New Year's resolutions
Supercharge your finances in 2017
What do you want to achieve this year? Perhaps you want to buy a
home, take a holiday or upgrade your car. Maybe you want to clear
your debts or start investing for your future. No matter what your
goals are, here are some ways to supercharge your finances in
Set your financial goals
Before you start listing your money goals for this year, use our
asset stocktake calculator
to work out your current financial position.
Research shows we're more likely to achieve our goals if we
write them down, so if you're serious about revving up your
finances this year, start with a clear plan of action. Work out
what financial goals you want to achieve, then break them down into
realistic steps that will lead you there.
Our free TrackMyGOALS mobile app can help you
stay on track throughout the year. It helps you create and
prioritise your savings goals and tracks your progress.
Whether you use our app or create a goals board on your fridge,
using a visual reminder of what you want to achieve makes you more
likely to succeed.
Power up your budget
Energise your plan by setting up a budget for 2017. A
budget is a simple but powerful tool that can help you zero in on
where you want your money to go over the next 12 months. If you
stick to it, you can achieve your financial goals while you take
care of your other expenses. Our budget planner makes it easy by
crunching the numbers for you.
Spark up your savings
Are you planning to save for something special this year? Maybe
you want to take a holiday, upgrade your car, or build an emergency
savings fund. Whatever you're thinking of, now is the the time to
get your savings going.
Look for a high interest savings account that is easy to
deposit into but hard to withdraw from. You'll reach your goals
much faster if you can't dip into your kitty while you're out
shopping or having a good time. You can also boost your balance by
setting an automatic recurring payment to regularly transfer money
into your account.
We have lots of tips to help you pump up your savings if
Check out our savings infographic to see
what other people are saving for and how they are reaching their
Our savings goals calculator can also help you work out how much
you need to save each pay to reach your goal.
Savings goals calculator
Case study: Kristoff establishes a good savings habit
Once the excitement of New Year's Eve wore off Kristoff wasn't
happy when he realised he had no money in his bank account. So he
decided 2017 was the year to start some good habits.
Kristoff organised an automatic transfer of $100 to go out of
his transaction account and into a high interest savings account
every fortnight just after he gets paid. If he can stick to his
plan Kristoff will have over $2,600 saved up this time next
Make over your mortgage
A great way to revitalise your finances is to check how your
current home loan and insurance policies stand up against the
competition. Doing a little bit of work now could save you
thousands over time.
Rejuvenate your home loan
The new year is the perfect time to make sure you're getting the
best deal on your home loan. Look at the rates, fees and features
on similar loans offered by other lenders, then ask your lender if
they can give you a better deal than you're currently getting.
If you find a better product elsewhere, don't be afraid to
switch. Our webpage on switching home loans explains how
to compare deals.
Reassess your insurance
When your car, home or contents insurance policies come up for
renewal this year, compare them with other products before you hand
over more money to your existing insurer.
Compare the price and features of products offered by other
insurers to make sure you're getting the best value. You
never know, you might be able to get the same or better coverage
for a lower premium.
Visit our webpage on renewing your insurance for
Demolish debt stress
Start the year fresh by getting a free copy of your credit report
and check all the details are correct.
If you feel burdened by debt, take a
moment to imagine how good it would feel to pay off your personal
loans and have no credit card debt. Think about what you could do
with all the money you currently spend on repayments.
If you want to crack down on your debts this year, making extra
repayments whenever you can is a great start.
If you're having trouble with debt, make it a priority
to take steps to get yourself into a better financial position this
year. You'll not only feel happier, but you'll also be able to set
your sights on achieving even bigger dreams next year.
Financial counselling is a free
service that you can use if you need help to sort out your debts.
Financial counsellors are independent and confidential.
Case study: Elsa's debt-free resolution
Last year Elsa made
a New Year's resolution to pay off her $2,500 credit card
debt. She created a budget using MoneySmart's budget planner
and found that if she cut back her spending on clothes
and brought her lunch to work instead of buying it, she could
afford to pay $300 a month off her credit card. Elsa
stuck to her plan all year and by October she was debt free.
Get more bang for your
If your debts are under control and you've built up some
savings, it's time to get your money working harder for you. Now
could be a good time to think about investing.
Boost your investment knowledge
Never invest in something you don't fully understand, take the
time to read up on the types of investment you're interested in.
You can start with our investing section and test your knowledge
with our investing challenge.
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.
No matter what your finances look like right
now, by supercharging your finances you can make 2017 your best
year yet. Just set your financial goals and your money on the right
Last updated: 20 Jan 2017