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Future-proofing – 5 ways to ensure you have a prosperous financial future

If you are someone who focuses on living life to the fullest, you might not have thought much about setting yourself up for the future. But having a plan will help you to achieve your financial goals, travel to the places you want to see and take time out to spend with your family in retirement, without worrying about how to pay the electricity bill. Here are a few tips to help you on your way:

Super-charge your super

Most of us don’t think much about our superannuation.  We sign up to a fund, hopefully remember to consolidate our super from ghosts of jobs past and then put it right out of our minds. But if you want to ensure you have a comfortable retirement, it is never too early to take a closer look at your super fund. Are you with a retail fund, an industry fund, or do you have a self-managed super fund? Financial accountants and SMSF accountants can advise you of whether you are maximising your superannuation. If you are unsure about whether you will be financially comfortable for retirement, it is worth investing in professional advice.

Pay off debt

It is impossible to get ahead while juggling personal loans, credit card debt, and AfterPay repayments. If you are struggling with debt, try sitting down and listing all of your outstanding payments. Then figure out how you can start paying them off. If you are not sure where to start, try calling the National Debt Hotline on 1800 007 007.

Have an emergency fund

How much money do you have in savings? If you lost your job, how long would you be able to survive without a new one? Experts recommend that you save an emergency fund equivalent to six months of household expenses, including your mortgage, rent, and bills. Having an emergency fund will give you a buffer if anything unexpected happens. Even $1000 is an excellent place to start, but try to put away a little each month until you have at least three months worth of expenses.

Learn about the share market

If you haven’t invested in the share market, it can seem a little overwhelming. But, buying shares is simply a way to invest in a business. In essence, you become a part-owner (generally a reasonably small part). Investing in shares is a common way to grow your income. There are a wide array of blogs and websites that can help you learn all of the terms and find out more. It could become a fun and lucrative hobby!

Live within your means

This final point is the one real key to a prosperous financial future for anyone, no matter what their income or goals. An MLC survey in 2016 found that 85% of Australian’s spend beyond their means. That is a scary statistic. If you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck, and frequently paying for things on your credit card because your bank account is empty, it is time to take stock of your spending. Start tracking your expenses and cutting out non-essentials. No matter what your income is, if you spend beyond what you earn, you will find yourself in financial strife.

Planning for your financial future is the best way to ensure that you aren’t wasting time worrying about money. So, get out the excel spreadsheet and make a start!

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