New years’ resolutions – 5 steps to see them through.

It’s a topic spoken about in every January newsletter. Resolutions and how to keep them? While everyone intends to achieve their resolutions, only 8 per cent of people are actually successful in achieving them. One of the most common resolutions is to be a better saver/budgeter.

  1. Set short, medium and long term goals. Write your goals down. Use excel and chart your possible savings projections. Get excited! Even consider telling friends and family – this will make you accountable.
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed. Perhaps you have a large credit card debt which takes the fun out of saving. You think to yourself: “What’s the point, I’ll still owe money after 12 months!” Your solution is obviously to pay down your credit card debt. But it’s also a good idea to start a separate cash fund immediately. Call it your “emergency fund”. This will re-energise your motivation when you start to see a cash balance increasing.
  3. Break habits. You may eat out too often or enjoy an expensive shopping trip every Saturday afternoon. These are habits that will wreak havoc on a savings plan. Tie these activities in as longer-term rewards. In the meantime, break the habit. Research suggests that it can take over 28-days to break a habit. Eventually, eating at home more often or going for a walk Saturday afternoon will feel just as natural as your previous activities.
  4. Routines. Having a routine with what you do with your finances/money is key and will add discipline to your new years’ resolution. Have a portion of your salary go into a separate savings or investment account. With the rest of your money, only direct enough money into your everyday account that you wish to spend. Bank the rest of your pay for your short term goals!
  5. Keep track. Don't forget to monitor your progress each month. If you have a home loan, investment or savings account, it's time to look at whether the balance has increased or decreased from the previous month.

If balances have gone sideways, it is likely that you need to re-evaluate your budget.  

We highly recommend our financial advisers – MAS Wealth Management Pty Ltd, who have been looking after our clients for the past 20 years with great results and can help you to gain control of your budget, retirement strategy and wealth creation plans.