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The financial resolutions that nobody keeps – and how to do them right

January 10, 2017  |  #Money Management

Making a list of resolutions is easy enough - it's the implementing it that's hard

“I’m going to start going to the gym.”

“I’m going to read War and Peace.”

“I’m going to call my mother more.”

Most of us make resolutions that we can’t stick to. In fact, Finder research from last year showed that 58 per cent of us broke our resolutions. The thing is, a lot these pledges could be really good for you – especially the ones made around financial planning.

What are the most common things we say we’ll do, then fail at? And how can you make yourself better at achieving our own goals?

What are the financial goals that you've failed to keep in years past?What are the financial goals that you’ve failed to keep in years past?

The most popular financial New Year’s resolutions in Australia

According to a Yellow Brick Road survey ahead of the last New Year, 40 per cent of people surveyed about financial resolutions wanted to start saving for a property. Beyond that, 25 per cent of respondents simply wanted to get out of debt.

This tracks with Finder’s research on the same topic: “Get out of debt” was one of the most popular resolutions it encountered. Financial resolutions also pop up in many indirect ways: quitting smoking, drinking less, and eating better can all have positive impacts on your financial planning, freeing up more cash for saving or spending elsewhere.

But, as we said, a lot of people fail to keep these. How can you be stronger in 2017?

How to keep your resolutions

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and us here at Invest Blue have a couple of things in common: we want you to stick to your resolutions, and have the advice to help you get there.

ASIC’s main piece of advice: Track your goals. Finder found that the number one reason why people failed to keep resolutions was they didn’t keep track of how they were progressing. Record all of your spending in an app or even on paper. Review it weekly, fortnightly and monthly – you’ll soon identify areas where you could be saving a lot more.

When you know exactly what you have, it’s much easier to work out what you can get.

That’s only the first step, however. Couple this tracking with a clear and concise budget, and evaluate your assets – how much are you worth? When you know exactly what you have, it’s much easier to work out what you can get.

From there, you can start with longer-term strategies. Plans like increasing your super contributions, doubling down on credit card repayments, working out if you’re going to pay more on a mortgage than you do on your rent.

They’re simple goals you hear all the time – the problem is, they tend to go in one ear and out the other. If you want to make 2017 your year, talk to the team at Invest Blue. We’ll keep you on track.