Four steps to a bright financial future

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Have you been putting off getting your finances in order? Have you hidden a stack of bills under the bed? Here’s a simple guide to getting some peace of mind.

Tackling your finances can be daunting. But you can’t put a price on the peace of mind you’ll get knowing exactly what is happening with your money – and making a start is easier than you might think. You can take control of your financial future with a few simple steps.

Infographic_ Four steps to a bright financial future

1.Create a financial plan

Most people associate happiness with having a good balance between social life, career, health and financial security. Creating a financial plan can help take you one step closer to achieving that balance and is a great way to start the process of improving your saving habits and controlling your debt.

2.Make a realistic budget – and stick to it

Get your financial plan going by creating a budget that helps you stay on track with your spending habits. You can only save what you’re not spending, so to save you need to know where you are spending.

Start by reviewing your expenses and income and write it all down. Next, look for ways you can reduce your spending – could you bring lunch to work? Or bypass that second double shot latte you have every day?

Next, set at least one financial goal, such as saving for a holiday, buying a house or paying off your credit card. Now you can draw up your budget, but make sure you are realistic – can you avoid temptation? Is repaying your debts a budget priority?

A great way to start saving is to set up a regular transfer to a savings account every pay day. If you’re not sure where to start ANZ has an online Budget Planner and Money Manager to help you.

3.Protect yourself

Underinsurance is a major issue in Australia. Make sure you have adequate insurance for you and your family to cover your belongings, income, health and other assets. A good way to prepare for any event is to regularly set aside some money for emergencies as part of your budget. Don’t think it won’t happen to you.

4.Invest in your future

Understanding the basics of investments, especially superannuation, can make all the difference in the long run. There are many super strategies you can put into place now to boost your retirement savings and achieve tax-effective outcomes.

If the idea of investing in products makes you nervous, there are simple strategies that ensure you get the most out of your money with the least stress. Investing regularly can have a positive impact on your financial situation, no matter your income or age.

Make 2016 the year you take control of your finances.

Talk to a financial planner today.

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