Get financially fit in 2014 with tips from Heritage Bank

Are you suffering from a financial hangover after the festive season?

As new research reveals that Australians have increased their retail spending post-Christmas, Heritage Bank offers some simple tips to help you get you financially fit in 2014.

According to research from the National Retailers Association, Australians are projected to spend around $15.1 billion at the shops from Boxing Day to mid-January.  Add this to school holidays, Christmas shopping and New Year’s Eve parties and it’s no wonder many of us are left feeling financially exhausted.

Heritage Bank CEO John Minz said that the start of the New Year was a popular time for many people to set financial goals especially after indulging over the holidays.

“If you’ve decided your financial health needs a kick start this year, it’s time to review your finances and make a commitment to replacing bad habits with good ones,” Mr Minz said.

“Whether your goal is to save money, buy a house or get rid of debt, small changes to your financial routines can make a big difference in the long run and get you closer to achieving your financial goals.”

Need some help getting your finances into shape after the festive season? Get back on track with these tips from Heritage Bank.

1. Make sure you have the right products for your situation
Everybody’s financial situation and needs are different. Now is a good time to do a stock take of all of your financial products to find out if there are opportunities for you to be saving money. What accounts do you have? Would you be better off with a different account or financial institution? People’s circumstances can change so it’s important to do your research to make sure your current accounts match your current situation. If you’re not sure where to start, visit your bank or make an appointment to see a financial planner. 

2. Simplify your banking and insurance
Having your banking all in one place can make managing your money a bit easier. A number of financial institutions including Heritage will allow you to package your loans, bank accounts, credit cards or insurance policies together.  This often results in benefits including savings on fees and insurance discounts. It’s also easier to get a better overall view of your finances which can help you to set realistic budgets and savings goals.

3. Budget 
Why not make 2014 the year for you to do up an effective and honest budget? If you’ve already got a budget now would be the time to review it and see where you can improve from last year. Online budget planners like MoneySmart’s budget planner will help to get you thinking about all the possible places your money is coming from and going and help you plan for the bigger picture.

“Sticking to good financial habits can be a challenge,” Mr Minz said.

“Planning, preparation and persistence are key to helping you ensure the best chance of success in reaching your financial goals.  Even if you can only commit to making small changes, you’re more likely to be in a stronger financial position this time next year.”

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.