Don’t let the winter cold distract you from your financial goals. Winter can be the perfect time to prepare your strategies for the new financial year. Even though the winter months can sometimes be bleak, especially if you live in southern climes, it can be the perfect time to prepare your strategies for the new financial year. Here are 5 tactics that could leave you in far better financial shape by the time spring has sprung.

  1. Understand the changes that have come into effect.

01 July is often the time when many legislative changes come into effect. It’s important to understand how these changes can impact your financial goals and adjust your plans accordingly. You can read about some of the proposed changes introduced in the 2017 Budget here, here and here.

2. Set budgets for the financial year.

Just as organisations create new budgets at the beginning of each financial year, you should do the same for your household. Prepare for upcoming financial responsibilities, savings, investments and holidays. Set financial goals and figure out how and where you can cut costs. There are a number of apps that can help you or contact us for assistance.

3. Get to the point.

Use the longer nights to consider all of the non-currency accounts you hold such as frequent flyer, membership and credit card reward points. Figure out how best to combine the points or spend them before they expire. Spoil yourself with a gift, buy a household necessity or book free flights for a summer break. While you’re at it, look into whether a different credit card might offer you better value for money.

4. Familiarise yourself with your super.

If you are aware of much superannuation you have and how it’s invested, you’re in the minority. Most Australians don’t know their super balance or its investment mix. As you move throughout the various stages of life, your appetite for risk is likely to change dramatically. Your superannuation strategy should change with it so take the time to understand your super fund statement and get advice if there’s anything you don’t understand. While you’re at it, take the time to review your life, income protection and TPD insurance to ensure you have adequate cover and you’re not paying more than you need to.

5. Stay healthy

Fitness experts are well aware of the negative effects the cold weather and shorter days of winter can have on their clients’ health. But they also recognize that some people use the different weather to change their exercise strategy and discover new good habits. If you switch from swimming to running, from outdoor to gym-based exercise, or if you simply exercise more, your fitness improvement will almost always translate to a healthier hip pocket as you’ll be avoiding potentially expensive future medical costs. Remember “a healthy lifestyle is a smart investment in the future”.

Get the financial year off to a good start and be ready for a more successful 2018 with our tips. Following this guide means that by September, you’ll have a real ‘spring’ in your step.