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Make your 2022 resolutions stick

Australians love making New Year resolutions. The only problem is that we're not very good at sticking with them. Some simple steps can make a difference.
By · 13 Jan 2022
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13 Jan 2022 · 5 min read
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If past years are anything to go by, close to eight out of ten Australians will make a resolution for 2022. Sadly, two-thirds of these good intentions won’t make it past Australia Day. That’s because we tend to tackle too many goals at one time, or set goals that are just too hard to achieve.

The trick is not to bogged down with resolutions, but rather to develop good money habits. These are usually the ones that involve small steps like tracking your spending, cutting out impulse buys and growing savings. When done regularly, these minor changes can make a big difference to your financial wellbeing over time.

The first thing is to work out your priorities. Talk to your partner, and decide what matters most. Are you aiming to clear debt, build rainy day savings or are you saving for a special purpose like buying a first home?

Once you’ve set a goal, find a tool that helps you get there. Plenty of apps are available that can help. The free TrackMyGOAL app from MoneySmart lets you set, plan, track and manage savings goals. Pair it up with the TrackMySPEND app (also free) to see exactly where your cash goes. It can be quite an eye opener to discover the ‘daily’ cappuccino actually turns out to be several takeout coffees each day.

Next, put a plan of action in place to get things happening. Setting up a regular automatic transfer from your everyday account to a separate savings account, is an effortless way to grow savings.

Don’t sweat it if your New Year’s resolution is already a distant memory. You can set personal financial goals at any time of the year. Or, if you’re unsure where to get started, take a look at the ‘Net Worth’ calculator on the MoneySmart site. It helps you work out the strength of your current financial situation, and lets you see at a glance if debt looks like becoming a problem, or if your super and other investments could benefit from some extra attention. Even better, the Net Worth calculator can be completed in just a few minutes, which I reckon is time well invested. Here’s to a prosperous 2022!

 

Paul Clitheroe is Chairman of InvestSMART, Chair of the Ecstra Foundation and chief commentator for Money Magazine.

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Paul Clitheroe
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