Money! It’s the most talked about subject in the world. It has started wars, ended marriages and created more stress in people’s lives than anything else in the world.While we all know money can’t buy happiness, it tends to buy a lot of the things we perceive creates it. Money certainly creates peace of mind! While we can all list many things that are more important than money, like health and family, few of us can live without it.Having enough money is the easiest way to have an easy and stress-free life, but how much is enough? I often see people scraping by on a single income of $45,000 and see another family just scraping by on $125,000. We all tend to live to the edge of our income.So how do you best manage money? And importantly how do you make more money from money? Firstly, I believe there are a few critical steps to managing money.
Step 1: A Cash Management System
Having a good working budget, or what I prefer to call a Cash Management System is the first step to getting control of your money. The more organized you are, the more you will have – seriously! It is a fact that if you get organised with your money, you have more of it. Bills get paid on time, you don’t waste precious money on fines, fees and overdue payments, and you make your money work for you instead of against you.
Step 2: Set some Goals
Map out exactly what you want to achieve financially, and set a few goals. Set some goals around reducing debt, or around saving or even better some goals around investing and wealth creation. Goal setting is critical. It will give you focus, direction and purpose. Take a look at one of the many goal-setting techniques available and choose the right one for you. For me, the Passion Test was something that completely changed my business and my life. It allowed me to examine what was important to me, and to put in place the actions I needed to take to get there. It literally turned my business around.
Step 3: Clean up Debt
After getting your personal finances under control with a cash management system, focus on cleaning up credit card or consumer debt. If you have a mortgage and some equity, consolidating credit card and consumer debt onto your mortgage can reduce your repayments each month and lower the amount of interest you pay. And don’t assume a mortgage is a long-term debt. A mortgage doesn’t have to be a stone around your neck for 25 years. If you handle it correctly, that is; get the right loan, set up a money plan, use a credit card correctly, bank your pay into your loan and stay organized, a mortgage should be paid off in five to seven years just by doing your banking differently.
Step 4: Look at creating more money
Now you can look at the bigger picture of investing. The biggest secret to creating true wealth is to separate your life from your investments. This enables you to invest in many things, including property like I do, without any impact on your lifestyle. Separating your life into columns for ‘life’, ‘investment’, ‘superannuation’ and ‘business’ allows you to quickly gain control of your money and find where any problems of financial leakage are coming from. Creating equity in your own home is then the easiest way to get started. While many people get fearful of using their property as leverage to invest, for example, to purchase an investment property, the risk can be minimized by having a clear plan and exit strategy. As the investment property increases in value, the bank will no longer require your home to form part of the security and the investment would be able to stand alone.Really it’s all in the numbers. The way you view the numbers and manage them will unlock the potential to build wealth for your future and your retirement and maintain your lifestyle.See you on soon!Chris Childs