Content supplied by NZBA
The New Zealand Bankers’ Association recommends the New Year as the perfect opportunity to take stock of your financial situation and set your financial resolutions for 2016 and beyond.
“Taking time early in the year to review your financial status and set personal financial goals is a worthwhile investment. By sorting yourself out financially, or better managing your money, you can get ahead,” said Kirk Hope, chief executive of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association.
“Setting a budget allows you to take control of your finances. The sooner you start managing your money, the sooner you will see the benefits.”
Bolster your bank account and get ahead with these money management tips:
- Set short and long term financial goals. Think about what you want in life and how your money decisions can support you to achieve that. Write down your short and long term goals. Think about what you need to do or change to succeed.
- Plan a budget. The ultimate tool to help achieve your financial goals, increase savings or reduce debt is a budget. Take time to review how, when and where you spend your money. Tracking your expenses allows you to set a realistic budget and identify the areas where you can make changes. Making your lunch or cutting back on a coffee each day could save you thousands each year – it all adds up faster than you think. Most importantly, once you have set your budget you need stick with it. By staying with your plan you will soon see progress toward your goals. There are useful budget planning resources at www.sorted.org.nz or on your bank’s website.
- Grow your savings. Have short and long term savings goals. Whether you’re saving toward a much-needed holiday or a deposit for a house, by staying focused on your goals you will see results at the end of the year. If you haven’t started saving for your retirement then 2016 should be your year to start. For more information visit www.kiwisaver.govt.nz
- Manage debt. Take time to review any debt that you hold and make it your goal to be debt-free. Talk with your bank about how to be debt-free fast. Avoid ‘dumb debt’ and only ever borrow what you need and plan to pay it off as quickly as you can.
- Protect your money. We all need to take responsibility for protecting our online financial security.
- Don’t share your cards, PIN or log-in details with anyone.
- Always check you have a secure online connection.
- Don’t reply to, click on links, or open any files in spam emails or text messages. For further advice visit www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/
- Monitor your bank statements regularly and immediately advise your bank of any unauthorised transactions.
“There are plenty of online tools to assist with planning your personal financial goals. If you are looking for professional advice about managing your money and making informed financial decisions, your bank is a really good place to start,” Hope added.