There is a big difference between knowing the right thing to do and doing the right thing. Just ask anybody who is trying to lose weight or get fit. There are endless books, websites and seminars that provide all the information you need to have the body of your dreams. In the majority of cases, the information does not produce long lasting results. When it comes to getting your financial affairs into shape, it is no different. In fact, some of the worst people at managing money are highly educated, financially literate professional people on high incomes. The principal reason they struggle to manage money successfully is that psychological factors get in the way. Everybody has a different relationship with money based on a host of underlying feelings and emotions. Childhood experiences of living in either poverty or luxury can impact on your relationship with money and whether you value, respect, fear, or even loathe money. Past experiences of significant financial loss or gain can affect your attitudes towards taking financial risk. Personality issues can also have an impact. For example, excessive spending is often an antidote for low self-esteem or depression. Being able to manage your financial affairs well is a combination of financial literacy and fully understanding your relationship with money. Financial literacy alone is just not enough. Once you understand the psychological reasons why you have difficulty managing money you can use techniques to manage them. Set goals for your life before you set financial goals, as a way of understanding your purpose for accumulating wealth. Write down your goals and share them with others who will hold you to account for achieving them. Set up your banking to manage your income, expenses and savings automatically. Changing your financial outcomes means putting your financial plans into action.
The latest Government budget had something for everyone but while most households will be a few dollars a week better off, there are some clear winners and losers. In the winners’ corner are businesses, those on high incomes, and savers. The biggest losers are property investors who have built large portfolios financed partly by tax rebates.