- Create a budget: Getting organised is empowering and essential to feeling great about your finances. Grab a pen or your computer, and make a list of any big expenses coming up in the year ahead. Plan your annual expenses out in monthly breakdowns then track your ongoing spend against your plan – this will quickly make you aware of any potential problems.
- Reduce debt ASAP: Credit card debt in Australia is a staggering $32 billion! That’s a lot of zero’s! With an interest bill of almost $6 billion there’s no greater reason for you to reduce your debt, now. Start with small additional repayments and build up to force your debt down.
- Review 2018: How did your 2018 finances fare? Add up your income, all your expenses and tally the progress of your net worth. Then you can decide now if you’re headed in the right direction.
- Invest in your children’s future: Wanting a decent education for your children and paying for it are two different things. Start saving now into a designated account, perhaps even an offset account. This will give you and your kids more options.
- Think of the rainy day: We all know the despondent feeling that sets in when an avalanche of bills arrive at an inconvenient time. It’s amazing how much a steady accumulation of small amounts will build over time. This creates a healthy buffer to overcome surprises.
- Think of your ultimate financial future: Adding steadily to a good savings plan is the most reliable, and secure way, of securing your financial freedom. It doesn’t matter if you prefer property or shares, superannuation or not, start doing something!
- Super: Now is the time to review your Super. Look at where it’s invested, what fees you’re paying and why, how much you contribute and how this affects your tax. Use the SuperSeeker service, offered by the ATO, and consolidate your lost super funds into one of your choice.
- Manage your bank manager: Set up a meeting and talk to your bank manager; is your home loan the right one for you? Can you make extra repayments? Can you use an offset account? Will they help you consolidate some debt and rearrange payments to get debt free faster? Your bank manager is a part of your financial toolkit so get in touch and utilise their expertise. This conversation will also help you determine if your bank manager is the right one for you. If they’re not get a new one or use a broker to do it for you.
- Manage your tax: This is a no-brainer but use your specialist Accountant to make sure you’re not paying any more than you need to.
- Kids & finance: In most cases, your children learn about money from you. Open up with your kids about simple money lessons like budgeting and saving, making wise financial choices and insuring what’s important.
COMMONCENTS FAST FACT:
Set SMART financial goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-bound.
Thinking about retiring tomorrow is nice, but the fact it feels unachievable can lead you to ignore how simple wealth-creation really is. Set your goals and get excited!