New research conducted by BT Financial Group found that 32 per cent of Australians often live ‘pay cheque to pay cheque’, 30 per cent are ‘concerned’ by the amount of debt they repay on a monthly basis.
Bryan Ashenden, head of financial literacy and advocacy at BT, says “no one is immune” to the stress caused by planning their financial future, but there are a number of steps we can all take to improve our savings.
“We all have worries about our money from time to time, but what can make a difference is to put steps in place, so that we worry less,” Mr Ashenden says.
BT’s five tips to manage money are:
1. Crunch the numbers
According to BT, knowing how much money is “coming and going out” each month is a critical first step. There are plenty of online tools to help.
2. Get a handle on debt
BT said there are two factors to this. First, it’s important to know exactly how much money is owed and second, how much it’s costing you.
Once you’re across this, the next step is to see if loans and the like can be consolidated to get a better rate.
3. Create a savings plan
Developing a plan that will allow you to accumulate savings and prepare for any unexpected costs down the road is a great way to “create peace of mind”, the company said. Even if the amount saved is only small, every bit helps.
4. Consider your super
For millennials, a dollar invested in super today will mean $10 in retirement, meaning investing in superannuation can make the costs of retirement more manageable, BT said.
5. Seek professional advice
Going it alone can be tough, and professional advisers can help “identify your financial and lifestyle goals, design a plan,” and more, including providing support in sticking to that plan or even making changes when your circumstances change.