Consider your financial situation

The start of the year is a good time to take stock, which includes looking at how you’re using your money. Whether you’re in a strong financial position or struggling to save, there are strategies available.

Pay off debt

Before you do anything else, work out what your debt looks like.

There may be big issues you can’t solve instantly, like a mortgage or HELP debt, but there might be other areas you can chip away at. This could mean paying off a larger chunk of a car loan or some credit card debt.

The sooner you can put a dent in your debt, the easier it’ll be for you to set yourself up for financial success. If you’re not sure how to get started, do some research on how to manage your debts.

Bucket your money

If you’re not the best at knowing where your money is going, bucketing is a great strategy. It’s very simple – you create several bank accounts, known as buckets, and assign each one a specific function. Think buckets for savings, bills and emergencies, as well as one for spending on socialising and entertainment.

It’s a great alternative to spreadsheets and complicated budgets, giving you a clear overview of how you’re using your money. This provides greater control and lets you identify areas where you can cut back and save more.

It’s also a good example of the advantages of doing all your banking in the one place, as it’s quick and simple to move money between accounts and keep an eye on your progress.

Set some goals

Once you’ve got a better view of your spending, you can start to think about some financial goals. To ensure you’re able to keep track of your progress, you can use a tool like My Goals.

It’s really simple – just give your goal a name, set the amount you want to reach and the date you want to achieve it by. This could be a weekly target, something several months down the track or a long-term goal you want to tick off by the following year.

Track your spending

Another good way to keep yourself accountable is through the Spending tool in the NAB app. It helps you keep track of exactly what you’re using your money for by grouping purchases into categories.

Getting started now gives you a chance to get used to how it works so that you’re prepared to use it for the rest of the year.

Make sure you’ve got an emergency fund

No matter how well you plan, there’s always the chance you’ll be hit with unexpected expenses. When something like this happens, having some money set aside can be a relief.

As part of your bucketing, make sure you’ve got an emergency or ‘rainy day’ account. Even if you don’t have to use it, it’s great peace of mind knowing it’s there in case something happens.

Ask for help if you need it

While you’re looking at how you’re doing with money, you may find you’re in a worse position than you thought. If this is the case, our financial hardship hub can help you find out more about available support.

No matter your financial circumstance, NAB is committed to helping you get good at money.

Get good at money in the New Year

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The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

Target Market Determinations for these products are available at nab.com.au/TMD.

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