You’re not alone.
Many people struggle with managing their finances and making smart investments, which can prevent them from achieving their financial goals. You may have found yourself impulsively adding items to your cart or not saving as much as you know you should be. But don’t worry; it’s always possible to take control of your finances and start making more informed decisions.
Recent events in the housing market serve as a reminder that there’s never been a more critical time to ensure your finances are in order. After a record high in housing prices in North Brisbane in June 2022, the market has experienced an 11% price decline, making it an opportune time to invest in assets. This is especially relevant if you’re one of the 28.4% of people living in rental properties. But even if you cannot invest right now, taking control of your finances can help you prepare for future opportunities.
So, here are six tips that you must incorporate in your life if you wish to attain financial freedom:
List Your Financial Goals and Challenges
The first thing you should do is make a list of financial goals. Make sure these goals are SMART, meaning they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Apart from the goals, list challenges and hurdles. Next, head to a financial planner north brisbane offers with these points for an initial consultation.
A financial planner can help you to:
- Make a sound, tailored financial plan.
- Give you advice on financial investments to achieve that dream future.
- Adjust your financial plan with your life changes (new job, childbirth, unprecedented expenses)
- Help with retirement planning, property investment, and wealth management.
If you have a sound knowledge of certain aspects and not of others, the financial planner can help you in that situation as well.
Keep Track of Income and Expenses
If you want to plan independently before going to a financial planner, start tracking your income and expenses. A simple way of keeping everything in check is double-entry accounting. The income is recorded as a credit, and expenses are recorded as a debit.
Notice where you can cut expenses and increase savings without compromising your desired lifestyle. Do this for at least six months to see how much you can save comfortably. Then head on to making an investment plan.
When you get into the habit of tracking expenses, never let go of this habit.
Develop an Investment Plan
Investing your money wisely can increase wealth and help you reach your financial goals more quickly. However, investing without a plan can be risky and may result in significant losses. Therefore, developing an investment plan that works for you is important.
Firstly, you need to determine your financial goals and risk tolerance. This will help you decide how much to invest and what investments to make. Secondly, research different investment options, such as stocks, mutual funds, or real estate, and evaluate their risks and returns.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. At times global changes like the pandemic or economic recessions can cause the stock market to crash. You could invest in gold stocks or purchase physical gold to hedge against financial downturns.
Keep Some Liquid Assets
If you are keen on investing in property rather than stock, remember that you can need cash in hand at any point in your life. For example, a sudden need to pay a hefty hospital bill may arise. In this case, you wouldn’t want to encash the assets you’ve worked so hard to build. So, you must maintain some liquid assets or assets with high liquidity. Liquid and high-liquidity assets include cash, bank deposits, certificates, shares, and bonds.
If you have just started earning and saving a little, develop a portfolio of these highly liquid assets first.
Contribute to a Retirement Fund
Many employers offer a retirement matching plan where they deduct a certain amount from your salary and double the value before they put it in the retirement fund. This is free money and something you should negotiate to include in your compensation and benefits plan when you are offered a corporate job.
You could also contribute to a retirement fund privately after 35-40. This way, you have money saved for day-to-day expenses, medical, and possibly a trip after retirement to enjoy your free time. Remember: it is always early enough to save up for retirement. You can invest a little each month and increase the amount gradually so you get in the habit of saving.
Invest in Property
Even if you have invested in a house, you can do nothing better with your cash than invest in more properties for added financial stability. You could always keep some high liquidity assets to benefit from a decline in the housing market, like the 11% decline that North Brisbane has in 2023. Additionally, you could buy small properties and trade them for bigger ones, making a profit. Of course, you need to have a knack for wealth management, or another option is hiring an advisor who can help you manage your wealth. But, if you’re letting your money sit idle, it is only devaluing. So, pick either of the options to invest in properties.
Taking control of your finances requires discipline, commitment, and willingness to make changes. These tips can help you attain the financial freedom you dream of by making smart investments rather than cutting your budget and lowering your lifestyle.
So, starting by tracking your income and expenses, you can understand your financial standing. Next, you can plan to invest it in assets according to your situation. Revise your plan every year to make even better and bigger investments. Also, ensure you never let go of tracking your debits and credits because it will help you keep track of your financial health and make well-informed decisions.