Welcome to 2018, the Year of the Dog

Gino FarinaGeneral

Can you believe that another year has passed? If you haven’t yet followed through on any financial resolutions from 2017, let’s try a reset with a few tips to create new habits in 2018:

  1. Start with a goal. Whether it’s buying a home, building an investment portfolio, planning for retirement or even going on a holiday with the family, you need to have something to aim for.
  2. Do you have a budget? If not, it will be difficult to keep your finances in order. There are many apps available that can assist you with tracking your income and expenses. TrackMySPEND by ASIC’s Money Smart and PocketBook are two popular free apps worth trying.
  3. Start with your fixed costs. When was the last time you reviewed your insurances, phone, and power costs? Don’t forget any other subscriptions you may have. Companies consistently offer new deals so it’s a good habit to review these annually to ensure you are not wasting money.
  4. Have your Mortgage Adviser review your mortgage. This should be a minimum part of their service offering, to review where you are and ensure you both have a competitive rate and loan structure to meet your needs moving forward.
  5. Clear any debts, including personal loans and credit cards. The high interest rates on these will reduce your ability to save. In some instances, it may be worthwhile consolidating your debts to reduce the interest costs.
  6. Create a savings plan and stick to it. Automatic deductions from your salary can be very effective.
  7. Review your budget and savings monthly to ensure you are still on track to achieving your goals. Make sure you take time to celebrate small success when you keep on track.

Wishing you all the very best for a happy and healthy 2018