Let’s put the last year behind us and start this new year with some achievable financial goals.
We recommend starting with small and quick wins. As more often than not, we set ourselves goals that are hard to keep or unrealistic, but the key is to build healthy financial habits that over time become second nature.
To help kick start your 2021 we share with you (below) our top tips to achieving your goals:
Save more and more and more!
At the beginning of each year, many of us take the vital steps to save more money, but as time goes by – these ‘new steps’ are taken less and less.
An easy way to ensure you stick to your new financial goals is opening a new bank account (at your current bank or another) and setting up direct debit payments to this bank account each week. Allocating a certain amount of money each week will help your savings increase over time – out of sight, out of mind!
Pay off the credit card
Nothing beats that zero-outstanding balance on your credit card statement.
If you are, like most of us, finding it difficult to pay your credit card on time due to the busyness of everyday life, then perhaps 2021 is the year you create new habits.
Over time, missing payment due dates on your credit card will result in being charged an interest fee and this is usually at a high rate. We suggest making higher payments each month which will help you pay off the debt faster and save money on interest charges.
If you have multiple credit cards and your goal for 2021 is to reduce the number of credit cards you have, try setting yourself a goal to pay one card at a time – we suggest paying off the card with the smallest amount of debt first – this will help you become motivated to pay the larger debt. However, if your cards have different interest rates, we suggest paying off the card with the highest rate first.
Pay bills on time
It’s inevitable that bills for electricity, phone, internet, and water hit our mailboxes each month or quarter, but there are ways to make this time a little more pleasant.
Instead of scrambling around to find the funds, most companies have BPAY payment details available, along with your specific account information at the bottom of the bill. You can set up weekly direct debits payments to this account and transfer a certain amount each week e.g. $20 a week – when your statement bill arrives, you will find that your account will either be in credit or will have a small amount outstanding.
Getting into the routine of debiting weekly payments to regular bills will help you budget and allocate money to your spending or saving accounts.
Budget… budget… budget
Budget … It’s one of those words that cause many of us to wince when we hear it, but done correctly, creating a budget can be very beneficial.
In the long run, budgeting can help you have a leg up in the financial world, get on top of or pay off any outstanding debt – which we think… is a great incentive.
Budgets make you more aware of where your money is being spent, it also allows you to set aside money for any unexpected costs.
Preparing a budget will help to support our advice and any recommendations we make for you, as well as helping you to identify any cash flow surplus, which may be used to better meet your financial goals. Having a budget is not about restriction or counting every cent, but building mindful money practices that ensure your spending is in keeping with your priorities, that which is most important to you.