Chances are sometime between Christmas 2018 and 1 January 2019, you made some financial resolutions for 2019 and if you are like more than 90% of people, you may not have kept them. So if you are lamenting the fact that we are now closer to year end and your finances are still not in shape, below are some tips to get you back on track.
Keep tabs on your spending
A good first step is to track your spending. There’s a good reason data forms the basis for sound budgeting and financing planning, as without the numbers it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are many ways to track your spending, but the key is to keep it simple and automatic - an excel spreadsheet or budgeting app could be your best bet. Just make sure you cross-check your calculations with your bank accounts – there are various apps that can help you see all your finances into one place, as well as helping you categorise your transactions.
Put your expenditure on a diet
Overindulging financially can be like eating too many calorie-laden meals. It feels good, but it’s also a good idea to know when to stop.
While it might not be realistic to permanently curb your spending, undertaking a temporary financial fast can be a great way to boost your bank balance. However, cutting back does require some preparation. Try packing lunches for work, planning activities with friends that don’t cost money or forgoing taxi trips in favour of public transport. As you experiment with different ways to explore your financial minimalism, you will discover which small changes or financial habits you can stick to over the longer term.
Don’t pay for things you don’t use
Getting rid of subscriptions, gym memberships or other recurring charges you don’t use is often an effective money-saving exercise.
It’s also worth taking a look at your bank accounts to see if there are any that can be consolidated or closed, so you are not paying multiple fees and charges. Take some time to sit down and make sure you are only paying for the accounts that you need and use.
If you are not checking all your accounts regularly, you don’t have a complete picture of your finances.
Giving money gives perspective
Donating some of your hard-earned cash to those in need can be a great way to remind yourself of the power of a dollar.
Once you’ve settled on a charity, decide whether you will make a one-off donation or a regular contribution to a worthy cause. And remember to speak to your accountant, who can help you understand the tax implications, and perhaps claim some of your donation back come tax time.
So, as a new financial year begins, take the opportunity to reset, and tick off your financial resolutions using these tips to help get yourself back on track.
Paul Chapman is the CEO and founder of Moneytree.