5 steps to get your finances in great shape this new year

Is getting your finances in great shape on your list of New Year’s resolutions? When it comes to setting financial goals, having a plan is always sensible.

Article published 10 November 2020

So, to get you started, here are five easy steps to take you closer to your goal of getting your finances in tip top shape for 2021!

1 Keep on top of your budget

Following a personal budget is one of the most effective steps we can take to boost financial wellbeing.

Budgeting encourages us to take a disciplined approach to spending and saving. And, yes, a budget also shows how much money slips through our fingers. But getting that jolt can be good for us. Just as valuable, budgeting helps us find the money to invest, pay for a holiday, or simply manage day to day living expenses.

Set time aside and map out your income, spending and saving habits, it will help you identify  areas where you could make simple changes to help you reach your savings target. If you need support, we have a range of tools available, or ASIC’s Moneysmart website also has some great resources.

2 Your stage of life of matters

If you think financial goals are only relevant to retirees, think again. We can all benefit from expert financial advice at every life stage. Your financial plans can change depending on what stage of life you’re at.

For example, is getting married on the cards soon? Or, perhaps you’re looking to buy your first home or even your first investment property? Or, are you at the flip end, have the kids grown and flown, and you have your sights set on retirement?

Take a look at our top tips for your life stage here.

Wherever you’re at, it’s a good idea to work out what you want to be putting your money towards – your goals if you like – and work out a plan for how you’re going to get there. 

3 Prepare for unexpected events

Yes, 2020 has certainly been a wild ride, but throughout our lives there is always the potential for a sudden, unexpected event which can bring out of-the-blue costs to upset your plans. 

That’s why, no matter which stage of life you’re at, it’s important to establish a savings safety net. So even if the stove packs up, or you face unexpected repairs on your car, you’ll be able to cover the cost without disrupting your journey towards your financial goals.

4 Reduce (or ditch!) your debt

Debt is easy to build up and hard to pay off, but with the help of an expert financial adviser on your side, it can be done. 

Remember though, not all debt is bad. Your home loan, for instance, is funding an asset that provides security for yourself and your family and is an asset that could rise in value over time. As long as you can comfortably manage the repayments and have a plan in place in the event of a disruption in income, this type of debt generally isn't a problem.

The sort of debt that can land people in financial hot water is high interest debt used to buy here-today-gone-tomorrow purchases. It's this type of debt you need to avoid or manage carefully. Whether you’re looking for advice around how to pay off debt faster, whether to consolidate your debt, or if you just need advice on how best to reach your goals, we can provide the support you’re looking for.

5 Use a professional

While all of us can have a decent stab at planning out our finances for ourselves, professional financial advisers are experts at what they do, they live and breathe finances. Professional advice not only gives you peace of mind, it can provide the confidence to make better choices when it comes to your financial situation.

Better still, your financial adviser acts like a money mentor, helping you get on track – and stay on track – to reach your goals.

Expert advice has never been more important.

When it comes to reaching those all important financial goals, without a plan, it could end up being one of those resolutions that gets forgotten sooner than you set them!

At FinChoice, not only do our advisers take the time to work out your financial goals with you, they provide a personalised roadmap of how to get there by developing a plan tailored to your needs with a range of strategies suited to your goals and circumstances.  

Contact us today and get your financial wellbeing off to a good start for 2021!

Talk to a FinChoice expert

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