6 Best Ways to Get Ahead, Now

6 Best Ways to Get Ahead, Now

It’s a new financial year and in retail world that means time to do a stocktake – a good opportunity for business owners to offload stock and also to take notice of what did work to plan for the new financial year. So we felt that now would a great time to pull together some ideas to help you do a financial stocktake!

Here are 6 of the best things you can do right now to get ahead!

1. Credit Cards are the number one most profitable product for banks and the number one destroyer of individual financial situations, as has been highlighted recently.

If you still have a credit card debt from your Christmas splurge or holiday then now is definitely a great time to allocate money to repaying that card as quickly as possible.

An alternative to paying a high interest rate is to transfer to the 0% transfer rate card but you must only do this if you then chop up the card and stick to paying off that card as fast as possible. The tricky detail on these 0% transfer cards is that the 0% only applies to the existing, transferred balance and any future spending on the card is at a ridiculously high interest rate.

2. Your Budget is your commitment to a better financial future.  If your bank account is always empty at the end of the month or the credit card or personal loan balance never seems to come down, it’s very likely you need to spend some time looking at your budget.

This does not need to be an item-by-item analysis of your spending unless you can’t figure out where your income goes. In most cases you’ll be able to identify those areas where you have indulged or overspent in the last 6 months. Commit to cutting back on a few areas and set a goal to pay down the loans or save double what you need to. Always include a little budget to reward yourself for making the goal at the end of the year as no one enjoys being overly miserly!

The other way to improve your budget it to improve what you earn so take a look at where your career is today and what things may enhance your earning ability.

3. Improve Your Skills is a personal investment strategy. There are a multitude of real world and online training courses that can better prepare you for the opportunities that may present themselves.

4. Insure yourself so that you won’t be in strife if your health suffers. So many people plan out their dream lives but don’t have anything in place for an unexpected worse case scenario. We are encouraged to have a ‘Plan B’ before we spend a night on the town but seldom do most people make a Plan B for their lives and ability to go on earning an income or provide for their family.

The government is continuously cutting back in compensation and social security payments. I can also assure you that your standard superannuation fund’s insurance cover offer will suffice only to sustain you on bread and water for the remainder of your life, even if you even manage to meet the conditions to receive a payout.  

If you’ve never taken the time to assess what you would need if you couldn’t work then this needs to be a priority. Many people believe that their employer or business will be generous to them in the face of an injury or sickness but let’s face it, they’re not prepared to double your pay now whilst you are working with them, so why would you think they will they maintain your salary payments when you’re not there? It’s time to take action to look after yourself and it is imperative because you can’t get insurance cover once you are sick or injured!

5. Invest something so that you can use some of today’s income to produce income in the future. This is a discipline above your normal budgeting and you need to be able to use the savings that you have accrued to produce something more than the return you can achieve from a term deposit.   

Buying a weekly lottery ticket is also not a plan but wishful thinking!

Investing even a small amount of money on a regular basis and getting started ASAP are the keys to having money in the future. The power of compounding interest will allow you to make more comfortable choices in the future, be it to reduce your hours or retire early, take a great holiday or to start a new business for yourself.

The superannuation system is providing a great nest egg for your retirement but unless you add money into your account beyond the standard amount that your employer makes, your retirement is not going to be comfortable.

6. Plan your estate so that those you care the most about will get the entitlement you want to pass on. This is not an area most people like to address because it requires contemplation of our own mortality. However, if you don’t plan it, the lawyers and the government bureaucrats will be sure to take their cut of everything you strived so hard to build, before your family gets a look in!

The value of just a standard house in the Sydney suburbs makes the effort in putting this together for your family more than justifiable. Add to that your superannuation savings and any inheritance that you also may receive, makes this a very worthwhile exercise. Don’t put it off, go and get a proper plan in place so that your family will receive what you want to bequeath to them!

So there are our six thoughts for the next six months. One thing we know for sure is that the next six months will fly past and if you don’t make the effort in one or more of these areas, you’ll finish the year another six months behind what you planned to do!

If you need help then please contact us to see if we can be of assistance.  

Chris Kelly
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