Are you setting yourself some goals to make 2018 your best year yet? We look at some common money resolutions and give you tips to achieve them.
Save money for a rainy day
Recent research by MLC revealed that 1 in 3 Australian women have less than one month’s worth of savings. An emergency fund can give you peace of mind when dealing with life’s ups and downs. If you haven’t got savings stashed away for emergencies already, consider building an emergency fund in 2018.
Tips for building your emergency fund
- Figure out how much you can afford to put aside each week from your savings. Even $20 per week will add up to $1,040 in a year, creating a buffer for yourself in a time of need.
- Open a new savings account that doesn’t have a debit card attached to it. And If you can, make sure it has a competitive interest rate so your money can grow.
- Set up an automatic transfer from your existing bank account (the one your pay goes into) to your new savings account and leave it there. You should only withdraw it when the rainy day comes!
Pay off your debts
“Paying off your debts” can feel overwhelming, and while you can’t just simply do it with a snap of your fingers, why not make 2018 the year you make a start.
ASIC’s MoneySmart suggests, that while you should continue to make the minimum repayments on all your debts, consider tackling a particular debt this year.
You could start by paying your smallest debt first to help you feel a sense of achievement, or you could pay the debt with the highest interest rate first. Set up automatic repayments, and once debts are paid off, close the account.
Most importantly, seek help if you need it. You can find recourses on MoneySmart’s trouble with debt page.
Invest in your retirement
Consider contributing extra to your super. Even contributing 1% of your salary could make a substantial difference to your retirement, try our Super Boost calculator to get an idea of how much more you could save.
You can set up regular contributions or make a lump sum contribution from your before or after tax salary. Whichever way works best for you depends on your circumstances. Find out more about contributing to your super here.
Understand your finances
Do you understand every aspect of your finances? Increasing your financial know-how could be your new year’s money resolution. A little while ago, we spoke to Vision Super member, Melinda, about how she took it upon herself to learn one new thing about super each year. Could you do the same?
Maybe 2018 could be the year you learn about beneficiaries, your insurance through super, personal tax or investing.
Create a budget
Get out your bank statements and utility bills and work out your expenses for an entire year – this way you can include the extra expenses you might encounter at certain times of year, such as Christmas or school holidays.
Once you’ve figured out what you’re spending compared to what your earning, you can easily see what you can afford to put aside to pay off debts, pay for bills and even pay yourself.
Remember to be honest with yourself about how much you spend. It’s better to overestimate your spending and be left with extra, than exclude expenses and get a nasty surprise later.
Helpful resources for working out a budget:
- How to do a budget – an article by ASIC’s MoneySmart
- TrackMySpend - a free app from ASIC’s MoneySmart that can help you see where your money is going
- How to budget – an article from Money Magazine
Check you’re getting the best deal
When did you last check if you were getting the best price for gas or electricity?
With just a few clicks on the Victorian Government Energy Compare website and your most recent bill, you can compare your bill against other providers. Over 90% of people who compare their plans save money on their bills. Other states can start at www.energymadeeasy.gov.au.
Talk to us
Whether you have a quick question, or want in-depth financial advice, we can help. For general enquires about your account, contact our Member Services team.
If you’re after financial advice, the Member Services team can refer you onto one of our advisers who can give you single-issue advice free of charge, or on to one of financial planners who can work with you to create a tailored financial plan.
Make your new year’s resolution work for you
How much could you save by giving up something in 2018?
A weekly takeaway: $728
An unused gym membership: $780
Public transport (try walking or cycling): $1559 (an annual full fare Myki Pass)
A daily coffee: $1325 (assuming a Melbourne average price of $3.60)
Our Small Change calculator can help you work out giving up small items can save you more for retirement.
Remember that things don’t always go to plan
It’s important to be mindful of your new year’s resolutions and not put too much pressure on yourself to change aspects of your life. Try your best to break bad habits and set yourself realistic goals but don’t be disappointed if you don’t fully achieve them.
Do you have any tips and tricks that could help someone achieve their money resolutions for 2018? Share them with us on Facebook!