According to new research by financial planners, Eqeus, 80% of Australians feel their finances are unmanageable. The research says the majority of us are stressed out about our current financial situation and are worried about our financial future.
Almost half of us find it uncomfortable to talk about money and finances and only 23% of Australians habitually set financial goals and track their progress. The main barrier to setting these goals for all age groups, is the feeling that any money that comes in is absorbed with bills and other living expenses. This applies to both low and high income households.
Commenting on the results of the nationwide research study, John Hollyman, Managing Director of Eqeus, said: “It’s a big concern that the vast majority of people feel so out of control with their finances – this has serious implications for the future of individuals and families, not to mention the larger scale effect on the economy – particularly when it comes to how financially prepared people will be for retirement.”
“We are seeing increasing numbers of people of all ages who simply don’t know where to start with financial planning or who to turn to for advice which is fuelling the stress levels,” he said.
Hollyman and his team of financial planning experts at Eqeus recommend Australians follow these five simple tips to help get their personal finances on track for this financial year:
Tip 1 – Start with WHY
Before you do anything else, stop and think why you want to make a financial plan. What do you love to do, who are the important people in your life and how will a good plan help you look after these things.
Tip 2 – Set SMART Goals
“I don’t know what to do, so I will do nothing…” Regaining control means working out where you want to go and prioritising this. Set your goals and break these down in to steps to reach these goals. Make them SMART!
Tip 3 – Set a SPENDING Plan (link this to your Goals)
This is not a Budget or a Savings Plan, but it is a Spending Plan that is linked to your unique goals you are trying to achieve (everything has a cost). In this way you provide yourself with permission to spend in the areas that are most important to you. Knowing that in doing this, you will be able to celebrate the goals that you set above.
Tip 4 – TRACK your Plan (Monthly at a Minimum to start with, some do it weekly)
Are you staying on track with your spending plan? If not, why? Where is it going wrong and is this because you are losing control or is it because the goal you set and actual reality don’t match up. If you aren’t tracking this, then without you even realising you may be losing control again.
Tip 5 – CELEBRATE your Achievements
For each goal and for meeting your spending plan, celebrate these achievements as you deserve to, if you have met your goals (just make sure that the celebration isn’t too big that you go back to being out of control again)
For more information about Eqeus, visit the website www.eqeus.com.au