Five money resolutions for 2013PUBLISHED : | UPDATED:
It’s not rocket science ... the younger you start salary sacrificing, the less you’ll have to give up along the way to have a comfortable retirement. Photo: Janie Barrett
As the year draws to an end and we look towards 2013, the spectre of new New Year’s resolutions appears as an ugly reminder of all the 2012 New Year’s resolutions we didn’t fulfil. In more bad news it appears that less than a quarter of people actually achieve their new year’s resolutions.
But for a minute lets forget about giving up smoking, losing weight and getting fit – which are probably the most popular resolutions – and think about financial success or at least financial progress. Here are five financial resolutions you should consider.
1. Make a budget, or stick to one if you already have one
But make sure it’s realistic. Monitor your spending for a month to get an idea of how much you spend and on what and then set your budget around that adding 10 per cent for each item.
Don’t be put off if you can’t keep to it for one month, just get back on the wagon the following month.
2. Salary sacrifice into your superannuation
The younger you start, the less you’ll have to sacrifice along the way to have a comfortable retirement. Check out some numbers here and why the guru of the modern superannuation system says a 9 per cent superannuation guarantee isn’t enough for our increased longevity.
3. Get a better deal
On your insurance and/or credit card and/or bank account and/or home loan and/or telecommunications provider. Shop around, chances are you could be saving hundreds of dollars and, when it comes to financial products, it’s much easier than ever before to switch. Since July 2012 banks are now required to change all of your automatic payments to your new bank account in one go, making the whole deal a lot easier.
Try comparison sites like www.mozo.com.au, www.infochoice.com.au, www.canstar.com.au and http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/dynamic/compare.aspx for health funds.
4. First home owner savings account
If you’re struggling to get the first deposit together for a home loan consider a first home owner savings account. Not only will your interest be concessionally taxed but the government will also make a 17 per cent contribution on the first $6000 you put in each year.
5. Pay more off your home loan
If you already have a mortgage think about paying more off your home loan. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount but consider mind tricks like keeping your monthly repayments the same even if your bank lowers interest rates. An extra repayment of $1200 a year on a $450,000 home loan over 20 years at 6.5 per cent can save you over $23,000 in interest – and shorten your loan period by one year and one month.
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Penny Pryor Smart Investor