With The Month Of Excess Behind Us, It’s Time To Start The Year Afresh And Begin Working On Achieving Those Carefully Thought Out And Strategised New Year Financial Resolutions.
Oh, what’s that? You kind of forgot to do that between the copious mouthfuls of prawn mango salad, Christmas Pavlova, unwrapping of presents and hours spent lying on the couch recovering from the bottle (or two) of holiday wine you promised yourself you wouldn’t have? Well, don’t dismay, it’s not too late to get your financial plan in order for 2016.
In fact, if you’ve lived it up over December, January is the perfect time to put some strict(er) financial guidelines in place for the year ahead. You may even feel a hint of enthusiasm by the idea of a financial detox if you’ve suffered the ill effects of a hangover from all the indulgence, including food, alcohol, and frivolous spending.
The pain can be motivation to put some personal finance goals in place for a healthy and prosperous 2016 (even if it is just so you can afford to repeat the fun all over again next year).
But, in all seriousness, it’s a common theme that those who take the time to evaluate, clearly define and write down their goals are more likely to achieve them.
With that said, here’s a plan for starting the New Year with the right money mindset.
Get crystal clear about your money goals
If you don’t explicitly know what you want to achieve this year ahead when it comes to savings, investing or otherwise, how can you design a cunning plan to get there?
Spend at least an hour thinking about all areas of your life and how money can help you achieve the lifestyle you want. Money itself is not what’s inherently valuable … it’s what it can provide us. If you think of money as a tool to get, or experience, the things you want in life rather than a source of stress or anxiety you’re more likely to feel empowered and aptly positioned to use it like the gifted rainmaker you are.
So whether it’s being exquisitely debt free, investing more for a cheerful retirement, saving for a dazzling holiday, creating the perfect nest for a new baby, or amassing a hefty house deposit, you need to get it down in black and white. As usual, the next step is to crunch the numbers and work out the magic total you will need to save or put aside to achieve that goal, and then create a budget around it.
Avoid your budget becoming a bore, by building in some occasional small rewards as you work towards your longer-term goal. Use a smart phone app or budgeting software to track your progress, because technology can make money management a touch more fun than your standard spreadsheets.
Make time to get intimate with your money
Schedule in your fortnightly money date for the whole year, by creating a recurring event in your calendar. This is the time you will sit down and review your last bout of spending, savings progress, and determine if you’re on track or not. Based on the outcome of your analysis you can make adjustments to help you hit the mark in the next two weeks. It will also train you to be a more mindful spender if you make budgeting and financial reviews a regular part of your routine.
Learn something new about money
And finally, if finances are a priority for you this year, you may like to add visiting a financial planner to your list of financial resolutions. A financial professional can offer guidance and recommendations, and keep you accountable to fast-track your financial goals.
TWD can assist you with planning, and reaching, your 2016 financial goals. Send us an email at email@example.com or give us a call on 1300 893 000