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Get financially fit in 2017

It’s a new year and that means a fresh start.  While there is no time like the present to get your money in order and start working towards a financial goal, if you need to pick a time of the year to get started, January 1 would be it.  To you this may be about putting in more effort to save, paying off debt, buying your first house or tidying up loose ends like wills, super and insurance.  Whatever financial new year resolution you’re aiming for in 2017, here are our tips to set you up for success and help keep you on track.

Identify your goals

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how can you achieve it?  Your first step in getting financially fit should be setting a goal. It could be saving for an overseas holiday, a car or a house, or it could be paying off debt.  Whatever it is, make sure your goal is realistic. If you can’t realistically achieve your goal in 2017, break it down.  The sooner you start, the easier it will be to achieve your end goal.

Understand your spending habits

Understanding your habits is key to changing them. Start evaluating how you spend your money so you can see where you’re overspending and identify areas where savings could be made. Once you establish how much you spend on basic expenses, it’s easier to see how much you can realistically save towards your financial goal.

Break it down

Saving $150,000 for a house deposit may feel overwhelming and as though you’ll never get there. But if you break this goal down into bite sized pieces, e.g. 30 parcels of $5,000, it will feel much more achievable.  You’re also more likely to get there faster as you’ll pay more attention to the smaller changes you could be making to reach it and you’ll be continually motivated as you achieve each milestone.

Think outside the box

Henry Ford wisely said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. If you’ve struggled to get to where you want to be financially, it may be time to look at alternative ways to get there. Simply ‘trying harder’ is not going to bring you results. Instead consider cutting expenses, such as giving up your morning coffee, bringing your lunch from home or swapping your car for a bike.  You may want to consider boosting your income by putting your home on Airbnb, using your skills to pick up part-time consulting work or getting a higher paying job. Or perhaps reducing fees, subscriptions or speaking to a financial advisor about ways to reduce your taxes.

Leave room for pleasure

Just because you’ve set some solid financial targets doesn’t mean you should give up on life’s pleasures. Life is a journey, and you’re more likely to give up on your goals if you don’t allow yourself to have fun along the way. It’s about balance and moderation. Spend less, earn more. Focus on value rather than absolutes.  And reward yourself when you hit your milestones.

Ask for help

Many of us start the year with good intentions, but often things get in the way as the year progresses.  We can help keep you on track to achieving your goals.  Once your strategy is in place, we’ll keep you accountable, ensuring that you’re hitting your milestones and helping you overcome any challenges along the way.  Some of the areas we commonly help with in the new year include:

  • Gaining direction and building a financial strategy
  • Saving to buy a property (home or investment)
  • Creating and maintaining a budget
  • Paying off debt
  • Consolidating multiple super funds and getting better returns
  • Putting a will or estate plan in place

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Our response to limit the spread of COVID-19

  • As COVID-19 continues to spread, we would like to take a moment to let you know what Financial Spectrum is doing to respond.

    While we haven’t been directly affected with any confirmed cases, we are taking all reasonable precautions to remain safe.Our priorities are:

    1. Keep our staff and clients safe
    2. Stay fully operational in our service delivery and continuing to manage your financial affairs
    3. Play our part in minimising the impact on our community against the spread of COVID-19

    Financial Spectrum has the technology, infrastructure and systems to continue business as usual remotely and our staff will now be working from home.

  • You should notice no change to our service, with the exception that we are encouraging our clients to meet via video call, rather than face to face, unless requested. We will be contacting all clients with meetings booked over the next two weeks with instructions for a video call.This is an evolving situation and we will continue to monitor developments. We will keep you informed of any material changes to our approach.

    These are unprecedented times and we understand that many of you will be feeling unsettled about your finances. We would like to assure you that we are open for business and are here to help you. If you don’t have a meeting booked but would like one, or if you have questions, please contact us at info@financialspectrum.com.au or on
    02 8238 0888

Brenton Tong

Managing Director

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