Money makes the world go round, so they say. Every day you spend money on bills, food, coffee, and just general life.
Big or small financial decisions can impact us in many ways, and our financial health touches on every aspect of our lives, affecting our emotions, behaviours and attitudes.
So just as it’s important to look after your mental and physical health, your financial health is also an important aspect of your wellbeing.
That’s why it’s really important to not only be on top of your finances, but to feel empowered to make the right decisions for your personal circumstances.
We’re here to help you relieve financial stress and work with what you have for a better future!
What is financial wellbeing?
Financial wellbeing is not how wealthy you are or what your bank balance says.
Financial wellbeing is simply your ability to manage your everyday expenses and debts effectively, and even make sure you’re prepared for a rainy day. It’s all about having financial freedom to enjoy life.
It’s also important to make sure you’re in a good financial position and set up for the future, particularly when it comes to retirement.
How to assess your financial health
There’s a few things you can do to assess your financial health. You should always treat your own personal finance as unique.
Never compare yourself to others as we all have different needs. Be kind to yourself with what you have to work with.
Look at your current financial status
Firstly, you want to look at your current financial health. You need to be able to have something to compare it to in future to see if you’re achieving your goals.
How do you do this? Well, you track it.
Know what you spend your money on and when and throw it into a spreadsheet. Until you know this, making a budget is very difficult.
Budget, budget, budget
We all have essential costs such as rent, utilities, food, and so on that we can’t avoid.
Go through these and list out exactly how much and when you need these costs. Compare this against your income and this will give you a rough base of what you have to work with.
You may even want to consider setting up direct debit or opening a separate account (with no or minimal fees of course) for essential costs so that you can keep them separate and ready to go when the bills are due!
Set your goals
Once you’ve got your essentials covered and can see any unallocated spend, set your savings goal!
Perhaps you want to allocate half to a rainy day fund and half for some future investment opportunities. It’s really up to you how you want to do it.
Typically a rainy day fund would be three months of your full wage. But it’s really whatever you can do within your restraints.
Setting a goal will give you a clear direction and (hopefully) hold yourself accountable to your spending habits.
It’s not about being rich, it’s about feeling secure.
We all know the classic ways to save money, such as making coffee at home (the cost of coffee at cafes is a bit much everyday right?).
There’s many different ways you can maximise your savings within your budget:
- Cutting down or utilising subscription services (food, entertainment, etc.).
- Bulk buy food in regular grocery shops (look for sales).
- Bring your lunch to work.
- Cut down on alcohol.
- If you rent, negotiate (depending on the market)!
How we can help
As the bank that exists to serve healthcare professionals, we’re here to empower you to make the best decisions for you, when it comes to your finances. Visit bankfirst.com.au to find out more about how we can help you to kick-start your financial wellbeing.