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Setting yourself up for a financially positive 2018

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New year, new financially responsible you? Great news! Here are five realistic strategies for managing your money if wiser cash flow is one of your resolutions. 

Shop less, but focus on quality 

You’ve had your blender for a year and it served you quite well, but it’s burnt out now. It’s an affordable model, though–do you repurchase? Seems a bit illogical. What would be best is to do some research, sift through some online reviews (Amazon is great, but for an Australia-specific source try Choice) and select something that’s reputable and built to last—even if it costs a bit more than your last one. 

Walk more  

This idea is not a new one but it’s worth reiterating: walking more will benefit both health and wallet. If your daily commute is quite a few kilometres, consider tapping off early and walking a part of the way. If you’re a keen taxi or Uber customer, your key here is, of course, time management: give yourself extra time so you can walk these short trips.  

Increase your savings per month 

Depending on your salary, it may be possible to start putting away $100 or $200 more each month. Trial it for a few months to test how your life is impacted (do you buy less coffee to balance the gap? Have fewer drinks while out to dinner?). Alternatively, you mightn’t notice a palpable difference—success!  

Rank your debts  

Debt can be a dirty word, but the good news is, not all debt is created equal. Write a list of everything you owe arranged from most to least urgent; that is, highest to lowest interest rate. Particularly if you plan on any investments in 2018, it’s wise to clear any ongoing interest-attracting debt. Rather than chipping away at your $10,000 credit card debt at a rate of 14 percent annually, ($1,400 per year) it would be wiser to strategise on ways to clear that credit card in full before investing.  

Be crafty online 

Been saving for something only available on a particular website? Perhaps you can refer some friends first. Often sites have systems whereby referring a friend who makes a purchase earns you credit. Shipping costs not ideal? Try to order with a friend or colleague to split the postage costs. Pro-tip: if you leave items in your cart and don't check out, some stores will email you with an abandoned cart message accompanied by a discount code! Speaking of discount codes, stores will often send these exclusively within emails—be sure to sign up to relevant mailing lists if you’re after a few dollars off!  
When you’re not buying, what about selling? Quality clothes you no longer wear? Take some decent pictures and get them on eBay. For the Gumtree market, the kitchen and garage in particular hold many covetable items: think appliances, power tools and so on.