Australians are taking steps to take control of their finances. Cutting back on ‘wants’, shrinking the mortgage and spending money wisely are the top 3 financial pledges made by the public on ASIC’s MoneySmart Facebook page.
ASIC’s MoneySmart website is asking Australians to kick start the year by making a MoneySmart pledge for 2013. Australians have posted their pledge on MoneySmart’s Facebook page (MoneySmartAu) by completing the sentence ‘This year I will …’
MoneySmart’s Robert Drake said, ‘We all have good intentions when making New Year resolutions, but they can often be vague and fade away. This year, we’re asking people to get beyond mere wishful thinking by make a financial pledge and committing to it.’
‘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.’
The most common financial pledges are: starting a savings plan with a specific goal, reducing debts such as paying off the credit card, investing, starting my own business and reducing car costs.
Examples of pledges people have posted on Facebook include:
- Kereni will ‘put $40 into my First Home Saver Account and $20 into my super per week. Save more and spend less!’
- Brad will ‘make lunch each day for work, spending $20 instead of $40–$50. Buy a slow cooker to make large meals that will last many nights.’
- Peter will ‘not go to clubs or pubs for 6 months and instead keep the money I would normally spend in the bank.’
Here are some achievable financial pledges
This year I will …
- Save for an overseas holiday
MoneySmart’s savings goals calculator can help you get there. Put in your details and it will tell you how long it will take to reach your holiday savings target.
- Pay off my credit cards
Start with the one with the highest interest rate. See the benefit from adjusting your repayments by using MoneySmart’s credit card calculator.
- Save money for a rainy day
Set up a direct debit to put money into a high interest savings account each fortnight.
- Shrink my mortgage
Ask your lender for better deal and pay extra off your mortgage while rates are low.
- Put more contributions into my super
Use the super contributions optimiser to see which type of super contribution will give you the biggest boost.
- Clear my debts
Put your income and expenses into the MoneySmart budget planner. Work out how much your monthly debt repayments will be and how much you have left for other spending.
- Start planning for my retirement
Use the retirement planner to see what income you are likely to have after you retire and what steps you can take to boost your retirement income.