Get your finances back on track

Summer holidays, long lazy days in the sunshine, or if you’re in the North Island, looking out at yet another day of rain, may be starting to feel like a distant memory. Now that everyone is getting back to work and heading back to school, it’s time to ensure your finances are organised for 2023. Check out our top five tips.

1 – Holiday blowout

Firstly, if you’ve splashed a little too much cash around these past two months, don’t beat yourself up too much. You’re human and we all make mistakes. The important thing is to acknowledge you’ve over spent and find ways to fix any problems straight away.

Priority number 1 – If you have accidently missed a bill payment, don’t wait, pay it now. Alternatively, if your think you might not be able to make an upcoming payment, get in touch with the company or service provider to work through a payment plan or suitable solution.

Lady looking into empty purse

2 – Be honest

Take an honest look at your recent spending. Check out your latest credit card or bank statements to find out where you’ve over spent and why. Once you’ve discovered where the money has gone, you can start to think about strategies to fix it and save money instead. For instance, if you can see that you have indulged in takeaways a few too many times a week, start by writing a weekly meal plan. Buy ingredients for easy meals from the supermarket in advance and prep ahead of time. You can still have the odd takeaway, just make it a treat once a week.

bills and piggy bank on seesaw

3 – Review your budget

How often do you take a look at your budget? Is something missing, what needs to change?

Perhaps your budget is too restrictive and unrealistic or, you need to reallocate how much you have budgeted for certain categories? For example, if your internet provider has recently increased their prices, you will need to adjust your budget to cover the additional expense.

It’s also a good idea to set up an emergency fund. Putting aside a little each week adds up quickly and will give you a buffer in case something unexpected happens.

couple reviewing paperwork

4 – Set boundaries for future spending

Now is the time to set realistic boundaries to avoid the temptation to over spend. There are a number of apps available to help you budget, track your spending and set financial goals. MyBudgetPal is a great example of a free budgeting app available to Kiwis.

stack of gold coins

5 – Every little bit counts!

Small changes really do add up and will help you get your finances back on track. Be a savvy shopper and avoiding certain ‘specials’ at the supermarket. Do you really need five tins of peaches for $5 when you only intended to buy one for $1.20. Or maybe you need to ignore and avoid the latest sales at your local shopping mall and enjoy catching up with friends in the park or beach instead.

The beginning of the year is also a great time to review your subscriptions. It you only used your gym membership a handful of times last year, get rid of it!

Whatever you do, the key to successfully getting your finances back on track is to stay motivated. Break down your goals into smaller steps so they are more realistically achievable, and reward yourself when you get there…just not too much!

Feeling financial pressure?

If you have a loan with Oxford Finance and are experiencing an unforeseen change in your financial situation, don’t leave it too late to contact us or call 0800 88 44 66.

Get confidential financial mentoring or budgeting advice from Money Talks, an organization that offers advice at no cost to you. Call them on 0800 345 123 or visit their website here.