Do you want to get ahead in life financially? Do you have your own goals and are working towards them? If you don’t or if you’re not sure if your goals are the best for you, or if you are struggling to reach your goals, it may be time to evaluate some things around your personal finances.
We’ve put together five different things you can do to ensure you have optimised your financial situation. Why not do these asap to get yourself into the best position possible and really get things cranking in 2017:
- Develop a budget that really works
- Evaluate renting versus buying a property to live for your situation
- Review your Superannuation
- Evaluate using your Superannuation to buy a property
1. Develop a budget that really works
Creating a budget can be a real pain in the neck but studies have shown that it increases your ability to control your spending and save money for your goals. To create a realistic budget you need to list ALL your essential spending (the things you MUST spend money on) and how much they cost and how often you have to incur that expense.
Add these up and this gives you what you have to spend to live. Any amount left over is what you have to either save, pay extra off debts or spend on what you WANT (not need).
If you end up having more expenses than the money you earn, or if you are not saving but want to, or want to save more, then you need to go through your spending list and find items you can do without, or reduce the amount you spend on them.
If you struggle keeping your WANT spending under control find ways to remove access to your MUST spends – like transferring it into a bills account straight away – so you wont touch it and keep track of your WANT spending. Some people even go to the extent of putting each into small wallets or envelopes. There are many other ways to help you stay within your budget. Check some of these out on the internet such as this article that has 20 Top Tips to Stop You Spending and try installing an app on your mobile phone to help you. ASIC’s MoneySmart website offers several free apps that can help:
- TrackMyGOALS integrates techniques that are proven to work for successful savers.
- TrackMySPEND allows you to set, plan, track and manage savings goals and visualise your progress towards achieving those goals.!
To help you save make sure you have a goal. If you save simply for the sake of saving you can lose motivation. Write down what you are saving for, how much you need and start visualising how you will feel when you achieve that goal. Keep track of how you are going towards your goal regularly.
2. Evaluate renting versus buying a property to live for your situation
Many people who are renting would like to own their own home, but many are unsure of:
- How to stop renting
- How much deposit they need
- What a home will cost them, and
- Whether it’s better for you to rent or buy a home or an investment property.
To have these questions answered you can simply talk to a Financial Planner to find out what is possible for your situation. Even if you’re not in a situation to make a change now, by knowing where you need to be you can plan how to get there. This can be very motivating.
Regardless of the outcome there are some basic steps that will help improve your personal finances regardless of your specific situation:
- Get your expenses under control
- Save regularly
- Work towards paying off your credit card and/or personal loans.
Once you know you are in a position to invest in property there are many other things you need to consider such as finding the right property, in the right location, that you can afford, and one that suits your lifestyle needs. We can also help you work through these considerations.
3. Review your Superannuation charges
Have you thought about getting more involved with how your superannuation is going? Many people do think about it but don’t really know where to start or put it off because it is money they can’t touch for many years so it gets put on the backburner. This is unfortunate because sorting out your super NOW can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars difference to your retirement savings! For example:
- Fees and charges on your superannuation accounts can be high and if you have several accounts you can be doubling up on these fees.
- You may be paying for insurances (Life, TPD, Income protection) on your super accounts which you may or may not need, or you may be doubling up on the insurances across several super funds, which means paying way too much in insurance premiums.
Over the years these can add up to a lot of wasted money and losses in interest.
We offer a free review of your superannuation. Contact us today to organise it and kick the procrastination.
4. Evaluate using your Superannuation performance
As mentioned above, Superannuation can be pretty complex and many people don’t want to spend hours and hours researching performance and options – many would rather watch paint drying! I’m a little different to most people and love keeping track of Superannuation performance, ways to optimise Super investments and especially how to match my clients situation to tailored Superannuation investments.
One particularly topical option is to use your Super to buy an investment property. Many Aussie’s want to buy investment property but can’t afford it in their personal names. Therefore they look at doing an investment property using their Super. Yes that’s right, you CAN use your Super, or yours and your partners Super, to buy a residential or commercial investment property! You can use your existing Super money combined with a loan from the bank to your Superfund to buy an investment property.
This is just one way you can optimise the performance of your Superannuation investment. It is a specialist area and it is best to have your Superannuation and financial situation reviewed and guidance given to assess if you can do this, if it is the best option for you, and then have it set up correctly. We can help with this as well.
We can help
Optimising your personal financial position doesn’t have to be difficult. We take a lot of the hard work out of it for you and provide honest advice based on years of experience. We specialise in helping individuals better manage their cashflow and debt, while building wealth for their future.
We help with:
- Setting financial goals
- Making sure goals are achievable
- Making step-by-step plans that are easy to follow
- Support, education and advice to help you reach your goals.
- Superannuation reviews and set-ups and
- Many more financial planning services.
Don’t be one of many Aussie’s that set financial goals but never get past that point. Make sure you get the education and advice you need to change your financial future this year!
Call us to arrange a no-obligation appointment to review you financial situation and goals.