There are 8760 hours in one calendar year. How many of those hours do you dedicate to managing and mastering your finances?
Many of us trudge on day to day, caught up in our busy lives and our many responsibilities, and give little attention or thought to our finances…until there isn’t enough money in the bank or our security is under threat.
The pressure and uncertainty of the global COVID-19 crisis has given many people the prod to review their finances. Job uncertainty or job loss, reduced wages and business slow-down have all made us take a lot more notice of what’s coming into our accounts and what’s going out each month. And while it’s important to review and recalibrate during a crisis, why is that the only time many of us pay attention?
Imagine what dedicating just a tiny fraction of those 8760 hours to your finances could do. It could help you avoid stress, reduce overwhelm, increase your savings or move you closer to those financial goals that right now, among the busy-ness and noise, you think are far beyond your reach.
What if they’re not? What if, with a bit of careful planning and strategic advice, they could be well within your reach?
Why don’t people dedicate time to their finances?
For many people, getting control of your finances seems like a monumental task, something you’d need days to get under control. You don’t really know where to start and are too scared to ask questions – for fear of either looking stupid or getting an answer you don’t want to hear. But when it comes to your finances, knowledge is power and ignorance is NOT bliss.
Another reason is that you might feel you don’t have enough money to manage. But as we often tell our clients, it’s not the amount of money you make, it’s what you do with it. Just small amounts each week can build up to significant savings when managed properly. And there are plenty of people earnings hundreds of thousands a year still living pay cheque to pay cheque. Don’t let the amount you earn stop you from taking action.
Take Action To Take Control
Our recommendation – dedicate just one day to get advice and create a plan, then one hour per month to manage and review your finances. You’ll be astounded at the impact this can have on your goals and your peace of mind.
One day out of 365
Just as you set aside time for a regular car service or health checkups, it’s valuable to dedicate time to speak to your financial support team to make sure everything’s on track and running like a well oiled machine. (Of course it doesn’t always have to be on the same day – but there’s something to be said for doing it on the same day, in the right mindset, to let you focus and get better results).
For this financial health-check, it’s a good idea to speak to:
Your mortgage broker – A broker guides you through various mortgage options and helps you compare rates, fees and features that could save you money in the short and long-term. Reviewing your current debt structure and mortgage features once a year lets you be confident you’re getting the best deal possible, and helps you identify opportunities for additional savings or freeing up cashflow with no negative impact on your mortgage. Rather than spending your own time sitting on the phone or doing the research each year, a meeting with your mortgage broker lets you share your goals and needs and lets them get on with the heavy lifting. They’ll do the detailed research to provide a recommendation that suits your current life situation and your goals.
Your Financial Planner – A financial planner can help you establish a budget and put a system in place so that you can maximise your savings. They will help you put your money to work for you to create greater wealth, through investments and wealth opportunities. And they can also help you protect your finances and assets through appropriate insurance and risk strategies to give you greater security. A yearly review with your financial planner helps you make sure your investments are working for you, your insurances are the best value (and appropriate to your personal situation) and helps you identify opportunities to get greater financial results.
Your Accountant – For business owners, your accountant is an important partner in the management and growth of your business. For employees of other businesses, an accountant helps you prepare your tax return and ensure you’re paying no more than the required amount of tax for your personal circumstances.
Seeing each of these members of your financial support team would take approximately 3-4 hours of your time – but can yield valuable results not only in your financial situation but in your understanding, peace of mind and security that your finances are being taken care of. With today’s technology, you can do these appointments via phone or online from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you best.
Then, 20 minutes per week to manage your finances
Once you have your annual plan, it might be tempting to set and forget. But spending just a few minutes each week to review your budget can help the plan tick along. Checking your bank statements, understanding your spending in line with your budget for the week and keeping an eye on your cash flow not only helps you identify leaks and errors (which often go undetected when we take an ostrich approach of burying our head in the sand) but also gives you that bit more focus. Paying regular attention to your finances means you’re seeing results, and can make you think twice about unnecessary and wasteful spending. So those results grow even faster.
You’ve probably heard the saying “what you focus on grows” – it’s never more true than with a consistent financial management plan.
If you want to do it, schedule it
You might be nodding your head and thinking that a one-day financial health check and weekly reviews are a great idea – but they’ll remain an idea unless you schedule it. So our recommendation – find a day in your diary and schedule it in.
If you’d like to talk to our team (with all three specialists in one place), click on the Talk to An Expert button and choose the time and date that suits you best. Or call our team on 07 3371 0866 to schedule appointments with all three specialists in one morning or afternoon.
Getting control of your finances can seem overwhelming, but just like our health, our house maintenance or any other important life issue, dedicating time to learn, plan and manage means the overwhelming becomes not only manageable, but just a part of daily life. And that’s when real change starts to happen.