Whether you are 20-something or 50-something, I can honestly say it’s never too late to improve your financial situation. Yes, the earlier you start, the easier your life will be later on, but even if you are older, there are ways you can organise your money and still get ahead.
What it takes is a focus on the big picture – the one where you think about everything from how you want to live when you are retired, to what legacy you want to leave your children, or others that are dependent on you.
To get the ball rolling for you, here’s three ways to start thinking about your money situation so you can make a change.
- Have a bigger picture for your life. That’s right. Before you start to think about your money, how about you spend some time thinking about what you really want from your life. Only you can do this, and most of the time we don’t give ourselves enough time or thought, as we are busy struggling with the day to day.
Put an afternoon in your schedule to be alone, or with your partner, and really start to plan what you want from your life. It’s much easier to work backward on your money plan, if you have an overall vision of where you are going. I have put together a free resource on my website that can you help you start the planning process here.
- What are you biggest pain points with money? Is it saving for a house, or paying the mortgage? Is it paying down your credit cards and trying to make more than the minimum payments? Is it trying to send your kids to private school? Or dealing with the cost of ageing parents? Whatever your pain point is, that’s got to be your first focus.If you can focus on putting a strategy together for dealing with your biggest pain around money, you can work backward to solve everything else. How? This may involve sacrifices and asking others for advice. Consolidating your credit card debt into a low interest personal loan. Or even selling your home, freeing up cash-flow and renting. There are solutions to every problem, you just have to face them head on and explore every option, even if it makes you deeply uncomfortable.
- Look closely at your super. It doesn’t matter how little or how much you have; your super is your key to financial freedom in the future. If you are over 40, try putting as much as you can in. Its tax efficient and invested by professionals. You can put up to $25k a year in super at just 15% tax.Also, make sure you are with a profit-to-member super fund. If you are paying over 1% in fees, you are paying too much. Look at sites like Canstar and Super Ratings, who rank funds on performance and fees. Get yourself the best deal and do the admin work – it’s so worth it.
There is a lot of planning, thinking, dreaming and problem solving to get you on your way with money. A lot of the time many of us miss doing do this part – and move straight to the saving, investing phase. This is great if you can stick at it, but I usually find it is people that have a strong vision of what they want that usually succeed in getting there.
Good luck and remember – you are the only one who can change your situation.
Until next time,