The past financial year has seen plenty of challenges and changes to the way we live to say the very least, and for some, it has meant adapting and reassessing their financial situation. With the new financial year underway, now is a good opportunity to check in on your finances, and revisit financial goals to ensure you’re still on the right track.

To help you along, we have prepared some tips to get you started

Put SMART financial goals in place

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. Your life and financial goals tend to change with each stage of life. It can be useful for you to set both short-term and long-term goals and to ensure your goals are realistic and achievable.

Your goals might include saving a deposit and securing finance for your first home, planning to have a family, putting your children through school or funding your retirement.

Re-evaluate your personal circumstances

Have your personal circumstances changed? You may have a new job or had a change in your working hours or arrangements, or maybe the end of JobKeeper payments have impacted your finances.

If you have recently married, had children, separated or divorced, then these significant life events may mean it’s worth reassessing your financial goals or planning for them a little differently.

Review your household budget and expenditure

Household budgets and expenditures can also change with each stage of your life. A financial health check is a useful way for you to review key expenses and explore potential savings. You may want to consider reviewing and comparing your household energy, internet or phone provider, or health or home insurer to see if you could be saving money. If you’re able to find savings, it will assist you to achieve your financial goals and leave you with more discretionary spending in the long run.

Re-evaluate debt

You may have heard people refer to efficient and inefficient debt. Your efficient debt is used to acquire assets with the potential for growth in value (such as property) and generate assessable income. Your inefficient debt is usually your borrowings for assets that generally go down in value, for example - credit cards, personal loans and car loans. Eliminating or reducing inefficient debt will be beneficial for your life and financial goals.

Review your home loan

If your circumstances have changed since you took out your home loan, then it’s likely to be time for a review. Alternatively, if you’re planning or working towards a major life event then it might require a change to the structure of your home loan to help you balance your finances. It’s worth considering reviewing your loan, its features, benefits and interest rates to help you make an informed choice. Maybe it might be worth moving to a fixed-rate loan, or maybe you’re considering whether you need to borrow a little more for a renovation. You might even find that you can put some additional savings aside each month, especially if you’re able to negotiate a lower interest rate.

Just like a physical health check at key life stages, a regular financial health check is a great way to keep in shape.

It will not only help keep you on track with your goals, but also allow you to review and adjust your finances accordingly. Understanding where your money is going will help you make SMART choices to lay out the path you’re on now and where you want to go in the future.

If you think that you are ready to begin the home buying journey or make a fresh start, contact HomeStart today and talk to someone about taking the first step in getting into your own home, sooner.