The new year is an excellent opportunity to reflect on what we want to achieve in 2023, personally or financially. Getting a head start on managing your finances and super can make a big difference in achieving your savings goals.

Here are some simple ways to help improve your finances in 2023.

Track your spending

Getting an accurate view of your spending habits means you can start identifying improvement areas. Managing and saving money works best when you clearly see what’s coming in and going out.

Start by recording what you earn and spend. Quite often, we don’t realise how much we are spending, and once you start taking a closer look, you realise all those little purchases begin to add up. There are apps that can help you do this by entering your expenses or even by scanning receipts! You can then commit to a spending target and monitor that over the weeks and months. For example, on the first of the month, my account balance is $5,000; by the end of the month, it should be $6,000. Then you can easily track your progress and hit your goals.

There are ways to balance your spending with your saving to ensure you can continue to indulge in purchases from time to time. With technology making life so much easier, it has also made spending money easier, so a good start is to keep a closer eye on those online purchases or buy now, pay later services. It’s also important to consider hidden costs, like subscription charges, that add up over time.

Set a budget

It feels good to be in control of your money, and setting a budget is a great place to start.

Putting a budget in place now means you can start understanding your current spending habits and begin saving for those things you really want. To help you set up your budget, a great place to start is the moneysmart budget planner. You can download and use this free tool across all your devices and begin to track and manage your finances.

Another budget consideration is how you want to build your savings for later in life. One day, you’ll want to stop working, and when you do, you’ll need enough money to live comfortably. Although it might seem like a while away, getting a head start by engaging with your super now will help set you up to reach those long-term goals when it comes to retiring.

Make the most of your money

There are different ways to make sure your savings are working for you. You could keep your money in a bank account where it might earn some interest. To help you with medium to long-term goals, consider a term deposit or an investment such as shares, bonds, or property. Getting financial advice could be a good way to decide what option best suits your goals.

How super can help

Super plays an important role in funding your future. When you enter the workforce and if you’re eligible, your employer puts a percentage of your income into a super account – known as the superannuation guarantee (or SG). Your SG contributions are a great way to start, but for many SG alone won’t provide you with enough superannuation to live comfortably in retirement.

Consider your advice options

Being able to ask questions and get expert recommendations can make all the difference. Everyone’s financial journey is unique, so it’s important to get financial advice that’s right for you.

A financial adviser can help you make financial decisions and plan for the future. This might include advice about budgeting, investing, super, retirement planning and insurance.