How To Achieve Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

New Year, new start, and new financial resolutions. The start of a New Year is a perfect time to review the year that was and make financial resolutions for the year ahead. Learn what it takes to successfully accomplish your financial goals my following these simple steps: Plan to succeed If you want to get serious about your savings this year, start by identifying your financial aims and the goals you want to achieve by the end of the year. Are you saving for a holiday, a new car, a wedding or would you like to start investing, grow your super or reduce your debt? Write your goals down. They should be clear, concise and actionable. For example instead of listing “I want to increase my super”, you should write “I want my consolidate my super, grow it to X amount, by X date”.   Choose realistic goals. While it’s great to challenge yourself, there is nothing more deflating than setting unrealistic goals that you won’t be able to achieve by the end of the year. When you’re listing your goals – work out how much you will need to save, taking your financial situation into consideration (your income, debts, mortgage, savings and recurring fees for things such as insurance). Make a budget The aim of making a budget is to map out how much you spend across different areas of your life, objectively make decisions on where you could save, spend with purpose and ultimately take control of your finances. Start by working out how much you need for your essentials, including rent/mortgage, groceries, bills, transport. Allocate out your savings...

7 tips to avoiding the Christmas budget hangover

Christmas is a time for catching up with family and friends, overindulging and underestimating just how long it takes to get all those Christmas decorations up! Start planning your Christmas budget early to make sure you’re organised. Having a plan in place early will also ensure you know how much you will be spending and how much you will need to save. Below are 7 tips to avoiding the Christmas budget hangover: Work out your budget The first step to avoiding a Christmas budget hangover is working out what you can afford. Once you have an overall budget you can decide how you want to split your budget up. A good place to start is with gifts, grocery shopping, and your travel costs if you’re not hosting. Earn some extra cash If Christmas is at your house this year, you’re most likely doing a big clean up in preparation. Clear space by finding things around the house you no longer use or need and sell them online. Facebook marketplace, Gumtree and eBay are all user friendly and can be a fast way to make some extra cash and declutter your house. Anything you find that you can’t sell, you can always give away to charity to spread the Christmas cheer early. Make a list and check it twice Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and write down how much you’d like to spend on each person (it’s a good idea to agree on a budget between loved ones or even start a Kris Kringle amongst extended family). If you have any ideas for...

Goal setting for the new financial year

  The beginning of a new financial year is upon us and as we mentioned in our last post – we’re big fans of forward planning. Outlining a clear plan and goal setting makes it easier for you to both focus and measure your efforts throughout the year. Best of all – it sets you up for the next end of financial year. Setting a goal will give you have a clear picture of what you would like to accomplish this year and make it easier to plan the steps to make this a reality. Goal setting tips for the new financial year:    Set up an income calculator. First of all, determine exactly how much income you have coming in from all sources.  Set your goals. Determine what your long and short term goals are. Do this by picturing yourself in a year’s time – are you debt free, in your new house or on that family holiday? Now figure out exactly how much you will need to save to make this a reality. Start a budget. It might not be the most fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon, but it is the best way to understand your financial strengths and weaknesses. Record your spending habits for a week and take stock of where you are spending your money. Now create a new budget, keeping in mind what you could be getting cheaper and things you could cut out altogether – like that morning latte. (Tip: save time by using a track spending app like: TrackMyGoals or TrackMySpend). Organisation tips for the new financial year: Get organised....

Saving for your children’s education

It’s never too early to start saving for your children’s education. We all want to give our children the best possible start in life, beginning with a good education. Paying school and then university fees gets expensive, and can be hard to maintain if you’re not prepared for.  The cost of private education is continually rising, with some schools charging fees of up to $20,000 per year. Public school is a cheaper option, but there are still those extra costs such as the school uniform, textbooks, tutoring, IT equipment and school excursions. The best time to begin saving for your child’s education is as soon as they are born. You may not yet know which school they will attend, but you can decide on how much you will need, and how much to put aside each week. Forward planning and saving for your children’s education early on will save you financial stress later in life. Where to begin Start saving early – it gives you more options and more time to build up a substantial fund. The savings don’t have to cover the entire cost, but can act as a pool to dip into to assist with extra expenses as they arise.   Work out how much you will need – will you send your child to public or private school; additionally will your child want to go to university or college. Take a look at the Money Smart savings goals calculator to estimate how long it will take to reach your goals. Talk to your family – instead of receiving a bunch of unused toys for Christmas and birthdays,...