Move on from post-holiday financial guilt

  • Georgina Yarranton
  • 23rd of January 2018
  • budget
  • debt reduction
  • home loan
  • mortgage

If you’ve recently woken up thinking about how much you spent in December, you’re not alone. Leading up to the Christmas holidays, Kiwis’ spending surpassed the year before by 5%.

Now that we’re getting back into our routines, it’s a good time to rein in our budgets for the year ahead.

To help that financial guilt dissipate, here are three ideas for getting your finances back on the straight and narrow for 2018.

 

  1. Set at least one SMART goal

It can be difficult to adjust spending habits without a goal in mind. And what’s even better than a goal to keep you focused? A SMART goal.

 

S is for Specific

Ask yourself what you want to achieve, why you want it, who else is involved, and when you want it to happen.

M is for Measurable

Your SMART goal must be measurable. What tools will you use to measure your progress?

A is for Achievable

Is your SMART goal something you can actually attain, or is it out of reach?

R is for Realistic

Being realistic differs from being achievable. Yes, you could probably aim higher but if the goal stretches your finances too thin this could be stressful, and it may put you off altogether (which defeats the whole purpose!).

T is for Timely

Give your goal a due date – one that you know you can stick to!

 

Example of a SMART goal:

I want my husband and I to reduce our debt by at least $30,000 by the end of 2018 to keep us on track to being debt-free in 12 years.

 

  1. Structure your mortgage properly

If your mortgage is structured to reduce your mortgage term you could save yourself thousands in interest, and be debt free faster.

The simplest way to reduce the term is to increase your loan repayments, and if your mortgage is also structured so you can use your income to offset some of the interest cost, you’ll reduce your term even sooner.

 

  1. Review your budget

When goals change, your budget should reflect this. Review your budget as soon as possible to incorporate your new goals and repayment plan. You could also see if there are any monthly expenses you could reduce to help reach your goal.

 

Let’s acknowledge (then quickly move past!) how much we spent last year and look forward to achieving our goals this year. Here’s to a successful 2018!

 

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and should not be taken as advice. It reflects the opinions of the writer only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL).

 Author
  • Georgina Yarranton Author

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