Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)
How healthy are your finances? Isn't it time you put your own financial wellbeing front and centre? You can take control of your financial future quickly and easily, with a simple financial health check.
Just like your physical health, it's worth giving your finances a check-up once in a while. Over time, unhealthy spending habits can creep in, threatening to derail your progress. Here's how to give your finances a health check and find out where you can make some healthy gains.
Step 1: Take your financial pulse
Understanding where you stand with your finances is the first and most important step. It's also the one many people struggle with! Taking a close look at your financial situation can be uncomfortable, but it's a lot easier than you might think, and, essential, if you want to achieve your goals.
Here's how to analyse your spending and put a budget in place:
Step 2: Get the basics working for you
Once you've got your spending into shape, take a look at these financial fundamentals. Do you need to work off any debt or gain some healthy savings?
Step 3: Set yourself some healthy goals
Once your finances are on the path to good health, you can set yourself some bigger goals. This is the fun part, where you get to dream about all the things you'd like to do, have or experience.
Your financial goals could range from the more practical, like buying a house, setting up an investment portfolio or paying off debt, to the enjoyable, like taking a holiday or moving to the beach. Whatever it is you want to do, this is your opportunity to envision it.
Try brainstorming as many goals as you can. Write down each one of your ideas on a post-it note. Give yourself a set amount of time to generate a stack of ideas, then prioritise them using the post-it notes. Select the top two or three to work towards and use them to motivate you.
Step 4: Put your financial fitness plan in place
The best goals are ones that are supported by a plan. Now that you've detoxed your finances and identified your goals, you need to work out how to get there. Depending on your goals and your timeframe, saving alone may not be enough. You might need to consider other ways, like investing, to grow your income. This is where a financial planning professional can help. A financial expert can advise you on strategies to achieve your financial goals.