New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA) says investing time to make your financial plan now could pay dividends by giving you choices in the future.
As part of Money Week (5-11 September) run by the Commission for Financial Capability, NZBA is encouraging people to take time to think about their financial future, set short and long terms goals, and to make a plan on how to get there.
“Making a financial plan prompts us to understand our current financial position and think about how we will use money in the future, it also helps us to focus on what we want to achieve,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Karen Scott-Howman.
“The benefit of having a plan is that you can make better financial decisions for the short and long term, and it sets you up to deal with anything unexpected that happens along the way.
“There are many online tools and resources to help you make a financial plan – we all just need to make it a priority to take time to do it. Your bank’s website is a great place to start, and if you need personalised financial advice then you can talk with your bank,” said ScottHowman.
Follow these tips to help make your financial plan
- Set short and long term financial goals. Think about what you want in life and how your money decisions can support you to achieve that. Write down your short and long term goals.
- Plan a budget. Take time to review how, when and where you spend your money. Tracking your expenses allows you to set a realistic budget and identify the areas where you can make changes to get ahead. Stick with it and you will soon see progress toward your goals. You can find budget planning tools and information on your bank’s website or at www.sorted.org.nz.
- Grow your savings. Set short, medium and long term savings goals like saving toward a holiday, a deposit for a house, or KiwiSaver for your retirement. Talk to your bank or another trusted financial advisor about investment strategies and how to make your money work for you.
- Manage debt. Take time to review any debt that you hold and make it your goal to be debt-free. Talk with your bank about how to be debt-free fast. Avoid ‘dumb debt’ and only ever borrow what you need and plan to pay it off as quickly as you can.
- Protect your money. We all need to take responsibility for protecting our financial security. Consider speaking with a professional financial advisor, such as your bank, about ways on how best to protect your money, such as insurance or a contingency plan.