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New Year financial resolutions

Jan 04, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!  The start of a new year is the best time to get serious about your finances.  Here are some resolutions for you to try and achieve in 2011.

Start a share portfolio

The last six months was a tough period for the Australian sharemarket.  There will be turbulent times in the first few months of the year as well.  But there are bargains to be made in 2011.  Remember the maxim to "buy low, sell high."  Spread your risk by diversifying with a few stocks and purchase over a few months.

Control/reduce debt

Most households have felt the squeeze after seven rate rises since the GFC.  Whilst the Reserve Bank has hinted a freeze on any more rises in the short term, don't be complacent.  If you have the opportunity then start paying extra.  Avoid any future pain by paying off your debt ASAP.

Cut up the credit card

At $48 billion, the national credit card debt has never been higher.  In fact it has risen by a staggering  50% over the past five years.  Get rid of your "security blanket".  It's the devil.

Government co-contribution

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.  If you haven't started yet this financial year then start putting in $40 per week from now til 30 June. 

Don't incur late fees

Get into the habit of paying bills on time.  It amazes me how many people are lazy and get slugged with late fees by being inefficient.  $30 here and $50 there adds up over 12 months. 

Write up a budget

Most people get put off with having to write up a budget but they are really important for any household savings plan.  Excel spreadsheets has an excellent tool to make the process easier.

Save for a rainy day

What would happen if there was a GFC Mark II?  Don't get caught out.  Open savings accounts for education, holidays, Christmas and emergencies.  Put a regular amount into them from every pay.  Remain disciplined and don't access these funds!  

Do some study

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.    You are never too old to learn new tricks.

Spending diet

There are two ways to save money – earn more or spend less. "Cut out the fat" out of your spending.  Eating out, socialising, technology, clothing and transport are the main areas to focus on.  Look for bargains and buy in bulk.  Worry about the cents and the dollars will look after themselves. 

Monitor your resolutions

The worst part about setting New Year's Resolutions is not following through with them.  A note in your diary (or Outlook calendar) to review your goals every three months can put the slackest person back on track.

Tags: Financial Planning

Author: Mr Taxman

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  • "Unfortunately Natalie you are doubling up the extra tax taken out each fortnight with the year end assessment notice. Only the amount shown in the assessment is actually offset against your HELP..."

    By: Mr Taxman at Apr 24, 2017 11:45AM

    Post: Two important dates for those with HECS/HELP debts

  • "If you are under the repayment threshold each year then no repayment. Note that in last year's Federal Budget that the governmet intends on asking for repayment of HECS/HELP debts for non-residents..."

    By: Mr Taxman at Apr 24, 2017 11:43AM

    Post: Two important dates for those with HECS/HELP debts

  • "I have a HECS debt from 1998 that I have never repaid as I moved to UK in 2000 and unexpectedly stayed! Will this debt ever need to be repaid if I continue living in UK? If I return to Oz to..."

    By: Steve at Apr 23, 2017 8:26AM

    Post: Two important dates for those with HECS/HELP debts

  • "Hi Mr Taxman, I have been looking into my HECS debt because I feel that I should have paid it off by now. In 2011 the debt was at $21 399. I started working full time in 2013 and have been paying..."

    By: Natalie at Apr 20, 2017 9:06AM

    Post: Two important dates for those with HECS/HELP debts

  • "I suggest that you find a way to get the figures as any share of negative gearing losses you could claim in future tax returns once you start earning an income again. "

    By: Mr Taxman at Apr 17, 2017 3:21AM

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