Easy Steps to Get Financially Fit For 2014
It’s Time. Right Now. You have always dreamed about becoming “financially fit” and the New Year is a great time to start. At Fair Go Finance we are dedicated to our customers and committed to helping you become the ‘Future You’ when it comes to your finances. Follow our 5 steps below this year could be the year you become happier and more confident in achieving your financial goals.
1. Put it down on paper and keep it next to your bed
Get a brand new notebook, and on the front of it write “My Financial Goals for this year”. Now sit back, and let all those dreams you constantly have come rushing forward. Write them all down and once you have your list, prioritise them. If you are having writers’ block, do any of these sound familiar?
- Pay off credit cards
- Get some savings
- Repair your credit rating
- Buy a car/pay school fees
- Pay bills on time
Choose the top two or three you really want to focus on. Write them down again but this time focus on the specific steps you need to take to achieve them – goals are just dreams unless you put a plan in place!
Let the thought of achieving these goals wash over you. It’s a great feeling, so let’s start making it a reality. Keep your book by your bed so you can read it every night. You need to keep reminding yourself of how important converting your dreams to reality really is.
2. Write down all your expenses
Grab your bank statements and start listing all the expenses you have. Start with the essential bills such as mortgage/rent, loans, credit cards, insurances, council rates, electricity, water, phone and then move on to all the others. It makes you realize where most of your hard earned income goes doesn’t it?
Now you need to work through each expense and see if there is any way of reducing it. Get multiple quotes on big costs like insurance or use price comparison websites to help identify better deals. Change your habits – learn to turn off all the lights in the house to save electricity or consider whether you’re better off exercising outdoors instead of at an expensive gym.
Review these expenses regularly to make sure you identify any cost creeps or extra ways of savings. You goal now is to really value every cent you earn and make sure you protect it as best you can.
3. Allocate any savings from 2 to achieve your 3 priorities
Any income you saved in step two, can now be put towards your top financial goals so open a savings account and get on your way!
Now you need to do some extra soul searching as to how you can earn a little more income or cut back on non-essential expenses. You may consider another casual job or decide to become extra thrifty. Sell things you don’t need or use. Enter free competitions and sell the prize. Give up that daily coffee. It’s amazing what you can think of when you put your mind to it.
4. Get support from your important network of people
Tell all those that mean a lot to you, that you have financial goals you really want to achieve. They need to be aware and supportive of you. Ask them if they have any ideas to help you cut your expenses, you may find they are happy to stop swapping presents, not go to the pub for lunch every Friday, or car pool to work - whatever it is it will all add up to helping you and possibly even them!
5. What to do when things aren't working
These tips are great but aren’t fool proof. You may do everything but for whatever reason, you may feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. Look at yourself and work out if it’s just you. You are the best judge of yourself, so if you can’t apply yourself then it may be time to actually consider outside help.