New Year, New You

Jan 16, 2021

Sometimes you just have to be brutally honest about the limitations of your own willpower to organise finances.

2021 has arrived hat-in-hand, bringing with it the conciliatory offer of a fresh start. A new year presents the perfect time to reset old habits and take some positive steps forward. When it comes to global new year’s resolutions lists, “earning more money” and “getting out of debt or to “organise finances” are consistently up there in the top ten.

In theory, you have a budget, staid and sensible. In practise, you seem to be at war with a money-hungry octopus, which delights in reaching its tentacles into your wallet and whipping out another chunk of cash as soon as your back is turned.

Meanwhile, you know you should be putting money aside into an emergency fund, but Murphy and his cursed law always seems to be lurking with the next financial foot trip. And why is it that paying off debt is hard, but that saving up that same money to buy things with cash feels like a far-fetched impossibility?

The plan to organise your finances can sit in your psyche as an important but fuzzy-edged goal. It can help to write down exactly what you want to achieve, even if you don’t know quite how to get there. For example, is your Kiwisaver still languishing in that default fund? Do you want to obliterate a certain debt that has been hanging over your head? Is it time to work backwards from the date of your planned retirement to figure out how to get you there safely and comfortably?

Kathryn Alborough from Motueka’s Castle Trust Financial Planning said that there are a host of money related goals that they work through with their clients.

“Each household has its own very unique financial situation, and that means a different set of solutions each time. We love having that initial conversation with our customers, where we start to get to know them and pin down their goals.”

Writing down everything that you spend can provide a sharp wake-up call, especially if you go back through your bank statements and categorise your last few months of spending. That way there can be no pretending that last month’s financial blow-outs were just anomalies that coincided with the Boxing Day sales. After all, budgets should be realistic, not idealistic.

“Our clients live in the real world, and so their finances need to work for them in the real world too,” – Kathryn said.

“We have seen over and over again that people have more success with their financial goals when the blueprint is balanced and sustainable.”

The kids don’t care if you pay off the mortgage at 55 or 57 – but they care that you took them camping. It’s about balancing spending on today, paying off the mortgage and saving for tomorrow. We sit down with our customers to make a sensible plan that aligns with their life style.”

Like any other specialty area in life, it can be prudent to enlist professional help. That way, you’re not relying just on your own willpower to tick this one off your list of resolutions – you have their training and years of experience on your side, too. After last year’s upheavals, imagine striking this one off your list and moving forward with your finances, with confidence and purpose.

If you are ready, book in your free 15 minute consultation with castle trust financial planning and let them help you get your finances organised.

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To see what this means for you, book a free 15 minute phone call now