Chris Childs

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Why financial security should still define success in Australia

A recent survey from NAB has revealed something that every feel-good movie and Victorian drama seems to take as a given: That happiness is more important than money. From Rose and Jack on the Titanic to The Pursuit of Happyness, if there's one thing that our society seems to push it's the idea that love and joy is the key to true personal growth.

Perhaps that's why happiness now ranks as the top measure of personal success in Australia. We could leave it there, quit our day jobs and decide to pursue our passions instead; but the reality could be very different for the average Australian. Let's take a deeper look at what role financial management plays in personal success. It isn't a question of money or happiness, when you can just as easily have both.

What does success look like for you?What does success look like for you?

Money can't buy you happiness

Separate your finances, get them organised and you'll soon find your money problems don't seem quite so significant.

According to NAB's survey, people's top personal measures of success range from having good family relationships to feeling fit and healthy to having good mental and physical health. All very worthy goals, and ranked far higher than buying a house (which was ranked 15th), being rich (22nd) and even being financially secure now and in the future (8th).

Meanwhile, about 65 per cent of us believe we have already achieved success in some way, but even more (71 per cent) believe they are still working towards it. Strangely enough, it's the things that you don't need money for that people think they have already accomplished: Being a good person and having good family relationships, things which were highly ranked in overall measures of success. It looks like people don't need money to feel successful after all!

The power of financial security

Or do they? The things that people wanted to work on the most was being happy, their mental health and being in control of their lives. Let's think about that for a second: People don't feel happy, they don't feel in control and they are feeling stressed and worried. It's not surprising; about 35 per cent of us reported that they had a significant level of distress in our lives, according to the Australian Psychological Society (APS). It's hard to be happy when you're worried!

And what are we worrying about? Personal finances, according to the APS. We aren't valuing financial security as success, but we're clearly worried about it! But here's the good news: You don't have to choose between success, happiness and money. With the right money management system, you can get all three! Separate your finances, get them organised and you'll soon find your money problems don't seem quite so significant.

Give us a call or come along to one of our debt management seminars to find out more!