Happy (debt free) New Year!

While I’m not big on new year resolutions (too easily broken) I’m pretty partial to setting a good old-fashioned goal with a basic plan to achieve it (by basic I mean no more than 3-4 steps). And, as January rolls into the rearview mirror (yikes) and the focus on finance – thanks to the Christmas, Boxing Day sales, holiday cheer(s) and back to school fees hangover – sets in, now is the perfect time to rid yourself of credit card and personal debt. If taking control of your finances is the goal for you then here are my top three tips (yes it’s a plan) for getting it done:

1. Embrace the budget
This one didn’t surprise you did it? Predictable it may be, but taking the time to document debts and other essential expenses against income is necessary to truly understand the opportunities to save (or make more) money.

A clear understanding of your disposable income will allow you to allocate a regular amount to pay off debts. My biggest tip – don’t set yourself up to fail by expecting to use all of your disposable income to paying off debt. It’s important you’re still able to enjoy 2018 or you’ll likely quit early on and feel bad about it later. Make your monthly goal realistic and set up automatic debt repayments on pay day.

Click here to use our free online Budgeting Planner

2. Seek out some savings
One of the easiest ways to save can be to review your expenses (in your newly created budget) and find better deals on insurance premiums. You can often save money by shopping around freeing up more cash to redirect onto your credit card. Ask me about current insurance offers.

I can also help by reviewing your home or investment loan and, if you have multiple credit card debts or personal loans, consolidation may be possible to reduce interest and simplify your repayments.

3. Take back control of your credit card
The interest rate on credit cards can be high so look into how you can save money by switching or transferring balances. Some lenders offer up to a 12 month interest free period which saves you money and provides a goal date to pay it off by. Alternative credit cards with lower rates and/or fees may also be available, simply ask your bank.

While you’re working hard to pay off credit card debt try to minimise using it for additional purchases. It’s important to start practising conscious spending. Work towards being able to pay off the total amount owing on your card every month to avoid paying interest.

If you’d like assistance to establish ways to reduce your debts and take control of your finances in 2018, we can help. Give us a call on 07 3899 2866 or click here to email us. In just one appointment we could show you how to save, in more ways than one!