It’s June 30, you’ve just finalised all your paperwork and sent it out to your tax agent.

First of all, go get yourself a beer. You’ve earned it. You’ve made it through another financial year, and you’ve got everything together on time. Well done. Now all that’s left is to wait for your returns.

As you sip on your drink, consider this:
You now know exactly where you stand financially. What this means is that you are now at the best position to set your next year’s financial goals; your new (financial) year’s resolutions – so to speak.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1. Review your current situation
With your books balanced, now’s the time to look at the big picture and figure out exactly where you stand. Do you have too many small debts that you could potentially consolidate? Do you have money lying around that would do better invested?

Coming out of a financial mayhem, now is the best time to know exactly where your income is coming from and how it’s spent. It is always useful to have a clear understanding of your finances as it allows you to make the necessary decisions moving forward.

2. Set your goals

Now that you know where you stand, think about where you want to be. Think about your long-term goals and then minimise them into realistic baby steps. Do you want to be your own boss? Retire on a yacht? Do you just want to be debt free, or doing more than making ends meet, or maybe just capable of sending your kids to whichever school they want to go to – how can you make that happen?

Once you know where you want to end up, it becomes easier to choose your route. Easier, but not easy. Be aware that every decision you make, every dollar you choose to spend, can make a difference down the track.

3. Create a plantips to get ahead this eofy
The first step to a successful financial plan is budgeting. If you don’t already have a budget, now’s the time to set one. Surmise your income, then anticipate your expenses. Divide them into necessary expenses and superfluous ones. See if you can cut out any unnecessary payments. Develop better spending habits. Plugging money leaks could really boost your bank balance.

Once your budget is set, prioritise paying off your debts. See if it makes sense to consolidate some of them, and contact your financial institutions to inquire about the terms and conditions of making payments larger than the minimum. There is nothing more liberating than being debt-free.

Create an emergency fund and be consistent about contributing to it. As we’ve all learned in the past couple of years, you don’t know what life might throw your way. An emergency fund can protect you from anything. Make sure you build up to at least 3 months’ worth of expenses in savings.

The next big thing to consider is your superannuation. If you have more than one super, consider consolidating them into one fund to minimise the fees you’re being charged. Then take time to look at how your super investments are being made. Reflect on whether it might be better to take matters into your own hands with an SMSF, or to simply change how conservative or high-growth you want your investment strategy to be. These choices have a direct influence on how comfortable your retirement is.

4. Commit
And this is the most important item on this list. A plan is only as effective as your commitment to it. If you do not proactively take the reigns of your life, nothing will change. It is up to you and only you to do this. We can help, but you have to put in the work.

5. Sit down with a specialist
Wherever you stand financially, enlisting help from an expert is always a good idea. A financial adviser can help you assess your situation and point out things you may have missed. Your adviser will also work with you to set financial targets that are realistic and reachable, and guide your progress along the way.

Give us a call, let’s turn your dreams into reality.

Disclaimer: Information included in this post is of general nature, it has been prepared without taking into account your specific situation. It is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice. You should not make any decision, financial or otherwise, based on any of the information presented here without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional accountant or financial adviser.