Money, Wellbeing

How to achieve your New New Year’s Resolution

Published on February 4, 2016 9:51 am, by

What is your goal?  Do tell!  Articulating what you want to achieve is the first step to success.  For help along the way nothing beats sharing it with friends, family and sometimes whoever will listen.  This can generate support and ideas to keep you on track and motivated.

Once you have your goal, you need to break it down in to bit size chunks.  What steps do you need to take to achieve your goal?  Write them down.  How will you measure and celebrate each achievement along the way?  How do you set yourself up for success?  What will achieving your goal cost you in $$ terms?

Like we said yesterday health and wellbeing is about more than just your physical health.  It’s about mental health too.  Here at MoneyBrilliant we are all about wellness, specifically financial wellness.  We believe there is a link between financial and mental wellness.  We want to help you be in control of your money which in turn will help you both alleviate stress and achieve your goals.

Financial fitness

There are a number of steps we believe you need to take to be on the road to financial fitness:

  • Clear the credit card (and other unsecured) debt
  • Work out how much you need to save
  • Understand your income & fixed expenses (need to have)
  • Understand your lifestyle expenses (nice to have)
  • Have a bills calendar & alerts
  • Automate your bills, debt repayment and savings
  • Track your spending
  • If you spending is “in the green” shift some more money across to meet your goal earlier

Shaping up your budget

There are a few things you can do right now to shape up your budget:

  1. Check your spending and see what’s reasonable and what you can tighten up on.
  2. Write a budget and stick to it. Include an emergency fund for when life throws you a curveball that you’re not quite expecting.
  3. Commit to checking in regularly to track your progress and celebrate your success.

Match your budget to your goal

My goal is to set myself up to make sure I have no post-Christmas spending regrets next year.

Christmas this year was a big expense and I didn’t factor it in to my budget.  January quickly followed with back to school expenses.  This year my goal is to have Christmas paid for before December.  I’m opening an ING Savings account and transferring $100 per fortnight in there from now.  I figure it will make Christmas a lot more enjoyable and alleviate the post-Christmas spending stress of this year.

Goals may or may not have a financial impact.  Many health & fitness goals will need some manipulation of the budget to pay for fitness club memberships or just a different style of eating.  Reworking the budget may free up some money to take the sting out of paying for these things.

How MoneyBrilliant can help

MoneyBrilliant shows you what you are spending where.  Run a spending report and see where you are spending.  Then answer these questions:

  • Do you overdo it in one particular category?
  • Do you spend too much at a certain time of year?
  • Is it reasonable to expect that you will spend less, the same, or more in 2016?

Categorise your spending, look at your budget, and consider opening an account to budget for any excesses through certain periods of the year.  Think about ways to cut back:

  • Is it time to get on the phone and negotiate your services?
  • Do you really need Netflix, Foxtel and unlimited data?
  • Will your bank negotiate an interest rate or bank fee?

If you are in the position to free up some money it can be helpful to open one or more accounts to save for specific reasons.  Link them to your dashboard and watch them grow through the year.  You’ll be a great view of how you are going towards your goals.

Good luck!!

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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