The New Year is here, so it’s time to start thinking about your 2018 resolutions. What do you want to change in your life? Did you achieve all of your 2017 resolutions, or can you carry some of them over?
Before you decide on your New Year’s resolutions for next year, you need to consider your finances.
Before you decide on your resolutions for the year, you need to consider your finances. Money can help you achieve your goals, but it can also restrict what you do. For example, you aren’t going to be able to jump from zero to five investment properties in one year with only $50,000 in your savings account.
So, what are some realistic New Year’s resolutions for everyday Australians?
Travel the world
You want to travel the world and see all the places you’ve dreamed about for years. It’s a sound goal, but you need to work extremely hard at saving to achieve this. Stop going out for dinner every week, take your own packed lunch to work and use public transport wherever possible instead of paying for fuel and parking.
It might not seem like much at the time, but over six or seven months of this sort of habitual change, you could save over $1,000. Add that to your existing savings, or to whatever money you’re putting aside each month from your pay and you’ll quickly have enough to see the world. Make the whole travelling experience even more affordable by being smart about when you fly, where you stay and how you live when you’re overseas.
Buy your own home
This is the most expensive goal on the list. Buying a home takes a lot of savings effort, luck and help from your bank. The median price for a home in Australia is $681,100, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data from September 2017.
Going off that amount, and the 20 per cent deposit you’ll need to avoid paying for Lenders Mortgage Insurance, your savings account should amount to at least $136,220 before you apply for a mortgage. If you’re saving with a partner it’ll be more achievable, but you will still need to save over a number of years. Be strict with yourself about putting a significant amount aside each month, and achieving your money goals will become much more realistic.
Improve your health and fitness
It doesn’t take a lot to increase your cardiorespiratory fitness and it can improve your life significantly. You won’t be out of breath walking up the stairs at work, you’ll feel more confident in your health, and running around with your friends and family will be a lot more fun.
While you don’t need to join a gym to get fit, it can certainly help. Professional trainers are there to assist you, so if you don’t know what you’re doing, a gym is the place to be. There a plenty of inexpensive gyms around Australia, so choose one that suits you. Even if you’d prefer to spend extra on a more comfortable environment to work out in, do your research before signing any contracts.
Monthly membership fees should become a part of your budget, but if you’re serious about improving your health, you should stop eating out, or at least eating bad food – the savings you see could come close to your gym fees!
Learn to play a musical instrument
Have you always wanted to learn to play an instrument, but never actually done it? Now’s the time.
Sitting around a campfire and strumming a guitar is an idyllic image. You might always have wanted to learn to play an instrument, but never got around to it. Now’s the time – all you need is an instrument, lessons, sheet music, accessories, motivation, patience, time … okay so it’s a lot, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Don’t buy the most expensive make of guitar or piano or cello when you’re just starting out. Beginner instruments are priced accordingly – the same goes for the accessories. As you improve and decide it’s something you want to do for the rest of your life, you can invest in better gear. For now, start small and get the hang of it all. Be realistic about what you’re spending money on.
These money tips will help you to achieve your 2018 New Year’s resolutions, but it’ll take some patience to get your finances to the level you need. Be firm with yourself and you’ll get there. For more information about achieving your money goals, get in touch with BOQ today.