New Year’s resolutions are pretty universal for people in the developed world. Losing weight, and getting in good shape physically and financially are top of the list of goals. But as most of us know, setting goals and achieving them are two different things. The key to making things happen is to focus on your behaviours. Let’s face it, no-one ever lost weight by not changing their eating habits or their exercise regime. No-one ever got fit by spending the same amount of time on the couch. Getting financially fit means changing your money habits and that means doing things differently every day. Consistency is everything. Changes need to be permanent for lasting results. Short of winning Lotto, there is no such thing as a quick fix that will take away your money worries forever.
Here are a few tips for things you can do differently.
- Clean out your wallet to reduce the number of credit cards, store cards and loyalty cards. Cards are an invitation to spend money. While it’s nice to get reward points, what you gain can easily be lost through unnecessary spending.
- Revert to old-school cash instead of plastic for spending on non-essentials like coffee and lunch. Seeing your money physically disappear is a good spending deterrent.
- Automate everything. Set up your bills to be paid by direct debit and set up an automatic transfer into your savings account for every payday.
- Review your subscriptions – magazines, online subscriptions, memberships etc – and cancel those you have lost interest in or no longer need.
- Take a keener interest in your KiwiSaver account. Spend some time looking at the performance of your fund and how your money is invested. Make sure you are happy with your provider and the investment selection you have made.