When you're just starting out in your career and you're first getting used to making a steady paycheck, the challenge is simply to budget for your daily life. You want to pay the rent, cover all your bills and expenses and be sure you're not spending more money than you make. In your 20s, just making ends meet is a solid life goal.
You don't just want to break even – you want to begin saving so you can build up wealth for retirement.
Eventually, though, you start to think bigger than that. You don't just want to break even – you want to begin saving so you can build up wealth for retirement. It's best to prepare for any eventuality and map out your current lifestyle in a budget. Transitioning to that stage of your life is a big step, but it's an important one for anyone that really cares about their long-term future.
The following is a three-step process for making it happen.
1. Establish real control of your finances
If you're ready to commit to some serious financial planning for the future, the first step is to take control of your finances. In other words, go through all your cash and other assets and figure out what you have.
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, this should begin with tabulating the total value of your savings, property you own such as houses and cars, and any money you have tied up on investments and superannuation funds. Once you have all this basic information in front of you, you can begin to formulate long-term plans.
Planning for the long haul is difficult, as you don't know what tastes and desires you might have in the distant future, such as living in a nicer home or travelling more. It's best to prepare for any eventuality.
2. Know the obstacles and prepare to overcome them
Investing is fraught with peril. Even if you put your money in a fairly safe place like a mutual fund, you never know when the fine print might get you – some investment firms have exorbitant fees that will eat into your profits, for example. This is why research is crucial. With every fund you buy into or purchase you make, study carefully and make sure there are no hidden obstacles that can impede you from earning a steady profit.
This can be challenging, and it happens to be why Time Magazine recommends working with professionals who can offer you investment help and advice. This way, you can get expert insight on how to optimise your allocation of funds.
3. Get sound financial guidance to lead you forward
Everyone can benefit from a little help. Whether you're nearing retirement or just starting out in your career and saving for the first time, financial planning tools can be beneficial either way. At Invest Blue, we look to provide assistance to everyone, regardless of their level of financial experience.
If you're not sure where you stand today, you can get started by taking our financial health check. This will give you the baseline of information you need to decide the next step. Whatever it might be, we'll be here to help.
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