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It’s still early in the year, which means your New Year resolutions are still fresh – and possibly achievable. The even better news is that you can resolve to improve your financial situation year-round.
So we’ve all heard that most New Year resolutions are broken by the end of January.
Cutting out food and fun – the subject of many resolutions – is always difficult, but when managing your money, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below are some resolutions that can help you improve your financial situation all year.
A large goal may seem too difficult to reach, so break down your 2018 savings into small, bite-sized chunks.
Many people don’t realise just how much small changes can add up over a year. Saving $10 a week means you have more than $500 extra by the end of the year. A handful of $20 weekly saves will give you thousands of extra dollars.
Here’s 50 ways to save money that may help, covering finances, household expenses, child-related spending, bills and lifestyle costs. From considering a mortgage offset account to watching your water habits, there are plenty of small savings to be made – if you choose just 10 of them this month, you’ll be much better off later in the year.
Whether it’s boosting your super by an extra $10 or $20 a week above your compulsory employer deposits or starting a small investment portfolio outside of super, investing a little money will give you a better financial future.
Inside super, depending on your circumstances, salary sacrifice is often a beneficial way to save because of its tax benefits. Outside super, you might like to think about starting direct payments into a separate savings account or investment fund. Investing small chunks over a long period generally reduces timing risk and investment return volatility.
Superannuation rules are always changing, so it’s vital to know how they may impact you. There were a string of changes in 2017.
There’s plenty of free super advice available. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s moneysmart.gov.au service1 has information and calculators to help you predict how your nest egg will grow.
QSuper has helpful calculators, and also runs educational seminars specifically to ensure you have everything you need if you are planning to retire within a decade or within one to two years.
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a full-scale financial plan, but getting some professional financial help can deliver great benefits.
As a QSuper member, you have access to financial advice2 to get all your money working harder for you.3 Financial advisers can help with everything from debt management and personal insurance to retirement projections and estate planning. You can also access online advice and over-the-phone account advice.
People with pension-related questions can contact Centrelink’s Financial Information Service on 132 300.
Written goals give you something to measure, so create a list of short-term, medium-term and long-term targets. If you do this, you’ll be better than most other people who tend to bounce from one financial pressure to the next one without thinking ahead.
Make sure your financial future is on track by setting aside a small amount of time such as at the end of each month to check your bank accounts, spending and progress towards financial goals. Most banking, super and investment accounts can be quickly accessed online now, and spotting issues early can avoid being caught out by bigger problems later.
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1 Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ Accessed 17 January 2018.
2 QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services and credit services it provides. Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
3 Advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
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