How do we get our finances under control?

We often observe clients (especially busy parents juggling careers and kids) leaving the management of their finances on the back burner. Mixing sleepless nights with long work hours can mean that even though our bills magically get paid each month, the dirty ‘b’ word – ‘budget’ – is rarely spoken or thought of.

Let’s change that and… start talking about it!

Q. How do you create a budget?
A great starting point is to contact us for our BUDGET ORGANISER! Print it off so you and your family can sit down, list your expenditure and income and see where your money is spent and where you could save.

This could take as little as 20 minutes BUT could potentially save hundreds if not thousands on debt repayments and other expenditure. Isn’t that worth it?

Ensure your budget is realistic by estimating future expenses from past expenses and track your regular and incidental costs for a few months. Cater and plan for these expenses.

Q. What are the next steps?

Money is often blamed for being one of the main causes of relationship problems and breakdowns… or is it?

Many experts agree that it’s really a lack of communication skills and compromises.

Honest and open communication between partners is a key component of controlling joint finances. With both parents often now working, each person may have their own credit card or other personal debt. It is essential you are both honest about debt and where you are spending your income.

Discuss your joint personal dreams and long-term financial goals. Looking at the bigger picture helps you decide if you are both prepared to make sacrifices to your current lifestyle (however small) to achieve long-term wealth. Remember you both need to be financially responsible AND financially satisfied. More often than not, the common financial ground can be found through communication.

Once you have agreement on your family budget you can REALLY start to manage your finances.

Remember, if you have credit cards or personal loans, payments MUST be made on time to avoid negatively impacting your credit history.

Q. What if we don’t understand HOW to control our finances?
If your budget is complex then seeking independent advice from a financial specialist is another important step in taking control of your finances. As your finance broker, we can help you with that. A trusted adviser can often identify areas of improvement you sometimes aren’t aware of.

Q. What if our finances are OUT of control?
Many of us fall behind with our finances at some point but it’s important to be proactive when we’re struggling to pay our bills.

The most common mistake we see is that clients with money problems pretend it’s not happening. They avoid calls from their lender and won’t even tell us – their finance broker – about their financial stress.

Taking control involves more than creating a budget – it is essential to face the problem and do something!

By law, credit providers have to offer temporary financial assistance when we have proven financial hardship, eg if someone in the family has an accident resulting in a temporary change in income your lender may approve a temporary financial assistance package. Subject to approval, banks can offer a short-term freeze on consumer accounts to help you during the time of hardship.

Getting your money under control isn’t hard, but it DOES take discipline to regularly sit down and honestly evaluate your finances.

Start that budget TODAY and speak to BOTH your partner and to US!

This financial year make ONE new resolution:

Don’t let money control you: you control your money.

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