Most of us have been working for a few years now, many of us have a degree or qualifications under our belt and I bet cumulatively have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Pause. Really take that in: from that first job at Maccas to where you sit now, you may have already earned $500,000 in your lifetime. Or even $1,000,000. And a thought-provoking question for you; what can we say we really have a lot to show for it?
Champagne life on a beer budget? Ah yes, the curse and blessing of credit cards. I know what you’re thinking, “But YOLO, I work so hard, I deserve this”. In 2018, we are guided by impulse and we try to ‘carpe diem’ our purchase decisions for that instant feel good sensation. We live beyond our means by spending every dollar now for that momentary feeling of abundance, having little vision for achieving our medium and long-term goals.
I mean, today a lot more of us are living at home for longer compared to previous generations, we saw the birth of the digital age and the glorification of being lavish - thanks to social media, and of course, the good old credit card making it easy to buy what we want - RIGHT NOW. Our society has moulded to react to instant gratification and things like ‘Afterpay’ don’t particularly help the cause.
It’s great to be able to seize the day, but it’s also great to be mindful of your purchases and to have a better grasp over managing your money:
Be more aware of where your $ is going
Do you have a list of expenses and monthly direct debits handy? Tracking where each dollar is going every month will help you create a budget and then ultimately stick to it. Keep tabs on your spending and ensure you are never short for your necessities.
Have a rainy-day fund
Going broke trying to project wealth is not going to last forever. Eventually these assets are going to run out and then what are you going to do? This is why it’s great to separate your money by contributing towards an emergency fund, should things go south one day. Getting into the habit of long term thinking and planning for contingency, are key in mastering your money management.
Live within your means
It’s time to look that debt straight in the eye and to battle the beast with a plan of attack. Start paying off that debt, grow your savings and consider investing. The old, ‘deserve before your desire’ is a great motto to be remembered here.
Don’t forget those long-term goals
Whether you want to travel the world or buy that house, you can’t get there by throwing money away on momentary pleasures. If you don’t have that goal set yet, you want to be in a position where you have the choice and the funds to do what you want in 10-20-even 30 years from now! Always keep the eye on the prize.
This is getting hectic – what’s next? Speak to a financial adviser obviously…
“Okay this is fantastic, but I need a bit of help and someone to make these ideas into a reality?” Don’t worry, that’s what a financial adviser is here for. Working with a financial adviser or planner will help highlight the importance on saving and conserving good purchase decisions. They will help you break the cycle that has been strongly embedded into our current society and force you to put a system in place to ensure you secure a financially healthy future.
Here at Visia, we encourage people to pause and to reflect on whether that decision is imperative to their current circumstance and if that will significantly impact the progression towards their long-term goal.
It’s not impossible to reach a healthy balance with ‘living in the moment’ but also living for your future. That’s why we are here to help.
Kora Drage is an Authorised Representative of Financial Wisdom Limited ABN 70 006 646 108, AFSL 231138. Her advice is general in nature. It does not take into account your financial circumstances and objectives. You should consider talking to a financial adviser and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making a financial decision. Any views and opinions provided in this article may not reflect the views and opinions of Financial Wisdom Limited.