Ever looked at a friend who has everything together and thought ‘what’s their secret, why are they so financially secure?’ There is no get rich quick scheme that will set you up for success. For long term financial freedom and putting yourself in a comfortable position, it comes down to a few good habits that will help you in life.
Believe it or not, being secure financially doesn’t involve magic or an outrageous stroke of luck. More often than not, it results from good habits, such as keeping track of your finances, cutting back on expenses, and planning ahead.
Here are five habits you can develop that will help you become the awe of your friends and family.
Habit one: Set goals
It’s time to take control of your financial security and a great place to start is to identify short, medium, and long-term financial goals. These might be saving for a family holiday, making additional contributions to your superannuation, paying off expensive credit card debt, or just keep it simple and save a set amount each pay-day. For example, it’s generally accepted that you should aim to save 20% of your income, according to the Commonwealth Bank. If you would like support reaching your financial goals, please reach out our office.
Habit two: Create a budget
Creating a budget is an incredibly important step to achieving your goals as you work towards your financially security. Rest assured it’s easier than you think using a good budgeting tool. And there are plenty of helpful apps and websites out there to choose from, like ASIC’s MoneySmart Budget Planner https://moneysmart.gov.au/budgeting/how-to-do-a-budget . The first few months of sticking to your budget will be the toughest, so start by setting a realistic budget. If you’d like help doing this, reach out.
Habit three: Optimise your bank accounts
Consider streamlining your banking to help you save, and get paid into an account that’s not accessible by debit card. Pay off your monthly essentials first, then transfer your budgeted savings into a separate account. Finally, only put as much as you’ll need in a spending account. That’s this month’s budget. You could also check how much bank fees are eating into your spending and savings accounts. If you don’t know, find out, then shop around for a better deal. Finally, tackle your outstanding credit card balance, and check to see if you own any credit cards you no longer need. Remember late payment fees and interest will really put a dent into your savings.
Habit four: Track your spending
It’s one thing to create a budget and set financial goals, but entirely another to stick to them. Set aside 15-30 minutes each week or fortnight to make sure you’re keeping on track.
Look at what budget you set out and if you are sticking to it, if you are finding yourself spending more in certain areas than be realistic and adjust your budget or consider how you can adapt eg. Eating out one day less each month or only taking cash when you go out and leaving your cards at home.
Habit five: Plan for the unexpected
Your income is fundamental to achieving your financial goals, so for financial security you should be confident that you have adequate protection and plans in place.
Have you set up an emergency cash fund if something unexpected were to happen? How would you cope if you didn’t receive an income for a couple of months? look at setting up a fund that has funds available to meet your expenses for this 3 month period.
Do you have insurances in place if something were to happen to you and you don’t become a burden on your family. By allocating a small percentage of your income towards a protection strategy, you can ensure you and your family are protected for the future.
To discuss your financial plan, or to take out cover to protect you and your loved ones if something unexpected did occur, please reach out to us.
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