If your 2021 was a total bin fire, you’re probably keen to close that chapter and never look back. But future you will do well to learn from past you’s mistakes. These ten tips will help you steer your ship towards success
1. Audit your bank accounts
You might have a general idea of how much you're spending each month, but until you run through your transactions line by line, you can never know for sure. It might sound like a dauntingor downright boring task, but it will arm you with the knowledge of knowing exactly where your hard-earned cash is going.
2. Cancel unused subscriptions
As someone who combs through my bank transactions fairly meticulously, I can't fathom the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a subscription without even realising it. But it is shockingly common. For example, my partner spent more than $200 last year on a fitness app he didn't even have downloaded on his phone anymore, and my dad realised he was still paying for a streaming service he trialled but forgot to cancel.
3. Check your credit scores
It's not the sexiest part of sorting out your finances, but it's an essential step to ensure everything is in order. We've heard some horror stories over the years of people having credit cards and personal loans taken out in their name. They would never have realised if they hadn't checked their scores.
4. Purge your newsfeed
On average, Australians spend one hour and 46 minutes on social media every day1. We won't tell you to curb your usage – we love a doom scroll as much as the next person. But there are ways to make your screen time less of a drain. This is especially important if you’re susceptible to instagram ads and social media-driven purchases!
5. Now, enrich your newsfeed
To a certain extent, you can curate a feed that enriches your soul, teaches you new things, inspires and challenges you… with a few cute panda videos peppered in for good measure. Thanks to targeted marketing and rogue viral posts, you can't control everything that ends up in your feed, but you can saturate it with content that will do you good.
6. Commit to learning something new
We all learn in different ways. Books are a crowd favourite, but podcasts, audiobooks and documentaries are all great ways to expand your mind. It's vital to make time for learning as you get older to maintain neuroplasticity – a fancy word for 'keeping your brain young.'
Luckily, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to money material. Personal finance books have blown up in recent years here, and we’re also seeing a huge uptick in online content creators who share their own money hacks, habits and tips. Keep in mind, everyone’s personal situation is different and advice from anyone who isn’t a licensed financial advisor should be taken with a grain of salt.we list some of our fav reads
7. Unsubscribe from annoying marketing emails
Just because you bought a hoodie from a brand six years ago does not mean you need to be notified every time they're having a sale. You'll only be tempted to spend money on something you don't really need.
8. Write down your goalsand what you need to do to achieve them
Sadly, it's not enough to just want to achieve your goal. You can't will it into existence. You need to take action. Start by figuring out what you want to achieve and work back from there. As James Clear tells us in Atomic Habits, lasting positive change comes from compounding small habits.
9. Make a plan to get on top of debt
If you're blissfully debt-free, lucky you – you can skip this one. For the rest of us, it's time to get that debt under control. Usually, high-interest debt – credit cards and payday loans – requires a more aggressive debt-reduction approach. You might think about cutting something from your budget or dipping into your savings to get back in the black. If it's something like a HECS/HELP debt or mortgage, you can take a slow-and-steady approach.
10. Get a better deal on your bills
Ever noticed that your bills and premiums increase each year? Usually, you can thank inflation for the price jump. But if you notice a significant price increase for the exact same service, you may be falling victim to the dreaded ‘loyalty tax.’
You don’t need to be an expert negotiator to get a better deal. It just takes a bit of research, patience and a kill them with kindness attitude – trust us, it yields far better results than going in guns blazing.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.