Whoa! Things can get out of control. There are some weeks when the costs seem to come at us from all directions – Christmas debt comes calling, holiday travel leaves a dent, and then it's time to shuffle the kids off to school. It's easy to feel like it's all veering a bit off track.

In the new digital "BYO device" world at school, for example, it's no longer just stationery – there's more and more to shell out for. I've even got a leftover car repair bill from back in December – there seems to be no shortage of things that require paying!

All of which means it's time to grab the wheel and turn this vehicle – which is what money fundamentally is – back in the direction we want. That way we'll make sure we reach our destinations in life.

Sorted's budgeting tool is where to set up your shiny new plan for your incomings and outgoings. The key is to not only funnel any extra money towards those past expenses, but to also get it flowing towards your future goals.


If you're self-employed or working multiple gigs these days, the team over at Hnry has built an impressive platform to help you manage all those "little windfalls" you get each time you're paid.

And if you're just beginning to sort your money out, it's not hard to get started. Sorted has six steps that, straight away from the first dollar, will see you get ahead financially:

• 1. Start your safety net.
• 2. Get your KiwiSaver settings right.
• 3. Start tackling your debt.
• 4. Cover your people, money, stuff.
• 5. Run your retirement numbers.
• 6. Set your targets, then hit them!

But if you're stuck in a rut and need more personalised help, the team over at MoneyTalks is at the ready. It's run by the government-supported FinCap agency, and offers free budgeting advice by phone (0800 345 123), text (4029), email or live chat.

With your finances more under control and headed in the direction you want, this time next year you'll be in a much better place financially. When costs seem to come at you from everywhere, you'll be able to cruise right on through and stay on track.

Get Sorted is written by Sorted's resident blogger, Tom Hartmann (@TomHartmannNZ). Check out the guides and tools from Sorted – brought to you by the Commission for Financial Capability – at sorted.org.nz.