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Wouldn’t you love this to be the year you actually put away some cash, instead of freaking out every time the credit card statement arrives in the mail? Here’s 5 ways to become financial savvy once and for all!

One of the most common resolutions among Aussies is to get their finances in order, reduce debt and save cash this year. However, research has shown that 88% of resolutions will end in failure – yikes. So how can we ensure we are in the minority who succeed financially in 2013?

Jeremy Cabral, publisher of leading credit card comparison website, CreditCardFinder.com.au says, “Getting your finances in order can seem like a mammoth task, but by taking small simple steps and developing good habits, you can make a drastic change quite easily. The key to achieving these financial goals is to write them down and set out specific timelines by which they must happen.”



Mr. Cabral has the following 5 tips for those who want to make their money go further in 2013:



1. Get Organised

Start by looking at your income and expenses. Bank statements are a great starting point for this. Build a spreadsheet to track your spending and savings and also find out how much you owe on any loans and your credit card. This will give you clear picture of where to begin for the year.


2. Create a Plan of Action

Write down what you want to achieve financially in 2013. Do you want to pay off your credit card or buy a car, or even save for your first home? It’s crucial to write down your key goals so you don’t lose sight of your resolutions. If you have a savings goal for 2013 consider depositing your savings into a high interest online savings account.



3. Cut Down on Unnecessary Spending

Evaluate exactly what you’re spending your money on each week / month. Are there any outgoings that are not necessary or that you could cut down on? Coffee is a perfect example. Most people love a morning coffee or as an afternoon pick me up. The average cost of a cappuccino in Sydney is $3.47. If you have two coffees a day, you’re spending almost $25 a week. Over the course of the year you will spend $1,500 on coffee alone! Instead of buying coffees, perhaps consider instant coffee instead. It might not taste quite the same but an extra $1,500 a year can make your savings go a lot further.


4. Pay Your Bills on Time

We all have bills we need to pay. What most of us don’t take note of is the late payment fees utility companies charge. By paying bills on time you can avoid these unnecessary and costly charges and save hundreds of dollars in the process. Make calendar entries for when bills are due to ensure you remember. Direct debit is also a good option. Set this up so your bills are paid the day you get paid, so you won’t even notice the money leaving your account and won’t miss a payment.


5. Clean out your Credit Cards

The majority of Australians with credit card debt have not compared their options. If you haven’t considered a balance transfer to a 0% interest rate, 2013 is the time to act. Balance transfers work by taking your existing credit card debt to a new provider, and paying a minimal, sometimes 0% interest rate.

What’s your best money saving tip?