Live your money story, your way

Five tips to get your finances back on track and help you reach your new financial year goals. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

Five tips to get your finances back on track and help you reach your new financial year goals. Picture: Independent Newspapers.

Published Feb 29, 2024


By Fedgroup

A new financial year already? Time to consider that empty canvas upon which to paint your fiscal masterpieces. Five tips to get your finances back on track and help you reach your new financial year goals.

Keep it real

Ah, the allure of lofty aspirations! But let’s not be swept away by the siren song of too many goals. So, limit your savings and investment goals by crafting a tailored, five-year voyage to financial nirvana and ask yourself: where do you see your money story in five years’ time?

And don’t forget that good feeling of reward! Now, link this pleasant feeling to a savings or investment goal and behaviour is bound to change. Picture yourself reclining on a beach, Mai Tai in hand - a powerful driver to achieve your goal.

Eat an elephant one bite at a time

Planning doesn’t have to be a Herculean feat and gone are the days of one-size-fits-all financial plans. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, neither are our financial goals. Whether you're a precision enthusiast or a rough estimator, let's agree on one thing: tracking spending and setting goals are as essential as oxygen to a flame. Once you’re comfortable with your savings and investment goals, link it to savings buckets and voila, you can track your short, medium and long-term priorities better. Here’s your bucket list:

Your emergency savings bucket – Bubbling with funds ready to douse the flames of financial calamity along with quick access, it’s a must for when your car breaks down and you need to hire a rental for a short period of time to get around.

But wait, there's more! Behold your medium-term savings bucket, containing a chest, filled with treasures destined for exotic escapades and shiny new rides. Yes, think specific goal and timeframe such as going on an overseas holiday in six months’ time or buying a new vehicle in a years’ time to reward yourself for working so hard.

And of course! Be good to yourself and reward yourself often, for example enjoy a relaxing spa day or hit that hole-in-one on the golf course. Do this sooner rather than later in the savings process because it’s key to keep you on the savings track.

And let’s not forget the grandeur of the long-term savings bucket where dreams of retirement bliss and entrepreneurial conquests, pinned for five years and more, await their time in the sun. This is a tricky one because there’s so many long-term savings products in the market and timing is everything.

As the curtain rises on a new financial year, consider giving your investment goals a standing ovation with a Tax-Free Savings Account. Now, I know what you’re thinking – tax-free savings accounts haven’t always been the headline in the investment world. But hey, every star has their time to shine. With Fedgroup's Tax-Free Savings Account taking centre stage and delivering an impressive 11% annual return in 2023. So why wait in the wings? Start saving early and let compound interest take your financial journey to new heights.

Stay on top of paperwork

Many people are in the dark when it comes to their banking fees. So, dust off your detective hat and take a stroll through your bank statements. You might be surprised to discover hidden fees lurking in the shadows, like those sneaky charges linked to payment confirmation notifications.

Don’t stop at just your banking fees - bond and personal loan statements await. Here's a little secret: if you've been a model financial citizen, you can flex your credit muscles and ask for a review. Yes, you heard that right. It's like asking for extra sprinkles on your sundae – the worst they can say is no.

Link shopping to reward

Have you considered the hidden treasures of rewards waiting to be unearthed? Every purchase has the potential to yield a bounty of rewards. So, channel your inner treasure hunter and seek out retail havens that offer more than just goods on shelves. Think about it – why settle for ordinary when you can get extra perks with every purchase? From cashback bonuses to exclusive discounts, the possibilities are endless.

Know where you stand with money

Money is the topic that sends shivers down many people’s spines and creates a lot of anxiety. And our money woes often stem from our childhood and how money was viewed in the household where we grew up. Did money conversations resemble hushed whispers or fiery debates in your household?

Evaluating your relationship with money

This could explain our existing perceptions about money. Just as we can unlearn bad money-habits, we can adopt good ones, and the winning habit is to always reward or ‘pay’ yourself first, as that monthly salary comes in - a strong cornerstone of investing.

And yes, this is easier said than done because the cost of living is heading in the wrong direction. But fear not, for every journey begins with a single step. Saving? It’s not about the size of your investment or how much you can put away each month, but more about the savings discipline woven into your financial DNA.

So, keep it real with achievable goals, structure your savings buckets to make them more manageable and know what is going on in your financial statements. Also, make the most of those cashback bonuses and exclusive discounts to get your new financial year back on track.

* Fedgroup is a specialist financial services provider.