Another new year is upon us and like years past, this is the time to take control of your finances… for real!

To help you get off to a great start, try utilising these 7 helpful financial resolutions

(1) Create a Plan

Rome wasn’t built in a day and its best-known architecture, the Colosseum, wasn’t built without some strategic planning. The same can be said about your finances. There is no get rich quick scheme out there, and if there was, everyone would be financially wealthy. To build and maintain financial success, you must first devise a plan. The plan can be simple or complex but should be suited around you and your goals. If you are unsure where to start, seek professional and financial advice and go from there. Before any steps can be taken toward financial security, first, construct a plan!

(2) Get Rid of Old Accounts

Out with the old and in with the new. It is a new year and it’s the perfect time to consolidate all of those superannuation or miscellaneous bank accounts you have lying around. Organisation is a key cog in the success of any long term plan but in this case it can even save you money. Remember, most bank accounts charge some sort of fee. So, if you have old inactive accounts, now is the time to follow through and close them, your wallet will thank you in the long run.

(3) Use your Equity

Most homeowners have some amount of equity but very few actually use it to their advantage. Rather than admiring that number, wouldn’t it be nice if we could use it to earn some extra capital? Do some research and see how you can utilise the current equity in your home to purchase new investments. Whether this extra income is spent on a family vacation or building a financial foundation for the future and retirement, no one ever complained about having their money work for them!

(4) Become more Financially Savvy

We don’t know what we don’t know. What this means, in one sense, is that we are not aware of information out there if we don’t pursue it. Remember, knowledge is power and even more powerful is ‘applied knowledge.’ Make an effort this year to learn more about finances and see how this new insight benefits your overall financial picture. A quick search on the web can give you a good list of books related to financial topics that you are most interested in or know the least about. Get out there and start learning!

(5) Up Your Savings

If you had a good saving plan in 2016, you’re already leaps ahead of the majority of people. Now, the challenge is to up the ante. Saving and budgeting are excellent tools for developing wealth. Take a step back and analyse your saving/budgeting system from the previous year. Identify areas of weakness and ways to improve. For example if you were saving 10% of your overall earnings in 2016, see if there is a way to save 12 – 15% in 2017. Even though this is a small increase, it will pay dividends over time.

(6) Track your Spending

If you took the time to implement and create a budget for 2017, go one step further and set up a tracking system for your actual spending. Whether it is with an excel spreadsheet or one of the many budgeting apps available, ‘seeing is believing.’ If unsure about the apps out there, give these ones a look: Mint, Pocketguard or Homebudget. Logging all your spending habits keeps you on track and trends show you where changes can be made moving forward. The benefits of this will tie directly into your new savings plan, offering you specific areas in which you can save a little extra (and spend a little less). Studies have shown that those who set goals and track them are more likely to be successful.

(7) Set Aside ‘Finance Time’

This last tip is ever-important and one of our favourites! Much like setting up a good fitness routine, time-management for your finances is very important. If you are routine-oriented like the majority of people, then scheduling a regular meeting time for your finances can be a very powerful weapon. In today’s society, the thought of actually sitting down and planning for things like retirement can seem scary or daunting. Start small, setting aside an hour or two per week to organise and analyse your current financial situation. The more time you divulge in your finances, the more likely your situation is to improve or stay on track.

We’re positive these strategies will help you achieve your financial goals.
Start today, TAKE ACTION and Happy 2017!

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