Don’t leave new year resolutions to January

December, 2017

With the clock fast running down on 2017, the time has arrived to start considering your prospects for the bright New Year.

No matter whether you’re planning to lose a few extra pounds, start a self-improvement course, read more books, make additional mortgage repayments, quit smoking or trim your credit card debt, making positive changes to the way we manage our lifestyles and finances can make a world of difference.

The trouble is that a US study found only 9.2% of Americans felt they were successful in achieving their resolution, a figure that is probably close to mark here in Australia. Interestingly, despite the troubling result, the researchers believe people who explicitly make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.

When it comes to successful goal setting, whether it’s in business or life, it’s essential that some measurable targets are attached. If you’ve resolved in 2018 to make higher mortgage repayments, choose a target that is realistic and measurable. Setting a goal such as “I will pay $50 extra each week into my mortgage” is more quantifiable than simply aiming to “pay more off the home loan in 2018”. Then ensure the extra repayments occur by setting up a weekly fund transfer that shifts cash online from your bank account into the mortgage. And while on the issue of the mortgage, be sure to review your current home loan rate to ensure you’re paying the lowest interest charges. A finance specialist such as Our Broker can assist with a mortgage review.

Moreover, look at your credit card debt and whether it went up or down in 2017? Spending more than you earn is remarkably easy and having to pay excessive credit card interest just compounds the impact of injudicious expenditure.

Creating a budget is another step you can take that will help you meet your financial resolutions. To create a realistic budget, list all your expenses, including your mortgage and credit card repayments. Compare your expenses to the money going into your bank account from your wage or salary, and the difference is the amount you have left over to make extra mortgage repayments or pay down some credit card debt. Having a budget, highlights where you can trim back some spending too. Reducing unnecessary spending frees up more money for extra debt repayments or additional saving. If you’re not sure how to create a budget, explore the budget tools offered on the Australian Securities and Investment Commissions’ Money Smart website.

That said, if you feel your credit card interest repayments have left you in a financial bind, then talk to Our Broker today. We can help you consolidate your higher interest charging debts such as a credit card into your mortgage to reduce your overall interest payments. Call us for an obligation-free discussion about debt consolidation on 1800 913 677 and let us help you make 2018 a winning year financially.