Ever woken up in the morning to go work and wish you didn’t have to go, but you have bills to pay?
I don’t recommend quitting your job, but here is your quick guide to having more money, without having to work harder!
Are you ready to hear the secret?
Here is the secret... Invest and spend less!
Yep, that’s all folks.
The formula is simple, but I understand that in reality it can be difficult to stick to that ‘eat well and exercise’ formula to achieve your dream financial figure. Here are 10 steps you can use to start getting your financial booty in to shape!
1. It’s all in the mind.
If you think you can never do it – guess what? It may never happen. If you surround yourself with positive thinking that you can, and you believe you deserve more money, you will soon be swimming in it without having to work harder. Money is like a magnet! From experience with providing personal advice, my clients who exercise regularly, are happy in their relationships (both work and personal) and don’t feel pressured to prove their wealth to others, generally find it easier to achieve financial freedom. I once heard a motivational speaker say that we are a reflection of the top 5 people we spend the most time with – so having some close friends who have achieved financial freedom may help with your money mindset.
2. Reduce expenses.
By reducing your debts, your expenses will reduce too. By saving first before spending - not saving whatever is left over after spending - will help reduce your discretionary expenses. For example, I save before paying myself a weekly allowance for guilt free play money. When trying to decide which expenses need to ‘cut the fat’, keep in mind that everyone has different priorities, particularly if you live with someone who may spend money on something you think is a ‘waste of money’. My partner loves sports and Foxtel, whereas I prefer to pay for yoga classes and coffee with my gals. Having different money values can cause conflicts – which I’m happy to help you identify and manage. In addition, a car is a depreciating asset, so I encourage my clients to double think how much they should loan for something that goes down in value.
3. Cut up your credit card!
Use it for points? It’s a smokescreen to encourage you to spend more. When you use your card, even when you use Paywave, it is proven that people generally spend at least 15% more because of mindless spending. I haven’t used a credit card after going in crazy credit card debt nearly 10 years ago. You can live a credit card free life too! Feel free to ask me how!
4. Use the debt snow ball strategy to pay off multiple debts!
This means lining up all your debts then working out what to pay off first. It could be based on the interest rate, the size of the loan, how much a debt is stressing you out, whether it’s variable or fixed, tax deductible or not… if you’re unsure, a financial adviser can put in place the right debt repayment plan for you.
5. Review your mortgage.
Interest rates are at an all-time low, so if you have had a mortgage for some time and paying more than 5%, it may be time to contact your bank to negotiate a lower interest rate. Banks currently offer more competitive rates if you have at least 20% equity, pay principle and interest and live in the property. If you have multiple debts, chat to a mortgage broker about consolidating in one loan; be wary of paying more interest over time if you pay it off over a longer time frame. The reduced interest may allow you to pay off the principal quicker - or you could invest it!
This is my favourite step! Financial freedom is when passive income from investments exceeds your lifestyle expenses. My fiancé and I religiously invest every fortnight in a range of different assets, which has built a honeypot for us to have more choices in life. When starting an investment portfolio, some assets to choose from are property, shares, managed funds, venture equity in a business, bonds and cash - both inside and outside super. All investment assets, including cash and property, have risks associated with them and some are growth assets but some are not. Investment time frame, tax, risk, preservation rules and diversification need to be considered, so seek advice from a qualified financial planner to ensure you understand the risks involved. Investing is not that scary! I recently helped a young client start her first portfolio outside super with only $3,000.
Rentvesting can also help you pay off your property sooner, which may be appealing if you would like to live in it one day but you’re still happy to rent elsewhere. You could buy an investment property but rent somewhere cheaper, whilst your property is being paid off and hopefully growing in value.
8. Review the investment option for your superannuation account.
If you have over 10 years until you retire, you may feel comfortable with taking on a bit more risk to try to achieve a higher return. Some super funds, such as First State Super, provide simple investment choice advice over the phone by doing a risk profile questionnaire for their members.
9. Protect your wealth.
Your hard work can become undone easily if you die prematurely, or become seriously ill or disabled. An emergency fund is approximately three months’ worth of savings, possibly more if you have debt and kids at home. Review your personal insurances before you are sick or injured, which includes underwriting (medical questionnaire conducted by the insurance provider) before your policy is put in to place so you have confidence with payouts when you make a claim (which Real Insurance Bill Cover does not do!). The 4 personal insurances include life insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, trauma and income protection. If you need to make a claim, it will reduce the financial pressure on you and your family, protecting your wealth and therefore prevents your hard-earned savings being used up, or worse still, going in to debt. I recently made a claim for my little brother.
10. Have a financial plan.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When you receive personal advice from a qualified financial adviser, you will receive a Statement of Advice that outlines what they advise and why. We are regularly audited to ensure we have put you in a better financial position - it will cost to receive personal advice, but it will be well worth it. Basically, it is our job to help you work out your ideal dream life and then advise on how to organise your financials to make it happen.
Gianna Salvestro, Certified Financial Planner
Phone: 6221 6200