Seven steps to improved cash-flow... and lifestyle

Imagine feeling on top of your finances, knowing you’re in a position to enjoy your life today while also saving for tomorrow.

If that sounds good to you, you’re not alone.

In a recent survey, 54% of Australians aged 55-64 strongly agreed they’d like that too yet many of us don’t feel like we’re in that position!

Financial stress is actually so common that 24% of Australian employees are affected by it and it can have an impact on all areas of life – psychological health, morale and the ability to fulfil day-to-day responsibilities.

A better cash-flow could help

Your cash-flow is the amount of money that’s coming in and going out of your bank account at any point in time.

It’s not a measure of overall wealth but whether there’s enough cash available to meet your expenses, with some left over.

If your cash-flow isn’t in check you might find it difficult to pay your bills on time or end up relying on credit. Also, cash-flow is almost always the starting point for building wealth. So when it comes to finding ways to enjoy life and still grow your wealth, before you do anything else, it’s worth looking at how you’re spending your everyday money.

Step one: Set some goals

Work out what you’d like to achieve in life.

It’s a good way to help shape how you spend your money in the long term and research suggests that setting goals can help you become happier and more positive as well as eliminating some triggers of financial stress.

Step two: Get a better understanding of your spending habits

Take a step back and look at your money coming in and going out.

This will help you become clear on where your sticking points are (like those times you find yourself short).

Step three: Create a workable budget

Build a budget that fits your lifestyle and priorities.

There are lots of budgeting tools online (or download the free one available here).

Once you’ve crunched the numbers, you can then look at areas to make some savings.

Step four: Compare your providers

List your current providers for things like your home loan, bank accounts, credit cards, mobile phone, internet and utilities. Understand the costs then look around for better deals.

Comparing providers can often end up saving you money in the long run.

Step five: Review your insurances

Now is the time to work out whether you have the right type and level of insurances, and how you can make savings. A good advisor can help you figure out how much cover you might need.

Step six: Get on top of your super

It’s important to think about super as soon as possible.

Many Australians will be looking at a retirement of 30 years or more and the Age Pension alone is unlikely to be enough. Step seven: Talk to an expert

Asking friends and relatives for advice is great but what works for one person may not work for someone else.

We are here to help you set up your money for growth in the long term, while also helping you meet the needs of today.

By taking a fresh look at your cash-flow, you’re likely to find new approaches to saving money and time. With a clear picture of what’s happening with your money at any point in time you’ll feel more confident about your finances overall and be able to enjoy life today, while still saving for tomorrow.

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