The secret to keeping your money resolutions this new year
So you've survived another year. Well done.
Was it the financial success you hoped it would be?
No matter how it turned out, I'm sure you want to do better this year.
Right now all the experts will be giving their top 10 tips for financial success in 2019.
You hear them every January, all the finance resolutions: do a budget, spend less, earn more, pay off debt, save more, do your will, review your life, income protection and TPD insurance.
You probably glaze over because you've tried all that stuff before and it hasn't worked.
It's not that it is bad advice; it's just that you can't actually make it happen.
So, here is my number one tip for a better 2019: stop trying to go it alone.
Nobody wins gold at the Olympics without a coach, so find someone to work with you.
You could pay a professional, or you could team up with a work colleague or friend and work together on each other's success plans. People jog together to make sure they actually jog, so why not do your financial exercises with someone else?
Your friend does not need to know how good or bad your situation is - you can just work on achieving goals together.
Now you have a way to make it happen let's look at what you should do together.
1. Decide what you each want to achieve and set goals.
2. Get clear on why you want it - how important is it?
3. Create a plan to achieve it, for example, save $50 a week.
4. Follow the plan.
5. Hold each other accountable.
On a set time each week connect with your "buddy" and review, strategise, plan and execute.
Topics for your weekly planning meetings are:
How to spend less
Together look for better priced everything, from groceries to insurance, electricity, telephone and more.
Contact all service providers and get them to quote you their price. Change service providers if need be.
How to earn more
You should each list your skills, interests and passions.
The internet has created more opportunities to generate income than ever before.
Whatever your passion or interest is there are most likely heaps of people online who share your passion so give them what they want.
You can sell physical products or information, or you can generate income from advertising if you have lots of visitors looking at your content.
Bounce ideas off each other and take turns to focus on each other's ideas.
How to pay off debt
Phone your creditors and ask them to lower your interest rate.
The extra money you earn and the money you save from squeezing your suppliers should be added to the repayment for your highest interest rate debt.
How to protect yourself from yourself
You should put barriers in your own way and avoid going to places you know will tempt you to spend unnecessarily.
Consider how you access money. Should you chop up your credit cards? Open a weekly living expenses account? Pay everything with cash? Only use debit cards?
Only you will know the answer to these questions so be 100% honest with yourself and decide what changes you need to make.
Stay focused and you will have a great story to tell this time next year.