Rule One: Set goals and act now.
Rule Two: See Rule One.
Visualise your future and write down your goals and objectives.
Be specific, but be realistic. If you are defeated before you start because you are not committed to achieving your objective you will ingrain a behaviour that will undermine your wealth creation. Think about any diet you’ve ever started or any gym membership gone to waste.
Be clear and draw diagrams for your cash flow plan so you are reminded constantly.
Place pictures of your goals and objectives next to the written list – this will remind you and reinforce the importance of your goals. Most importantly you must be strong-willed and committed to your plan. Like that piece of chocolate or glass of wine, you will be confronted with challenges from time to time. Like the weekend at Byron Bay, that new dress or even bigger ticket items such as a new car. The list of goals and associated photos will serve to remind you why you are sacrificing all of those impulse purchases.
Help is available
Get help if you need it. You may not be ready to engage a financial adviser, but there are other alternatives. The most important one is your other self – you know, the one that set these goals in the first place. The self with an eye on the future, the plans for your daughter’s private school, the holidays in Europe and the property portfolio. In other words, you can use strategies to protect you from yourself. Set up your savings account without keycard access or establish investments that are long term. Out of sight out of mind means that you will need to take two more steps to get to the money you have saved away in that high-interest saver
account for a house deposit. Sometimes this is enough to make you think twice, and when sanity prevails and you say no to the impulse, you will find that you are well on your way to your objective.
Measure you success and trick your mind
Whatever objectives you set, and whatever cheats you utilise to help you in times of weakness, make sure that you measure your progress. This might be establishing a milestone of savings, paying off your home-loan balance or reaching a targeted investment in your share portfolio. I often see that with a little momentum in the value increase of your savings this becomes self perpetuating, and often people fi nd an emotional reward or satisfaction in saving additional money. When you get this feeling you fi nd that psychologically you are well on to the way to establishing the correct pattern of behaviour. If the act of saving becomes as rewarding as achieving the goal that you have set in the first place, then you have crossed a behaviour threshold and your future looks bright.
Resources at your fingertips
Use your superannuation as a personal development and education tool. Instead of allowing your super to sit in a default employer fund and throw the annual statements in the bottom draw, consider taking the time to consult an adviser on how to make better use of your superannuation. It may not be all about better returns. You can use your superannuation fund as a valuable source of capital that you can use to create an investment strategy, understand investment markets and ultimately make wise decisions.
Part adviser, part disciplinarian, part support network.
Seeking advice can help you navigate the challenges of saving and creating wealth. An adviser will not only provide knowledge on how to manage your money smarter or more effectively, they will also provide the discipline by tracking your achievements. This can sometimes be the difference between success and failure. The lesson is to do whatever it takes to support yourself in achieving your goals.