6 expert money tips for the new year and maybe, a new financial you

2024 diary
Getty image: 2024 diary

With many of us trying to work off festive season indulgences, January marks a time of change. The intention, at least, is to start the new year by getting into better shape. This can include rethinking how we manage our money, too.

To this end, some of us like to set new money goals. Others take a red pen to the old budget. And amid a lot of doom and gloom around a weaker economy, bad money habits typically also come into focus. 

So you’ll undoubtedly read a lot of "money hacks" this month about how to address your personal finances. At Mozo, we certainly like to give readers a range of handy financial ideas and tips. On this occasion we’ve leaned on a finance expert from RMIT, Dr Angel Zhong, Associate Professor, Finance. 

She says, “Take stock of your financial journey in the past year and look at what worked and what didn't. Understanding your financial landscape is the first step towards positive change.  

"Whether it's building an emergency fund, paying off debt or starting an investment portfolio, the key is to establish goals that align with your unique financial situation. Shift from financial stress to empowerment, and you'll find your financial decisions becoming more purposeful and aligned with your aspirations.

“The key to a successful financial reset is to set realistic goals and stick to them.”

Dr Zhong shares her top tips for resetting and rethinking your money matters below.

6 tips on finance, budget, spending and savings for 2024

1. Set realistic financial goals: Review your finances and set a realistic budget. Identify where you can cut back on expenses and make some new financial goals for the year.  
2. Track your spending:
Keep track of your spending and see where you can cut back. Use a budgeting app or spreadsheet to help you stay on track.  
3. Pay down debt:
If you have any outstanding debt, make a structured plan for repayment. Consider consolidating your debt or negotiating with your creditors to reduce your interest rates.  
4. Strategic budgeting:
Develop a comprehensive budget that not only tracks spending but also allocates funds towards savings and investments. A well-structured budget serves as a roadmap to financial success.  
5. Superannuation health check:
Your super is a cornerstone of long-term financial stability. Check your investment options, performance of your super funds and the amount of your contributions.  
6. Get professional help:
If you’re struggling to manage your finances, consider getting help. A financial advisor can create a plan to help reach your financial goals.  

If you’re keen to explore more ideas on how to smartly manage your money, be sure to check out our latest guide on creating a better budget. Also make sure you're getting the best interest rate on your current savings account by doing a quick comparison. 

*RMIT is the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

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