Happy New Year! Here are 5 simple tips to get your financial year off on the right track. It’s your financial future: make it happen! - by Kellie Cowie
1. Review Your Insurances
It's not worth getting caught without insurance when you need it.
Invest some time reviewing your current insurance policies, such as your private health cover, home and contents and car insurance to make sure they are giving you a great premium and covering you for what you need. A financial adviser can help you sort through your other insurance policies such as Life and Income Protection to make sure you and your family are comprehensively protected.
Have you insured your biggest asset-you? If not, its time to protect that one 'thing' which pays for all the other 'things' - your income. Remember - the best insurance policy is one that you have, but never need to claim on!
2. Plan for Your Future
Have a good look at how your superannuation/saving accounts/investments are performing. Will they provide adequate funds for you in the event of an emergency or even into your retirement years?
The earlier you start planning, the better off you will be. You never know what life can throw at you so be prepared for emergencies and unforeseen expenses. Set aside an emergency fund of at least 3 to 6 months basic living expenses to act as a stop-gap if things go wrong.
3. Consolidate Your Debt
You've overspent at Christmas and now you realise your bank balance won't cover your current debts! You might have several loans and debts like a car and personal loan, credit and store cards - and each of these will be charged at different interest rates, perhaps with account fees and other charges.
Before you plunge further into debt, it's a good idea to act quickly and consider consolidating your debts which allows you to minimise the interest rate and fees being charged, while speeding up the time it takes to repay your debts and move on with your life.
4. Set Yourself Up for Success - and Commit
Tell yourself that this year you are making a commitment to move ahead with your financial goals.
Goal setting is one of the simplest and most powerful tools you have to bring about positive changes in your life. Like driving in a big city, it's harder to find your way if you don't know exactly where you're going. Setting goals is like stopping to look at a map - it takes a few minutes to do it, but it makes sure you're headed in the right direction. Remember it's never too late to make a change for the better - today is the starting point for the rest of your life.
5. Engage a Professional
Why do all of the above alone? You wouldn't cut your own hair, so why risk not getting specialist help with your finances?
There are qualified professionals out there, wanting to help you achieve your financial goals and set you and your family up for the rest of your life, so why not lean on them? If you hate the thought of managing your finances - well, don't! Get someone else to assist and give you clear direction. The first meeting is usually free so get out there and organise a few appointments with a range of financial advisers to find the one that's right for you.