With the new year in sight, there’s no better time to take control of your financial situation and prepare for the year ahead. Set yourself up for a financially successful 2024 by making a few small changes to how you spend and save, realigning your budget, paying down your debt, and resetting your financial goals. Here are five actionable tips and some practical advice to help you get financially fit in 2024.
Step 1: Change your spending habits
It’s no secret that good financial habits are an essential part of financial success. Shifting your mindset from impulse buying to mindful spending is one way to break free from the never-ending cycle of overspending and unnecessary expenditure. But it takes practice!
- Understand what triggers your spending: stress, boredom, low self-esteem, excitement, FOMO (fear of missing out). Only when you have a clearer understanding of your relationship with money can you begin to make any changes.
- Start small: Instead of setting unachievable targets, start by making just one small change to your spending.
- Match up positive changes: Tying together two new positive behaviours – for example, meeting a friend for a walk but not spending any money at a café - will give your finances and health a boost at the same time.
- Pause and rethink: Setting a rule that you have to wait for 24 hours before buying something you like, will slow you down enough to reflect on whether you really need it.
- Get it out of your inbox: If you’re easily tempted by the array of enticing deals hitting your inbox every day, unsubscribe from the emails and avoid being encouraged to impulse buy.
Step 2: Start an emergency fund
Saving is another important component of getting financially fit. Not having enough money for an emergency can lead to financial stress. Whether it’s an urgent repair to your car or a medical treatment you desperately need, there’s no better feeling than knowing that you have enough set aside in your emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, no matter what comes your way.
- Be realistic about how long it could take to save an emergency fund.
- Start small. Even if it’s just $10 a month, it’s something.
- Have a separate account that’s not easy to access.
- Automate a transfer from your everyday account to your savings account.
- Instead of spending any additional money you receive, save it.
Step 3: Get rid of your debt
The longer you carry your debt, the more expensive it’s likely to get. Interest charges and other fees can quickly spiral out of control and leave many borrowers in a worse-off position than before. That’s why becoming debt-free is another important part of getting financially fit.
- Avoid Afterpay. If you don’t have the money to pay for something, save for a bit longer.
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card to shop or clear your credit card debt in full every month.
- Consolidate your debt into one loan to simplify repayments and reduce interest charges.
- Get financial advice – reach out to a financial consultant and get some help with debt-busting strategies that are realistic and achievable.
Step 4: Set some financial goals
Decide where you want to take your finances in 2024. Set specific goals that will act as a roadmap for your financial journey and revisit these goals throughout the year so you’re more likely to make choices that align with your priorities.
Step 5: Book a free 20-minute call with your local mortgage broker
A financial review with a mortgage broker could help you:
- Understand your borrowing power across 40+ lenders.
- Compare interest rates and repayments.
- Confirm your finance eligibility.
- Understand any grants or schemes that may be applicable to you. such as the First Homeowner Grant.
At Mortgage Express, our team of mortgage brokers will work with you to:
- ASSESS your needs and unique financial position, then recommend loan options and strategies.
- EXPLAIN the entire process from start (application) to finish (settlement).
- ASSIST with all paperwork required.
- COLLABORATE with all those involved in purchasing your home such as solicitors, real estates or dealerships.
- CONDUCT regular reviews after settlement, making sure you are supported and still enjoying the most competitive deal for your situation.
Contact Mortgage Express today to connect with a mortgage broker in your region.
While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Finservice Pty Ltd (Mortgage Express) for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication. A Disclosure Statement is available on request and free of charge.
Finservice Pty Ltd (Mortgage Express) is authorised as a corporate credit representative (Corporate Credit Representative Number 397386) to engage in credit activities on behalf of BLSSA Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence number 391237) ACN 123 600 000 | Full member of MFAA | Member of Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) | Member of Choice Aggregation Services.