This is a guest blog by Rachael Bursell, The Financial Feminist//
“A woman’s Best Protection is a little money of her own” – Clare Boothe Luce
The famous US politician’s words are now more relevant now than ever. Yet as women, we seem to deflect when it comes to financial literacy – only 35% of Australian women were able to correctly answer all of the questions on the HILDA survey (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Survey in Australia), compared to 50% of men. Ladies, knowledge is power. Make 2019 the year you own your finances. So how do you do it?
1. Budget. I cannot stress this enough – you MUST know where all of your money is going, all of the time. “I have a rough idea” does not cut it. I use the ASIC Money Smart Budget Planner with my clients. Grab a wine, fill it out, and keep a close eye on your spending.
2. Avoid ‘Dirty Debt’. Some debt, like a mortgage or HELP debt, is unavoidable. Consumer credit, like credit cards and Afterpay is optional – and it’s a bad idea. If you don’t have the money to take that luxury holiday or new outfit, accept that you can’t afford it and move on. Financially secure individuals pay off their credit cards every month.
3. Know your Net Wealth, and have a plan to improve it. Essentially, your net wealth is the total of your assets minus your liabilities. I find that those who excel at growing their net wealth are not necessarily those that earn the most, but instead have a solid plan in place to increase it annually. Your Superannuation forms part of your assets. Read your statements, know where your money is invested, and if you aren’t sure see a qualified Financial Adviser. Most of them are really helpful and can explain your statement to you for free.
4. Set Financial Goals. You are more likely to stick to the above items if you have some solid reasons. Think about some short term and long-term goals, write them down and review them regularly.
5. Educate Yourself. If you want to become more confident with money, you need to educate yourself. You cannot leave your financial education to chance. Read a new finance book every year or every six months, listen to some podcasts, follow financial advisers on social media. There are heaps of ways to increase your knowledge.
These are just a few snippets of some ways you can make 2019 the year you owned financial stability. Any questions feel free to email me at email@example.com. I’m happy to offer all of Jemimah’s clients a complimentary consultation to chat all things finance.
Rachael Bursell is an Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, AFSL 238429
Rachael Bursell is a Financial Adviser who is passionate about improving equality and ensuring that both men and women have the same financial opportunities, confidence about money and realistic plans for their future. When she isn’t with clients Rachael is a wife to Torsten and mum to Lily and Elijah and has a love for travel, an addiction to coffee and a weak spot for good gin