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I’ve spent a year working from home with my three-year-old. Getting a handle on my finances in 2021 should be a walk in the park.

Financial planning
12 February 2021
I’ve spent a year working from home with my three-year-old. Getting a handle on my finances in 2021 should be a walk in the park.

Taking the first step is always the hardest when it comes to sorting out our finances. But if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and tackle your finances head-on, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your money mindset and set yourself up for financial success.

1. Revisit your financial goals

Reviewing your existing financial goals and setting some new ones, is a great place to start when getting on top of your finances.

When you’re thinking about your financial goals, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Where do I want my finances to be in 12 months/5 years/10 years from now?
  • Do my goals align with my values?
  • Are my goals S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely)?
  • What can I do this year to achieve my goals?
  • Who can support me to achieve my goals?

Having goals and plans in place to achieve them will help you keep your finances on track.

2. Check-in with your super

For many of us, the challenges of 2020 and adjusting to our ‘new normal’ encouraged us to reassess our priorities. And we understand that as your priorities change, your super should adapt with you.

Our investment options allow you to match your investments with your situation and your financial goals. Whether you want to work less or you’d like to invest more sustainably, we’ve got super choices to suit your changing needs.

With 2021 well underway it’s time to check-in with your super. You can review your current investment strategy and update all your details via MemberOnline.

3. Refresh your budget (or start one)

Regularly reviewing your budget can help ensure you're able to meet your day-to-day expenses and save for the future.

So, break out your spreadsheet (or App) and update your budget to reflect your current situation. Are there expenses you haven’t accounted for such as joining a gym? Or are there things you’re no longer paying for like school fees? Has your income changed this year?

If you discover that you have a surplus in your budget, consider making additional super contributions. You can use our spare change calculator to see how making small contributions now can make a big difference later.

If you’re not the budgeting type but want to get started MoneySmart has lots of tips and resources to help you set up a budget that works for you.

4. Build a buffer

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to prepare for the unexpected. Having an emergency fund or buffer can provide you with a financial safety net so you might not come up short if something unexpected happens.

So, how much do you need to have in an emergency fund? It’s a good idea to have three months of expenses saved for emergencies. You can keep this money in a high-interest savings account to help your money grow and allow you to access it quickly if you need it.

You could also consider income protection to help cover costs if you can’t work due to an injury or illness.

5. You don’t have to fly solo

If making decisions about your finances sounds overwhelming, remember you don’t have to go it alone.

Our financial planners are here to help you understand your choices when it comes to super and support you with whatever you decide. Advice about your super is included in your membership, it’s obligation-free and available as often as you need.*

Book a call-back with one of our financial planners.

* Financial advice obtained over the phone, or through MemberOnline, is provided by Mercer Financial Advice (Australia) Pty Ltd (MFAAPL) ABN 76 153 168 293, Australian Financial Services Licence #411766.

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