of the Christmas hangover
Start saving now for next Christmas, so Christmas doesn’t set you back on your financial goals. Christmas can be an expensive time of year, with the cost of gifts, decorations, extra food and often travel to see family members all adding up. By planning ahead and budgeting for the expected cost, you can avoid putting the costs of Christmas on to your credit card, starting the New Year on track with your money, and not having to find money to pay off an additional debt.
Boosting your savings starts with making a budget. And having a budget allows you to identify where your money goes, helping you put in place small changes to divert that frittered money into your savings plan.
An Adviser Disclosure Statement is available free and upon request.