New Year's resolutions
Set and achieve your money goals in
Whether you want to take a holiday, upgrade your car, grow your
super, start investing, or be more organised with your money,
you're more likely to achieve your goals if you have a plan. Here
are some ways to set and achieve your money goals in 2018.
Take aim at your financial
If you're serious about reaching your money goals this year, set
your target so you know where to aim. Work out what financial goals
you want to achieve, then break them down into realistic steps that
will lead you there. Think about your short-term goals, as well as
those larger, long-term goals.
When setting your goals, make sure you consider your current
financial position by taking into account your income, debts,
savings, insurance, investments and superannuation.
Use our asset stocktake calculator to work out your current
Asset Stocktake Calculator
Ensure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable,
realistic and timely. Setting timely goals means giving yourself a
timeframe to achieve them. It also helps to visualise your goals,
so use the TrackMyGOALS app or put pictures on your
fridge of what you want to achieve.
Make a plan for your
Set up a budget for 2018 and use it to turn your plans into
action. A budget will help you to map out your finances and work
out where your money is going. Start with the essential costs like
rent or mortgage, food, bills and transport, and then allocate
money for the debts you are trying to pay off. Decide what
proportion you will allocate to savings, considering any goals you
want to achieve and your timeframe for reaching them. Anything left
over can be added to your savings.
Our budget planner makes it easy to work out your money.
It's important to be realistic when setting your budget. Look at
your spending habits, and then you can see where you can cut back
to help you achieve your goals.
Track your personal expenses on the go.
Knock out your debt
If you want to get on top of your debt in 2018, break down what
you owe into manageable chunks by prioritising what you can pay
Know where you stand on debts by getting a free copy of your credit report
and correcting any details that are wrong.
You could start by making extra repayments on your smallest debt
first. Once you have paid that off, move on to the next smallest,
and so on. If you start small, by the time you get to your biggest
debts you will be well equipped to knock them out.
Another option is to pay off the debt with the highest interest
Financial counselling is a free
service you can use if you need help sorting out your debts.
Financial counsellors are independent and confidential.
Case study: Carol starts with the smallest debt first
Carol set a new budget for 2018 using MoneySmart's budget planner.
She allocated money every payday to go towards paying off her
debts, and set up an automatic transfer for each debt.
Carol then prioritised her debts in order of size and committed
to allocating any spare change she had to paying off the smallest
debts first. If she sticks to her plan, Carol will have paid off
multiple debts by the end of the year.
Home in on your savings
Having savings will help cover you in case of an emergency, and
will also help you to reach your bigger money goals. Set up an
automatic recurring payment to regularly transfer money into a
high-interest savings account that is easy to deposit into but hard
to withdraw from.
We have lots of tips to help you zero in on your savings if
Check out our savings infographic to see
what other people are saving for and how they are reaching their
Work out how much you need to save each pay to reach your
Savings goals calculator
Focus on your insurance
The new year is a great time to review your insurance policies
to make sure you are getting the best deal and your assets are
If you've been with the same insurance company for a while, ring
around to others and see if you can get a better deal on your
policy. Make sure any new items you have bought in the last year
are covered. See our tips on mobile phone,
tablet and laptop insurance.
Take charge of your
Bring your funds together
2018 could be the year you get on top of your super. If your
super is spread out across multiple funds, you are probably paying
multiple sets of fees that are reducing your balance. Your super is
your nest egg for your future, so why not start the year by consolidating your super into
one fund so you pay less fees and grow your lump sum faster.
You might also think about contributing extra to your super in
order to grow your balance. See our page on super
contributions for more on how to do this.
See how much extra contributions could grow your super.
Learn about super
Get to know your super in 2018 by checking your investment
options and what, if any, life insurance your super covers. Our
page on how
super works is a great place to start.
Case study: Paul commits to consolidating his super
Paul has held several jobs over the years and realised that his
super was sitting in three different super funds. He was being
charged three sets of fees which was reducing the total amount he
had in super.
Paul has decided that 2018 will be the year to take action. He
did some research and decided which fund to keep, then started to
follow the steps on MoneySmart's consolidating super funds
page. Once his money is in one fund, Paul will review his
investment options and life insurance cover through super.
Invest in your future
If your debts are under control and you've built up some
savings, 2018 could be the year to think about investing to get
your money working harder for you.
Boost your investment knowledge
Never invest in something you don't fully understand; take the
time to read up on the types of investment options you're
interested in. ASIC's Investor Toolkit will show you
where to start.
You might also consider reading money or investing magazines, or
following finance and investing experts on social media.
Invest for your time frame
It's best to choose an investment based on how long you are
prepared to have your money tied up. Growth assets like shares and
property that usually have better long-term returns, can be more
volatile in the short term. We have guidance to help you choose
Stay in your comfort zone
Regardless of how long you're prepared to wait for a return, if
your investments could cause you to lose sleep, then they are not
worth the risk. You need to feel comfortable that your
investment choices fit your risk tolerance. Find out more about risk and
and achieving money goals will help you move towards financial
freedom. By putting a good plan in place and committing to keeping
your money on the right course, you can make 2018 your best year
Last updated: 17 Jan 2018