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Make a money pledge

Penny Pryor

If you have already broken all your new resolutions it might be time to consider a new year’s pledge instead: something that you pledge to do and, hopefully because it doesn’t carry the same pressure as a resolution, it might be easier to achieve.

MoneySmart.gov.au is asking people to make MoneySmart pledges for 2013 to help them get their finances back on track. Their suggestions include:

  • Clear your debts
  • Pay off your credit cards
  • Shrink your mortgage
  • Save for an overseas holiday
  • Put extra into super

You can register your pledge at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MoneySmartAu or let us know what you plan to do at our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/MoneySmartAu#!/afrsmartinvestor.

Paying down debt is a good start. If you’re having trouble getting a hold on your borrowings, and bankruptcy is looking like a frighteningly real possibility, you should consider a debt agreement.

These have been much easier to take up since reforms to the Bankruptcy Act in 2007. Since then, bankruptcies have fallen by 20 per cent as debt agreements rose by 68 per cent.

There is a limit on the amount of debt you can have and apply for a debt agreement which is indexed regularly (it was $97,679 in October last year). More information is available here.

MoneySmart has some great calculators. You might even be better of paying more off your superannuation than your home loan. Try this calculator to find out.

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