We all make resolutions in the excitement of a New Year, full of vigour and determination. Unfortunately, they can often fade as the demands and responsibilities of another year wears on. This year though, we can help you make some financial resolutions which are achievable, sensible and give you the best chance of making a significant step towards a prosperous financial future.
1. Reduce or remove debt. Protect it until you do.
Debt can be a fact of life, but it can also be an anchor holding us back from the lifestyle we truly want. We recommend taking the time to outline what debt you really have and then set up a debt payment plan using your actual income and expenses. Seeing just how much you can reduce the debt over the long term is a strong motivating factor that can help you stick to your plan. Make realistic goals and think of the benefits of getting that debt out from under you. Even if you can't remove it entirely, you'll be moving in the right direction. If you feel it is realistic, plan to sell items, reduce discretionary spending or even make a temporary change in lifestyle to allow you to achieve your goals. The freedom of being debt free is always worth it.
We also highly recommend making sure the debt you do have is covered should the unexpected occur. If you are a primary income earner in your family, its vital to have a plan in place to make sure should something happen, your debt will be provided for, paid down and won't be passed on to those close to you. If you haven't already, you can cover your debt with our free help and service anytime.
2. Make a plan to start saving money.
Our financial professionals advise attempting to save 10% of yourself or your household's income each month. The more you save, the more the doors to your future open up for you and the more freedom to choose you'll have in the long run. There are many small steps you can take to eliminate unnecessary spending, including:
Pre-plan meals and take advantage of specials to reduce the grocery bill as much as possible.
Reduce the amount of expensive meals you eat out.
Attempt to make savings on utilities by conserving water and power. A handy and extensive guide to energy savings on your monthly power bill can be found here.
Keep track of all discretionary spending. Seeing how much the little purchases add up over time can be great impetus to changing unnecessary spending habits.
3. Have a sound investment plan for those savings.
It is possible to invest money successfully on your own, but the wise move is to consult with a professional about an investment plan that works for you. With your knowledge of your financial goals, lifestyle and situation, and our cutting edge research and knowledge of the marketplace, you'll be in the best possible position to maximise your gains and increase your savings. Huge goals like home ownership, investment properties, world travel or helping your kids through university debt free could be closer than you believed.
If you're looking at maximising your savings, starting an investment plan or even wondering if investment is the right choice for you, you can take advantage of our free, no obligation consultation offer anytime. Ten minutes could literally be the difference between prosperity and struggle.
4. Make a sound accurate budget and stick to it.
Money experts generally agree on one thing - budgeting is among the most important things you need to do in order to be financially successful and secure. Without a proper budget, those earning $100,000 a year could end up being able to save less than those earning half as much. Determine your income, fixed and variable expenses and track the actual spending for a month against your estimates. This will help you determine what you can reasonably expect to be faced with each month, and allow you to determine how much you can feasibly save using the other resolutions on this list. Over time, your budget will get more and more refined and accurate, and your savings will follow, provided you stick to it!
Set a monthly budget it and follow it for 2018.
Refine the budget each month for greater accuracy.
Evaluate which areas of variable expenses you can cut down on.
Try to reduce your spending in specific areas each time.
5. Make clear and specific goals and ask for help.
Having a clear and well defined goal in mind can be the biggest and best motivating factor for sticking to your financial plan. It also needs to be realistic, because if your financial goals are too lofty, you will see yourself not making the progress you want and be inclined to give up. For instance, if $10,000 is a realistic figure for you to save, don't aim to save $50,000 or bank on unusual occurrences to get to your goal. Seeing clear and evident progress is the best way to make sure you're on track, and the best way to do that is to have achievable goals.
Finally, if you ever need help with any aspect of your finances or financial planning, you can always ask us. Our services are free and no obligation, and we take pride in helping you reach your goals. Don't let another year pass you by, ask for help from professionals who know the way to secure the best financial future for you.