At the beginning of each year, many of us set ourselves a challenge to reach a desired financial goal.
Some us have been saving for a home, new car or an emergency fund. Others have vowed to pay off their debt and get on top of their finances. Yes, the new year is often a clean slate, but so is the beginning of the financial year, so let’s see where you are and what you can achieve in the next six months!
Review your goals
The first place to start when recommitting to your financial resolutions is to review the resolutions themselves and if they still align to your goals. A lot can change in six months and so maybe your goals have changed too.
If your goals are still the same but your financial situation has changed, what you thought would be achievable might not be anymore. If you need to change the goal post, don’t be too hard on yourself. Our financial position can change at the blink of an eye.
If your goal is related to a savings milestone, take a look at your budget and update any income or expenses where you need to. Whatever money remains each pay cycle, consider using a savings calculator to figure out what you can achieve by the end of the year and work towards that instead. A step in the right direction is better than no step at all.
Track your spending
You’re halfway through the year so let’s see where the bulk of your money is going by reviewing your monthly statements. If you’ve been forking out more than you should on food delivery or online shopping for example (don’t worry you’re not alone), consider using this as an opportunity to cut back on the expenses that are holding you back from reaching your financial goals. If you know exactly where your money has been going, then decide if you can make smarter spending choices for the remainder of the year.
Set monthly resolutions
Whether your financial resolution was to meet a savings goal, improve your credit score or get on top of your finances, you might find more motivation by breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals each month. It could be as simple as this:
July – Find a cheaper energy provider
August – Sell unused clothes/items online
September – Pay off remaining Afterpay debt
October – Cancel unused subscriptions
You get the gist.
Set and forget
If you know how much you need to save and you’ve calculated what you need to put away each week/fortnight/month to get there, consider setting up automated transfers into your savings account as soon as your pay comes in. The sooner it’s out of your transaction account, the less tempted you’ll be to spend it.
Reap the rewards
Another great way to motivate yourself to achieve your financial resolutions is to set a reward after you’ve met a short term, achievable goal. We’re not telling you to ruin your hard savings work on an expensive, unnecessary purchase for the sake of a short term thrill, but rather small treats such as going out for coffee on the weekend if you’ve brewed one from home all week or treating yourself to a new item of clothing after challenging yourself to one month of no online shopping.
If you’ve regained hope to recommit to your financial goals before the end of the year, just remember that life can change and it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Focus on building positive money habits and well thought financial decisions.