4 steps to help your post Christmas financial blues

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2015 is now under way and your credit cards might still be feeling the after effects of Christmas.  This is the perfect time to put in place a game plan to change your financial future!  Just like living a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t happen by itself, it relies a lot on discipline and having a plan.

Step 1: Make a decision to change – It seems common sense but you need to make the decision to change your financial well-being and commit to it.

Step 2: What are your aspirations? – We talk to clients all the time about their aspirations and you may be surprised to hear that many struggle to clearly outline them, because no-one has ever asked before, well we think you should start by asking your self ‘What are my aspirations in life?’.

Step 3: Put in place a game plan – This starts with understanding your spending.  Firstly, work out how much income goes into your bank account, and then work out how much of this money is going towards a stronger financial future (extra super contributions, extra home loan repayments, savings, investments).  Don’t fall into the trap of including savings to cash that will end up paying for ‘one-off’ expenses like repairs and maintenance, or holidays, these are still living costs.  If your like many you may find that none, or very little of your income is left after meeting your living expenses.  If this is the case you need to change your spending behaviours, which can be hard, but understanding the long term benefits can help significantly (Hint: This is where step 4 can help).

Step 4: Get help – It’s okay to get help, after all this is one of the most important areas of your life – your financial well-being and security, and you don’t get a second chance to get it right.  Find a good financial planner (and there are many out there) who you feel understands you and can assist you best.  Pay particular attention to how they are remunerated as this is fundamental to the relationship you will have with them and the services they will provide (Hint: Cash-flow budgeting is a good place to start).  And good luck with the new financial you!