With all the hype surrounding EOFY sales, the importance of the new financial year may have been overlooked.
Countless advertisements for everything from health insurance to furniture put us on high alert to snap up a bargain. But the new financial year isn’t just about your tax return and picking up that new big ticket item. In fact, the new financial year can be the best time to start fresh with some smart financial resolutions.
First, you’ll need to take a good look at what your current finances are – how much you earn, how much you spend and what your needs and financial goals are. Take the new financial year as a perfect opportunity to give yourself a full audit and get your tax return lodged.
Once you’ve got that sorted, here are five resolutions to help you start fresh this financial year:
Get in the know
Improve your financial knowledge, even by simply brushing up on the basics. Almost half of all Australians are unsure of where their superannuation is held, resulting in $13.5 billion in lost super waiting to be claimed by Australians.
One simple way to get started is by tracking your major financial items over a month, such as your income and expenses, how much superannuation you have and your savings. This will start to give you a better picture of your financial standing and point out a few places for improvement.
Cut and cull
While they’re convenient, automatic or direct debt payments are easy to lose track of over time. Comb through your debit and credit card accounts to note down any automatic payments you make on a weekly or monthly basis. Cancel those subscriptions and memberships you no longer use and you’ll already have some extra cash in your pocket.
Embrace the New Year feeling
Many of us pledge to follow new fitness regimes every New Year’s Eve. Think about your finances in the same way.
For example, many people have a goal of saving more money. It might be unlikely that you’ll triple your savings without making significant changes, but setting realistic goals and committing to a few small habits, such as an automated transfer to your savings account or salary sacrificing into your superannuation, will improve your chance of success.
Scrutinise your insurance policies
Most Australian’s simply pay their annual insurance policy with their current provider each time it comes in the mail. They don’t even stop to consider whether they’re getting a good deal or what other options they have. The end of financial year is a great time to review all of your insurance policies to see if there are savings to be had.
Check your current provider’s competitors for their current prices, ask your mates what they kind of deal they have and call your existing provider to ask for a better deal. A $50 saving on just a couple of your policies already adds up to a few hundred extra dollars in your bank account.
It’s a tried and true method, but setting concrete goals and mapping out a pathway to get there is still the most foolproof way to stay on track financially.
Take a look at your tax return and see how much you made last year and where it went. Do you want to be typing the same figures into your tax return next year? If not, work out how and where you need to make changes and most importantly, break it down into small achievable steps to help you get there.