Many people will no doubt have started 2013 with the best of financial intentions – you might have decided to save more or cut back on unnecessary spending over the coming months.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has encouraged people to take whatever steps possible to make sure they keep to their financial promises.
Cutting back on wants, paying off mortgages and spending money wisely were identified as the three most popular pledges on ASIC’s MoneySmart Facebook page.
MoneySmart’s Robert Drake said that intentions can often be vague, which is why people need to think beyond wishful thinking and put together a proper financial plan.
He continued: “The key to a good pledge is to make it specific and share it with others. If you share your pledge with family and friends, you’ll have a band of supporters who’ll help you stick to it.
“It also gives you a sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ and a reason to celebrate at the end of the year.”
Examples of financial pledges
There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to making a financial pledge – it ultimately depends on your situation and what you are hoping to achieve.
For example, you might decide that this is the year to pay off your credit cards, or start putting money aside for a rainy day.
Seeking financial advice is a good way to determine how you should go about meeting these goals and ensuring you will stay on track even when things get tough.
The types of goal will depend on your age and what you have already achieved in life – younger generations may want to start saving for a deposit on a house, while older individuals might be thinking closely about their retirement.
No matter what your intentions might be, having a specific idea regarding your goals and how to meet them will help focus your efforts throughout the remainder of 2013.
Small changes make a big difference
You might decide that smaller steps are the key to you meeting your objectives.
As identified on the ASIC MoneySmart Facebook page, some people are willing to make cutbacks to give themselves greater financial security.
For example, one user said they would make their own lunch rather than buying it every day, while another will avoid going to pubs and clubs for the next few months.
You could be surprised how even the smallest of changes can make a big difference to your finances!