Did you know that Australia has some of the largest debt in the world for a developed country? The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says that each Australian household has bad debt to the value of 8.2%. Some examples of bad debt are outstanding credit card balances, gym membership or car loan.
It is so easy for people to accumulate debt. I believe financial education should be introduced into the school curriculum, so we learn how to look after our money from a young age.
It is possible to go from 'money mess to financial success'. Below are some suggestions on how to get started.
Monitor your day to day spending
You may think that it’s the big expensive items which are draining your bank balance, but often it’s the everyday little things that end up costing more over a period of time. Keep a spending diary over the month, keeping record of your spending habits and you will see where your money is really going. Parking, phone bills, subscriptions or even insurance are often 'hidden costs' that causes your spending to hike.
Switch to using cash only to make purchases and become more aware of your true spending habits. Paying by card can often turn into ‘invisible spending’.
Budget, budget and budget
Once you’ve done this, organise a budget and reign in some of that spending and of course prioritise any debts as interest will be accruing. Think about what you could do (or do with out) in order to free up some more money. Stop eating out frequently and make more lunches at home. Cancel your gym membership and walk instead. Attend free events rather than paid for events. At the same time look at possible ways you can increase your income, such as asking adult children to contribute towards household items.
Put your money to good use
Think of your budget as having different pots of money available. For example, Pot 1 is cash for day to day living expenses. Pot 2 for one-off expenditures such as car maintenance and Pot 3 for investing and saving. Keep on track with your spending and put strict budget guidelines in place for yourself.
Don't put off saving
No matter how small the amount, put some cash aside for your savings. You never know when you may need it, for a big purchase like a house or to prop up your super.
I am more than happy to provide guidance and advice. Phone TV Financial on (08) 9072 1138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.