Taking Charge of your Finances
Written by Amanda Cassar
It’s time. You’ve thought about it for years, yet life’s busy right? Making a living and paying the bills and trying to fit in a bit of fun gets totally in the way of being intentional with money or raising our financial literacy levels. Even thinking about your finances may induce the need for a seriously strong ginger tea or even a binge on ice cream.
So, where can you start? Don’t overwhelm yourself. Sit down and work out what you’d like to achieve first. Write the wish list. It might be a specific goal, or quite a few.
- Do you want a budget or spending plan to work through?
- Do you need to ‘know your numbers’ and understand what your weekly obligations are?
- Do you want to reduce existing debt?
- Do you want to increase your income?
- Start a share portfolio or investment strategy?
- Do you want to learn more about Salary Packaging and how it can reduce tax?
- Want to boost retirement savings with Contributions or Salary Sacrifice?
- Do you want to reduce your AfterPay, ZipPay, Klarna obligations?
- Want to meet with a Financial Planner but don’t know where to start?
- Do you want to save for a specific purpose? A baby? A Housing Deposit? A rental bond?
There can be lots of reasons to take charge of your finances. Even just a need to feel a bit more ‘in control.’
So, where do you start? Go back to your list and prioritise how important they are to you and start there.
Just pick one. What’s the most important to you? Focus on that one thing and find out more.
Let’s Assume You Want To Increase Your Income
Brainstorm your options. Nothing is a ‘bad idea.’ Put them all down. Get the family or friends involved. You’ve probably been moaning for years about how you’re worth so much more.
- Take on a second job?
- Ask the boss for a raise?
- Start selling items around the house you no longer need?
- Rent out a room in your home?
- Rent out driveway space for commuters?
- Learn how salary packing can reduce tax you pay on existing income, meaning more ‘take home’ pay?
- Start making money from a side hustle or hobby?
- Buy items cheaply, give them a refurb and sell for a profit?
- Could you just reduce your outgoings meaning there’s more left each week?
After That, Dig Deeper
If you’re going to ask for a raise, how can you prove to your boss that you’re worth the extra investment? Do research on how to best approach it. Can you show the average wages of other like roles? Have you invested in additional education to up your game? Put in extra hours? Outperformed others in the organisation? Show why you deserve it!
This exercise can end up being just like ‘Choose your own Adventure.’ You get to write your own rules; decide what’s important and what you’re prepared to do to reach your goals. It’s totally up to you!
Just be sure not to overload yourself with too many goals all at once. Being disciplined and smart can see you making big gains fairly quickly. While you’re kicking around some ideas, you can start listening to financial podcasts on the commute, as Financial Secrets Revealed; download books about money or get the highlights from Blinkist. Aim to improve your game however you can and start taking control of your financial life now.
Taking Charge of your Finances Taking Charge of your Finances Taking Charge of your Finances