The world has changed in 2020. And the reality is we need to change with it.
We know when we’re all in such a state of flux, it’s hard to look forward with any certainty, let alone set some financial goals for 2020. But that’s exactly why we need to do it. This time will pass and setting or re-setting goals not only provides greater purpose and direction, it can be incredibly healthy for both our mental and financial wellbeing.
You may have already set your financial goals for 2020 and that’s great. Fist pump to you. There’s no need to panic and start again, but with this moving landscape, it’s a good idea to take a look and see if they are still appropriate and reset if you need to. Let us know if you’d like help with that.
If you haven’t set your goals, don’t stress. To help you get started we’ve highlighted five financial goals we think will be most relevant for the next twelve months.
Establish a ‘rainy day’ fund
We know this will be top of mind for most people during this crisis, which is why we’ve put it at the top of this list.
A critical part of our planning we do with clients is making sure there is adequate ‘rainy day’/emergency funds to draw upon when required. It’s going to be difficult for all of us, and we’ll be working alongside all of our clients to help navigate the financial challenges and decisions we need to make. But we will come out of this, and it’s important that you’re prepared for whatever life may throw your way in the future, whether that’s a buffer for an emergency, short-term funds for a business or investment, or to know you have added protection to cope with the emotional ride of a fluctuating stock market.
Please let us know if you need help to either set this up for you or would like to relook and bolster what you already have in place.
Getting on top of your debt
In some ways this is the easiest goal – as everyone has the power to do it. But in a lot of ways it’s the hardest, as it takes a strong and unwavering commitment.
We’re also realistic. This is as tough a time as ever to think about actively managing your debt. But it could also be the perfect time as we will all be forced to tighten our belts, which puts the focus firmly on not adding to our debt (especially credit cards), and reducing it.
Minimising your debt gives you:
– greater control over your finances which is incredibly important to your wellbeing
– frees up money for savings and investing
– makes it easier to make life decisions (taking that trip, investing in that opportunity, leaving that job or retiring)
The first place to start is your credit card. We’re pretty passionate about this which is why we set up our own campaign, ‘The Great Aussie Credit Crush’, to cut up credit cards: www.GACC.com.au If you don’t feel like you can get the scissors out straight away, there are other things you can do to reduce your credit card debt, such as changing over to a 0% balance transfer offer which can save you thousands in interest while you chip away at removing the balance.
Spend less than you earn
This is a big one, especially as many of us may have to adjust to reduced income over the weeks and months ahead. But it also makes common sense – in good times and bad. If you learn to spend less than you earn, you’ll always have some left over after you’ve paid yourself for savings, invest-ments, and reducing debt.
So now is as good a time as any to look at your budget, look at your spending, and see where you can trim off any excess that you can put back into your pocket. We have a number of tools we can use to help you with this.
Check your insurances and estate planning are all in order
We recommend you regularly revisit elements such as your level of insurance cover and estate planning to make sure it’s aligned with your current and predicted situation. It’s about finding that middle ground between having too much cover for your needs, and not enough. We can help you find that right balance and take the hassle out of making any changes if they’re required.
Look after your financial wellbeing
We talk about financial wellbeing a lot. And we don’t apologise for that, because we think it is so important. If you can achieve a healthy relationship with your finances, the feeling of security and freedom of choice that flows from this cannot be underestimated – both for your financial and mental wellness.
So set some new financial goals, talk to a trusted adviser, and above all be proactive so that you can look ahead with a greater sense of control and confidence. It’s hard to put a value on this.
And please remember we’re here to help. Talk to your adviser or any of our Tribeca Tribe if you have a question or need you wish to discuss.