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Money Hacks

New year, new goals: here's how to plan your finances a year ahead

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2020-12-17 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • Planning for the long term
  • Tips on money matters
  • The world of investing

Planning ahead – it mightn’t be sexy or spontaneous (though we’d like to change that), but it’s essential when it comes to achieving financial wellbeing.

The truth is, there are a number of money matters that work best in advance. Ace these little beauties now and you’ll be on track for a feel-good year. 2022: it’s just got that ring to it, hasn’t it?

Look forward to tax time

Organising your receipts months in advance of tax time mightn’t seem especially savvy, but it could reap dividends when June 30 ticks around. Start by unearthing your cache of receipts, then systematically going through them one-by-one. Get digital or just group them together – find a system that works for you. This could help stop you from missing out on some sweet refunds just because you couldn’t remember when you bought your home office setup.

Do a subscription detox

For many of us in 2020, subscription services made the lockdown yo-yo bearable. But with life beefing back up, now’s the perfect time to shed excess subscription weight. Which services do you want, and which do you actually need? Can’t say no to your streaming service? Then maybe you can ditch that weekly organic grocery box. Like any worthwhile detox, scaling back your subscriptions may be tough at first. But come next year, you’ll be grateful for the extra cash.

Clean up direct debits

Give your bank account some of those ‘new year new you’ vibes and remove any unneeded direct debits. Those sneaky automatic withdrawals might be easy to forget, but over time the debts add up. To get on top of your direct debits, start by performing an audit of your past three bank statements. Anything surprising pop up? Great – get cancelling. Cleaning up your direct debits isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. But do it now and you’ll be counting the pennies come 2022.

Save to spend (later)

Have a big wedding or event coming up next year? That killer dress or tailored suit can sometimes cost big bucks. Don’t despair. With a little planning (like, now), you’ll have the ultimate outfit planned in no time. Sign up for sale alerts to nab a bargain, or start putting aside a little bit each pay and spend up closer to the big day. The online marketplace is also another way to score the perfect hidden gem. What’s the good old saying… one person’s trash is another person’s treasure?

Leave home for the holidays

Given the workout we’ve been giving our couches this year, the prospect of an overseas tropical getaway or snowy sojourn can make us melt with longing. And planning international trips well in advance is better for your budget (aside from being a necessity right now). Of course, any holiday worth its Himalayan salt requires a slow and steady approach to saving. Start by calculating the total amount you need to save, then divide that into a weekly or fortnightly target. Need help? ANZ’s Savings Calculator makes saving for your well-earned holiday a breeze.

Think about dipping your toe into the world of investing

Time seems to speed up as we get older, which means the future will be here in no time. Don’t think that just because you’re ready to retire on your yacht that you’re not ready to start investing. Research your options and consider what will work for you. Some things to think about: where you want to invest: Property? Super? Shares? How much do you want to invest? What is your risk appetite? What are the fees, charges, benefits and risks of each type of investment? The earlier you start, the better off you could be, so make this the year you get your study cap on and learn about investing.

New year, new goals: here's how to plan your finances a year ahead
Financial Wellbeing Coach

New year, new savings goal

Start planning for the long term with a savings goal. Get there faster with a little help from the Financial Wellbeing Program.

Set A Savings Goal



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.