Everyone loves to think big with their resolutions in the new year. But more often than not, we forget about them by the time February rolls around. Research from Finder has shown that more than a third of us have failed to keep our promises by the end of January, while 80 per cent of us have broken resolutions by the halfway point of the year.
That's all well and good if you resolved to, say, read War and Peace. But when your resolutions revolve around your money, it can be more detrimental to your lifestyle. Here are some key financial resolutions for individuals in 2017, and how the right accounting and financial services can help you stick to them.
1. Identify short, medium and long term goals
"A budget is the cornerstone of a financial plan," says Miles Larbey, Senior Executive Leader for MoneySmart. But does one budget fit all?
"A budget is the cornerstone of a financial plan"
By splitting your financial planning into short-, medium- and long-term goals, you can identify strengths and weaknesses in each type of spending and saving. For example, short-term might be making sure you have a savings buffer to account for potential bill shock. Medium term could be a fund towards a family holiday or car, while longer-term might be buying a piece of real estate.
Separate targets, each with their own strategy for meeting them, can help you clearly plan out your year financially. Finder notes that as many as 24 per cent of Australians have committed to reviewing their financial commitments as a new year resolution – this could be the first step for you.
2. Get the most out of your superannuation
The Association of Superannuation Funds Australia (ASFA) states that nationwide, we had $2.146 billion in super assets at September last year. However, contributions across the board were down on the year before.
Finder's research discovered that 4 per cent of us have made our primary resolution to consolidate superannuation in 2017. This could be a good goal for many more Australians though – Mr Larbey has said that one quarter of us don't actually know the balance of our super funds.
"Combining multiple super accounts to save fees, making extra contributions and reviewing your investment options can make a big difference to your retirement funds," he added.
Tasks like managing your superannuation taxation can be difficult, but very important for your financial future – it's where the team at Ashfords can help you get everything in order.
3. Use professional financial help
The "she'll be right" attitude can be beneficial in many situations – but not when you deal with your finances. The latest release of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC) Financial Attitudes and Behaviours tracker revealed the following about how we deal with money:
- Only 58 per cent of us feel confident managing our money
- 30 per cent of us find money stressful and overwhelming
- 20 per cent of of talk about our finances with a professional
Professionals exist for a reason. Not everyone is supremely confident in handling their money, whether it is consolidating superannuation or filing a basic tax return. By using professional accounting and financial services, you can achieve many of your financial goals without the stress of having to learn complex concepts around your money.
At Ashfords, we are the only full-service accountancy firm in the south-east corridor of Melbourne. If you're in the area and want to set (and achieve) your financial resolutions for 2017, give us a call and let's see how we can help.