Today is the day to: stop, take stock and tackle your finances head on.
Is it always tomorrow, next week, next month or next year that you’re going to get your finances in order? It’s important to get on track as soon as possible. Here are some important things to take into consideration.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Imagine feeling like you’re in control of your finances, but suddenly something happens – a medical diagnosis, a serious accident, an adult child moves back home when their marriage breaks down, you lose your job. What do you do? It’s essential that you have a plan and funds in place in preparation for such a setback. If you don’t need to use it, it’s a nice bonus down the track when it comes to your retirement!
- Have a budget in place and your debt under control. It doesn’t matter how much you earn or what stage of life you’re at, your budget must keep track of income and outgoings, focus on reducing or paying off debt and allow for an emergency fund.
- Superannuation. Is your super looking healthy? Have you consolidated your super accounts? Have you made the right investment choices? Do you need to reassess your super? Do you need to start topping it up?
- Your will. Do you have one? If you do, is it up to date? Have you considered the welfare of your dependents?
- Insurance. Are appropriate insurances in place to get you by if you are incapacitated for a period of time and to protect the future of your spouse and dependants should anything untoward happen to you?
- Prioritising. So what happens if you want to reduce debt, make an impact on your savings and go on that dream holiday, but you only have $100 left at the end of each month? Firstly, you are not alone and secondly, you need to prioritise – a financial adviser can help you with this. You need to accept that: a) most people experience that sense of never having enough money and b) you’ll never really know anyone else’s financial position. Fact one: even the super wealthy feel they don’t have enough money – everyone needs to learn to live within their means. Fact two: despite appearances, the family with ‘everything’ might be in severe financial stress – so don’t compare yourself to them.
- Know how to effectively negotiate a better salary. Make sure you’re earning what you’re worth.
- Above all, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. In other words, get your finances in order now and you’ll reap the benefits down the track.