Six financial resolutions to make in 2018
Six financial resolutions to make in 2018
Make it your year to get your finances in order and use your money goals to guide through the next twelve months. Lifetime financial adviser Allan McNaughton reveals the most beneficial resolutions to make.
The end of the year is the perfect time to take stock of your financial situation and plan for greater success in the year to come. Each year I set aside time to review my current financial portfolio and map out my next steps in becoming more financially fit. Whether you want to tackle your debt or start building a wealth portfolio, it’s never too late to start improving your financial bottom line.
Here are six great resolutions to consider to make 2018 your best financial year yet.
1. Make a Kiwisaver top-up
Kick off the year by channeling $500 directly into your Kiwisaver. It’s a powerful way to invest in your future – as not only does it boost your financial standing at retirement, it sets a great precedent for the year ahead. Make this the year to ‘pay yourself first’ by topping up your own retirement fund before committing to any other expenses. Who knows, you may just get such a kick from it that you find yourself adding extra cash to it throughout the year.
2. Score with health insurance
Ensure your own continued wellbeing by taking out health insurance – it may cost you as little as $300 per year. This means that you can use a private hospital if required and not have to go on waiting lists within the public system. Added to this, most medical aid schemes offers member-only discounts on health-related products and free screenings. Depending on how many of their freebies and discounts you use, you could quickly cover the annual cost of your health insurance.
3. Invest in personal finance books
Increasing your financial literacy skills is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it empower you to make financial sound decisions, it also rubs off on family and friends around you. If you have children, you can teach them financial literacy concepts such as saving and liabilities versus assets from as young six or seven. Classics such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad are a great way to instil a financially savvy and entrepreneurial mindset. For more advanced reading, opt for New Zealand-born Martin Hawes’ Financial Secrets and Mary Holm's Get Rich Slow.
4. Take a stock market course
Demystify the stock market by taking a course teaching how financial markets operate. Set aside $100 for yourself to invest directly online from their mobile phone once you’ve completed the course to immediately put this newfound knowledge into practice. By learning about the ups and downs of the stock market, you’re taking an active role to empower yourself in the financial world – and you also might make a nice return, too.
5. Set up an investment fund to realise a big dream
Want to make 2018 the year to take that big trip? Or is it the year you finally do further study? Whatever your big dream is, you have the power to make it a reality by taking small steps to save each month. Open an investment account for yourself now, and add an automatic monthly debit to keep yourself on track. Watching that figure grow each month may encourage you to add any extra cash so savings build more quickly.
6. Cover yourself with an income protection policy
To most people who would much rather be spending their spare cash on entertainment and new clothing, taking out an income protection plan can seem like a drag. But in the long-run, a well-proportioned plan will serve you well. Your income is worth protecting – think of it as a mandatory expense such you would with your dental check-ups. Should the worst happen, you and your family will be taken care of.
Allan McNaughton is an Authorised Financial Adviser and active Director on the Lifetime Group Board. He is married with three children and enjoys spending time with the family travelling together.
OPINION: Have you ever stopped to consider just how much you will earn during your working life?
If you have a few minutes it really is quite useful to do - even if you’re not a number cruncher. All you need is your current gross annual income and how long a period you plan to stay in the workforce.
I grew up in South Africa, a country in which once you leave home and get your first full-time job, your parents immediately ask: ‘Do you have your health insurance sorted?’
For me that question came at a time when all I wanted to do was buy a lounge suite with my first pay cheque. But, knowing that I had to prioritise my health, the furniture had to wait.
There is a public health sector in South Africa but it is chronically understaffed and underfunded, and the wait times are astronomical. This means we’ve learnt to adopt a culture where health insurance is just another one of those protections you need.
If I’m going to insure my belongings – my car, my contents, my house – then why wouldn’t I protect my biggest assets – my health and therefore my ability to earn an income?