Achieving your money goals: New year, new approach

Ryan Boyd
Achieving your money goals: New year, new approach

Whether you want to save a lot or a little, there are easy things you can do to help improve your finances, such as…

 

Set a long-term financial goal

Whether it’s retirement, financial freedom, a house, or a world trip, you need to know what you’re working towards so you can save for it.

But remember the saying: a goal without a plan is just a wish. That’s where the next steps come in…

 

Track your expenses

Keep a spreadsheet of all your transactions or use an app like CashNav. This will help you have greater awareness of what you’re actually spending, and makes it easy to see what can be cut.

 

Create a budget

One of the most important things you can do to get your money in order is to set limits for everything you spend money on.

A budget lets you work out what’s coming in and out and what you can feasibly save.

Use Westpac’s online budgeting tool and our Saving and Budgeting site to get started.

 

Proactively talk to the bank

Don’t wait for them to call you, set up a meeting with your banker to work out the best plan for you today.

They will also help you set up the right accounts to support your plan, including automating savings and creating sub accounts for different savings goals.

 

Join KiwiSaver

If you’re not on KiwiSaver, it’s never too late, but the sooner, the better. It basically gives you an instant pay rise.

And some workplaces also offer their own super scheme, which could be worth looking into.

 

Pay off your debt as a form of saving

Don’t procrastinate, pay off your debts as soon as you can, even if it’s just a little bit at a time.

While it may be harder in the short term, the interest you avoid will pay off big in the long run.

 

Organise your online banking

Set up automatic transfers to savings and investment accounts after payday. You won’t have time to miss the money.

 

Fix the leaks

The easiest thing to cut out of your spending habits may actually be the hardest to let go. But do you really need Netflix, Apple TV, AND Neon? And what about those $4 coffees and $12 lunches during the working week?

Sure the individual purchases may be small, but they add up more than you may realise. Once you have your spreadsheet showing where all the money is going, determine what’s not essential, and cut them out completely.

 

Consider a financial adviser

If you need that bit of extra motivation, it could be a good idea to get a professional.

A list of advisers can be found on the Financial Markets Authority website.

 

Financial Capability: What Westpac do to help

One of the biggest positive impacts we can have as a bank is drawing on our financial expertise to help customers and communities manage their money.

Find out what we have done.

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