Your new year to-do list: six resolutions to balance your budget
Chances are any resolutions you made at the beginning of 2018 have fallen to the wayside by now.
Well, the beginning of a new financial year is the perfect time to revisit any resolutions you may have had relating to your hip pocket.
Here are a few suggestions that can help you save or make money and generally improve your overall financial fitness.
Resolution 1: I will spend less than I earn
This is really the only way to get ahead financially. It means creating a budget so you can work out where your money is going and identify areas you can trim back.
Once you work out how much you can save each month, organise a direct debit from your pay to a separate savings account.
Resolution 2: I will get my debt under control
If you have credit card debt that doesn't seem to go away, then make that a focus. Always make sure you make more than the minimum repayments if you want to get ahead.
If you think clearing the debt will take a while, consider taking up a balance transfer offer.
When comparing these offers make sure you find out if there is a balance transfer fee, what the interest rate reverts to when the honeymoon period is over and if an annual fee applies.
Resolution 3: I will make sure I'm getting the best deals
It's easy to get complacent with your home loan, mobile phone plan, electricity supplier etc but not making the effort to shop around can mean you're paying a lot more than you have to.
Use comparison websites to see if you can track down better deals.
Resolution 4: I will make superannuation a priority
Retirement might feel like a long way away but it's never too early to start thinking about your super.
Make sure you know where your super is, consider consolidating if you have multiple funds, check that the fees are reasonable and that the fund has been performing on par with similar options over the long term.
You should also ensure that the asset allocation is appropriate for your age and risk profile.
Finally, think about making extra contributions via salary sacrifice to boost your savings.
Resolution 5: I will make sure I have adequate insurance
Most people make the effort to insure their car and home but often forget to insure themselves!
If you were to get sick or had an accident that meant you couldn't work for months, how would your family get by? And what if the worst happened and you or your partner died? It's not nice to think about bad things happening but you should make sure your family is protected in such a scenario.
Look into income protection and life insurance and don't just assume that you'll have it as part of your super because that amount might not be adequate.
Resolution 6: I will review my will
Take a close look at your will to make sure it accurately reflects your current situation and your wishes. To make sure your will is valid it is best to use a solicitor.
Remember superannuation is treated differently from the rest of your assets, so it is a good idea to arrange a binding nomination to make sure it goes to the right people.