Money & Career

Five Ways To Take Financial Control Of Your Life

It's easier than you think

Here are five things you can do right now to take charge of your money.

Admit a man is not a financial plan
If you’re waiting for Mr Right (or at least Mr Solvent) to help fix your finances (or get you out of the red), then it’s time to get real girl. Whatever your financial goals are (buy a house, finally take that extended holiday to Italy) it’s time to stop waiting for your Knight in Shining Credit and for you to get in the driver’s seat. Where do you want to be this time next year, financially? Write down your top goal money-wise and stick it somewhere you will see it daily. Nothing like a handy motivational reminder to keep you on the fiscal straight and narrow. Even if you are in a relationship, this one applies to you too: Don’t be tempted to relinquish the financial planning to your partner.

Work out exactly where your money is going
Feel like you are constantly one latte away from penury, no matter how much you’re earning? Then it’s time to work out where exactly your money is going. Download any one of the free smartphone apps (such as Mint or TrackMySpend) that will help you keep track of your purchases. Knowledge is power, people.

Make a savings plan a thing this year
Yes, seriously. Set up an automatic direct debit that deducts a specific amount from your account on the day you get paid. You won’t notice the dent in spending money and you’ll be shocked how fast you can put away a tidy sum. Even if you start with only putting away $10 a month, watching your nest egg grow will get you hooked on the high that is saving (yes, really). Put away $100 a month, and two years from now you’ll have nearly $2,500 – hello trip to Europe!

Demand better
Women earn, on average, 17.5 per cent less than men in Australia. It’s time for us all to speak up and demand better (which conveniently also means a bigger, equal pay cheque). Experts say it’s best to wait for a moment when you’ve recently completed a project well. Then, when you meet with your boss, draw their attention to your most recent professional wins and how you have delivered above and beyond your job description. Stick to the facts – keeping it professional, rather than making it personal will probably make it easier to argue – and it will definitely make it harder for your boss to turn down.

Super-size me
It might not seem important now, but women, on average, retire with less superannuation than men. We’ve all had part-time gigs and changed jobs over the years, which also means most of us have racked up a number of different super accounts over time. (In fact, one in two Australians has lost super.) Go and track down all the super accounts in your name so you can roll them together- all the better to grow old gracefully (or better yet, disgracefully…).

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