2018 New Year Financial Resolutions
1. Create positive financial goals
The way you frame your new year financial resolutions will determine how motivated you are to achieve them. "Not wasting money on purchases" could be better described as "only spending money on the things I truly value".
When you're being true to yourself, rather than punishing previous 'bad behaviour', you'll be more likely to keep your new year financial resolution.
A goal with a deeply personal incentive will be more achievable than a new year financial resolution you pick because it seems like the 'right' thing to do.
2. Focus on one new year financial resolution
There are a lot of new year financial tips out there. Try to change too many things at once and you'll get overwhelmed. You can maximise your chances for success by choosing one new year financial resolution that really matters to you.
You can keep your motivation up by sending your future self a letter outlining why you've set your financial goals for this year.
This will help you to avoid frivolous spending and stay focused.
Remember to stay positive and to congratulate your future self on achieving progress toward your new year financial resolution for 2018.
We recommend sending one letter in the first two months, when forming your new habit is the hardest, and then one at the halfway point to your goal. And of course, one at the projected goal end, when you should treat yourself to a celebration (see point 7 below).
3. Stay focused on tracking your progress
Aussies give up on trying new year financial tips after 93 days according to finder.com.au, so if your resolution is going to take longer, we recommend that you make your financial resolution public.
Online Tools To Motivate You
Using a website like stickK to implement your new year financial resolution using data-driven methods to empower your behavioural change. Set a measurable goal, and share it with at least one other person.
Getting set up with an app like Pocketbook, which tracks your spending across your savings account and credit cards can help you to identify how you spend your money, and tweak your spending so that the things you buy add true value to your life.
4. Routine and discipline
It takes 66 days to form a new habit, so you need to be patient with yourself. Making a lasting change means committing to a new process, so if you slip up don't be too hard on yourself. Keeping your resolution will get easier in the second week of March.
Putting your bills and expenses like anniversaries, birthdays and other events into a financial calendar will help you to plan ahead and budget to include all of your upcoming expenses.
Knowing when your expenses are coming up will help you to spend less than you earn.
Prioritise the things that are important to you.
By changing your routine to reflect your new resolution, you can make healthy financial management into a lasting habit.
5. Reduce your spending
When you're thinking about making a large purchase, rather than impulsively purchasing it on the spot, give yourself a 24 or 48-hour space to decide. If you do still want the item, then consider how the purchase will affect your budget.
Remember that when you compare yourself to other people, you are seeing their best self, not the debt they are carrying behind the scenes.
Review your loans and insurances
If you've been with a single provider for more than a year, you can benefit from new customer deals. This might mean refinancing to a better car loan, or finding a less expensive health insurance option.
Review the interest you are paying on loans, compare insurance to find a better deal, and talk to a mortgage broker about refinancing your mortgage.
6. Can you earn more?
No matter what your core skill set is, there's probably a way that you can earn more by getting some extra work outside your 9-5 job.
Whether you're a skilled gardener, do some painting on the side, or pick up some shifts in the local bar, there are lots of ways you can supplement your income.
If you have coding, graphic design, or copywriting skills you can get project work online through a website like Elance or Upwork.
Airtasker also has lots of odd jobs and projects that you can do on the side to boost your income.
Do you have things you don't use? Sell them to free up space, and earn some money too.
Use Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or have an old-fashioned garage sale.
7. Reward yourself when you reach your goal
Your dedication to achieving your new year resolution should be rewarded. If you've shared your goal with your friends, you should share the celebration with them too!
You could treat yourself to a spa day, a weekend away or another special treat that means something to you, celebrate the milestone with friends or family or make that special purchase you've saved until now as your reward.
Why Wait? Get Started Now
If your new year financial resolution is to become more financially responsible, you don't have to wait until 1 January 2018 to start.
Make your plans now so that when the new year begins, you're up and running full steam ahead towards your new year financial resolutions.