Sometimes we get so busy stashing our cash and budgeting till we burst that we forget to check-in to see how our money is actually doing. Here are 10 ways to help you determine whether your hard-earned moolah is living its best life.
1. You spend less than you earn
It might seem like a super simple question but it’s also a really effective one as it forces us to take a deeper look at our finances and what exactly they’re doing. Are you living beyond your means? Or have you had an opportunity to focus on reigning in your spending? Now’s your chance to make sure your outgoings are less than your incomings.
2. You have an emergency cash fund to cover unexpected costs
From accidents to illness, sick pets and unforeseen travel expenses – it’s important to have a pile of cash hidden away in case of an emergency. There’s nothing worse than realising you’re in a tough situation with no way out. Not sure you can afford to put anything aside just yet? Start small – even $20 a week. You never know when it may come in handy.
3. You’ve considered or actioned long-term saving ideas
There are a number of ways you can take action today to ensure your future-self is comfortable and enjoying a well-earned retirement (literally). From small-scale investing to making lump-sum upfront payments – it’s often the minor changes that pay off the most. Why not consider making lump-sum upfront payments to help you save in the long-term? Paying your car insurance premiums annually instead of monthly could be a great way to get started.
4. You’re no longer worrying about money every day
The goal of becoming financially secure and savvy isn’t just about being able to indulge whenever the mood strikes – it’s to ensure you’re also in a position to have a positive emotional relationship with money. If you find yourself worrying about your finances on a daily basis, or you’re arguing with your partner about money each day, why not sit down and ask yourself what in particular about your financial situation has you stressed?
Are you concerned about your super? Maybe your daily expenses? Or perhaps you’re unable to stretch the budget any further but you know something has to give? The first part of solving a problem is defining the issue. Start here and create a plan moving forward that allows you to experience an elevated peace of mind.
5. You’re debt free
Congratulations, you did it! It took every last ounce of energy and sacrifice but you made it. Now, staying debt free… that’s a whole other ball game.
6. You’re able to pay your monthly expenses with cash leftover
Remember that whole debt free notion? Well, if you’re able to pay your expenses and still have money in your account once you’re done, you’re pretty well on your way. Don’t lose sight of your goal – even though it may be tempting to take that extra money and splurge, you could throw it into your emergency fund instead.
7. You’ve invested in your super or have considered making extra contributions
Speak to anyone above the age of 50 and chances are they’ll tell you they wished they’d paid more attention to their super back in the day. By making extra contributions when you’re in the financial position to do so, you’re helping to ensure your nest egg grows bigger, better and stronger each year. Future-you will thank you for it.
8. You’re not living pay check to pay check
Possibly the most stressful feeling in the world, this way of living is unfortunately a reality for many. Not because they’re bad with money, but rather due to the increasing costs of living. With effectual pay rises still a pipedream for the majority of workers, it can be really hard to pay off debt, get food on the table, pay the rent, the mortgage or the car insurance and still have anything left over.
9. You pay off your credit or charge cards in full each month
If you aren’t able to pay off your credit card debt in one sweeping, grand gesture at the end of each month – it might be time to put the credit card away. This goes back to the idea of spending less than you earn. What’s more – who wants to be paying interest on a debt that feels like it will never go away?
10. Losing your job wouldn’t mean you couldn’t pay your bills
OK, being made redundant is horrible, but there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re not needed when it’s coupled with a fear of how you’ll get by. Again, this is another reason for that emergency fund. If you’ve got the wiggle room to put money aside each fortnight or month, do so now so future you won’t have to bear the burden of extra worry if you find yourself in a sticky professional situation.
Words by Alana Wulff.