New Year. New you.

27 February 2018

We all start each year with the best of intentions. We often make all kinds of resolutions, some of which are easier to stick to than others. Often, the financial resolutions are the first to fall by the wayside.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The trick is to have a plan that’s easy to execute, and you can live with in a way that you still have a life. Here are a few easy-to-follow tips that will help you move in the right direction in 2018.

Take stock

The first thing to do is work out where you’re at now. Add up your assets – your house, car, KiwiSaver, savings, stocks and any other big ticket items. Now subtract your outgoings – mortgage, car loan, overdraft, credit card and any other debt.

The difference is your net worth, and that number should be growing each year.

Start taking stock now to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.

Make a budget

Work out what you can and can’t live without. Don’t deny yourself every earthly pleasure, make sure you include some treats in your budget so you’re more likely to stick with it. Perhaps start by cutting down on a few non-essentials? A classic example is that third coffee of the day, cutting that out will save you $20-$30 a week just there.

Even before you reduce your weekly coffee allowance, work out the level of savings you want to achieve. Your budget should be ordered by needs, savings, and then ‘play’ money.

Consolidate your debt

If you’re drowning in a sea of high-interest debt, consolidation is a lifeline. Put all of your debt into one lower-interest loan. Now, rather than enjoying the lower payments, maintain the same amount you were paying to service your high interest loans, and you’ll eat away at the principal more quickly. On top of that, put any savings from your budget towards paying your loan off faster. You’ll be amazed by how quickly the loan shrinks with these extra payments.

Set up an automatic transfer into a savings account.

Preferably one you can’t access with a card. If you don’t have access to it, you can’t spend it. And you know what? You probably won’t miss it.

Use your credit card sparingly

Credit cards have positives and negatives. They’re great for racking up air/loyalty points, but they tend to give the illusion of having more money than you do. Which is where the trouble often starts. Try just using your credit card for necessities like petrol, groceries and bills. And pay it off, in full, every month.

Think yourself wealthier

There’s a very simple difference between people who manage to save and those who don’t. The former pretend they don’t have money they do have, while the latter live as if they do have money that they don’t have. Be the former.

Growing your money tree

We hope you’ve found our tips useful. If you’d like to start building wealth on a longer term basis, AMP has a range of ways to help. For advice on options from KiwiSaver to investment products, talk to your Adviser or call AMP today on 0800 267 967.

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Important information

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AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme (the 'Scheme'). TheSupervisor of the Scheme is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited.

Please note past returns are not indicative of future returns.

For more information, download a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Update Booklet, which have been lodged on the Scheme's offers register entry at https://www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/disclose.

The information included in this article is of a general nature and is not a substitute for financial or other professional advice. To the extent that the information constitutes advice, it is class advice only. Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances. For personal financial advice, we recommend you contact your Adviser or if you don't have an Adviser, contact us on 0800 267 263 and we can put you in touch with one. 

A disclosure statement is available from your Adviser, on request and free of charge.