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What’s your New Year Resolution for 2019?

As 2018 comes to a close, it is time to celebrate and set your goals for the coming year – be it eating healthier, getting more exercise, or getting on the top of your finances – it is easy to make resolutions, but it takes immense willpower to stick to your resolutions through the course of the year.

 
Must-Have Financial Resolutions
 

According to estimates, almost half of the adults in the world make New Year resolutions. Yet, stats confirm that less than 8 per cent achieve their new year goals!

The reason?

Lack of clear, specific goals – Is it your New Year resolution to drink less alcohol in 2019? That’s great. But what do you mean by ‘less’? It is not really possible to meet a goal that is not specified – two glasses of wine might be less for someone, but too much for you!

So, define your goals – for example, I will not drink more than three glasses of wine in a week. Or, I will lose 10 kg by June 2019.

Failure to monitor your progress – It is easy to get demotivated, and give up, when we don’t see instant results. However, if you break down a bigger goal into milestones that you can measure – it will help you to not only track your progress but also stay motivated on your journey.

Not having sufficient self-control – Often, New Year resolutions are aimed at changing habitual behaviour patterns such as increasing the amount of exercise one gets or eating less. This requires a great deal of self-control, and one can feel exhausted or demotivated along the way, or even distracted.

Therefore, in addition to setting a goal, it is essential to create a step-by-step plan that is easy to follow in order to minimise distractions and help you stay on track.

For example, if your goal is to lose 10 kg by June 2019, you must prepare a diet and exercise plan to achieve your goal in time. Of course, do consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or workout routine for best results.


What do Australians want to achieve in 2019?

At the beginning of the year 2018, Australians resolved to improve their fitness, eat better, and quit smoking, as their top goals. We are sure that health will remain a top priority in 2019, too, and these same goals will continue to top the list of NY resolutions. However, 2018 was also the year when several reports pointed out a low level of financial literacy amongst Australians. Therefore, learning more about finances must be a key goal, especially for Australians planning to buy a home this year.

Here’s a list of three goals for all homeowners and to-be homeowners to stay on top of their finances:

Track your finances – Tracking your expenses can help you break down your daily spend and identify areas where you can reduce expenditure and save money. Besides, in the wake of the Royal Commission, borrowers are struggling to secure mortgages as banks are reviewing their actual expenses instead of employing the traditional methods for assessing household expenditure used previously.

According to a new HashChing survey, 41 per cent of brokers believe that more than “25 per cent of borrowers who secured a home loan last year would not be approved for the same product today due to increased scrutiny of living expenses.”

Therefore, if you are planning to buy a home in 2019, in addition to building your savings, start tracking your expenditure now so that you can provide the lenders with an accurate listing of your monthly spend. Tracking your expenses is easy using mobile apps such as the TrackMySpend app by ASIC’s MoneySmart.

Have a budget – Here’s an oft-repeated advice that is seldom followed. Having a budget, and sticking to it, is the best thing you can do for your finances in 2019. Use an online budget calculator to input your incomings and outgoings to see if you are in surplus or have a shortfall. See where your money is going and how you can save more. You can also read this article about drawing a reasonable household budget.

Revisit your home loan – This one’s an important housekeeping tip for existing borrowers. The New Year provides the perfect occasion to review your existing home loan. How does your interest rate stack up against the market average? Are you using all the features you are paying for in your home loan? If not, ask your lender for a better rate or switch to a more competitive deal from another lender to save money on your home loan.

Presently, the average home loan interest rate in the market is around 3.70 per cent per annum. And, if you are paying anything more than that on your home loan, you are possibly paying too much money to your bank. Visit our home loan comparison page to review broker pre-negotiated deals starting as low as 3.49 per cent per annum.


Ask, and you might just receive!

We urge you to review your home loan every few months in 2019 to ensure you are on the best deal possible.

Refinancing to a lower rate can save you precious bucks. Potentially, a $300,000 loan with a term of 30 years and an interest rate of 4.79% p.a. refinanced at a rate of 3.49% p.a. can lead to savings of $226.72 per month and up to $81,620.36 over the duration of the term! Use our repayment calculator to see how much you can save.

However, keep in mind that refinancing is not free and you must calculate the costs before switching lenders to ensure you are benefitting from the deal. Our mortgage brokers can help you crunch the numbers. Speak to a mortgage expert now.

Have you made your New Year financial resolutions yet? What’s on the top of your list this year? Share your ideas, and tell us how you plan to achieve your goals in 2019.

Here’s wishing you a very Happy New Year from the HashChing team.

 
By Vidhu Bajaj,
HashChing Content Writer
 

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HashChing is helping Australians by providing access to pre-negotiated home loan deals. Obligation free consultation with one of our partner brokers might save you time, hassle and money.

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