Have you ever been shopping with a 7 year old? If it isn’t the whingeing that hurts your ears as you make your way through each isle, it is the hip-pocket pain you experience when they grab everything they can from the shelves and throw it in the shopping trolley.
The shopping-with-children problem is familiar to many, and if you are caught out, it can really hurt you financially. When you’re trying to save and get ahead you need a ‘Game Plan’. Even when you’re doing something as simple as grocery shopping!
Have Your Financial Game Plan in Place Before You Spend a Cent
The key thing to learn from this experience is that having a Game Plan for how your money is used is almost more important than spending the money itself. By planning how you use your money, you’re able to gain power and control over a part of your life you may have thought was out of control. No one likes feeling out of control; especially when it comes to handling personal finances.
Your Budget is Your Game Plan and Road Map to Financial Freedom
Developing your Game Plan starts with writing down a personal or family budget. Your budget becomes part of your Game Plan, so that when you are shopping you aren’t dissuaded from limiting your spending by a Little Miss Bored or Little Mr Bored. You develop spending limits for every area of your financial life and stick to it them.
This process doesn’t initially feel like freedom. However, when you have something come from out of left field demanding financial attention, it is so much more satisfying to know you have it handled because you developed the discipline to save money for a rainy day.
Your Game Plan doesn’t have to be about the ‘rainy day’ either. You want to dream big and have a big motivating goal to sustain you through the tough parts of sticking to a budget. There are many different motivators for budgeting and saving.
Here are a few key motivators pushing many super savers to reach their savings goals:
1. Owning Your Own Home
Renting is not ideal for everyone. You’re in someone else’s house. When you rent a place you are also not really King of your own Castle. It’s not your house, and you are not always free to do with the place what you would like. Sometimes there are restrictions on having pets, gardening, and modifying the house to suit your needs better. Owning your own place, where you are free to do as you like, is often the best motivator of all to set savings goals and work towards them. There’s no place like home – especially if it is one you own!
2. Building a Retirement Nest-egg
If you aren’t wrapped-up in the idea of owning your own home where you can have a backyard, a dog, a lawnmower, and a BBQ, then you’ll probably be more interested in saving for retirement. It’s actually ‘a thing’ nowadays, whereas in decades past the government helped people in retirement by providing pensions as a way of thanking them for contributing to society, spilling blood in wars and paying huge amounts of tax to help the government build the nation. Now, no such luck. You’re expected to put something away for your own retirement. If you don’t put away enough, the living standards you would like to experience in your sunset years won’t be there for you. Beginning to plan for retirement is something you need to start now.
3. Sending Your Children to a Good School
If the kids aren’t grabbing everything off the shelves and tossing it into the shopping trolley when their young and cute, they’re still draining your bank account when it comes to gaining an absolutely necessary post-secondary education. This provides you with another reason why you need to budget and put as much aside as you can and invest it for a return, building up the balance as high as it will reach before the precious little monkeys are packing their bags for the esteemed houses of higher learning. Plus, most parents want to do as much as they can to help their children prepare for a successful career and life.
4. That One Big Holiday
Taking a break regularly can be an excellent motivator to help pull you through all of the years of hard work you’ll do. Studies show that regular breaks and short holidays can reinvigorate and help you to have a better attitude and outlook at work. That’s a nice idea! The reality is that many people simply don’t take their allocated leave or don’t save enough money to go somewhere nice with their vacation leave. Don’t be a statistic for the ‘Work Until You Drop’ club. Save regularly in your budget so you can take a wonderfully long holiday, and see the world and create memories that will last forever.
5. Leaving a Legacy
Another reason to opt for the cheaper Bran Flakes over the more expensive Smashed Avocado on Toast breakfast is to accumulate more funds for the after-life. It’s yet to be proven if you can take your stash of cash to the other side, however, we all know where there is a will – there will be a relative. Or two or three! At the very end of your time, you’re liking to want to give them a Golden Handshake. We humans are a bit strange like that, aren’t we?! The truth is, we do like to leave something for our loved ones. That can be a contribution to the grandchildren’s higher education, money towards your children getting in their own home, or even just enough money to cover the costs of an outrageously good farewell party.
Need Some Help with Your Game Plan?
Budgeting doesn’t come naturally to many people, so you are not alone if you don’t have it all worked-out yet. You can always get assistance from financial planners and mortgage brokers like us, access our experience and resources, and finally gain control over your finances.
Vision Property & Finance financial planners and mortgage brokers can help you assemble a budget you can stick to but will also put you on the path to reaching your financial goals. They are experts in money management and can not only help you with your budget now, they can also help you plan for the long-term. Contact Vision here or call us now on 1800 004 663 to speak to one of our expert advisers.