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7 New (financial) year resolutions you should make – and keep!

by Chloe Baird

Do you make positive New Year’s resolutions on January 1st? How about new financial year resolutions on July 1st? 

As the end of financial year approaches, it’s time to start thinking about our money goals. The half-year mark is a great time to take stock of our finances. 

Here’s our list of the top 7 financial year resolutions you can make on July 1st.

1. Make a realistic monthly budget

However you like to work – with an Excel Spreadsheet or with good old paper and pen – you should draw up a monthly and weekly budget to understand how and where you’re spending your money. This will help you determine how much money you have to put towards necessities, your savings goal and to paying off debt.  

It’s also important not to start hacking and slashing things out of your budget. Be realistic. The only thing you’ll accomplish by drastically slashing your ‘entertainment’ budget is creating unreal expectations on yourself. Be totally honest with yourself, and decide what you can and cannot live without.  

2. Keep your receipts

This will help you to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. Plus, holding onto receipts is just good practice. You never know when you’ll need that little piece of paper again!  

3. Decide on a feasible savings goal

After you’ve created a realistic budget, you can work out how much money you can realistically save in any given timeframe, whether that’s six, twelve, eighteen months, or longer.  

After you’ve created a realistic budget, you can work out how much money you can realistically save in any given timeframe, whether that’s six, twelve, eighteen months, or longer.  

Do you have a specific goal you’re working towards? Is it a holiday? A new car? A deposit for a new home? Sometimes, it can be hard to save money when you’re working towards a distant goal, when there are immediate wants that can disrupt your focus (a new pair of shoes, a bigger television).  

Keep your goal at the forefront of your mind. If it helps, print off a picture of your goal and put it somewhere obvious where you’ll see it every day, so you can keep on track with your savings target.  

You can also read more about tips on how to save money here

4. Tackle your credit card debt

Having credit card debt can be stressful. But it shouldn’t be something you avoid, and there are ways you can make the process fast and easy.  

First of all, find out if you can transfer your credit card debt to another card that offers an introductory ‘interest free’ term. Then, commit to paying off your debt before the interest free term ends. If you have more than one credit card, start by paying off the card with the smallest amount of debt first. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and feel motivated to keep working hard to pay off your debt.  

Then, it’s time to consider if you really need a credit card at all, or if you can cut up your card once and for all to avoid getting into debt again!

5. Review your insurance policies

Are you getting the most bang for your buck with your insurance policies? Compare your policies regularly and make sure that you’re getting the best deal that works for you, whether it’s your health, home, car or pet insurance. There are plenty of comparison websites out there that can easily compare policies for you, so make sure you’re not paying a premium.   

You can also take stock of other services you pay for, like electricity and internet, to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

6. Take stock of your subscriptions

You may have purchased that gym membership with the best of intentions, but if you’re no longer getting the use out of, then it’s time to either cancel or commit. This is the same for video and music streaming services. If you have more than one video streaming service you’re subscribed to, now may be the time to pick your top favourite and cancel the rest.  

In a similar vein, consider cancelling some of your email subscriptions. While you’re not paying for the emails, it can be pretty hard to resist temptation when you’re getting notifications about massive sales and free delivery straight to your inbox. Avoid temptation altogether and hit ‘unsubscribe’.  

7. Set aside a little something for emergencies

This is not the same as your savings goal. This is a little stockpile of cash you should have handy in case of emergencies. Having this “rainy day fund” can help take the pressure off if something unexpected comes up.  

8. Speak to a Financial Adviser 

If things really do feel a little overwhelming and you have no idea where to start, then it might be time to consider speaking to a finance professional. 

While they will charge you a fee for the consultation, you should look at this as an investment. A professional can help you take the first steps towards building realistic financial goals, and help you get on track when it comes to tackling debt, saving money, and making smart investments.  

Time for some new financial year resolutions

So long as you make sure your goals are realistic and that you can be a little tough with yourself when it comes to spending, you’ll be saving money in no time. Once you have something to work towards, you may find yourself even more motivated than before to meet your savings targets and to smash your goals.

Don’t forget, you can also check out the ATO’s website if you have any tax or finance related questions.  

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