It is common to come up with New Years’ resolutions in January that reflect the way we feel after all the celebrations over Christmas and New Year. We can pretty much guess that the resolutions will revolve around:
- partying less;
- eating more healthily; and
- exercising more.
That’s all great, however these reflect only the prior three weeks.
What if we could put together resolutions that reflected the prior year or several years? These resolutions would generally revolve around;
- holidaying more frequently;
- spending more time with family and friends;
- purchasing a house or paying off the one we have; and
- becoming more financially independent and secure.
These resolutions are great to work with, and the good news is that they don’t exclude the first set of resolutions – there is no reason why we can’t do both! Here are the top three questions I am asked by clients starting their road to a “kick-ass” financial future.
- WHEN SHOULD I START? NOW, NOW and NOW! It’s easy to think that you don’t have anything yet and don’t earn a lot so can’t start – but it’s wrong! I started saving at 18 years old by putting away $70 a month in a savings plan. This isn’t a lot but I found I didn’t miss the money. When it was time to buy a house 12 years later I was well on my way to a deposit. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere.
- HOW OLD SHOULD I BE TO START PLANNING A “KICK-ASS” FINANCIAL FUTURE? There’s no age required, but start now! The sooner you start the sooner you are on your way. We have probably all heard the Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and I suspect we all use this. I know I think of that whenever I have to complete a mammoth task. Runners often count steps on long runs, cyclists count kilometres and we all count sleeps to Christmas [even if it’s for our kids]. The best way to achieve anything is to simply start.
- OKAY, I’M GOING TO START – WHAT DO I DO? There are several things to do – all steps on your journey to a “kick-ass” financial future. Don’t be overwhelmed and don’t think you need to do them all today. Here are a few things to look at, and I recommend aiming to tackle one item per month [or two months if your life is hectic]:
- Review your income protection insurance. You may or may not need it, and it totally depends on your circumstances. However, if you are the main income earner for a family and you have others relying on your income, you at least need to review it.
- Have wills and powers of attorney prepared. Again, horses for courses, but if you have children you at least need to consider who will look after them if you are no longer able to. Make sure you document your wishes as it isn’t enough to verbally pass them on.
- Review your death cover. Once again, you may or may not need it, but if there will be debts within your family should you pass, you need to at least consider whether you should have death cover that is sufficient to pay off the debts.
- Review your superannuation. Your super may be able to include income protection and death cover, so you may want to review this first.
- Start saving. A financial plan, or even a small savings goal will put you on the right path. Set a budget and put away even a few dollars each week.
If you decide you want to start your journey to a “kick-ass” financial future, contact us! Our team can cover the financial advice, legal and accounting to get you on your journey.
If you just feel like you’d like more information and want to learn more before you start – our Health and Wealth seminar is for you. It’s free and will give you lots of practical tips to start your journey. You’ll also have the chance to meet our team in a casual relaxed setting. Just go to our website and use the links to register.
Krystine Canny-Smith – Director