It’s already the New Year and if you haven’t already decided on your New Year resolutions, there’s still time to make a financial resolution and get your finances in order for the year ahead. Sound daunting? Follow these simple steps from Anna McDougall from Money Haven to ensure your own stress-free financial year!
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1. Create a Financial Plan
…and stick to it! A financial plan is rendered meaningless if continue to use your money as you did last year. Forget past mistakes and learn from them. Keep yourself on track by reviewing your plan weekly as well as your daily transactions and see if what your spending will result in your financial goals. Ask yourself, “will this transaction benefit my financial plan?”
At the end of each day it only takes a small amount of time to scan over your main accounts to ensure all charges are accurate and review any purchases you may regret later.
Also make sure you’re partner or spouse is on board with your financial plan, that way you you will be on the same wavelength and can work together through any set backs.
2. Set a Serious Budget
Forget a “few hundred” here and setting “a grand or so” aside there, if you’re serious about getting your finances in order, you’ll need to know your incoming and outgoing finances down to the very cent. This is so you can understand the amount of disposable income that your salary produces each month. If you don’t know how much you have to spend each month, then how can you make financially responsible purchasing decisions? If your budget is entirely accurate and based on facts then it has a greater chance of succeeding.
3. Pay Bills On Time
Sounds simple, right? To ensure all your bills are paid on time make sure to review accounts monthly. To help you not forget, set certain expenses to be paid monthly, or weekly from your account by either BPay or direct debit.
If the funds aren’t there, do alert the institution as to when you will be able to pay the bill or organise a payment plan that suits your income.
4. Spring Clean Your Finances
Think about the money drainers in your life at present; things that made sense years ago might not fit the bill (pun intended) anymore! Going out for dinner all the time? Limit it to once a week or an extra special occassion. Have a gym membership but don’t actually use it? You’re gym will get over it and you could save hundreds. Husband love to detail the car? Save it up as a Christmas or birthday present. Clothes you really don’t need to buy? Enough said.
5. Earn More Money
Bikes in the shed, gym equipment gathering dust and designer labels worn once… sound like you? Make a small fortune by selling your pre-loved items (in mint condition) over online forums; if you’ve got it someone is destined to buy it, or at least make a bid! You’ll be able to earn more money and put it away into saving or pay off any debts.
Pick up a part time job or find a way to make cash from an honest at-home business – the possibilities are endless!