Lifelong habits for financial success
By: Jess Thornton
Whether you’ve just got your first pay cheque, are saving for a home deposit or paying down your mortgage, it’s never too early, or late, to develop healthy financial habits.
Good financial habits come down to everyday spending choices, but, the benefits of responsible spending and saving are well worth the effort of changing your ways.
See our five lifelong habits for financial success.
Getting on top of debt repayments should always be a top priority; nothing beats the feeling of being debt-free!
Debt such as credit cards, car loans or other small personal loans that come with high interest rates and default fees that can quickly add up should be tackled first. Plus, this kind of debt can significantly decrease your borrowing power when it comes to applying for a home loan.
If you use a credit card, you should make it a habit to pay off the debt in full at the end of each month.
For any other debt accruing high interest payments, including large credit card debts that haven’t been paid off, consider consolidating these into personal loan with a lower interest rate. Make a point of paying as far above the minimum repayment as you can afford.
Starting to think about how you see your future can help to determine your financial goals. Do you want to buy a house, a car or travel the world? Do you want to start building an investment portfolio, saving for your children’s education or for retirement?
Whatever it is, saving is made so much easier when you have something specific in mind to prioritise payments and curb the urge to splurge.
Establish a budget
Take control of your finances by establishing a budget that will help to reach your goals and get ahead.
Budgets don’t have to be rigid. Simply review your daily, monthly and yearly expenses in comparison to your earnings, and make adjustments in line with your financial goals. It’s not necessarily about cutting back drastically or limiting yourself, but providing a guide for your spending.
Don’t just set and forget, remember to adjust your budget as your salary, expenses and goals change.
Once you have a budget that works for you, setting up automatic recurring transactions from your bank account after you get paid will take the thought, and the temptation to stray, out of pay day.
Build an emergency fund
To avoid the burden of worrying about how you will pay for your living expenses if you lost your job, medical expenses if you were in an accident or any other emergency, setting up a decent emergency fund is a must.
As a rule of thumb, it is good to have a minimum of three months expenses (make it six if you are self-employed) tucked away for a rainy day.
Emergency funds should be tailored to your circumstance. For example, if you have family overseas, it’s good to always have enough for a flight home, just in case.
This fund should be preserved for real emergencies, never dip in to hit the sales or cover a family holiday.
Hustle for some extra cash
Whether it’s a side hustle like starting a small business or simply becoming a Facebook Marketplace gun, earning a little extra cash when possible can help to reach your goals faster.
If you spend the extra income mindfully, it could give you the flexibility to create the lifestyle you want, from paying down your debts, saving for your goals or simply having more freedom for splurges.
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Resimac. The above is general commentary only and is not advice tailored to any individual’s financial situation. We recommend seeking advice from a mortgage or finance professional before implementing changes relating to your finances.