Simplify your finances
“One of the best decisions you can make in the new year to get ahead on your finances is to get smart with your money and ‘bucket your finances’,” says Dianne.
This means creating an account for each bills, savings and everyday expenses, and never spending more than is allocated to each.
“By automatically creating a budget to meet financial goals as soon as income comes into the account, you can better manage finances throughout the month and start paying off debt.”
“There are also many useful tools to help simplify your finances. From debt calculators to planners or apps that help you plan repayment schedules, technology can help make a big difference in simplifying your finances.”
Get a lower interest rate on your credit card
“If you have credit card debt, shopping around for the best rate available can help you save on costs and fees. Talking to a financial advisor who can assist you to determine the best credit card rate and repayment plan can help you get on track with repayments,” says Dianne. “Lowering your interest rate will help you reduce your debt faster and improve your overall financial wellbeing.”
Get familiar with super
“The start of a new year is as good a time as ever to get to know your super a little bit better. Superannuation can be confusing at the best of times, but taking the time to get your head around it will go a long way.”
“A good starting point is to make sure all your super is not only in the one spot, but in the best spot for you. Consolidating your super into one place will minimise fees and will make it easier for you to ensure you’re maximising your potential investment return. Before consolidating, it’s important to consider the impact on any life insurance policies you have inside super – a financial adviser can help with this,” says Dianne.”
Do you know where your super is invested? Does it offer a socially responsible investment option? Make sure you review all the information provided by your super fund about the particular sectors and activities considered for investment.
Invest to impress
“Making informed investment choices is an important part of the financial decision-making process. Everyone’s values are different, so you first need to work out what’s most important to you. For example, are you passionate about not investing in fossil fuels? Is improving renewable energy a priority for you? How will these preferences affect your investment performance?”
Dianne says that from here, you can identify the areas you don't want to invest in or, where you would rather put your money to have a positive impact. This way, you can create an impressive investment portfolio that’s aligned to your personal values.
Spend less, save more
We all spend a little recklessly from time to time, and making small changes to your daily life can help you save some extra cash, says Dianne.
“The key to spending less and saving more is to not make it feel like you’re missing out.”
Some simple changes to make include:
- MEAL PREP Save money and time by doing one big grocery shop at the end of the week and preparing your food for the week ahead.
- DIY YOUR COFFEE Even if you only buy just one cup per day, coffee costs an average of $3.62 per cup - that could be an extra $20 in your pocket every week, or $1,040 a year.
- SAY NO TO BOTTLED WATER Bad for the environment and your wallet, so get a reusable water bottle.
*Dianne Charman, of Jade Financial Group, is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 89 051 208 327, AFS Licence No. 232706.
Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
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