In 2020, rather than putting all your efforts into shifting those extra few kilos we add over Christmas or dedicating yourself to hours in the gym, why not focus on your financial health, writes Deborah Southon.
The New Year is a great time to re-evaluate life and set particular goals you want to focus on for the year ahead.
According to a financial fitness report from Mortgage Choice and CoreData, more than 50 per cent of Australians were stressed by their finances and 26 per cent had not set any financial goals. Just like your physical health, your financial health is important as it creates the foundations to build a secure and stable financial future.
Before the silly season is in full swing, take use of the following effective budgeting tips to rethink and readjust your finances, set some realistic goals and prepare yourself to start 2020 with a fresh perspective.
Evaluate your previous mistakes
We’re all guilty of making financial mistakes, but evaluating them can help you be more aware and focus on making the right moves this time around. Think about all the errors you have made over the last 12 months – whether it has been frivolous spending, not putting money into savings, living pay check to pay check or not having a financial plan.
Now is the time to learn from your mistakes and plan for the year ahead.
Assess your outgoings
With the rise of digital technology, there are many apps and platforms available that help track spending, and keep an eye on all of your outgoings, because being aware of where your money is going is a key part of managing your finances.
Start small by breaking down your priorities from rent or mortgage, utility bills and car payments to the subscription services you’re signed up to or the clothes you buy each month and be more mindful of where your money is going.
Set a budget
Setting a budget is one of the most common yet important pieces of financial advice you can receive. Whether you’ve heard it 1,000 times or more, having a budget ultimately allows you to plan, prepare and have stability. Set a budget to help plan spending and ensure you can correctly balance your income and expenses and keep out of debt.
Identify your goals
When you have big plans in 2020, such as a wedding or family holiday, identifying your goals for the next 12 months can put things into perspective. Similarly, if you want to work towards a small savings goal for a family holiday, or perhaps start building a larger deposit for a house, there are a number of tools available out there that can assist and breakdown the necessary elements to help you reach your savings goals in a controlled and timely manner.
Be more frugal
If you are truly serious about saving money and starting 2020 in the best possible way and improving your financial health, keep the cost of life down.
There are so many ways you can embrace frugal living: Adopt no-spend days, bring your lunch to work instead of eating out, cut down on barista coffee, pay bills on time to avoid late fees, and plan date night at home rather than going out.
Get financial help
With numerous bills each month, unexpected payments and just generally living a busy life, it can be a tricky task to manage your finances.
That’s why having a financial adviser or just a specialised source to turn to during a time of financial crisis can really help.
If you need support with debt consolidation, creating the perfect investment plan or just need to figure how to prioritise your goals, don’t be afraid to seek professional advice from someone who really knows what they’re talking about.
In conclusion, make your 2020 New Year’s resolution one that will benefit your financial health to create a path of financial stability and security for yourself.