Top tips to help you achieve financial freedom: Part One

Mon May 28th 2018

Chances are, you won't win the lottery or make enough money to retire by age 30! So, it’s important you have a strategy in place to maximise your financial opportunities.
Financial success is a lifelong project - it's about working hard, of course, but it's also about making good decisions along the way.
That's why we have collated our top financial wellness tips. Join us every day for a week where we will cover everything from getting started, spending and saving, insurance and investments and even common money mistakes. It's never too late to improve your financial future.

Chances are, you won't win the lottery or make enough money to retire by age 30! So, it's important you have a strategy in place to maximise your financial opportunities. That's why we have collated our top financial wellness tips. Join us every day for a week where we will cover everything from getting started, spending and saving, insurance and investments and even common money mistakes.

Our first instalment covers ''The Basics'' where we tackle budgeting, setting goals, how to make your finances more manageable to track, and your mindset - after all, the first step towards a great financial future happens in your head!

The Basics

1: Take charge

Your financial future starts with you - YOU need to decide to take charge. Read personal finance books, articles, and blogs, and consult with expert advisors when you're making big decisions. Once you've got the knowledge you need, don't let anyone slow you down – whether that means a partner who gambles away your savings, friends who push you to spend, or family asking for loans.

2: Stay in control

You earned your money, so you should know where it's going. If you're married or partnered, you should both have log ins to shared accounts – or retain separate accounts. You should know what's going on with retirement savings, mortgages, investments and insurance at all times. Even if you have professional help, you should be able to track what's happening with your money - a good broker will keep you informed.

3: Keep track of your cash

Good money managers keep detailed records of everything they spend - right down to morning coffees. If you get in the habit of recording your expenses, you'll have accurate data when you want to start budgeting.

4: Build a budget

You can't save money without a budget. A thorough plan for regular spending, potential emergency expenses, and saving means you won't be left in the lurch if something goes wrong.

Start your budget now.

5: You first

Pay yourself before you pay any other expenses. If you own a business, this is obviously important. But even if you don't, it's good to get into the habit of setting aside money for savings every month.

6: On time, every time

Paying bills is boring – but it's essential if you want to keep your finances under control. Either set up direct debit payments for regular bills, or pay them as soon as you get them. If you don't, you could get late charges or end up with a negative credit report.

7: Time is money

Money management takes time, and it's easy for planning and budgeting to fall by the wayside when you're busy. But spending time to get organised and manage your money is well worth it. Dedicate some time each week to go over budgets, discuss savings goals, and take care of financial tasks like bill paying.

8: Simplify your finances

If you have multiple bank accounts and credit cards, it's hard to keep track of your finances on a day-to-day basis. Cut it down to one spending account, one savings, and one credit card, and you'll have a better sense of your situation. You'll also save on fees and charges.

9: High tech help

Struggling to stay on top of your accounts, insurances and investments? A personal finance app can help. Download something like Mint to keep track of daily spending, account balances, and investments.

10: Future focus

Visualising your financial future sounds cheesy, but it's actually a good way to work towards your goals. Keeping goals in mind helps keep you motivated – and makes it easier to resist those tempting impulse purchases.

11: Work on your attitude

We all grow up with different attitudes and values around money – whether thrifty and careful or extravagant and careless. It's worth taking the time to examine your underlying attitudes around money. It may not be easy to alter lifelong habits, but if you know what's driving them you can take steps to change.

12: Assess yourself

One way to figure out your money motivations? A simple self-assessment test. This one is a good place to start. It helps you work out whether you're in good financial shape, or whether you need to work a bit harder to get your finances under control.

13: Work out what you're worth

Calculating your net worth sounds intimidating, but it's as simple as adding up what you own, then deducting what you owe. It's good to know.

14: Do your homework

This applies to every financial decision you make. If you're investing, buying property, choosing a credit card or a bank account, it's essential to do your research. Spend time looking at all your options, going through the fine print, and reading articles from other sources to ensure you're making the right decision.

Why not visit our Tools & Resources, where you can take our Financial View questionnaire, find handy budget planners, and much more to get you started.

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