When was the last time you had a few hours spare – amid work, family, personal and social commitments? For many, having the time to sit down regularly and look over their financials is a luxury they simply can’t afford. According to a recent study undertaken by Financial Mindfulness, 1 in 3 Australians suffer from financial stress. The desire to make smart financial decisions can be well and truly intact, but what can we do when reality permits little or no time to give our financials the attention that they need?
Here are some quick ideas to help you get back in control;
Understand your spending
This may sound common sense, but in the busyness of daily life, we’ll too often hand over our credit card without much thought as to how we’re spending. Setting up some quick strategies to help you get a grip of your outgoings can put you back in the driver’s seat without having to micromanage every dollar. Creating a simple cashflow model is a one-off task that can be reviewed annually and provides an overview of expenses vs income, which can work as a great wake up tool to see where excessive spending is occurring and where smarter choices can be made with excess funds, such as paying off debt quicker.
Create easy access
Creating a simplified system for your financials will minimise the stress of having to stay on top of multiple spreadsheets and will make ‘checking in’ on your finances quick and easy. By creating a full financial overview in one place, you get an up to date snapshot instantly. There are tools, apps, alerts and features already available which would work perfectly to produce your financial summary. It may be worthwhile investigating what systems already exist, where you can import your information, and create your own simplified overview. Axios Financial Solutions recently developed an app which includes tools and calculators to stay on top of your finances in one place. Download the Axios App here.
Utilise time savings systems
Paying bills online, setting up direct debits for utilities or insurances and creating an automatic savings plan through your bank account, will save you time and money. Automating payments (including savings payments to yourself!) mean you can effectively ‘set and forget’, saving you time diarising due dates and paying bills as they come in. You’ll also find that some utility providers will offer a direct debit discount, or pay on time discount, which can be up to 40% off their retail rates. Don’t get complacent though, as all regular payments need to be reviewed once a year to ensure they remain relevant and are market competitive.
If you’re going to make time for one thing, make it your yearly review
Once a year, mark out a day in your calendar to spend reviewing your financials. This means re-visiting your mortgage, credit cards, insurances, utilities and any other regular payments to ensure that they are still relevant to your personal needs and are competitive. Spending a few hours on the phone haggling for better rates can save you thousands, all in a day’s work.
If you’ve read this list of ‘to do’ items and feel overwhelmed or anxious about getting on top of your finances, you may well benefit from contacting your Axios Financial advisor and prioritising attending you annual review appointment. Even with the best intentions, having a financial planner to keep you accountable to your commitments around cash flow can be the motivation required to achieve a more secure and positive financial future.
Axios Financial Solutions are a team of respected and highly regarded financial planners with offices on St Kilda Rd Melbourne. Axios helps their clients meet their desired outcomes by providing tailored financial services, strategies, advice and solutions. You can contact them at email@example.com or (03) 9869 5555.
Axios Financial Solutions Pty Ltd (ACN 007 299 014), is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Ltd, Australian Financial Services Licensee 234665
Please note that the information in this article is of a general nature only and has not taken into consideration your individual circumstances. Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances please call us on 03 9869 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Level 3 The Metropolis
480 St Kilda Road
Melbourne Vic 3004