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Four Easy Ways to Fix Your Finances in 2018

Is one of your goals for 2018 to be more organised about your finances? Or perhaps to save some money?

This is the perfect time of year to make some changes to put yourself in a better position – but it can feel overwhelming! What should you focus on first? Who can you ask for advice? How can you make some changes without the research and decision-making taking up a lot of time and worry?  What if you make the wrong decisions?

Sometimes it just seems like it’s all too hard.

We get it. At Goal Financial Services, we get a huge amount of satisfaction in helping people cut through the confusion. And some of the things you can do are really easy – you can make a big difference without doing too much more than you are already doing.

To help you hit some financial goals in 2018, here are our top four tips for making your money work for you:

A dead simple savings plan

Here’s a simple way of making sure you have enough money for the kids’ Christmas presents or that holiday at the end of the year. All you need to do is put away $1 in week 1, $2 in week 2, $3 in week 3 and so on and you will find yourself with $1378 saved up by the end of the year.

Return and earn

The NSW government rolled out the Return and Earn scheme this year in the hopes that people would recycle their single-use bottles instead of littering with them. All you need to do to take advantage of this scheme is collect your plastic, aluminium and glass containers (excluding wine bottles and milk containers) and take them to your local return and earn collection point. You’ll earn 10c for each container – at some collection pints you can collect your refund in cash; at others the refund will be made in the form of a deposit to bank account via PayPal, a voucher for your local IGA or Woolworths store or if you’re feeling charitable you can donate it.

Rob gave it a go this week and found it to be very easy to use and walked away with a few extra dollars in his pocket just by recycling the New Year’s festivities – looks like our Netflix subscription is covered for this month.

A go-to place for all your financial information

Would you rather spend your spare time doing something you love, or hunting down your important documents, passwords and other financial information? One way to make life much easier, and save yourself a pile of time and frustration, is to have a single place where you keep all the important details and paperwork. This could be a box or folder for hard copies, scanned copies stored on a dedicated hard drive, or a Cloud-based one-stop option (ask us about MyProsperity).

This is where you file statements, invoices, receipts, bills and important documents such as your will, power of attorney or health directive.

How you use it is up to you – some people like to dump everything into a box as it arrives and then sort it all at the end of each month. Others like to file everything as it arrives. If you can get into the habit of filing as you go, though, you’ll really notice how much easier it is whenever you need to find important information.

Make your money work hard

Earning more and spending less are the obvious ways to improve your financial situation. But there’s another option that can make a huge difference. This one might take a little more effort initially but very little effort after that – and the potential payout is huge. We’re talking about making your money work hard. That might be investing wisely; it might be making sure you have a cost-effective insurance plan; it might be finding better ways to manage your day-to-day finances or business or personal loans.

If you’re a home-owner, a good place to start is to review your mortgage. Could you get a better deal?

But everyone’s situation is different. And that’s where we come in. Getting some financial advice is a bit like going to a doctor. You can do a lot to look after your own health, but sometimes you need an expert. It’s the same with your finances; if you feel like you want to talk to a real person who can help you cut through all the confusion, we’re here to help.

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