Already broken your New Year’s resolutions? That’s okay – there’s a new New Year coming up!
Yes, February 19 marks the start of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. And, what better time than the Year of the Sheep to stop being sheepish about your finances? Here are 7 second-chance New Year’s resolutions you can undertake this (Lunar) year to save your way to good fortune in 2015.
1. Cleanse credit card debt
Before Chinese New Year, families traditionally give their homes a thorough cleaning to rid them of the bad luck of the previous year. Follow suit and cleanse your credit card debt. Why pay an interest rate of 17% or more, when there are 103 interest free balance transfers in Mozo’s database right now? Instead consolidate your debts onto a balance transfer card and set up monthly direct debits to pay it off within the BT period.
2. Walk past the pretty shoes in the window
It’s bad luck to buy shoes over Chinese New Year, but why stop there? See how long you can go throughout the year without buying those tempting louboutins. Your bank balance will thank you!
3. Embrace change
In addition to rotating through different animals, the Chinese zodiac also rotates through the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water and wood). 2015 is the Year of the Wood Goat. One of the bad characteristics of the Wood Goat is that they are resistant to change. If you own a home, this year you should resolve to embrace change by comparing home loans and swapping providers if you find a better deal.
For instance, switching from the average variable rate home loan at 5.19% to the best variable rate home loan at 4.23%, you would save yourself $49,500 over the life of the loan (on a $300,000 mortgage over 25 years).
4. Honour your elders
Honouring and supporting your parents and grandparents is a huge part of Chinese family culture. If your folks (or their folks) are getting to the stage where they might need a bit of assistance – be it through in-home help, or even moving to retirement village – start having those discussions this year, so that everyone knows what their financial responsibilities are, and there are fewer opportunities for a nasty financial surprise.
5. Look after your kids
As any child raised in a Chinese family can tell you, Lunar New Year is a good time to be a kid, with children receiving red envelopes filled with money as part of the celebrations. Set your kids up for the long-term by helping them open their first kid’s savings accounts.
6. Make coffee at home
Did you know coffee is an unlucky colour in the Year of the Sheep? Okay, we are not going to tell you to give up your morning pick me up completely, but by making your coffee at home and forgoing the $3 a pop cafe latte, you would end up saving $1,095 by the end of the year. Put it towards your end of year vacay!
7. Don’t splash out on gold jewellery
We kid you not, the other unlucky colour in the Year of the Sheep is… gold. So, instead of throwing expensive gold jewellery at those you love, opt for more innovative – and wallet-friendly – metals. They will love the silver earrings just as much, we promise.