WITH 2013 here, many of us are starting to think about how we can get back on track with our health and well-being.
A key part to being on the track to a healthy outlook is to ensure you are in good financial shape for the year ahead.
Take this time to proactively rid yourself of any festive season debt so you can wholeheartedly focus on the financial path ahead.
By setting goals and prioritising what is most important, such as distinguishing between your needs and wants, you could achieve much more than you ever thought possible.
So while typical New Year's resolutions might include joining the local gym, why not consider some of the following resolutions to help put your finances in good shape in 2013.
1.Raise your expectations for the year ahead.
Set yourself a savings target for the first few weeks or months of the year.
Then review your progress and up the ante to save more over the next period.
This will help you adjust to a good savings plan and can create a financial buffer, preparing you for any unexpected events such as future rate rises.
Keep in mind it's often said that it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality.
2. Revisit existing loans.
Ideally, you should aim to clear your current debts before acquiring new ones.
Every cent counts so contribute as much as you can as often as you can, particularly if you are repaying high interest rate loans or credit cards.
A clean slate and a good credit history are important factors when trying to obtain finance, whether it's your first home or to purchase an investment property.
3. Play the rate game
Following lenders passing on some of the recent interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia, your home loan interest rate may have dropped.
If you find this to be the case then it's a good idea to continue repaying your loan at the pre-rate cut levels, to reduce the overall life of the loan and interest payable.
4. Put renovation plans into action.
Have you had renovation plans on the mind for a little while but haven't had the chance to put them into action?
Now is a great time to dust off the old paintbrush and make your plans a reality.
This may add further equity to your property, which you may be able to borrow against in future for further renovations or investments.
5. Increase the health of your wealth.
If you are considering renovating, upgrading, downsizing, investing or purchasing your first home, take note there is a wide range of loans and lenders available who are eager for your business.
Make it a New Year resolution to shop around for potential rate discounts and other lender offers.
By sticking to the plan now and following through with your resolutions you could be on your way to better financial health.
For more information phone 1800 01 LOAN.