7 New (Financial) Year Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

A new financial year is a good excuse to become more organised – financially or otherwise.

We all know that most New Year’s resolutions are pointless and that very few people stick to them.  But as 2015/2016 is upon us, you might consider a few Financial Year resolutions anyway – just for something different. And if you resolve to improve your money behaviour now, chances are, you’ll get ahead more quickly than you expected.

So pull up your financial socks and choose today to make this financial year a great one.

1.     Resolve to… clean out your office, desktop and smartphone

We all associate cleaning out our wardrobes and linen closets with spring ‐ so why not associate a clean out of our offices, computers and smartphones with the new financial year?

How many fading biros, used sticky notes or needlessly printed documents are lying around your workspace? Take 10 or 15 minutes before you start your day to clean it all out. You’ll be surprised at how much it improves your mindset and motivation.

And if after that, you feel like you’re on a roll, why not also clean out your desktop, inbox and smartphone? Organising (or shock horror, deleting) old documents, emails and apps can make your technology feel like new again.

2.     Resolve to… reduce your automatic payments and bank fees

When was the last time you scrutinised your bank statements for random fees, payments and charges?

Many service providers set us up on regular transfer schedules (fitness clubs, we’re looking at you), hoping we’ll neglect to cancel them due to laziness ‐ or excessive business, for that matter. We challenge you to identify at least one such fee, and cancel it. Go on, you can do it. We know you can.

Also, have a look at what transfer, withdrawal or other unnecessary fees your bank is charging you. These might seem small and inconsequential as single items, but they add up. And avoiding them might be a lot easier than you think.

3.     Resolve to… keep a ‘leaner’ wallet

If you’ve been thinking it’s time to buy a new wallet, try this first. Clean it out!

Perhaps it’s looking a little worse for wear because you’ve got some serious sorting to do. Mountains of old receipts and useless VIP cards are the main offenders to a bursting wallet – but you might be surprised what other random items are in there.

Get into the habit of storing your receipts somewhere at home for easy access. And download a smartphone app that allows you to scan and store your VIP cards electronically. We hear Stocardis excellent.

4.     Resolve to… get life insurance

No one likes to think or talk about life insurance. It’s morbid, confusing ‐ and not exactly fascinating. We get it.

But if you’ve got kids or other dependants, and something happens to you, you’ll want to know they’ll be protected and cared for financially.

And if you secured life insurance some years ago, don’t assume it’s done and dusted either. It’s important to review your policy every couple of years to ensure it’s still competitive and relevant to your current situation.

5.     Resolve to… focus on your super

Okay, we know superannuation is not a whole lot more exciting than life insurance. But you need to know how well your superannuation performed last financial year. And you need to know how well it will support you in your retirement.

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, now‘s the time to learn. Speak to your accountant or financial advisor to see if you could be getting more from your superannuation strategy.

6.     Resolve to… clear your credit card debt

If you have long‐standing credit card debt, you can do something about it. Perhaps you can transfer the balance to a zero rate credit card. Or maybe you can consolidate your debts into one loan with a much lower overall interest rate – and only one monthly repayment.

Credit‐card interest rates are invariably excessive, so this is one type of debt you should try to live without.

7.     Resolve to…. review your home loan

Okay, this one might not come as a great surprise (coming from us), but it does makes sense.

If you have a home loan, how certain are you that it is still competitive and suitable for you? As your most significant ongoing expense, your mortgage is not something to get complacent about. Interest rates are at an all‐time low and new products are entering   the market every day – loans with better features and greater flexibility than ever before.

Reviewing your loan won’t cost you a cent. And if you do decide to refinance, your MoneyQuest broker will do all the hard work for you as part of their no‐fee service.

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