Kick start your new financial year

5 quick and easy ways to get your cash and financial goals on track

It’s August  already, and the new financial year is underway. Just as you make New Year’s resolutions in January, the new financial year is a great opportunity to get your cash under control.

Here’s 5 fast, easy ways to get your finances fit and your cash into shape!

  1. Set a budget

Putting your finances on paper is a great way to get a clear picture of where you’re at.

  • Record all the money you have coming in. This might include income from full time or casual work, Centrelink and government benefit payments, your pension or child support payments.
  • Gather all of your paperwork to identify your expense amounts and frequency. It can be handy to go through your bank account transactions, receipts and bills to get the amounts you’re paying.
  • Remember to include your rent, bills, insurances, groceries, transport and car expenses, as well as school and child care fees, entertainment, and anything else you spend money on.
  • Now use one of the many free budgeting apps, a budget planner or even an Excel spreadsheet to create your budget.
  • It’s a good idea to redo your budget every 3 to 6 months or when there are significant changes to your income or expenses – like getting or losing a job, buying or selling a car or house, or expanding your family.

This will give you a clear picture of how much money you have coming in and out, and what you might have left over to save for your goals!

  1. Track your way to success

Now that you’ve set your budget, it’s important that you stick to it!

  • Keeping track of every cent you spend is a sure way to help keep your cash on track.
  • Carry a small notebook in your wallet or handbag, or use a handy app like Track My Spend. Make a note of every dollar you spend – if you spend it, track it.
  • Making yourself accountable for every bit of your cash you spend is a surefire way to ensure you spend a lot less!
  • This is especially important when you’re a student, are unemployed, on a low income or government benefits, and every cent counts.

It’s a lot easier to resist the urge to spend cash when you know it’s going to have to go on the record.

  1. Set – and kick – your financial goals!

What it is that you want to conquer with your cash this financial year?

  • Perhaps you want to eliminate your debt, get on top of your bills, or save for a special treat like a holiday or new car.
  • Whatever your goal – identify it, write it down, share it with your friends and family to help make yourself accountable.
  • Pop a note or a picture of your goal on the fridge, your bathroom mirror, and anywhere you’ll be reminded of it daily.
  • Use the handy TrackMyGoals app to help set, plan, track and manage your goal.
  1. Save your way to success

Now that you’ve set a budget, are tracking your spending and have your goal firmly in your sights – start saving for it!

  • Get a savings plan together so you can make your dream a reality.
  • This handy savings goal calculator to get closer to your savings goal sooner.
  • Everyone can save! Even if you’re on a low income, government benefits or are a student, we can all set a little aside each week. Every cent counts – it all adds up faster than you think!
  • It’s a good idea to understand the dos and don’ts of successful savers so you – check out our handy post What kind of saver are you?
  1. Swap frivolous for frugal

It goes without saying – after all of your hard work setting and sticking to a budget and kicking your savings goals, it’s important that you ditch frivolous spending and get frugal instead!

  • Resist the temptation to splurge o treats like fashion, gadgets, accessories and little extras at the supermarket.
  • Remind yourself what you want to achieve with your cash this year! Don’t let your hard work budgeting, tracking and saving go to waste by splurging on luxuries.
  • Instead, focus on and make do with what you do have, and think how happy and proud you’ll be when your hard work pays off and you achieve your financial goals.

It’ll all be worth it, and sooner than you think!