Are your finances healthy?
If you only read one thing, make it this:
“Start tracking your spending and identify three places where you think you can make a saving.”
Your new year’s resolutions were probably around your health – weight loss, more exercise, maybe even drinking more water – but given how many bills are about to roll in, it’s worth making your financial health a priority in 2019, too.
Having a financial plan is one of the best ways to take charge of your money, but only about 45 per cent of Aussies have a short-term plan in place, let alone a long-term one (reserved for just 25 per cent of us).
Here’s how to get on top of your finances and reduce your stress levels.
Financial expert Cathryn Gross says there’s one simple way you can improve your finances and make the most of your paycheque.
“Have it paid into three accounts,” she says. “Ideally 10% to a savings account you can’t touch, 30% to an account for fun and 60% to essentials. That way when the fun account runs out we have to stop, rather than spend our savings.”
Sure, it doesn’t sound that exciting, but following a budget is a smart way to make sure you don’t continue bobbing about in an ocean of financial instability. It’s not just for people who are struggling to make ends meet – but can help anyone map out their finances and work out where their money is going.
Hit the tools
There are plenty of online tools available to help. Try these:
- To make sure your budget is realistic (in other words, not too tight), try this budget planner
- To calculate the strength of your financial situation, use this calculator
- If you’ve racked up debt on the credit card, this calculator will help you work out how best to pay it off.
Happy (financial) new year
Want to set better financial habits for the new year? It’s not as complicated as you might think, Gross says. Here are her top three tips:
- Start tracking your spending and identify three places where you think you can make a saving, then commit to the change and make it happen
- If you get a pay rise with the start of the new year, save it – don’t spend it
- If you have an investment portfolio and can afford to, start reinvesting some of your income rather than spending it
Like this article? Have you seen...
View more Financial fitness articles