Best financial advice for 2017

When it comes to money it's important to remember it's your money.

Nobody should care more about your finances than you. Although there will be plenty of people who will be happy to take some off your cash off your hands.

So here are some tips for getting your finances into shape in 2017.

Write down three goals, or things you would like to do.

It might be paying down debt, increasing your mortgage payments or saving for a holiday - that does not mean putting it on the credit card.

The Commission for Financial Capability's David Boyle says that even a $10 a week increase in your mortgage payments can make a big difference over time.

Likewise, paying off high-interest loans is important. This includes paying off your credit card balance and then making sure you keep paying the entire amount each and every month.

Start an emergency fund.

Ideally you want to have a buffer account with an amount equivalent to two to three months' salary or wages. That way you have some reserve cash if something unexpected happens.

Join KiwiSaver.

If you are not already in KiwiSaver you should join. If you are 18 or older and you put $1042 per year into your account you will receive some free money - the Member Tax Credit. You will receive 50 cents from the Government for every $1 you contribute.

If you are a salaried employee you will also receive a matching contribution from your employer, up to 3 percent of your wage.

More advice.

To do these things you need a budget.

The commission's Sorted website has budgeting tools.

Mr Boyle suggests the holidays are also a good time to think about some longer term goals and changes.

Perhaps it is time to think about moving to a cheaper town, getting a better paid job, or retraining.

The Sorted website also offers advice on goal-setting.