Last week a blog by MarketWatch, which suggested that by age 35 people should have saved the equivalent amount of their annual salary, set alight the twittersphere.
People across the world responded quickly with scathing and hilarious tweets which reflected their feelings of complete disconnect with this goal.
The response is perhaps unsurprising. A recent study by Colmar Brunton on financial wellbeing in Australia found that a significant 65% of people in Australia are dissatisfied with their current financial wellness, with increasing living costs and home ownership being a genuine concern for many.
And yet, saving and investing for your future doesn’t have to feel impossible. At Ironfish, we make no secret of the fact that it’s our mission to help people improve their financial wellbeing. We help everyday Australians proactively work towards achieving this every day.
But if the MarketWatch goals feel like they are too far beyond your reach right now – we’ve put together 7 very achievable things you can do today to make some practical, quick and real improvements to your long term financial wellbeing.
Consolidate your super and check your growth strategy
It’s time to merge all those super accounts from casual jobs you did in your 20s into the one account – this will save you from paying fees on multiple accounts. You can also look into your investment strategy while you’re at it – for example whether high growth is more appropriate or defensive play-it-safe is more appropriate. You can also check any default settings and insurances you have and consider amending anything that may not apply to you at your current life stage. Many super funds offer some financial advice as part of their service, so you can easily check on their website or by giving them a call if this is available to you.
Track your spending
It will be hard to save or even set a budget if you’re not keeping a close eye on what you’re actually spending your money on. Tap and go also makes it much easier to be disconnected with your spending. Try entering your PIN when you pay for things and download an app to track and review your spending to start putting a budget in place. There are plenty of apps out there – including a free one from the government.
Automate your bills
Avoid late payment fees by automatically paying bills by arranging a direct debit – you can specify dates to coincide with the day after you get paid to ensure funds are available.
Find unclaimed money
Did you know that Australia currently has about $1.1 billion in unclaimed money? If you move often or miss the paper trail, you may be missing out share dividends or bank payments.
You can still find and claim this money via the link below. While you’re at it – opt in for email communications from all your banks and institutions so you don’t miss this kind of information in future.
Automatically move your savings into another account
Many people find that if you can’t see your money it’s easier to save. Try automatically debiting a set amount from your pay each week/fortnight/month – you can start as small as you’re capable of – and put it into a dedicated savings account. This is something that sounds pretty simple, but it’s a strategy that has actually worked for our customers (including this single-mum-of-4) to help them to save up for a first deposit over a period of time.
Refinancing your home loan
If you’ve managed to buy your first home or investment (congratulations!) and haven’t looked into the loan for a while – it’s a good time to ask your broker to look into refinancing options. There may be better interest rates available or a skilled broker may help to restructure your loan to save you more money in the long run or provide you with the flexibility of off-set facilities, for example.
Find a financial mentor
We believe that success in any aspect of life is much more achievable if you have a mentor or a coach. At Ironfish, our Investment Strategists follow our customers throughout their investment journey – acting as a financial mentor to keep our investors informed, motivated and on track to achieve their personal goals. One of our younger staff investors says that having someone to be accountable to in your savings can really help motivate you to stick to your goals. If your goal is to buy your first home or investment property – that’s something we can certainly help with.
No matter where you’re at in terms of savings, or career or general life stage – it’s not too late to start making some positive changes, however small.
We know from experience that small, consistent efforts do add up over time to improve your overall financial wellbeing and look forward to a stress-free financial future.
- Unleash your earning potential: our CEO Joseph Chou is an amazing and very inspiring speaker on the topic of changing your mindset to positively influence your career, finance and overall life goals. He presents regularly at events around the country – many of them are free events. Find upcoming events in your city.
- If you’re feeling disillusioned about the prospect of ever owning your first home – read about our young Ironfish First-Home-Buyer superstars – they’ve shared their tips and insights about options that you might not be aware of.
- Book a free appointment with one of our strategists. They’ll answer all your questions, even if you feel like buying property is off the cards for you – you may be surprised by what’s possible.