I am so glad June 30 is over. EOFY was full of endless health insurance ads, cringeworthy election campaigns (although #faketradie was a blast) and tax receipts. So. Many. Receipts.
The New Financial Year, on the other hand, is a time of hope and rejuvenation, when we all get to imagine a New Me – the better, more frugal version of yourself. Which means making promises about how you’re going to improve your financial situation in the New Year.
But here’s the thing. Everyone might start out the financial year with a bunch of well-meaning resolutions, but the scientists are here to let us know that we’re all big fat phonies. Apparently, only 8% of people who set New Year’s goals actually achieve them. Which makes me feel a lot better about the gym membership I don’t use and the daily coffee I’m still buying.
So for the other 92% of us who aren’t so hot on the resolution front, here are some of the Financial New Year resolutions you’ll probably make – and how you’ll probably be breaking them.
Resolution: To save every little bit.
Whether you’re committing to save any $5 note you come across, fish coins out of the various bags and coat pockets they’ve wound up in or start a swear jar, this year, you’re determined to make every little bit count toward your savings.
Reality: You wind up with a mountain of coins collected on one end of your kitchen bench and have no idea what to do with them. Taking them to the bank is such a hassle, and you can’t really pay bills with a stack of shrapnel. Eventually, you use them to buy coffee, and the barista glares at you as you count out 5c pieces.
Resolution: To negotiate a better deal.
You’re sick of paying too much interest and inflated fees! It’s time to take a stand. The financial New Year will see you on the phone to your bank, dodging jargon like a pro, sticking to your guns and coming out of it with a new low interest rate on your home loan or credit card. You’ll be like the Rambo of saving money.
Reality: You call the bank, immediately lose your nerve and timidly suggest they consider lowering their rates. The person on the other end tells you they don’t have the authority to do anything, but they’ll pass along your details to someone who does. You hang up the phone, and know that just like your high school crush, they won’t be calling you back.
Resolution: To quit smoking.
Ok, so you make this one every year – but this is the year it happens for real! And it should be, considering that ’straya spends $14.5 billion on smokes each year.
Reality: You stop smoking for two days, get cranky and irritable. You convince yourself that $30 a week for nicorette patches is more than you’ll spend on the occasional ciggie anyway, start smoking again and congratulate yourself on your excellent budgeting skills.
Resolution: To cut back on frivolous spending.
You’ve vowed to stop spending money on clothes/shoes/books/board games/porcelain figurines/whatever other unnecessary cost is emptying your wallet faster than you can say ‘monopoly’.
Resolution: To stop buying lunch at work everyday.
It’s an unnecessary cost. You know it is, I know it is, even the people selling you an $8 chicken sandwich know it is. So from now on, you’re paper-bagging it. You’ll become one of those people who spend Sunday afternoon cooking up a storm and carrying tupperware full of healthy, homemade food to work everyday.
Reality: You last a week. The first three days, you bring leftover stir fry, and then start getting nauseous at the thought of anymore. You switch to soup, which leaks all through your bag. When Sunday rolls around, you neglect your weekly cookup in favour of a Game of Thrones marathon. On Monday, you pay $8 for a chicken sandwich.
Get it off your chest and let me know in the comments what resolution you’re failing at this year. Or better yet, if you’re one of the 8% who manages to keep your resolutions, tell me which ones you’re actually sticking to!