Are your finances feeling flabby? Are you ready for a financially fitter you? Let’s talk about how to lose the debt and put on some serious money-muscle.
Let’s say you were trying to get fit for summer. Chances are, you’d talk to a personal trainer—an expert who could help design a customised training program and keep you on track. Just like physical fitness, improving your financial health requires the same sort of commitment. Likewise, the benefits of a customised strategy—plus a money expert to help with the heavy lifting—can be the shortcut to achieving financial fitness that lasts a lifetime. Let’s get started!
1. Create a workout plan for your money
A good budget (like a workout plan for your money) strengthens your savings, creates a path to your financial goals and reduces the mental load of money management. How? By giving every dollar a job. But it’s more than that. When done right, budgeting is about creating a financial plan for your ideal life. It’s about prioritising how you use your money so there’s always enough cash for the things that matter most to you.
2. Get clear about your financial goals
You can’t be it if you can’t see it, and you can’t achieve it if you can’t define it. Set aside 30 minutes to visualise your financial goals and how you’d like your ideal life to look. If your long-term goals feel out of reach, start with small, achievable goals (e.g. a date night or a concert ticket) and what it would take to achieve these goals. You might discover that setting up a money system is easier than you think.
3. Trim the ‘empty calories’ in your spending habits
Once people start budgeting, most discover that the spare cash they wished they had for holidays and other goals is hiding in plain sight. It’s often hidden in bills, interest charges or spending habits that sneakily add up. Use your budget to identify where you might be spending money without thinking. Can you cancel a subscription? How much would you save by taking your lunch to work? Can you save money by changing phone plans?
4. Strengthen your safety net
One in five Australians has less than $1000 in savings, which is scary considering current uncertainties. Make one of your first financial fitness goals to save for an emergency fund. Your end-goal should be the equivalent of a couple of months of income, but it’s ok if your savings start out small. Even just $5 a week will add up over time.
5. Target the problem areas
It’s rare to find a person who manages their money perfectly. One person’s weakness might be impulse shopping; another’s might be paying bills late or relying on their credit card to make ends meet. Your budget will a) help you get clear about what’s holding your finances back and b) help you explore solutions to fix the situation once and for all.
6. Lose the debt
Debt is like cholesterol: there are good and bad varieties. Good debt includes loans for investments that go up in value (e.g. real estate). Bad debt includes credit card and consumer debt. The key is to pay off debt as fast as you can. You do this by creating a budget that frees up spare cash and makes your money work smarter for you.
7. Reduce your plastic exposure
Credit cards are one of the leading causes of financial stress. Try this challenge: For one month, use only cash for your food and living expenses. Did you find you were able to track your spending more easily? Where is most of your money going? For more credit card tips, download MyBudget’s free 6 Steps To Get Out Of Credit Card eBook.
8. Save time through automation
Manage your money with less effort by setting up recurring auto-payments for your bills and savings. Alternatively, explore the benefits of a fully automated budgeting and money management system. MyBudget’s unique approach combines technology with human expertise within one powerful platform.
9. Embrace new financial habits
Just like physical fitness, your financial fitness level is the sum of your daily, weekly and monthly money habits. The good news is that financial wellness habits are easy to implement and can have a positive impact on your overall well being—for example, taking your lunch to work, reviewing your household bills to get a better deal, and meal planning. These sound like little changes, but they can add up to thousands of dollars.
10. Get a money coach to do the heavy lifting
Don’t know where to start? That’s perfectly normal. Few people have the right experience to design a detailed plan for their money, nor the time to manage it. That’s why working with an expert can be the difference and why MyBudget clients are so successful. Being with MyBudget is like having a personal trainer for your money. You have all the benefits of visibility, structure, automation and control in the convenience of an app, plus the award-winning support of our expert money coaches to do the heavy lifting for you.
MyBudget is the worry-free way to manage your money
Whatever your financial goals, there is a MyBudget solution to help you reach them.
To find out more, call 1300 300 922 or enquire online today.