Finance and money expert Vanessa Stoykov says the fact that such a significant number of Australians feel guilty for spending their own hard-earned money is frightening. “From my experience, most negative emotions associated with money come from lack of awareness. Making payments blindly, without knowing how much is or isn’t in the bank account, is a scary feeling for anyone.”
“Unfortunately, many people fear their finances, but knowledge is power. Being financially savvy is a skill that can bring an incredible amount of stability and happiness, so it’s important that this is what everyone strives for when they think about their finances, as opposed to running away from it,” she said.
To help Australians stop feeling guilty when spending money, Vanessa suggests:
1. Work out exactly how much debt you are in. To get a true picture of your financial situation, you need to calculate all your debt and be real about it. Understand your true position and the assets you have versus your liabilities (debts) so you have an honest financial view of your personal situation. Only by doing this work can you know what to change.
2. Calculate and consolidate. The reality of knowing an actual figure can be frightening, but not knowing how much money your really have is much scarier than having a plan to pay it off. A simple step like consolidating all of your credit cards into one low interest card can make a huge difference in getting you out of credit card debt far more quickly. An extra tip – commit to paying more than the minimum each month in order to pay off that credit card debt even faster and get you back on track.
3. Know what you really want in life. It sounds cliché, but if you don’t have a goal, then all the advice in the world won’t motivate you. By knowing what you really want your life to look like in the future, strategic decisions become easier to make. For example, if you have a passion for travelling, can you lower your overheads and save more, so you can go away more regularly? This mindset will stop you from making bad short-term decisions that don’t serve you and the life you really want.
“No-one wants to feel guilty about spending money, or to be at risk of being unable to afford a comfortable future, but that’s the unfortunate reality for many unless action is taken,” said Vanessa.
“I’ve made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to money. However, having done so, and then going on to build decades of experience in the finance industry, I can honestly say that the hardest part of bettering your future is actually starting.”
Vanessa Stoykov has over two decades of experience in the wealth creation space and is the author or The Breakfast Club for 40-Somethings published by Wiley (RRP $25.95) and available now at Big W and all major bookstores including:
- Dymocks.com.au – $25.95* paperback
- Kobo Australia – $16.99* ebook
- TheNile.com.au – $23.99* paperback + Free Shipping
- Booktopia.com.au – $20.75* paperback ($16.99* ebook)
- Amazon.com.au – $26.23* paperback ($14.46* Kindle)
*Prices are in Australian dollars and are subject to change by the retailer