Written by Amanda Cassar
What things can you do to help bring harmony to your finances?
When living during a pandemic, this idea of a peaceful life, possibly sounds far-fetched to many.
Between quarantines, self-isolation, masks, check-ins and hand sanitization; let alone the disruption to family plans, catching up with friends, holidays thrown into disarray, wondering ‘to jab or not to jab’ and if you can even get to work tomorrow, fear and disharmony seem much more the order of the day.
Throw on top of that the impact to our finances, and it is possibly a recipe for overwhelm.
Thank goodness this whole eBubble issue is dedicated to ‘A Peaceful Life.’ So, grab your green tea, kombucha, cuppa or vino, settle in, relax and enjoy.
So, when it comes to money, are you a DIY kind of person, all over it, or keep it in the too-hard basket? Dealing with our finances, managing a budget, and choosing to live within our means, may seem to opposite to seeking harmony, but having a handle on our personal finances, can impact our mental and physical wellbeing. If you are like many and know nothing about financial advice, where to start, what advisers do, or think that professional advice is only for the wealthy, it might be time to think again.
Is advice Valuable to me?
As a qualified financial adviser, I can tell you this… If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “I’ll see you when I’ve got some money,” I’d have a pretty peaceful financial life myself right now.
So, how do you know if financial advice is for you?
IOOF Holdings Ltd recently surveyed nearly 13,000 Australians in conjunction with CoreData and found that the benefits of advice when it comes to managing your finances, transcend age, wealth, and gender.
The research revealed key benefits clients experience from receiving professional financial advice. Chiefly, it helps you to identify, prioritise and achieve financial and personal goals:
- 93% believe advice provides clarity around goals and progression towards them
- 91% agreed receiving advice helped them to achieve their financial goals
- 86% agreed advice helped them achieve personal goals
- 82% believe advice helps inspire them to work towards and reach their goals
Can I still DIY?
So, what if you are still not ready to take the leap and see a professional? You might think what you have is not worth their time, that you cannot afford advice or would like to get things a little more ship-shape before fronting up. Where can you start?
Self-education is the key. There are so many resources available that it can be difficult to know where to start. For newbies, the Government provides a great (and free!) resource in the MoneySmart website: Home - Moneysmart.gov.au
It has an easy budget tool and offers basic information for those wanting to know more about superannuation and investments so is a good spot to find free calculators, tips and guidance.
And if you’re still curious to learn more about advice, it doesn’t hurt to know that many advisers don’t charge an upfront fee for an initial consultation to see if they can assist in your particular situation, so it may be worth a visit to see if you find someone you’re comfortable with who can still add value to your financial situation.
Financial Areas to Check
If you are wondering what area of your financial life need a little more management, here is a few ideas to get you started and see if you are as on top of things as you would like to be.
- Managing Money – covers everything from financial counselling, saving for an emergency, working through a crisis, making ends meet and managing on your income;
- Debt Reduction – taking back control, understanding ‘good and bad debt,’ knowing when it’s worth consolidating debt, paying off credit cards and switching loans;
- Future Planning – starting savings habits, growing your superannuation, starting investment plans, managing insurances and financial planning strategIes; and
- Growing Wealth – buying a home, the essentials of investing, choosing investments including shares, managed funds and Exchange Traded Funds.
So, how is it all going for you?
Can you tick the boxes and know your finances are in harmony and providing you peace of mind? Or like many of us, could they do with a little more zen too?
A new financial year is always a great time to turn over a new leaf. Just pick one area and start there. See if having a grip on your finances doesn’t just add that little sigh of relief to your life.
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