A new year is a great time to review your financial situation and get back on track, especially if you feel like you haven’t been on top of your finances last year. You can reflect on the past year and assess whether what you have been doing is working, or if your current habits need to be let go and replaced by new ones. Setting objectives at the start of the year to improve your financial situation helps get you in the right mindset.
Like many people, you can create a New Year’s resolution aimed towards improving your financial situation. You can merge this fun annual tradition with your financial goal planning for the year, and share it with your friends and family to help you keep it.
If you’re looking for ideas on what financial resolutions to have this year, here are some suggestions:
Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Could Make This Year
1. I will create a budget and stick to it.
One of the most important steps to take in managing your finances is to create a budget. A budget helps you track your income and expenses so you can see where your money is going. Once you have a budget in place, it’s important to stick to it, although be flexible enough to make adjustments to it when needed.
2. I will start an emergency fund.
Emergencies do happen, and it’s important to be prepared. An emergency fund is a savings account set aside for unexpected expenses, such as a medical emergency or car repair. It may be a good idea to save enough money to cover at least three to six months of expenses.
3. I will pay off my credit card debt.
Credit card debt can quickly get out of hand and cost you a lot of money. It would be wise to plan how you will pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible, starting with the card with the highest interest rate. This can help reduce the amount of your overall debt and get you out of debt faster.
4. I will save for a home deposit.
If you’re thinking about buying your first home in the near future, consider starting to save for a deposit now. Saving for a deposit can take time, so it is best to start as early as possible. It may be wise to speak with a financial adviser to explore untraditional strategies that can help you get there sooner than you hoped!
5. I will automate my savings.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to automate it. For example, you can set up automatic transfers from your everyday account to your savings account or superannuation account. This way, you won’t have to remember to transfer money each month.
6. I will increase contributions to my superannuation.
Saving for retirement is one of the most important financial goals you can set. If you’re not already making additional superannuation contributions, consider whether you are in a position to get started.
7. I will review and update my insurance coverage.
Make sure you have the right amount of insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones. Review your insurance coverage and make sure it’s up-to-date and adequate.
8. I will diversify my investments.
Diversification is key when it comes to investing. Consider investing in a variety of different assets, such as shares, bonds, and property to spread risk. This will help you ensure that your portfolio is well-balanced and can weather market volatility.
9. I will reduce my expenses.
Look for ways to reduce your expenses, such as cutting back on unnecessary subscriptions, eating out less, or shopping for discounts.
10. I will find extra income.
Aside from minimising your expenses, look for ways to increase your income and cash flow, such as taking on a part-time job, starting a side hustle, or selling items you no longer need.
11. I will track my spending and review my progress regularly.
This helps you identify areas in your budget and savings plan where you may need to make adjustments so you stay on track.
12. I will educate myself about personal finance.
The more you know about personal finance, the better equipped you’ll be to make sound financial decisions. Consider getting a financial adviser or money coach, taking a class, an online course, or reading a book on the subject to learn more.
13. I will get professional financial advice.
Sometimes you really just need someone to help you understand your financial situation and overcome a money problem. You may want to seek professional advice from a professional financial adviser to help you fast-track your financial goals this year.
How to Keep Your Financial Resolutions
A New Year’s resolution is a kind of yearly goal – but without taking concrete action, it remains a wish and not an actual goal, which is why most resolutions fail. Remember that the objective of goal setting is to lay out a step-by-step, actionable plan to slowly turn your goal into a reality. It is the same with making resolutions.
Set yourself up for success by making it easier for you to keep your financial resolutions. Here are some tips and life hacks to help you stick to them:
Visualise and write your resolutions.
Visualise your financial resolutions and keep them in mind. Or you may want to take it a step further and create a vision board of your financial resolutions tacked on your wall or saved on your phone or computer.
Putting your resolutions on paper helps you solidify your commitment to achieving them. Think of it as creating a contract with yourself that you intend to keep. This will help you stay motivated and focused.
Keep it simple.
Keep your financial resolutions simple and manageable. It’s easier to achieve small goals that are easy to measure than big goals that are hard to monitor. You can also tackle one goal or resolution at a time. It is better to focus on one resolution or goal and succeed than to have too many and not make progress in any of them because your attention and energy are divided.
Make it a habit.
Set a regular schedule for checking on your progress, checking off what you already accomplished, and figuring out what still needs to be done. Daily or weekly check-ins are ideal.
Set reminders on apps.
Apps are a great and fun way to help you keep your financial resolutions this year. Just search on your phone or tablet and you’ll discover a wide variety of apps that do everything: from expense and investment trackers, to habit tracking apps, to apps that teach you about money, and apps that help keep you motivated.
You can use digital tools like apps on your phone or computer, or do it the old-fashioned way like sticking notes on your desk or on the fridge to set reminders for yourself.
Get an accountability partner.
An accountability partner, such as a friend or family member, provides encouragement and helps to gently remind you to stick to your resolutions.
This is akin to getting an accountability partner, except that you are telling everyone in your network. For some, this is an effective way to keep New Year’s resolutions. Think carefully, however, whether this would suit your personality and if it would truly help you, as the social pressure might become too much.
Motivate yourself with a reward when you reach a milestone or complete a task. This could be something small, like treating yourself to a nice meal or setting aside a whole weekend to do the activities that make you the happiest. You can also gamify your experience as you form and change your habits.
By turning your resolution into a game or a challenge, you can make the task of keeping it more enjoyable and less daunting. For example, you can use apps or a system with your friends and family where you can earn points or rewards for reaching certain milestones.
Be flexible and adaptable.
Your resolutions and goals may change as your circumstances change, so it’s important to be open and make changes when needed. Always be learning.
Start Your Financial Plan Now to Start Reaping the Rewards!
A new year is a wonderful time to pick up where you left off last year or give yourself a fresh start. You can view your financial resolutions this year as part of your overall, long-term strategy to improve your financial well-being. But just like any kind of goal, a financial resolution needs to be planned thoughtfully and carried out.
There are many tools and tactics to help you stick to your financial resolutions. And when you hit a setback, it is important to stay positive and not be discouraged. By taking small steps each day and keeping a long-term perspective, you can make significant progress in managing your finances this year.
If you’re looking to start your financial journey with a trusted guide to help you along the way, our team of financial experts at Central Coast Financial Planning Group are here to assist their clients in making sound financial decisions. From managing investments to superannuation advice to retirement planning, through to aged care and estate planning—we’ve got you covered. Call us or book online to secure your complimentary first meeting with our advice team today!
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