We all know we should do it, but getting started is often the hardest part.

Research suggests that people who write down their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to achieve them, so let’s start there. Here’s a useful template. 

The next step is to assess feasibility and budget. You’ll need to calculate how much money is coming in, versus how much is going out. We like this Budget Planner by Commbank as a first stop, then developing a bespoke plan with our Financial Services team. The Commbank planner is simple to use and helps you to understand how your monthly, quarterly and annual expenses crunch down to a weekly basis.

It’s important to note your disposable income at this point. There’s always a way to increase this by finding efficiencies:

  • Get fees down – re-visit your insurances, chat to your bank about mortgage financing, assess your utility suppliers and find good deals.

  • Pay off your non-tax deductible debt first – home loans, credit cards and personal loans.  

  • Reduce your incidentals – what do you buy on a daily basis that you could replace more efficiently? A common one is coffee. $4.50 per day adds up to more than $1,600 per year. Another is unused gym memberships. If you don’t want to cut it out, cut down or replace with a cost efficient solution.

Lastly, establish a savings plan geared towards your goals. Pay yourself regularly and put it in a smart place such as against your debts, in high-interest savings accounts, or in low-tax options such as superannuation.

Being smart with your money doesn’t have to mean you cut out all the fun. It can mean that you can afford something more valuable than you’ve ever hoped for.

Professional Financial Advice will undoubtedly ramp things up. Industry intelligence against your assets is always going to drive it harder. If you’d like to talk about your options, contact our in-house experts, Christine Hallowes and David Evers. Both are certified Financial Planners and authorised representatives of Count Financial Limited.

Remember, income doesn’t equal wealth. It helps, but effective money management matters more. Good luck.