It’s the beginning of a new year, and that time when we all start to make promises to ourselves about what we’re going to do in the coming months to be more productive, healthier, and happier.

But what about our financial health?

While we work on trimming our waistlines – we can also think about trimming our spending too.

Research by Finder.com.au shows that the top 5 resolutions for 2015 are about:


1. Health and fitness –58%
2. Money – 15%
3. Relationships – 8%
4. Business and Career – 7%
5. Travel – 6%

42% of people are planning a New Years’ Resolution for 2015 – that’s more than a whopping seven million Australians. And despite this, three out of four people find it difficult to stick to their goals.

So what can we do to make sure we stick to our resolutions, and not feel guilty this time next year about what we didn’t do?

1. Set realistic goals

Make sure you clearly define what it is you want to achieve by the end of the year (without any loopholes that you can talk your way out of when you decide to change your mind!). It’s also important not to overload yourself – be realistic and don’t set too many goals. Really think about how you will be able to realise each goal and ensure that the steps to get there are practical and achievable. You may need to plan ahead and think about how you will overcome any obstacles.

2. Talk about your goals

Let your family and good friends know what you’re planning to achieve this year. Talking about your goals will help you to become more accountable and you may even find that people will be willing to support you, as well as finding others who are working towards the same things.

3. Don’t ignore your finances

While it is a more popular resolution to go out and buy some brand new sporting apparel so that you look the part when you work on your fitness this year, you should also be thinking about your finances. Do you really need another fluro training singlet to add to your collection? Review your spending this year to see where you can save money, and perhaps consider making your mortgage a top priority for 2015. You could think about making voluntary payments with the money you save from elsewhere in your budget, and feel confident and secure about getting ahead on your home loan.

4. Have fun!

 

While iIt’s great to be focused on all the ways to become more organised, but it’s also important to ensure you make the most of the year, and have some fun. Set some short term goals so that you can reward yourself along the way, and keep you motivated to achieve those longer term goals.