That’s it! You’ve decided that it’s time to knuckle down, and get yourself in top financial shape. For each of you, that could mean something totally different. And that is completely ok.

 

For many Australians, looking after your financial situation is a more difficult than it sounds. Many don’t know how or even where to get help.

 

According to the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), more than 7,000 Australians went bankrupt in the March quarter of 2016. WOW! And based on our research, many bankruptcies occur due to a lack of sound financial planning and management. It’s no different whether you are managing a business or your personal wealth – same principles apply.

 

If you have decided that you want to avoid falling into this trap, there are certain steps that you need to take in order to become more financially secure than you are right now.

 

5 Things You Can Do To Secure Your Financial Future


1.  Track your spending

Admit it. We’ve all failed when we say we’re going to track our spending.

According to a survey by finder.com.au , one in five Australians (which is approximately 3.6 million adults nation wide), doesn’t have enough saved to cover even a $500 setback.

Linda Elkins from Colonial First State says that the easiest way to tackle this problem is to set yourself a few financial goals you’d like to achieve.

“We suggest to people to not spend more money than you earn…” Ms Elkins says.

“In doing this, create yourself a budget. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life stage, keeping track of your money is the most important thing for you to do.”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has an app called “TrackMySPEND” that can help you track expenses such as your weekly household budget, costs for special events, work or travel expenses and coffees or any other expenses you find hard to record.

We strongly insist you download it and use it.

 

2.  Set financial goals

 

You could have short terms goals such as paying off a debt, budgeting for bills (car service / rego),  or buying a TV or household appliance.

Long terms savings are usually for larger saving goals such as a car or house or investment.

Management Consultant Charlotte King, 23, says that creating a financial plan helped her to save for her upcoming trip to England while still having to pay her rent and have a social life.

“Once I had that plan in place, it was so much easier for me to know how much money to put away each week,” Miss King said.

“Although I have been saving for this trip, I still want to have a good social life and pay my weekly rent. Having those goals has helped to keep me financially secure at the same time.”

Don’t think that you can afford everything! YOU CAN”T…

But with a few lessons, systems and someone like us an accountabilkity partner, you’ll get there :-)

 

3.  Save for retirement  

Retirement may seem like a long way away for some, but we recommend that you start saving for it NOW!

According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), as of the 30th of June 2016, over 14.8 million Australians had a super fund account. Approximately 43% of these people have more than one super account.

If you’ve had a part-time job through school or university, some of your earnings would have already been going into a superannuation account.

If you have more than one, try and look at consolidating all accounts together to make it easier for you to manage in the long term.

Your future self will be incredibly grateful for all of the savings that you accumulated over the years!

 

4.  Treat your savings account like a bill

You pay your bills that are due before anything else you spend money on, so why don’t you pay your savings account before anything else you spend your money on?

According to a recent survey by Suncorp, the average Australian is putting $427 under their mattress each month.

Miss King says that she’ll continue putting money in her savings account once she returns from her holiday.

“I’ve realised that it’s really important to have money set aside. Once I get back from my holiday away, I will continue to put money in my savings account next month.”

“I want to continue to be financially secure for the future.”

What’s the point… Just like you pay yout phone bill every month – no matter what – you should treat savings the same. Don’t just save for something and then stop saving. It shold never stop – in fact, you should aim to increase it as often as possible – only good things will come!

 

5.  Seek financial knowledge

If none of the options above can help you get started, we suggest seeking the help of a financial counsellor or financial advisor.

ASIC gives you a variety of contact details to help get you on your way to becoming financially secure.

You can view them here at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/managing-debts/financial-counselling