How are your New Year's Resolutions going?

WE ARE now more than halfway through January - how are your New Year's Resolutions going? 

If you are like most people, you would have started off full of enthusiasm, but your energy has started to dwindle as the reality of life starts to wear you down.

The way to re-energise yourself is to start setting goals, and the trick is to break them down into small chunks.  For example, if your goal is to lose weight, start by something realistic such as losing six kg by the end of the year.  To do this, all you want to do is lose 500 grams a month.

It's the same as getting your finances in order.  The first step is to ensure that you are not spending more than you earn, so take a few minutes to list your income and your expenses. If there is a surplus on the income side, you should talk to a financial adviser about the best way to invest it - if there is a deficit, you need to take urgent action to stop yourself slowly creeping into more and more debt.

If you are paying your credit cards in full every month, you are probably living within your means, but if you find yourself unable to do this, you need to take drastic action to cut down on all unnecessary expenses

A good strategy, if you have a number of small personal loans is to use all your resources to pay off the smallest one.  Once this is paid off, use the money no longer needed for its repayments to attack the next smallest debt.  If you keep this up until all your personal loans are paid out, you should be back on track.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: