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4 goals you can stick to in the new year (we promise!)

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2023-12-21 00:00

Estimated reading time
7 min

In this article

  • Resolution 1: “I will track my Financial Wellbeing Score.”
  • Resolution 2: “I will give my budget a makeover.”
  • Resolution 3: “I will deal with debt.”
  • Resolution 4: “I will suss out my super.”
  • How to nail your financial resolutions

Let’s face it: there is nothing more satisfying than making progress on a New Year's resolution.

And not just because it’s nice to feel like you’re heading in the right direction. Any little bit of positive, meaningful change in your life can actually have a great effect on your financial (and general) wellbeing.

This year, including financial wellbeing into your New Year’s resolutions can help you figure out where your money goes (and where it’s needed!) and have the tools and information to change lanes if any unexpected expenses pop up.

Let’s explore some simple financial resolutions you can keep this year and some achievable strategies you can implement to keep the ball rolling.

Four financial resolutions you can set this year

Resolution 1: “I will track my Financial Wellbeing Score.”

This resolution only takes five minutes – a guaranteed win. Answer 12 easy questions to give you an idea of how confident you feel about the next 12 months, how prepared you are to manage unexpected emergencies, and whether you’re on track to meet your goals. Get your score today, and commit to checking it every few months as you work towards improving your financial wellbeing.

Hot tip: You can keep track your Financial Wellbeing Score throughout the new year by downloading our Financial Wellbeing Score tracker (PDF).

Resolution 2: “I will give my budget a makeover.”

Your circumstances, needs and investments might change throughout the year – it’s just the game of life. So, if you made a budget many moons ago, consider updating it. Seeing it all in writing can help you enter the new year with more confidence to make informed choices about your money. And who knows – it might turn out you can afford more than you expected. To make things easier, you can use our budget calculator tool – add in a few bits of information and let our calculator crunch the numbers for you.

Hot tip: Have a certain goal for your budget that you want to work towards, like a holiday or new car, and have a successful system to reach those goals1. Atomic Habits author James Clear suggests asking yourself: What small thing can you do or change to work towards that dream getaway? And if doesn’t work out, why was this the outcome? These questions can help you work out your next steps.

Resolution 3: “I will deal with debt.”

It’s time to talk about the big, loud elephant in the room: debt. Whether it’s a car loan or buy-now-pay-later credit, you need to know what debts you have so you've got a clear picture of where you stand and what to do next.

As daunting as the task may seem, managing your debt by prioritising it and working out how to best pay it off, can bring a little joy to the rest of your year, with a potentially better credit score and less mental burden. There are many ways to square away some of what you owe – and you don’t have to do it alone. We have some great easy-to-use resources you can use to help manage your debt without feeling overwhelmed.

Hot tip: Another hack from Atomic Habits is to try improve your finances by 1% every day2. Whether it’s paying off your debt a dollar each day or setting aside small amounts of money each week for your debt, the small marginal gains will snowball into something bigger.

Resolution 4: “I will suss out my super.”

This is one of the best resolutions you can make for your future self. Set aside a day and time in the new year to double check you’re getting the best bang for your buck in your superannuation account by following the three Cs:

  • Check: When last did you check your super balance? Log in to your account and have a look so you can plan for the future.
  • Compare: It pays to work out if your super’s fees and returns are still right for you. Consider comparing your options, and if you find a better option, change your fund to improve your future gains.
  • Consolidate: Many Australians have multiple superannuation funds floating about, even without their knowledge. Search for them via your MyGov ATO account3 and get the system to consolidate your super for you.

Hot tip: Think about what future you would need and build identity-based habits4. James Clear says that these types of habits help you decide what type of person you want to be and prove it to yourself with small wins.

So how can you nail your financial resolutions?

New Year's resolutions are often driven by our intention to make good changes in our lives. But for many of us, these resolutions tend to fall apart pretty quickly, like a house of cards on a windy day.

There’s this thing called the ‘Optimism Bias’ that’s partly to blame, which is where we underestimate challenges and overestimate our ability to stick to our goals. Sound familiar?

Luckily, there’s one thing you can do to avoid this bias and ace your resolutions (for real this time): set clear SMART goals.

SMART goals (PDF) can help you drill down into what you really want to achieve in the new year. Your goals will be:

SpecificWhat do you want to achieve? Why do you want to achieve it?

MeasurableWhat is the total amount you need to save/spend/invest in to reach your goal?

Achievable: How will you achieve your goal?

RealisticHow often will you check your progress? Or how much money do you need to put into a savings account?

Timely: When do you want to reach your goal?


4 goals you can stick to in the new year (we promise!)
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.