Making progress is easy when times are good. However, it’s the actions we take when faced with economic headwinds that will truly make a difference over the long term.
We’ve often found that when faced with the unknown – people freeze. They become scared to do something – anything – for fear that they’ll get it wrong, it’s not the right thing to do, or that they’ll end up in a worse position than where they started.
By doing nothing, there is the possibility that you could be missing opportunities to strengthen your financial position and help you get ahead faster once those economic tides turn.
So, instead of doing nothing – what could you be doing?
First, identify what opportunities are available to you
Even if you feel like there’s little wriggle room in your financial situation, there are likely opportunities to adjust your position and give yourself a little more breathing room – if you know where to look for them.
This could be finding opportunities to free up additional cash flow, either by cutting back on your spending or increasing your earning potential.
But, before you unleash your entrepreneurial alter-ego to start a side hustle, take a good look at your bank statements to see if there are ways you could ‘trim the fat’. Where are you spending money where you don’t need to, or where it’s not adding value or joy to your life? Could you cut these costs out so you have more money left over in the bank?
If you’ve already established a solid cash flow surplus and are trying to decide the best thing to do with it, investigate what investment opportunities might be open to you. Do you have enough equity, alongside that cashflow surplus to make investing in property a possibility, or could you start off by investing that extra money into a managed fund?
Now that you’ve identified the opportunities that could help get you into a more favourable financial position, it’s time to commit to taking advantage of them.
And this can be a scary step – you’re not quite sure what could be waiting for you on the other side of that decision.
But don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. You know there are benefits to saving money, getting out of debt, having a cash surplus, having a buffer to cover unexpected costs, investing… And there are downsides to not making changes – namely, no improvements to your financial situation, and less time to get yourself where you want – or need – to be.
So, to take that first step, why not set yourself a goal of where you’d like to be in a year’s time and draw up a plan that outlines the actions you need to take to help you achieve that goal?
Chunking it up into smaller pieces makes it easier to keep track of what you need to do – and when. It helps build momentum and your confidence in your own ability to make these changes, while simultaneously working towards the goal you’re trying to achieve.
Finally, maximise those opportunities
In those last couple of steps, you’ve been working on building a strong financial foundation, taking advantage of the opportunities you’ve identified, and creating more opportunities for yourself to get even further ahead.
Now it’s time to maximise the momentum of these opportunities.
- If you worked hard to build up a substantial cash surplus – where can you divert this cash so it starts working harder for you and growing your wealth?
- If you’ve been working on reducing mortgage debt, have you paid it off to a point where you’ve built enough equity to put towards the deposit for an investment property?
- Or are you at a point you can grow your investment portfolio with another property, or diversify with a managed fund?
No matter what point you’re starting from, there are likely to be opportunities for improving your financial position – even when faced with economic headwinds – if you know where to look for them and how to take advantage of them.
And, if you’re able to find these opportunities while economic conditions are tight, it will only become easier to maximise those opportunities, grow your wealth, and secure your financial future regardless of what the economy is doing.
Keen to learn what opportunities might be available and how to take advantage of them to grow wealth during economic headwinds? Then join enable.me founder and financial adviser, Hannah McQueen, for an online webinar on Tuesday the 21st of March at 7:30pm. Find out what she’ll discuss and register your attendance today by clicking here.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute individual financial advice. If you’re interested in receiving personalised financial advice, you can book a consultation with an enable.me coach. A fee applies.