It doesn’t matter how tall you are or what size you wear. Healthy comes in all different shapes and sizes.
It’s the same with your finances. You can be financially healthy regardless how much you earn. The key is to spend less than you earn.
And just like the first session with your personal trainer, getting your finances on track can be confronting. It may even hurt. For weeks. But like most things worthwhile, making the first step is the hardest.
Plan your financial goals
Determine what are your short, medium and long-term financial goals then break it down into achievable steps and set deadlines. For example, to pay off your credit card debt by next December you will need to pay $X each month.
Adjust your attitude
Our ingrained beliefs regarding financial wellness may not be warranted, rather an attitude we inherited from our parents. Believe you can take control of your finances, it may well need a change in attitude and behaviour.
Audit your spending
Yikes! But it’s essential to understand where your money is spent so you can set an accurate budget. Keep your receipts so you can check your bank account. It pays to keep accurate records to manage your bank account/s.
Set yourself a budget
A realistic budget. Then stick with it. Keep in mind your financial goals and use your budget to help reach these goals… without giving up your daily latte.
Learn to be a better saver
Apply the 50/30/20 budgeting rule where 50% of your income is allocated to the essentials, 30% on lifestyle and 20% on savings or paying off debt. Know what your hourly rate is, less tax. It helps to put purchases into perspective.
Pay off bad debt
Make this a priority. Bad debt includes credit card balances that are not paid off in full each month. Be selective how you pay for larger expenses. It may be more effective to redraw on your home loan than using a credit card.
Negotiate better deals from providers
From electricity and gas, mobile phone and internet, and mortgage and credit card providers, do your research and negotiate a better deal for you. Make the most of any discounts on offer but be mindful of the T&Cs.
Utilise workplace benefits
Some employers offer staff a range of workplace benefits and special offers and these could save you considerable money. Ask your employer. You may have access to salary sacrifice benefits, or you may just be in a position to negotiate a pay rise.
Review your current insurances
If you haven’t taken the time to compare car, home, contents, health or personal insurances, now is always a good time. Simply renewing your policies without researching comparisons does not make good financial sense. Shop around and negotiate.
Be smarter with your super
Shop around for a superannuation fund that will best help you reach your financial goals. If you have several accounts from previous employers, consolidate these into your main account. Again, it may be very worthwhile to seek the advice from an expert to help you.
Consider investing to grow your wealth
Believe it or not you may find yourself in a financial position to make an investment. In what exactly is up to you, and you may wish to utilise the advice from industry experts here to help you reach your financial goals.
Slow down your spending
We live in a digital world and it’s so easy to use your device to search for the ultimate shopping bargain. We literally have access to shopping 24/7 and for shopaholics, the temptation can be too strong. Stop and ask yourself if you really need it. Slow down your spending!
If that all sounds daunting, remember you are not alone. Like trainers, there are many experts available to help you reach your financial goals. Do your research, make sure you choose an expert that is suitably qualified and with whom you feel most comfortable.
Once you’re committed to financial boot camp, and make the effort each week, it won’t take long to see the results from your hard work. The more effort you put in, the greater the rewards.
After all, it’s you that will enjoy the rewards.