It’s a cliche but if you do it right the new year can be a time for new goals and changes ahead. And as the cost of living in Australia continues to increase, now may be as good a time as any to consider adding a few financial goals to your list. Here’s our roundup of 4 ways you can grow and develop your finances in 2018.

Knock Out Your Debt

If you accumulated debt in 2017 now’s the time to really focus on it and knock it out. Start by breaking down what you owe to who and then prioritising what needs to be paid first. Consider high interest rates to be one of the biggest priorities.

January Savings Diet

Many of us have spent over the Christmas period and may now be alarmed at how light out wallets are feeling. If that’s you, an effective and simple way to recoup the loss is to go light in January. Think about little ways to save money such as; bringing lunches to work, eating in, and having friends over on the weekends (instead of going out). If you are truly conscious about what you are spending make the effort to save, the numbers add up!

Automatic Savings

If you’re not in debt for the new year, congratulations! You may want to consider putting aside a portion of your monthly salary towards investing. Specifically, you may want to consider saving 10-15% of your monthly income into a high interest savings account or even stocks. 10-15% may seem like a lot but if you make $60,000 per year or $5,000 a month your savings goal could be $500 a month. This is surprisingly easy to go without if you really consider your spending and just think of the passive income you can begin to make with that money!

Seek Advice from a Financial Planner or Accountant

Investing in stocks, building a portfolio, or managing a budget can seem like an overwhelming task. If you are struggling, consider your first investment to be booking an appointment with a financial planner or accountant to see how you can go about saving and investing. It may feel like an unnecessary expense but at the same time, it can really help you feel assured and reach your goal of X amount of savings by the end of the year.