How To Money
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How To Money

Turning Your Financial Resolutions into Reality in 2021

Many of us start the new year striving to be better with our money but haven’t actually looked into what being better with money means for us and how we are going to achieve it. What you need is a wealth strategy. I have 6 steps which will help you cement your plan to reach your financial goals, build your wealth portfolio and get you on the path to financial freedom.

There is no better time to start than right NOW!

There isn’t any reason why you should be putting off getting your financial life in order and starting to set up your wealth portfolio. It is important to remember that your wealth portfolio and investments need time to grow and thrive, so the quicker you make a start, the longer you have for your investments to flourish. Time is something you can’t get back so don’t hold off any longer.

You need to know your numbers first

The procrastinators who are sitting on the fence are normally doing so because they are worried about what will come to light if they look at their numbers. The truth is, without knowing where you are starting from, there is no way to map where you are going and how you are going to get there.

You need to acknowledge your financial position knowing the good, the bad and the ugly. Only when you have an accurate (and almost forensic) financial report and personal accounting file will you be in the right position to make the right financial decisions.

Mini-goals maximise your chances of success

You have more chance of success if you have a goal you are striving for. For some people who might be saving for a larger goal (such as a house deposit), the goal may seem unreachable, but things always seem impossible until they’re done! You need to be setting your personal goals as the basis for achieving your dreams and breaking them down into mini-goals as steps along the way.

Separate your goals into long term and short term;

Then break down each of these goals into mini-goals;

Apply a realistic timeframe to each mini-goal;

Then build your strategy to work towards each mini-goal.

As you conquer each mini-goal, you work your way towards your ultimate goal.

Minimise your spending

We need to have the drive to pay off debt, which is something that keeps you in “catch up” mode on the road to wealth. The changes you make to your spending habits will only serve to help you reach your mini and long-term goals sooner.

Relying on credit cards is a sure-fire way to set yourself back, so the most reliable step you can take towards reaching financial freedom is to cut them up!

Your personal accounting file will tell you how much you spend on takeaway coffee each week, so do you really need them? How much quicker would you reach your goals if you skipped the daily coffee and made it a weekly treat instead? The best kick start you can give yourself is reducing or eliminating unnecessary spend.

Maximise your income

The best way to boost your income is to increase the number of income streams you have available to you — this way you aren’t relying on only one active income source. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how quickly jobs can be lost, so it is safe to say it’s unwise to simply rely on the income from your employment to fund your lifestyle and your future. We aren’t implying that you should have a backup plan of a second job — the idea is to work smarter, not harder.

Ideally, you want to build a handful of passive income streams. This is the income that works for you while you sleep. By creating a wealth portfolio, you are not only putting into place a safety net should you lose your active income but setting yourself up to enjoy the finer things in life and be financially free.

Grow the surplus

When it comes to investing and growing your wealth profile, there are some tips I have for first-time investors.

There is no such thing as a quick investment and capital growth needs that magical ingredient called time to achieve the best results!

You need to be prepared to commit for the long run.

It always pays to get professional advice. Too many people put the cart before the horse and head straight for the bank or mortgage broker. Lending is a small part of your entire financial picture, so be sure to have the right team on board. They are dealing with your money and your life!

Research, research, research!

Start educating yourself on what you’re considering investing in. No harm ever came from being well-prepared. If you’re not entirely sure about something, have doubts or questions, ask an expert to help you understand before you part with your money.

Avoid investments with high premiums. For example, fancy shiny structural features. Remember with a property, the value is often in the land. You can make real money on the way in, by sourcing investments that are not overpriced.

There are strong investments and weak investments, and all investments have a life cycle according to your specific financial journey. Many people fall for the real estate sales tactic of high rental return above capital growth potential.

Strong investments reflect capital growth potential and the ability to withstand economic impact. Weak investments can set you back years.

Choose your investments wisely.

Leah Oliver — HTM Guest Contributor

Leah is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Registered Tax Agent and Public Practitioner with extensive experience in accounting and finance — from both a chartered and commercial background. Leah founded Minnik Chartered Accountants, Business Advisors & Tax Agents in 2009. Minnik’s professional group encompasses not only accounting and tax services but also wealth strategy, finance and legal services.

If you’re interested in learning more about money and personal finance, catch us on the How To Money podcast which you can find on iTunes, Spotify or via our online web-player.

Follow us on Twitter @HowToMoneyAUS, and on Medium at How To Money Australia.

Important Information

The information on this blog and website is of a general and educational nature only. It does not account for your individual financial situation, objectives or needs. You should consider your own financial position and requirements before making a decision, as we are not an advisory service. We recommend you consult a licensed financial adviser to assist you. The information is based on assumptions or market conditions which can change without notice, and this will impact the accuracy of the information provided. This website and blog occasionally provide links to third-party sites, aimed at helping you gather the information required to make an informed decision — we may receive payment for these referrals.

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Our mission is to get young Australians talking about personal finance, and give them the resources to guide them in their financial education journey.