We all experience times where our finances keep us awake at night and when it does happen it is over 1 (or more) of 5 things. Let'a talk more about these 5 things:
Yes, money makes the world go round. And, it is generally the lack of money that keeps us awake at night. Not being able to pay bills on time, wanting more and not having the money to do it, it doesn't really matter what it is that is driving you to be "awake".
Being stressed about money can feed into all aspects of your life: Being tired, not making good decisions, constantly being distracted. You are in a state of feeling bad which means you are no longer living your life as best you can!
This is a reminder to start working on how you can fix the problem.
Having debt evokes different feelings about debt in different people - this is the 3 D's of Debt.
- Denial: When you have debt, but it doesn't impact your life
- Distraction: When you think about debt, but only sometimes
- Distressed: When the level of debt you have is totally overwhelming and you can't see a way out
For each of these categories, there are action steps to take.
Read the 3 D's of Debt Blog
Our Kids Financial Future
As soon as you have children, you change from living a selfish life (all about me - which it was) to trying to create an environment that is best for your children. That includes how can you give them the future they deserve that you want for them.
These things include, funds for the activities and sports they would like to participate in, being able to afford education for them, and helping them buy their first home.
As a parent, we need to make absolutely sure we are balancing being able to provide for our children (today) AND planning for our own futures (yes putting on the selfish hat!). Why? Because our future will be heavily reliant on our children if we don't get ourselves sorted!
I Want More!
I am sure I am right when I say we have all experienced some form of financial envy or jealousy. You know, when someone else has something you want, all you can say is why them and not me!
This can be a good feeling! It can drive us forward and make us better. But, it can also lead to feelings of inadequacy and negative thoughts which can plague us.
If you are in this position, the best thing you can do is take a look at your own life, start shifting the focus back to you, and work out what it is you really want...stop comparing yourself, you may even find out that what you thought you wanted you actually don't!
Once you know what you want you can then develop a plan to move forward.
"Gosh, isn't retirement such a long way off, I will think about it later." But, then you suddenly realise later is NOW, and you wished you had taken action earlier!
The great thing (in my opinion) about KiwiSaver is that we have all finally learned that putting in a little bit all the time can have a huge difference to our future financial performance. So I ask that you continue with the thought process of small things on a regular basis. For instance:
- Create a new investment and add a little bit each week
- Increase your home loan payment by a small amount. Then, when you get used to that amount, increase it again.
- Reduce spending in small amounts, like $20 per week (both of you, if you are a couple). Then readjust downward again in a few months.
It is a lot of small things that will have a great impact. Don't think retirement is too far away or too big a problem. Small steps is how you start!
How VerdiPlus can help
If you are not a VerdiPlus member you won't know the magic of the VerdiPlus tools - it's time you took a look!
- The Money Map can help you to identify where your money is going and where you can make improvements - to create a financial surplus
- The Bank Plan - identify's what the bank account structure can look like for you to protect the financial surplus
- The What I'm Worth tool can allow you to see what your financial future looks like AND it can show you how small changes to debt reductions or increase to savings and how it can improve your financial position
- The Financial Protection tool will show you where your areas of potential risk are - you don't want to put all your hard work at risk!
- The Debt Calculators are varied all with the view to help you to identify potential savings
- The Expert Advice tool means you are one step away from tailored financial advice from any one of your chosen Advisers