Five tips to help you be financially fit in 2018

For many the new year is a time to stop, take stock and set goals for the future. Diet and fitness often get the most attention when it comes to resolutions, but it is also the perfect time to consider your financial goals.

To help get you started, Ipswich First spoke with senior financial planner Shelly Sing Johal from Ipswich firm Growth Focus. Here, she shares five simple things to consider as you focus on being financially fit in 2018.

1. Review your mortgage

Having a professional review your mortgage every three to five years is vital. You could save significant amounts of money by simply reducing your interest rate. You may also be able to have your home paid off sooner with a few minor adjustments to repayments or linked accounts.

2. Get your future self in order

Superannuation has a tendency to be forgotten; your employer contributes money towards your fund and you leave it at that. But what about when you switch employers and they use a different super fund? Finding lost super is a quick process which can be performed through the ATO website, as long as you know your Tax File Number. You could gain a lot from just a few clicks.

3. Bite-sized savings

For many people, avoiding just a few coffees a week can save up to $500 a year. Coffees may seem inexpensive but as we all know, everything adds up. Imagine how much you could save if you put an extra $10 per week into your superannuation from now to retirement. You don’t need to do much to make a huge difference and you will be grateful for it later.

4. Saving can be automated

Getting paid is a dangerous thing. You see the money appear in your bank account and imagine all the things you need (and want) to buy, without a thought towards saving. Before you know it, the money has disappeared as quickly as it came. Using subaccounts can help. You can set up automatic transfers into various savings accounts for as soon as your pay comes in, then you are free to spend what is left over. Remove the temptation to overspend and it will do wonders to your bank balance.

5. Be prepared

This is a simple but very important tip. Make sure you have an emergency account that can cover at least three months of expenses, and resist the temptation to touch it unless absolutely necessary. This is the money you spend if your car suddenly dies or if you were not insured for the broken ankle which is now preventing you from going to work. Build these savings up and you will not have to think about it again.

Everyone’s situation is different

The information in this article is general in nature and it’s important to consider your individual objectives, financial situation and needs.

Shelly Singh Johal (ARN 436310 ) is an authorised representative of Growth Focus Consulting Pty Ltd corporate authorised representative (CARN 403234) of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd AFSL 234951 ABN 11 074 608 558.

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