New Year's resolutions

New years pigSupercharge 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 2017.

Set your financial goals

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. 

Smart tip

Before you start listing your money goals for this year, use our asset stocktake calculator to work out your current financial position.

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.

Track your personal expenses on the go with our free and easy-to-use app.

TrackMyGOALS

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.

Budget planner

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 you're:

Check out our savings infographic to see what other people are saving for and how they are reaching their savings goals.

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

Young Man Red Shirt Backpack

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 year.

Make over your mortgage and insurance

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 more tips.

Demolish debt stress

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.

Smart tip

Start the year fresh by getting a free copy of your credit report and check that all the details are correct.

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

ElsaLast 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 buck

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 your investments.

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 course.


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Last updated: 18 Oct 2017