Simple is best when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions
Five New Year’s resolutions
to set you up for financial success
By: Bonnie Radcliffe, Jan 2020
The prospect of a new year is filled with excitement and possibility. But before you pledge any 2020 resolutions, it is important to think about what you want to achieve, and the changes necessary to make your goals a reality.
Evidence suggests that you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals if they are specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic.
While many of us are guilty of being a little overambitious when it comes to goal setting, we’ve compiled a list of realistic and practical money related resolutions that will help the whole family to budget, save, bargain-hunt, and declutter.
1) Create a budget and stick to it
New year, new budget? Before work and life commitments become too chaotic, set some time aside to consider your money-related goals for the year. It seems simple, but it’s a step some people forget to take. Deciphering your goals will help to inform your budget and motivate you to stick to it.
In revising your budget, make sure you’re putting enough money aside for emergencies and any upcoming home renovation or improvement plans. With an effective budget, you’ll be able to sort out your money priorities and find the right balance between saving and spending.
2) Let this be the year of successful saving
Make sure you’re putting enough money aside for emergencies
Make 2020 the year you’re able to commit to achieving your aspirations, whether it’s a dream holiday, car upgrade or home renovation.
Instead of making a vague resolution to ‘save more money’, specifically outline how much you want to save, and how you’ll accomplish it. Commit to saving a certain amount from each month, and don’t deviate. You’ll feel motivated knowing that you’re working towards something tangible that you really want.
3) Become a bargain-hunter
Be a savvy money manager and haggle to find the best deals throughout the year. Being a bargain-hunter is about more than just finding the best price for your goods and services but is a practise we should all aim to adopt. There are savings to be had on all kinds of products and services, if you do your research and know what to ask for.
Start by re-evaluating your insurance policies, and ensure your policy is reflective of your current life stage and needs. If you’ve recently bought a new car, home or your family has grown in size, it might be time to review your home, life, health and income insurances.
Likewise, shop around for cheaper utility offers, phone and internet plans, and supermarket deals. By doing your research, you’ll be able to find the most suitable offers and ensure you’re making the most of your money throughout the year.
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4) Sell, save and donate
Following the advice of Marie Kondo, decluttering our homes and lives leads to happiness. This isn’t a goal that you should attempt to achieve in just a single weekend, but over the space of the year. Perks of having a less cluttered home can include both a decrease in time cleaning, and increased savings!
As you declutter, look for opportunities to make money by selling unwanted possessions. Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are a great avenue to advertise and make some extra cash – or you could even opt for a good old-fashioned garage sale. Not only is this great for your wallet but promotes environment sustainability too. With items that don’t sell, look for charities seeking donations.
With an organised pantry, you’ll be less likely to buy duplicate items and let food go off. By cleaning out your linen cupboard and wardrobe, you might rediscover old favourites which will prevent you from spending unnecessarily on new items. You might even find surprises like board games you love, providing free entertainment for the whole family!
Decluttering leads to happiness and savings
5) Talk about finances with the whole family
If kids establish good money skills from a young age, they will be prepared for the financial challenges of adulthood.
A great way to kickstart your child’s financial education is pocket money, allowing them to begin saving for themselves. Start with small amounts of pocket money in exchange for completing chores to teach them the premise of saving money to fund something they really want.
Educating children about the value of money through real life situations will allow them to become financially literate from a young age. This can be done at the ATM or supermarket, when paying bills, or by involving them in discussions about budgets.
Although 2020 is well underway, it’s never too late to set some resolutions for the year ahead. By pledging simple and actionable resolutions, you can overhaul your financials and home life for the years to come.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Resimac. The above is general commentary only and is not advice tailored to any individual’s financial situation. We recommend seeking advice from a mortgage or finance professional before implementing changes relating to your finances.