3 Essential Behaviours for Financial Success

TOO MUCH OF THE MONTH LEFT AT THE END OF YOUR PAY?

Do you tend to overspend?

If so, you are not alone!

Did you know?…

• A staggering 86% of the Australian population don’t know how much money they are spending every month, although 90% think they have a good handle on their spending.

• With the convenience of alternative payment methods (ie tap and go), 63% of Australians have increased their spending in the last five years.

• 91% spend without thinking, and 86% lose track of their spending.

• About 70% of people believe that alternative payment methods make it easier to spend money that they would not spend otherwise.

As living expenses rise, but wage growth remains subdued, Australians increasingly overspend and dip into their savings – if they have any at all! In fact, more than one in five Australians have no cash savings.

Many of us are spending our hard earned salaries without tracking what we are doing with it and not ‘capping’ the different areas of expenditure.

Consequently most of us miss out on channelling that unnecessary spend into something more meaningful:

• a holiday

• extra superannuation payments

• future family commitments

• home renovations/upgrades

• new furniture/car/other

• future investments

Beware the money wasters

Here are some examples of what could happen when we are not paying attention to how we spend our earnings:

• Using ‘easier’ alternative payment methods that result in higher cost outcomes.

• Using credit cards for ‘tap and go’ (when we may not have the cash at hand) instead of debit cards (knowing the money is already in the account). • Overspending at social events such as drinks and meals when out with friends (46% of people admit that they have shouted a round of drinks that was not reciprocated).

• Overspending on special occasions (like birthdays and Christmas). Your budget should include all special occasions for both family and friends, AND stick to your limit!

• Bad online habits – especially teens and tweens who are blowing the family budget. Half of Australian parents of tweens and teens have covered the bills for unapproved online spending for mobile calls or data, in-game purchases, music, video streaming or apps.

Caught up in social media advertising and online shopping remarketing?

Let’s face it – technology makes online shopping easy and accessible. More sophisticated social media marketing is increasingly putting more products and services in front of consumers more often.

So what are the 3 essential behaviours for financial success?

1. DISCIPLINE

Disciplined saving and controlled spending WILL put more money in your pocket.

Consistent habits make a big difference when it comes to wealth building and financial success.

By regularly checking how you spend your money (if only say 30 minutes – once a month) will help maintain focus with where it is going.

There is no better feeling than accomplishing something financially – whether it’s paying off a bad debt (like that credit card), saving for a holiday, getting your super sorted and working for you or simply building up an emergency fund for times when the cost of living is so high.

If nothing else, it will take some of the stress away knowing that you will be able to access the funds that you have set aside when you need to, whatever the need may be.

2. PERSISTENCE

Nothing great ever happens overnight or typically without a constant and persistent approach.

While others may be appearing to be having all the fun, it is usually short lived and ends up as one faded memory running into another.

• Avoid tempting situations – If you’ve spent your budget for the month, avoid the shops (and jumping online) or cut back on your social outings.

• Maintain good money habits – Spend less than you earn and set automatic savings.

Get help – this is where we fit it in!

3. ADAPTABILITY

Inevitably you will encounter bumps and distractions along the way.

In most cases, what you start out to do, and what you end up with, are not always the same. Part of success with anything is to be prepared for a change in advance and be willing to take a few calculated risks along the way.

APPlying good money habits… There’s an app for that!

With so many cards, accounts and transactions, combined with less time and more financial stress, we’ve been racking our brain on how to help our clients track their spending better and help them take some financial accountability.

So we thought we’d share a few easy to use, low or no cost ways of helping you track and manage your finances.

There are easy smartphone ways to budget, save and invest that don’t require much effort by you.

Q. How do I know how much I am spending?

Many of the lenders we recommend to you offer great online tools to help you track and manage your spend.

When you log into your online banking next time have a look around to see what they offer.

Every lender is different but some of the useful tools are money or expense trackers allowing you to:

• set budget targets and savings goals

• view and categorise your transactions

• select time frames to achieve these goals

• display your spending as a graph

You will be surprised at how they already categorise and split your spending without you even knowing.

Some lenders allow you to add all your loyalty cards into their app. This keeps your wallet from exploding to ensure you don’t miss out on all those loyalty points.

BUT BEWARE – if you add these to your lender’s app they will know all of your spending habits intimately from Chemmart to Dan Murphy’s.

There are many apps outside of your lender that offer the same convenience for storing all your loyalty, store and other cards for ease of use and the goal of having a smaller wallet (like Stocard and Apple Wallet).

Have more than one bank account?

If you are like most people, you may not keep all your accounts with one bank.

Enter Pocketbook and Finch.

These are FREE Australian budgeting apps that collate multiple bank accounts and track your expenses.

They automatically sync and categorise data from your bank accounts daily. You can then set a monthly allowance for each category or types of spend. You can even set bill reminders and it can send notifications when you are nearing your limits.

Pocketbook was named best money management app in the 2018 Mozo Experts Choice Awards, however there are some critics who say it isn’t very user friendly.

Finch will allow you to:

• pay your friends directly if you owe them money

• split the dinner bill

• help you track your spending and money owing from housemates

• collect fees from your sports team and

• help you split travel expenses with your friends!

Q. How can I track all my other finances such as super, credit cards, investments and loans?

There is an app for that too!

MoneyBrilliant. It works much like the others. This FREE app allows you to track bank accounts. For a $9.90pm plan you can also connect your credit card, super, loans and investments in addition to all your assets and liabilities.

PLEASE NOTE – there are many, many applications available now to help you with your budgeting, savings goals and tracking features – too many to keep track of really. (Maybe there’s an app for that?)

THESE ARE NOT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM US TO YOU.

This is an awareness article to let you know there are tools, MANY tools, to help you track and manage your finances.

Have a look at your lender’s tools as a first place to start. You will be surprised at what is already there.

As with everything to do with your finances:

do your own research

read the terms and conditions

understand ALL the third parties who will now have access to everything that you do financially and the consequences of sharing your information

AND

• call us first if you are struggling to meet your daily or monthly commitments We are, after all, your finance specialist who (other than yourself) cares the most about your personal finances and financial wellbeing.