We know that New Year resolutions are usually reserved for 1 January every year… and then abandoned by February, so we figure the best time to make changes for the better is for the New Financial Year.
Every EOFY it seems everyone has the same realisation that their finances aren’t in order just that bit too late, and there’s the frantic scramble to organise all financial and tax records before the inevitable cut off date of June 30 before the new year ticks over.
This financial year, you can forget about New Years for now and make some financial changes for the better – here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Salary sacrifice
Superannuation is pretty much everyone’s least favourite topic but having super front of mind now can result in a more substantial balance when you actually need it. Talk to your employer about giving extra contributions from your salary, so you won’t even notice the difference week to week – aim to increase your amount to 15% of your yearly salary.
- Make a savings plan
This is a great time to really set yourself some goals on where you want your finances to be in 12 months. Set a budget, limit yourself just enough that the upkeep is manageable, and automate your payments to make it a simple process after every pay.
- Know your deductions
After this EOFY did you realise you couldn’t claim something because you didn’t have the receipt to back it up? Now is the time to organise this for the next year, knowing what you can claim means you can make a habit of saving those receipts for your future tax return.
- Get in control of your debts
This is something that can affect your mental state and really play on the minds of anyone that has to deal with it. While some debt is necessary (like home and student loans), some debt (particularly credit card debt) is an unnecessary hinderance to your day to day energy. Add it to the savings plan and always make an effort to pay off more than the minimum each month.
- Change one bad habit
Sometimes it can just be as easy as changing one habit to really make the move towards a brighter financial future. First step is to identify what kinds of financial habits you have that need to change and commit to changing them one at a time. Things like late payments of bills, using credit cards for everything, and dipping into your savings at the end of every pay are a few that are easily recognisable and essential to break.
- Reward yourself
Whatever your goals are, if you commit entirely to your savings goals and nothing else, you may actually be hindering your progress. When you set a big goal (like saving for a property), split it into small goals that you can celebrate every time you hit. Saved $5,000? Take yourself to the movies. Saved $10,000? Go out for dinner! You get the idea… little wins can keep you focused on your dream.