Empowered: what next?30 Sep 2019 2 min read
You’ve got the hang of the basic moves, and you’re steadily building your financial fitness. So what’s next? In this final instalment of Fierce Females, we summarise our top five financial tips and give some pointers on getting professional advice, plus share links for other useful resources.
- Track your spending: This one is critical and forms the foundation for everything you do. Be honest with yourself, and be prepared to make some tough decisions where you can identify unnecessary spending.
- Make a budget (and stick to it): Once you know how much you’re spending it’s time to create a budget. But cut yourself some slack – if your budget goals are too harsh or unrealistic, you’re much less likely to stick to them, and you could go down a negative spiral. So build in some treats and don’t be too hard on yourself if you occasionally fall off the budget wagon.
- Set realistic short and long-term goals: Without goals, there’s not much to motivate you. By the same token, having only long-term goals can be a bit discouraging, if they seem far-off and unattainable. Short-term goals, like saving for a holiday or a weekend away, can give you quick wins, maintain your motivation and build your saving skills.
- Make the most of your super: Retirement may be a long time away, but your super is your money and your future. Review your super, consolidate if you have multiple accounts and check your investment options regularly. And take advantage of features such as salary sacrifice, especially if you find it hard to save.
- Explore your options: Once you have the basics under control, upskill by taking a deeper dive into the world of investment - talk to a financial planner, educate yourself about investment asset classes, listen to podcasts, read books, perhaps open a share trading account.
Professional support – financial advice
A good way to get started with building an investment portfolio is with the support of a finance professional. A licensed financial planner can help you make all kinds of financial decisions, covering everything from budgeting and investing, through to superannuation, insurance and taxation.
You can access financial advice via a number of routes, including through an independent financial adviser, an adviser your super fund provides or a robo-adviser. When weighing up your options and choosing a planner who’s right for you, make sure you check ASIC's Financial Advice Register to verify that you’re dealing with an authorised professional.
You also need to understand the fees and charges you may be charged as part of the service. Handy tools from ASIC’s Money Smart can provide guidance on fees you will encounter and how to prepare for your first meeting.
Above all, keep it up – stay interested in your finances and you’ll be well on your way to a fierce financial future.
- MoneySmart Budget Planner
- MoneySmart Savings Goals Calculator
- NGS Super True Wealth Calculator
- MoneySmart Super Optimiser Calculator