It’s important to follow a budget and have long term financial goals but here are five additional money New Year Resolutions that will help you take control of your finances and don’t let them control you.
Pay off your HECS debt
HECS or now replaced by HELP (Higher Education Loans Programme) debts are an interest free way to pay off university loans but they are adjusted each year with the rate of inflation on July 1 of every year. As an extra incentive there is a 10% discount for voluntary payments of $500 or more. Of course not everyone has a HECS debt. If you choose to pay your fees upfront, you can enjoy a 20% discount. However, The majority of students do defer paying their university fees simply because they do not have available funds or need to use their income on other priorities.
Open a term deposit
A term deposit where you put your money into an account for a set period such as three months, six months or longer will give you a higher interest rate for your savings. There are also banks with competitive interest rates but also allow you to withdraw money without any penalties. Check websites like Canstar Cannex or RateCity.com.au to compare rates and conditions for term deposits and savings accounts.
Make voluntary super payments
While retirement may seem a like a distant dream for some, it’s never too early to start saving for your future. If your total annual income is $30,342 or less and you are in full time, part time or casual employment, for every dollar of voluntary super contributions you make, the Australian Government will match it by $1.50 – up to a limit of $1,500 a year, tax free. If you earn more than $30,342, government co-contributions reduce by 5 cents per dollar of income and phase out altogether when your income reaches $60,342 p.a.
Stop spending more than you make
Keep those credit cards under control by consolidating your credit cards into the one with the lowest interest and try and pay off the full amount each month or at least make sure you pay the minimum amount to avoid paying unnecessary fees and charges. If necessary, take another job to try and pay off your credit card debt, get a flatmate or move back with your parents or live in a cheaper area to try and save money and bring your credit card debt down.
Make sure you’re covered by your insurance
The start of the year is always a good time to look at your insurance policies and make sure you’re adequately covered and the policies are up to date. This includes health insurance, home and content’s insurance, car insurance and so forth. If your circumstances are changing such as moving cities, planning to start a family or starting your own business and so forth, you may want to adjust your insurance policies accordingly.
Take charge of your finances in the new year to set you on the path to financial freedom in the New Year.