Innovative Thinking. Infinite Possibilities.
You’re Currently “Staying Afloat”
But you don’t need to stay that way…We’ll help you to get above the waves.
There are many Australians who fight just to stay afloat with their finances. For these people, money is a stressful subject. Some of these people are in and out of debt, whilst others are stuck in a debt spiral. To them, money seems to limit what they can and can’t do.
The core of this issue for people is always an unbalanced budget. Whatever the reason, these people don’t earn more than they need to live off, or spend more than they manage earn. Much of the stress they experience and the financial challenges they face stem from this imbalance.
If this is you, the first piece of good news is: you’re not alone! There are many people all over Australia in the same situation as you. Further still, there are many others who have managed to move past this stage. Some of the most financially successful people in the world began just Staying Afloat, including the great Walt Disney and Henry Ford.
The second piece of good news is: things CAN change! It’s possible to get above the waves and get out of debt. Innovative Wealth Management can assist you with developing a simple budget for yourself, increasing your income, and developing a strategy to clear away your debts over a period of time.
Step 1: Where Are You Now?
Step one in moving ahead is knowing where you stand. See if you can identify which of the following characteristics relate to your situation.
Debt & Budgeting
Stuck in debt or in a debt spiral
Spending more than they earn
No written budget
Often paid infrequently
Money can be difficult to discuss
Lack understanding of financial principles
Easily overwhelmed by financial matters
Little or no emergency cash available
Insufficient life insurance and income protection
Reliance on income to get by
Lack confidence and knowledge about investments
Feel disconnected from their Super
Likely have multiple super funds
Don’t feel on track to retire comfortably
View of Financial Advice
Feel uncomfortable to ask for financial advice
Don’t know who could help or who to trust
Step 2: Where are you going?
Next, identify what you wish to change, and what just HAS to change. This will dictate what actions you plan to take.
If you’re just Staying Afloat, getting out of debt and staying out of debt should be your number one goal. To achieve this you will first need to focus on your budget, and then on your income.
Creating a budget will enable you to find out the cost of your core lifestyle (your basic needs). You then need to ensure that you’re earning at least this much (after tax) and work out how much you can set aside on a regular basis above this. Priority bills, like utilities or rent, which you might have fallen behind on are the most important debts to pay off first. Once you have caught up on these, you can afford to be more strategic about paying down the longer term debts like credit cards, personal loans or a mortgage.
Before paying down any long term debt, it’s imperative to first build up an emergency cash account. This will give you a buffer in case something unexpected happens. Three months’ income is a good guide for an emergency account, but sometimes one month is all you can manage. After saving this up, any future savings should go towards paying down your debts as soon as possible.
Getting out of debt and getting ahead will depend on how well you can re-educate yourself and adjust your mindset on how you see and use money. One of the most potent ways to do this is to surround yourself with people who manage their finances the way you’d like to manage yours. Be intentional about this and seek out friends, mentors and advisers you want to rub off on you.
Step 3: What are your next steps
Finally, once you know where you’re headed, you need to commit to specific actions which you are confident you will be able to follow through with.
- Get all of your debts written down on one sheet, listed in order of the highest interest rate
- See a financial planner to devise a plan for paying off your debt
- Draw up a budget which identifies your after tax income (net income) and the cost of your lifestyle (your basic needs)
- Identify how much you can save / pay off each week, fortnight or month
- Begin paying this regular amount into a savings account until you have one month’s salary spare as an emergency fund, then focus on your debts
- See a financial planner who can educate you on how super works and can help you to roll all of your super into one place
- Save up one month worth of income in a cash savings account. This will be your emergency fund
- See a financial planner who can explain to you how life insurance and income protection insurance works, and can help you determine how much you will need, according to your circumstances and lifestyle.
Ready to take the Next Step?
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