5 ways to get financially healthy in the New Year that you won't abandon by March.
Posted by Joelene
Fri 08 January 2021
It’s probably a good bet that you’ve signed up for a fresh gym subscription/30-day challenge and sworn to take your health more seriously this year.
But what about financial health? Maybe that one slipped your mind.
If the last time you looked at your finances was back before the words ‘socially distanced’ existed, it might be time to dig into where things are sitting.
We’ve kicked things off for you, with tips that can actually help whip your finances into shape — no classes or challenges required.
You know those subscriptions we just mentioned? Yeah — it could be time to cut some.
The gym you visit on a bi-annual basis, the meditation app you swore you’d take time out to use, the streaming service you signed up for to watch that one show you couldn’t find anywhere else.
When did you last use them?
If the answer isn’t ‘every day!’ it might be a good time to think about whether that $11.99/month is really worth it. Not only can a quick subscription review give you a good idea of what you’re actually paying for and exactly how much you’re forking out, but the ones you just aren’t fussed about stand out as easy culls.
The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can definitely apply to your savings.
You know the old tale. You’ve just been paid and you responsibly transfer a certain amount to your savings account (great work).
But then it sits there, just below your spendings — which if they’re looking a little low, could be tempting you to sneakily transfer just a bit of your savings back over for that coffee you need to start your day.
And before you know it you’re three months down the track with less than spectacular savings to show for it.
Enter the ‘other bank’.
Another bank means an entirely separate account you can transfer your savings to, free from temptation and reminders every time you check your regular bank.
There’s a bunch of banks out there for you to compare that don’t charge annual fees, and some even have some serious interest, so not only can you start saving properly — but you can grow your savings without doing anything.
Now that’s a win-win.
Paying high interest is so 2020.
When was the last time you checked out how much you’re getting hit in interest each month? And when was the last time you shopped around to see how much less you could be paying interest?
Even if you think you’ve got a great deal, it could be worth doing a shop around to see what interest rates are out there.
And if you think there’s a better choice around, getting your finances and credit into shape can help you nab a lower rate. If you haven’t looked at your credit since before Netflix was a thing, we ran through what affects your credit score and how you can bump it up right here.
Budgeting apps mean no more boring spreadsheets you forget about.
We get it. Thinking about budgeting and setting up a budget feels about as exciting as watching grass grow.
But there’s an easier way. One that can even take less time. Would you believe us if we told you it can even be automated?!
We’ve chatted great budgeting tools before. But if it’s your first time here and you’re looking for a way to budget that doesn’t hurt your head; try an app.
Nestled right in your phone, budgeting apps usually link directly to your banks and track what’s going in, what’s coming out and help you get it all on track without lifting a finger.
If you’re checking through the App Store right now with no clue how to sort the good from the bad, The Balance has a great rundown of budgeting apps to suit every user and their spending habits.
It’s cheesy, but resolutions just might work.
We’re not talking the 64 oz of water a day and a gratitude journal here.
We’re talking finance goals.
And if you’re the kind to give up before March like, ahem, all of us, then realistic goals are your savior.
Realistic goals aren’t ‘Save 100k by June whilst cutting down all my debt and getting a loan on 2% interest’ because newsflash: that’s near on impossible. And impossible goals lead to disappointment and deleting your great new budgeting app.
Now that you’re equipped with great tips, apps, comparisons, and an idea of what you can save you can look next at what you can realistically achieve.
Set up a gold star system, a rewards program for every milestone. Is it to save consistently for 6 months? Cut down on your DoorDash orders? Promising you’ll work out at home instead of paying for the gym you swear you’ll work out in?
Starting small with resolutions you know you can achieve is a disappointment-free way to lean down your costs, bulk up your savings, and feel pretty damn good about yourself.
So, you’ve done the hard yards and now your finances are seriously in shape. Now what?
Alright, smarty pants. Well done!
Celebrations aside — being financially fit can mean a lot of things. Maybe you’ve paid off your credit cards and now you’re directing the extra cash to your savings. Or you’ve got your eyes on a dream home and now that your accounts and credit are healthy you’re setting your sights on a great rate.
No matter your goals, sorting out your finances means you can focus on what you want to do next; like apply for that great home, take up investing, or start that side hustle selling dog biscuits you’ve always wanted to do.
Then you can brag about it to all your friends. Go on, you deserve it.