We reckon old dogs can learn new tricks. Here are five ways to change your money mindset forever.
1. Save 10 per cent of your income… without fail
Every time you get paid, send 10 per cent of your income to a high interest savings account that you simply don’t touch.
If you receive a salary, you can set up an automatic debit to make sure this always happens.
We’re not saying that saving 10 per cent is the magic number or will be enough to achieve all of your financial goals, but it’s a great start.
2. Become a year-round negotiator
From bank fees to televisions, gym memberships to insurance, you’d be amazed at how many things in this life are negotiable.
And you’ll be even more amazed about how much money you can save when you commit to negotiating on every transaction you make (which can be as simple as just asking for a better deal).
To do this, you need to be informed about the product or service you’re buying, leave any emotions at the door and always be prepared to walk away. Yes, it takes up a bit of time, but the savings will be more than worth it.
3. Stop ‘winging it’ when it comes to money
We understand that learning about money isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re doing yourself no favours by staying in the dark about finances.
So take the time to think about your financial goals and how you’ll achieve them, then build a basic budget and make sure you’re living within your means. And if you’ve amassed bad debts like credit cards, put a strategy in place to pay them off as quickly as possible.
4. Take super and insurance seriously
When it comes to money, super and insurance are probably the two things that most people know the least about.
They’re also two of the most important aspects of your finances.
Thanks to our aging population, the government can’t afford to keep providing generous handouts to retirees as they have in the past. This means super is what you’re going to live on in retirement. Is yours appropriately invested?
Insurance meanwhile is the only thing that stands between you and financial ruin if something bad happens (it’s even more important if you have a family or financial dependents). Are you adequately covered?
5. Set up an ‘opportunity’ fund
An emergency fund is money you set aside and don’t touch unless you really, really need to, and we think this is a great idea.
But instead of thinking about this as money for an emergency, we prefer to think about it in terms of the opportunity it affords you.
We recently read a story about an American named Matt Becker who lost his job, but used the financial flexibility that his opportunity fund gave him to take a chance and start his dream business – a financial advice firm for new parents.
It’s a good story, and goes to show that improving your money mindset isn’t just about having a bulging bank balance. It’s also about giving yourself the opportunity and flexibility to make good decisions in your life.