Alexandra Cain Financial writer
A new year is a great time to set new financial goals and look at the habits you may have formed in the previous year that could be improved to help build your financial future. Here are five great tips to help you set a firm financial foundation for 2017.
1) Re-think your financial goals
It’s hard to get ahead unless you set goals to help grow your wealth. So a new year is a great time to revisit any existing financial goals. This is especially important if your circumstances have changed over the year, for instance if you started a new relationship, had a baby or retired.
It might be an idea to talk to a financial adviser about what your financial goals are and then put in place a plan to help you reach your goals, be they to buy a house, or save for an investment property or whatever your personal circumstances dictate.
2) Be honest about your bad habits
Most of us could take a good look at the way we spend our money and, if we’re honest with ourselves, make substantial changes. The new year is a great time to do this.
The idea is to look at where you’re wasting money and think about how you could change this. For instance, you might tend to do a lot of grocery shopping at an expensive corner store rather than at a more cost effective supermarket. Choosing less expensive shopping habits is just one way to put yourself in a better financial situation this year.
3) Change your behaviour
The new year is also a great time to try out one or two new ways of building wealth that you may not have tried before.
For instance, now’s a great time to set up a new savings account to help you put more money aside so that you’re in a better financial position down the track. Even if it is just $20 a week, every bit counts and you can always add to this amount down the track as your financial position improves.
4) Educate yourself
Financial markets are complex but fascinating and there are lots of ways you can improve your knowledge of how money works.
For instance, Ross Gittins is an economist who makes financial concepts easy to understand. Another great source is Alan Kohler’s finance report on the ABC if you’re looking to build your financial nous.
5) Check in throughout the year
It’s also a really good idea to make finance an ongoing consideration throughout the year, not just when the calendar changes.
Have a budget and see how well you’re sticking to it, and adjust it regularly to account for changes in your circumstances such as a pay rise. And don’t forget to put some funds aside to have a little fun, because being too austere risks falling into poor financial habits.
Like everything in life money and wealth is a balance and it’s important to be disciplined about spending, but also realistic about how much you save and spend to help you stick to your budget and financial goals.
About the author
Alexandra Cain is a finance journalist who contributes regularly to The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
Please note that this article is not financial product advice and does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial circumstances or needs.