6 Financial Goals For Your New Year
It’s a new year and a great opportunity for a sweep with a new broom – time to assess our circumstances and what’s working for us, and what isn’t. And one of the most deserving areas of this attention has to be your finances. We spend so much of our lives working, it makes no sense not to make sure the money we’re earning is working just as hard!
And so we’ve put together the top financial focus areas that we think are the most critical to getting you on top of your finances.
By defining your financial goals you will make it easier for yourself to plan how you will achieve them, track how you are progressing, and know when you have succeeded.
Organise Your Finances
It’s often said that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and this is particularly true of your finances. First of all create the time to collect and organise all your financial information into one place. Having all your information at hand will make future financial decisions far easier, and will often take much of the stress out of managing your money.
Then set aside time in your diary each week that you will devote to managing your money. This may be spent reconciling bank statements against your receipts, checking credit card statements, and planning expenditure and budgets for the next period. Any time left over would be well devoted to thinking, talking and learning about money management.
Track Where Your Money Goes
Once you have ‘everything financial’ in one place, you’ll have a better understanding of how much you spend every month. From here you’ll need to track on a daily basis where your money goes. Make a note of everything you spend, from a daily coffee, to a birthday present for a friend, to hourly paid parking, and even the fees on your bank accounts. Once you’ve identified all the small ways that your money leaves your hands, you’ll be better poised to decide if these small expenditures are really worth it, and you’ll know exactly how much they all add up to at the end of the month. Assess each purchase for whether it is a ‘need’ or a ‘want’. If it’s a ‘want’, try putting it off for awhile to see if you can’t get by without it. So often with the passage of time, our enthusiasm to own a particular item wanes.
Now you know how much you have, and exactly where it goes. Time to be more ruthless about who receives it! This is the time to look out for discount opportunities and sales, and shops that offer what you need at a lower price, and consider the following tips to reduce what you need to spend:
- Keep an eye out for the periodicals and flyers dropped into your mailbox, and make use of sites such as pricespy.co.nz to see who offers the best price on the same item
- Buy generic brands where you’re comfortable that there is not a major compromise of quality
- Buy in bulk where possible, as this will likely reduce the unit cost. Notice the expiry date on your purchase, however, to be sure that you’re able to use it all before it’s no longer usable
- Create a shopping list from a meal plan, and stick to it! Impulse buys are notorious for impacting your bottom line.
Get Your Debt Under Control
It’s all to easy to get into a situation where you feel overwhelmed by your debt, and it contributes hugely to your stress levels. Making sure your debt is manageable should be a financial goal that has top priority. Student loans, credit card payments, car loans and hire purchases are all consumer debt that can be consolidated into one debt consolidation loan. There are many advantages to this and you can read more about these here.
Secure Your Future
Retirement may seem unimaginably far away and irrelevant now, but make a plan NOW! The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. At NZCU South we have partnered with Fisher Funds to ensure our Credit Union members have access to what we believe is one of the best ways to plan for your retirement. Read more about how the KiwiSaver Fisher Funds Scheme will prepare you for a financially secure retirement.
Create A Budget That Works
This one seems so obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people disregard it. You are likely to have many plans and ambitions for your money, and it’s not likely that you’ll be able to achieve them all at once. Prioritise which you will conquer first, and work them into your budget in a reasonable manner.
We can structure your accounts to help you manage your funds better so that you are able to create and adhere to a budget that will allow you to meet your financial goals.
For more information on how we can help you achieve your financial goals, or to apply for an NZCU South Debt Consolidation Loan:
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