The last few years have been horror ones financially for alot of people. But 2010 is starting to look pretty good. Here are a few ideas from Mr Taxman Adrian Raftery for creating your own list of New Year's resolutions to help put your finances in better shape in 2010.
Just because the economy appears to be improving doesn't mean we can relax. Now - the start of a new year - is the best time to get serious about your finances. To help put them in better shape why don’t you make up a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Here are some for you to try and achieve in 2010:
Cut up the credit card
It is probably the hardest thing to do as most of us view the credit card as our "security blanket". But it’' really the devil and the quicker that you take decisive action the better.
Want some free money? If you earn less than $31,920 then put an extra $1,000 into super and the Government will match it. It phases out when your income reaches $61,920.
Start saving for rainy days
Got caught out in the GFC? Don’t let it happen again and open savings accounts for education, holidays, Christmas and emergencies. Put a regular amount from every pay into each account. Remain disciplined and don't access these funds!
With the economy recovering I am predicting that there are going to be some great opportunities in the job market later in the year. The best investment you could make is in yourself and acquire more skills.
We were blessed with a some large interest rate cuts but they are on the rise ... and fast. Just how much they will rise by is anyone's guess but I suggest you prepare for them to rise by 2%. There will be pain so try & pay off your debt ASAP.
Most people get put off with having to write up a budget but they are really important. "Cut out the fat" out of your spending. Eating out, socialising, technology, clothing and transport are the main areas to focus on.
Enter into a few fun runs and challenge yourself to get fit. Behind the scenes you will be reducing your binging on junk food and alcohol which always put a dent into savings.
Don't incur late fees
Get into the habit of paying bills on time. Don't be lazy and get slugged with late fees by being inefficient. $30 here and $50 there adds up over 12 months.
Monitor your resolutions
The worst part about setting New Year's Resolutions is not following through with them. A note in your diary to review your goals every three months can set you back on track if you have been slack.
GOLDEN RULES WHEN SETTING GOALS
Write them down - by putting your goals onto paper you develop a challenge for yourself to try and achieve. Don’t be afraid to put some pressure on yourself.
Be specific - don’t just say that you are going to save. Put down an exact figure that you want to save such as $325 per month.
Goals must be realistic - you are not going to make a million dollars so it is a waste of time putting that down. You want to set goals that are challenging yet attainable if you put in the hard yards. Dangle the carrot sufficiently in view by not making them easy either.
Set timeframes - don't leave your goals open ended. Set a date that they must be achieved by. For example, pay off your credit card by April 2009.
Monitor your goals - put a note in your diary or Outlook calendar to review your goals every three months. A mid-year financial check-up can set you back on track if you have been slack.
Don't get lazy - get into the mindset that you are going to take control of your finances this year and just do it!
Do you have an interesting New Year's Money Resolutions that you want to share?