New year, new you!

27 Jun 2019

By Shayne Sommer

Six months ago the gym was full of January-joiners and we were all taking stock of what we achieved last year and what we could do better in 2019.

If you embarked on a physical fitness overhaul this January, chances are you measured your baseline (a brave undertaking!) before you began. You may have also set some goals.

Understanding your starting point is paramount to tracking progress. You can’t know what goal to set if you don’t know where you are now.

Another new year

The start of the new calendar year is a great time to make lifestyle resolutions. Why not think of the start of the new financial year as the time to make some financial resolutions?

Most of us know how much lands in our bank accounts every month, but we don’t always know where it all goes. Too often people find they’ve got ‘too much month at the end of the money.’

Where to start

Just like beginning a new fitness routine, start simple. Rather than making a complex budget that traces every single dollar, start with a few small steps.

Know your expenses

If you have a mortgage, determine your current interest rate and monthly payments. If you haven’t reviewed this in the last two years or so, it may be time to do a comparison to see if there’s a better arrangement out there for you. Lenders may even offer you a better rate for switching.

Most of us also have home, contents and car insurance. What do they each cost? Check a bank statement to find out.

37% of Australians1 don’t review these expenses because of the perceived effort involved – so to kickstart your financial new year and get you on the right track, we can review these items for you and check the ‘healthiness’ of your current arrangements.

You could also include some other expenses such as property rates, energy bills and phone accounts. These are often on contracts and easy to determine.

Then, check your bank statement to calculate your average grocery spend and you’re starting to understand where all those dollars are heading each month.

Get a personal trainer

Let us do the heavy lifting. You just have to provide the details of your current arrangements (simply, a statement for your mortgage and/or a renewal notice for your insurances).

Getting financially fit starts with understanding your cash flow – what comes in the door and what goes out again – and determining what to do with the surplus (and if there isn’t a surplus, working out how long you can sustain your lifestyle with a deficit).

Just like a personal trainer will get you on track with your diet and exercise plan, a financial adviser can help you get on top of your cash flow, and get you some results you can really see.

To get to know more about your cash flow and what a difference making the most of those annual surplus amounts can make, contact a Shadforth adviser on 1300 308 440. In the meantime, start tracking your spending now with our handy Budget Spreadsheet.

1 Queensland University of Technology

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