It's 2015 - Get Serious About Your Finances

January 18, 2015

It's the start of the year, the start of 2015. If you've spent a lot of money over the Christmas holidays or more than you'd planned to, now is the time to take your head out the sand. Eventually the tide comes in or chickens come home to roost. 

If you're going to get serious about your finances, the first step is to accurately diagnose your situation before you can write any plan of what you need to do, before you can get excited or depressed about how much you do need to do, you've got first to understand where you're at. 

For some, it can be a very confronting process; but if you don't diagnose your financial situation correctly, and you do try to make an effort somewhere, it won't create the outcome you wanted or needed; it's a waste of time with no return. 

The first step is in diagnosing your financial situation, with a full-on health check in of your finances. Not just simply stating you're financially overweight or financial unfit. You don't have to have a degree Maths or even a spreadsheet, you just need to be able answer these 5 key questions to better understand where you are starting from: 

1) If you had to sell up everything and move overseas tomorrow, how much money would you have left over? If it's less than $100k, then you are at the start of your asset journey, and you got to 'rattle your daggs'. 

2) At the end of each week or each month, do you save money? Do you consciously save? Excluding Kiwisaver, are you saving? Yes or No. 

3) What asset stage are you? Are you Starting Out? And this doesn't just mean you're in your twenties; you may have to Start Out again because of a relationship breakup, or a financial mac truck event. Do you have a plan? Or have you achieved your goals? 

4) Are you a Shopper or a Saver? What comes easily? What are you pre-disposed to do? You need to understand this before writing your plan. Austerity measures will not work well if your personality doesn't allow it. 

5) And the most important, are you motivated or ready to do something about fixing your financial future? In answering those questions, if you know you have to do things better, or you know you or your situation should be capable of getting a better result than what you are getting at the moment, then it is the time to do something. 

It's the start of the year, which psychologically is so nice when it comes to resetting financial plans. You can work with enableMe in making that first step of diagnosing your financial situation not as confronting as what it needs to be. But sometimes it's the step you need to take to then be motivated more to fix it. Be brave – you can do it! 

Listen to Hannah discussing this in more detail with Mark Sainbury on RadioLive         

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