Category Archives: Wealth

Time to Learn!

It seems we are wired to be constantly learning and growing. Life is full of changes, in fact, it’s often been said that “change is the only constant.”  It certainly seems that way in the financial planning profession anyway…  and I’m sure it’s the same for you!

It might be then time to ask yourself; “am I still constantly learning or am I just clocking time?”  Do you continue to stretch yourself or have things settled into a fairly boring and predictable pattern?

It’s never too late to learn something new. You are never too old or too busy.  We’ve all heard about the 90 year old graduates that pop up fulfilling life long dreams!

What is it that you’ve always wanted to find out more about? These days, the Internet is a free library of anything you may want to learn.  Apps can help you learn new languages or take virtual tours of places you’ve always wanted to go.  Many courses are offered via on-line learning facilities that means we can study in our own time and in the comfort of our own home.

What is on your learning bucket list?

Lots of people ask me how they can learn more about financial matters… such as investing in the stock market.  Did you know that the ASX offer free courses via their Education Centre for first time investors, have a share market game, on-line courses, seminars and webinars and investment videos?  Check out their offering here:  ASX Education Centre

The ATO also offers much free advice and easy to understand videos on investing through to Self Managed Super Funds.  Go exploring here: ATO SMSF Education

And if finances aren’t your chosen subject, You Tube can teach you everything you need to know, from How the stick insect walks to How to trick people into thinking you have big boobs.

Looks like the world really is your oyster!  Love to hear what lights your fire and you’ve spent more time studying!

 

Time for a financial clean up?

When we think of giving something a good clean, we usually think of a room in our home, the pantry, our laundry or some cupboards and drawers…

The de-cluttering fad has taken the world by storm and experts and converts and hooked on the new levels of simplicity.  Just check with Pinterest!

But what about cleaning up other parts of our lives?  For example, cleaning up your relationships or your health?  There may be friends that you really no longer need to be in touch with, family members who never leave you feeling good or other relationships that it’s in your best interests to move on from.  Is it time to get serious about your health? Can you leave behind the daily lattes?  Lose the chocolates?  Maybe get that blood test to see why you’re feeling tired?  Book in for that overdue pap?  Or see to that dodgy freckle you’ve been meaning to have checked?

What part of your life most urgently needs you taking the broom to it and having a good clean up?

From what I see, many leave their finances in the ‘too hard basket’ for too long and find it a bit overwhelming to get started.  So, it’s time to get out the broom!

You may have lowered your standards and made up fantastic reasons for why it’s still acceptable in some form or another to not have your act together financially. Excuses have come first… until now!  But what if that all changed today? How can you start cleaning up this one area of your life?  It’s totally up to you!

Remember, everything great always starts with really small steps in the right direction.

Which will you tackle first?  A basic budget?  Consolidation of your super funds?  Paying off the credit cards?  Making real dents to the Mortgage?  Starting a savings plan for the kids’ eduction?  Putting away for the dream holiday?

You will be amazed how much progress you can make in a matter of weeks and months if you put some serious focus on this area of your life.

So pick something, anything!  And take the Domestos to it!  I’d love to hear what you’ve decided to tackle head on and how you’re going to go about it!

Check in with your “Want Levels”

Try and spend the coming week noticing your level of want… and for what.

Do you always need to get ‘stuff’ whenever you head out?

What do you want and will not stop until you get it: coffee? wine? snacks? checking your email… again?  looking at social media notifications? a treat? shoes? buying something?  buying anything?

Try and really notice how the mind has you hooked in it’s little clutches, until it gets what it wants.  It can be a bit addictive really!

Each time this week, stop and ask:  Do I need the coffee?  Or the wine? Will this end up in an charity bin in a year?  If I wait 24 hours, will I still want it?  Can I go without?  What if I directed the funds for that purchase somewhere else?  Will the earth rotate off it’s axis if I don’t check Twitter for 24 hours?  Isn’t 493 pairs of shoes enough?

Sometimes, the answer will be “yes, I still want it.” and that’s ok.  This is about starting to question our wants and be in control.

But, getting to a stage where there is a feeling of ‘no-wanting’ is truly liberating. Then we feel free.  After all, it’s ‘just stuff.’   Try and set yourself free from the mind bossing you around on a daily, even hourly basis.  You’ll ultimately get to a place where you can instantly spot what your mind has decided it needs for its latest fix.

Choose to deny the mind today.  In fact, give it the bird!

It’s highly likely your finances, health, well-being and waistline will thank you!

Women, Money & Shame

Most women I know are pretty excited to show off a new purchase – the fabulous new handbag, a great new pair of shoes, a piece of jewellery or that amazing dress – but when it comes to sharing our true financial status – that’s something that rarely gets a mention!

Being honest about what we have or don’t have, is part of cleaning up our financial lives.

If there’s levels of personal debt that we’re uncomfortable with, it’s not often we speak of it,  Shame tends to come in first place.   When we’re invited out, we’d rather not tell someone we can’t afford that particular restaurant or outing.   At times, our need to fit in is greater than our financial circumstances, and so we lie both to others and ourselves and go anyway, placing ourselves further into debt.

It’s time to own what is the truth. There’s nothing embarrassing about saying, “I’ve put myself on a budget these days, I want to save for a holiday and I’m watching what I spend.”

Have you even got a goal to work on that’s more important than your immediate want to spend?  It’s much easier to say, “I’ve got a trip to Europe lined up, so I don’t want to spend that kind of money.”  “I’m paying off the credit card…”  “I’m trying to get the mortgage down…”

The story we often tell ourselves, is that ‘we can’t afford it.’

It’s actually all about how you choose to spend money. Your friends are highly likely to respect you more and some may even start watching where their money is going too.

You might just start a savings revolution amongst your buddies!  Why not give it a shot?

Build Your Confidence Around Money

Most of us have some insecurities… it could be about how we look, how to act in certain circumstances,  or where to invest.

Usually when we don’t understand something, like why people act a certain way, how to put a great meal together or direct shares, superannuation, our mortgage, taxes or insurance, we can also feel insecure.

People who are good with money often use a particular trait to get past the insecurity… they ask for help.  Understand that you don’t know what you don’t know… and ask an expert.

No shame in that!  All of us excel in certain areas, and just aren’t that hot in others… or even interesting in becoming so!

Do you have a friend who keeps their finger on the pulse with finances, studied accounting or has a finance degree?  Or someone who just really has it together financially with low debt and good income producing assets?  And I don’t mean the cabbie with the hot tip for the races!

Not everyone wants to know, or needs to know how managed funds work, the intricacies of Self-Managed Superannuation or the tax advantages of the Transition to Retirement Strategy.  No shame in that!

So, what do you try and conceal about money that you feel you should know?  Are there areas that you’d like to know more about?  Do you know someone who could help you with this? And you then feel you’d make more informed decisions? Or are you happy ‘outsourcing’ to the professionals?  Often the best option of all!

Build up your own confidence around money with education – read some books, take some online courses or ask someone who’s pretty savvy how they manage.

Education is a great healer for all insecurities!  Try it today.

The Working Woman Juggle

As most women already know, there’s lots to juggle all at once. There’s our partner’s needs, the kids, maintaining the home and household, extended family, friends and fitting in the ‘me’ time.  And whilst some of this can be outsourced, in practice, it’s not always possible.

Which in turn, raises two major issues in life that need facing: Heath and Wealth.  If you’re healthy, efforts can be made to invest wisely.  If you’re unwell, here’s hoping you have adequate strategies in place.

Stress tends to pressure the adrenals into working overtime, producing cortisol and adrenalin.  That’s great if you’re trying to fight a huge spider, but on an ongoing basis, doesn’t do wonders for the internal organs.  Side effects can include high blood pressure which in turn raises other health risks.    The scary stats are that women have a 55% prevalence of cardiovascular disease (men 45%) and 5% burden of stroke (men 4%) and two thirds of all heart failure sufferers are female.  (Australia’s Health 2008)

And most women deal with stress by smoking and/or drinking.  Both of which also cause an increase in likelihood of cancer and organ damage.  Drug use is on the rise and it’s also difficult to maintain a great diet when eating on the run or at erratic hours,  and reaching for the comfort food or fast food.

Many women over 55 now have higher cholesterol than men and a greater incidence of diabetes mellitus.  Women also choose to put off child bearing to a later age, and unfortunately this in turn can lead to increased complications!

Who’d be a working woman??

Or the better question is… how can we reduce some of the stress??  Well, the top tips will come as no surprise, and take a little planning.

1. Ensure the diet is improved – even just increasing the fruit and veg and water intake can help.

2. Quit smoking.  You know why!

3. Decrease the amount of alcohol taken.  I’m up for a glass of bubbles as much as the next girl, but do ensure there’s a  couple of alcohol free days each week.

4. Time Management.  Take a look-see at each day and see if there isn’t just a better way of getting things done.  Can you delegate some tasks? Rearrange others? Have someone help out with the kids each week. Meal clubs and car pools can work wonders to free up time.

And for your own sake, please consider:  Life Insurance, Total & Permanent Disablement Cover, Trauma Protection and Disability Income Cover.

With such hugely active lifestyles now and associated risk factors, it’s vital that working girls have the products to provide an income stream or ability to pay down debts in the event of the unexpected.

Look after yourself!  You’re worth it!

WomanHappy