What's your new year resolution for 2017? Are you planning a big overseas adventure, hosting a wedding or finally going to purchase that brand new car? Or perhaps you are saving for a deposit on your first home, launching a new small business or want to clear the credit card debt. Whatever you want to achieve this year, there are many easy and creative ways to save and get a handle on your personal finances.
We hope this guide will inspire you and if you have some handy hints and tips, please leave a message below.
1) Credit Cards
It is very easy to rack up a credit card debt in our age of 'PayWave', swiping and online shopping - but there are ways you can manage your credit card.
Most importantly is to spend within your means. This may mean sticking to just one low-interest credit card, so you can easily monitor your spending habits and pay your bills in a timely manner. And if you want to be more savvy - consider lowering your credit card limit.
By only using one credit, you can focus on paying the highest interest rate credit card or smallest debt first. Make the minimum payment each month (or more if you can) and once the debt clears, close the account by contacting the provider (this will help avoid any hidden fees).
Finally, with the one low-interest credit card you are currently using, make sure to pay off the outstanding balance each month (not the minimum payment) so you can continue to remain debt free.
Alternatively consider other payment options such as direct debit or cash - particularly if you are using your credit card to pay utility bills or groceries. It may be 'old-fashioned' but it's the best way to work within a budget as you will be considering each purchase carefully.
2) Home Loan
Want to instantly save thousands of dollars? Consider revising your existing home loan and refinancing it for a better rate.
If you feel that you might be paying too much, speak to an expert and explore new options such as flexible repayments, redraw, flexible rate options or portability.
The refinancing of a home loan can be considered a great way of accessing the home equity for the purpose of investing in different areas such as shares or managed funds.
Having a savings account is always a good thing. There are now a wide variety of no fee and high-interest saving accounts available from all the big banks.
See what suits your needs as multiple withdrawals each month may incur a fee and others might require a minimum monthly deposit.
Having these restrictions, however, will help you develop good spending habits.
4) Other ways to save money
Have some ideas of your own to share - please leave a note below!