Saving-money-2

Simple Ways To Reduce Heating And Cooling Costs

If you’re tired of paying massive sums of money for heating and cooling costs  you’ve come to the right place. I’ve tried and tested these simple techniques and they really work. As an example last quarter we literally saved a couple of hundred dollars on our usual $500 plus electricity bill. It wasn’t difficult and anyone can do it.

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Shop around for service providers

One way I managed to save was by doing a bit of homework and swapping our utility retailer. Some online companies can do this for you but it’s probably best if you make comparisons yourself. Check daily service charges, peak and off peak times and rates plus fees and charges and any discounts which apply.

Many retailers offer discounts for customers who pay on time. These can be good for people who like to pay fortnightly or weekly to reduce their total bill but if you primarily look for these type of deals you could be missing out. Some companies tariffs are lower than the discounted rate anyway so check the actual figures. I was a bit hesitant to swap initially because I was used to getting the pay on time discount, however when I had a look at the costs it worked out less overall.

Don’t be too concerned if you’re in a contract either. Most gas and electrical contracts are easy to get out of and the cost of swapping is still going to save you in the long run.  Just be aware that the swap won’t go through immediately and it can take several months to take affect. Generally retailers need to wait until the next billing cycle before they hand over supply to another company. It’s just a matter of contacting a new retailer, signing up and they basically do the rest.

Window dressings

Exposed glass can significantly add to heating and cooling costs. In warmer weather glass heats up as the sun beats down upon it. Luckily, a lot of people know to leave their homes shut up in summer to reduce the heat entering their homes. However, many neglect to realise when it’s cold outside they should do the same thing. The warmth generated by heating within a home rapidly escapes though the glass and this adds to the cost of temperature control.

An easy way to reduce the cost is by shutting window dressings to trap the heat within during winter and to repel it in summer. Heavily backed curtains are probably the most effective option. Other dressings like blinds or venetians are better than nothing but are no way near as effective.

Another excellent option is window tinting. This stuff is awesome. It reduces glare, adds privacy, has see through and decorative options, protects the glass from breakage and successfully saves money on temperature control. Adding this layer to glass windows makes it harder for heat to escape in winter and penetrate in summer. Plus it’s not as expensive as you might think. Even people who rent can add this without permanently altering a property.

You can buy it in bulk and apply it to each window in the home, have it installed professionally or just purchase enough for problem windows which receive the most exposure. Some tinting products are very easy to apply and remove. It’s just a matter of cleaning the glass, spray it with a bit of soapy water, position it and cut it to size. Violã! It’s that easy.

Using fans to assist with circulation

Using fans costs a fraction of the price of air-conditioners. I’m talking pocket change instead of folded notes! One really nifty tip is to use a combination of fans and the air-conditioning. Even though you have two appliances running it will save you a small fortune if you set the air-con to a higher or lower temperature than required and use the fan.

For example in summer instead of setting the air-con to 22 set it to 23 and use a fan or two to circulate the air. This cools the air and assists the air-con to reach it’s desired temperature faster. It’s been claimed that for each degree difference you can save 10 percent on running costs. Therefore if you set the air-con to 25 instead of 22 you can save a whopping 30 percent. The same applies to setting temperatures in winter. I did this during summer and we saved about $250 on our regular summer electricity bill and temperature wise we didn’t feel the difference.

Nine fast tips

  • Most of these are tips are common sense and if you watch your heating and cooling usage you will notice the savings. Seriously why spend more on utility bills than you have to? Wouldn’t you rather go on a short holiday every year with the savings? I know I would!
  • Avoid heating and cooling unused spaces
  • Gas is cheaper to run than electricity so if you have an option chose the gas rather than use an electrical appliance
  • Avoid using high wattage appliances like small fan heaters unless you need to
  • In winter if you have a heater which uses wood, try and source wood for free. Network, check online for give-away wood and don’t be afraid of a bit of hard work to collect it. This will save a fortune!
  • Instead of heating bedrooms before bedtime, use an electric blanket. Flick it on half an hour prior and you’ll be toasty warm in seconds
  • If you use ducting shut off ducts to areas not in use. Close the vents or board them up more permanently if they aren’t necessary
  • Dress appropriately. Rather than wearing t-shirts around the home in winter and turn on the heating, wear more clothing. If your watching TV or on the computer use blankets instead of turning on the heat if you can avoid it. The same applies in summer. If you dress for the weather conditions this will save you money
  • If you’re home alone, you really only need to warm or cool yourself not the entire space
  • Instead of using heating or cooling appliances day and night only use them when you really need to. Many of us are very used to flicking on the air-con when really we’d be just as comfortable opening the windows or putting on a jumper. This is not only good for your finances but also saves the environment from all those nasties generated by using temperature control appliances

If anyone has anymore useful tips on saving on heating and cooling costs we’d love to here from you.

Image treedoctors.ca

May 25, 2015

Why Helping Your Teen Save Will Be Beneficial In The Long Run

Financial competence is an essential skill that any teenager or young adult has to learn. It means knowing how to spend wisely and how to save. As young adults, this skill is vital for their survival and success in the adult world. It can mean the difference between having a house to live in and being homeless, or having the means to buy that shoes you saw on the window and being in card debt. Being financially savvy can spell the difference between homelessness and success, in later life.

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They learn to be financially savvy

By teaching them how to save at such a young age, that lesson is inculcated in their brains by the time they grow up. At an early age, they learn the value of money. This translates to knowing how to spend money wisely. They learn what purchases are essential and what purchases are just mere luxuries. Expenses for food, lodging and the costs involved with driving are essential purchases, but the newest Chanel bag is just a mere luxury. By knowing the difference, they can then decide whether or not they can afford the luxury item, and when they can purchase it. It also includes the question of whether or not they should buy it at all.

They learn to be financially independent

Being financially savvy translates to financial independence. People who cannot control their spending habits become slaves to their credit cards. They start off a cycle of debt, where the person purchases non-essential items using a credit card, without the funds to pay for it fully. They pay the minimum monthly payments but the interest and the principal just starts to pile up until they are so buried under debt. Financial independence also means that they can control their finances without letting it overrun their lives. It can mean taking a mortgage on a house but with a clear plan on how to pay for it. It can mean taking a car loan with a definite monthly budget for its payment. It doesn’t mean your child will not need financing help anymore, it just means your child will be able to maximize the opportunities provided by financing.

They will learn how to be successful

Being financially independent is the first step to success. When they can take charge of your finances, they can manipulate it and maximize its benefits. They can make use of financing to set up their own business without shelling out a big chunk of money. Financial savvy will also allow them to be successful in any business venture they enter. After all, the success of a business depends on whether it is making a profit or not. If the leader of the business knows when to take risks with their investments, the business will be able to avoid bankruptcy. If the business leader knows how to manage the company’s finances, there is no surprise if the company flourishes in the long run.

Starting a child early in the art of saving and spending wisely will be a big benefit to them when they become young adults, and eventually mature adults who are in charge of their lives.

November 13, 2014

Choosing The Right Loan For You

The world of finance is complicated. You can always go onto price comparison websites to look at the costs of some loans or you can visit the Money Advice Service to seek help. Where possible you should always take your time when you are choosing a loan.

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Do you really need a loan?

If you really feel that you need a loan for an important purpose, try to avoid taking out credit. It’s always expensive and if you can’t afford the repayments your financial situation could deteriorate. Try and see if you could curtail your outgoings and save the money yourself for your proposed expense. Most people use credit because their regular budget doesn’t allow them a certain level of expenditure. If this is your situation then you must evaluate if you can realistically afford to repay any credit that you may wish to secure.

Secured or unsecured loans

There are two major types of loan. One that’s secured on your property or possessions, where the creditor can always be confident that they can recoup their losses through your assets, or an unsecured loan. If you borrow from a bank or credit card, or even a payday loan company you are taking out an unsecured loan. The length of time that you borrow the money for can vary, as can the interest rates. Though unsecured loans are generally more expensive and for smaller sums of money.

Guaranteed loans

If you have a poor personal credit history, there is still an option. If you have a close friend or family member who is prepared to vouch for you, and cover the loan should you fall into difficulty or arrears, you may be able to access a guaranteed loan and avoid the sky-high interest rates offered by payday loan companies.

Typically you will be able to borrow between £1,000 to £7,500 and you can repay the sum over five years. As long as your guarantor is confident that you will repay the debt this is an excellent option if you need a large household item, for example to replace a broken oven. The Independent suggests that you can also rebuild your credit history with this type of finance. The APR is generally around 50%, which is a lot lower than that offered by payday loan companies.

Credit unions

Another source of finance are credit unions. According to The Guardian, it’s 50 years since these institutions were established in the UK. They offer a low interest alternative to payday loan companies and banks, and encourage customers to save as well as borrow. The rates of interest offered by credit unions to borrowers are extremely competitive, some charge as little as an APR of 12.7%. If you want to borrow from a credit union you will have to be a member of your local organisation. The number of credit unions is growing and there will probably be one near you that you can sign up with. You’ll also be offered free life insurance, so if you die before you’ve paid back your debt, the repayments will be protected. This provides peace of mind for your family.

November 4, 2014

Online Or In-store – How Do You Prefer To Shop?

Nowadays shopping online seems to be the way to go.  We’re all working longer hours, making it harder for us to get to the shops for some much needed retail therapy. So what are the pros and cons of shopping at the stores and online?  Take a look…

Pros: In-store

  • When you shop online you obviously can’t feel it, try it on, or see the real colour and this can sometimes be frustrating. Unfortunately, clothing sizes aren’t the same across the board so even if you order a particular size there’s a possibility that it won’t fit and you’ll need to return the item. When you shop in store you can see for yourself exactly what you’re buying.
  • Most online stores charge delivery fees so you’re paying more for your item than if you were to purchase it in person from a shop. If you need to return an item you normally have to post it back too, which will cost you more money.
  • When you can’t find what you’re looking for there’s always someone to help out in a store, whereas if you’re shopping online you could be scrolling through the internet for hours until you find what you’re looking for.

Pros: Online

  • Some online stores have incredible sales with huge discounts that sometimes can’t be found in the stores and their stock is normally much larger than in the store. Basically, you’re spoilt for choice online.
  • If the store and online shop have a sale then shopping online saves you the trouble of fighting through the crowds and you don’t have to worry about finding a park.
  • One of the things I hate the most about shopping at the mall is the number of times I get stopped by marketers or salespeople who sit in the middle of the mall, trying to catch everyone’s eye. I go to the mall because I want to look around at my own leisure in peace and when I get stopped every few minutes to ‘try this new product’ or ‘scratch this card for a free gift’, I get annoyed. Shopping online avoids all of these frustrating hold ups.
  • Online stores are never closed, so even if you’ve finished work late and you desperately need to buy a gift for that birthday coming up you don’t have to worry about the shop closing. You can shop online all hours of the day and night.
  • When you shop online you can read reviews of the item before you make the purchase so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re buying exactly what you want.

Image via mixtureofmarket.com

September 14, 2014

The OE – Why So Many Of Us Do It

When I was 22 I packed my bags, flew to the other side of the world on my own and embarked on three years of new friends, new experiences and a whole lot of fun. I was going on my OE (Overseas Experience) and thanks to my grandfather who was born in Wales, I gained an ancestral visa which at the time gave me four years in the United Kingdom.  I’m not sure what my parents thought, but as they waved me goodbye at the airport they probably didn’t think I’d last longer than six months away from home. It was three years before I eventually returned home with a bigger appreciation for life, new found independence and a boyfriend, who is now my husband.

So why do so many young Australians and New Zealanders make the temporary move to the UK and what do we gain from the experience (apart from all those hangovers)?

Loads of travel

I wanted to live in the UK because I was eager to travel around Europe and being based in London was the perfect spot for me to do that.  Just a short few hours on a plane or train and you can find yourself in some of the most spectacular countries in the world.

New experiences

There are a huge number of festivals and events in the Europe that don’t even compare to festivals in Australia and New Zealand.  Running with the bulls in Pamplona, Oktoberfest in Munich and ANZAC Day in Gallipoli were just a handful of experiences that I had the privilege of attending and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.

Break out of your comfort zone

I’d always been shy growing up and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  When I moved to London I only knew a couple of friends there at the time so it forced me to go out and meet new people and make new friends.  Living in a house with eleven other antipodeans definitely broke me out of that comfort zone and I know that some of the people I met will be my friends for life.

Independence

I wanted to gain some independence and prove to myself that I could accomplish something on my own.  What better way to do that than travel to the other side of the world and fend for yourself?  Finding a house, a new job and paying my own bills made me appreciate my money a lot more.

Money

There is the potential to earn great money in the UK and when I returned home I saw my bank balance triple in size because of the exchange rate.  Sadly that’s not the case anymore, with the exchange rate being much lower, but the potential is still great to earn big bucks (as long as you don’t spend it all on travel and booze).

The above reasons as well as the fact that New Zealanders and Australians are a curious bunch means that thousands of young ones each year are still flocking to the UK for their OE. Despite our countries being two of the most picturesque and appealing places to live in the world the prospect of gaining invaluable life and work experience in a country that has over 40,000 pubs is just too great to resist.

July 23, 2014

5 Ways to Get Your Finances in Order (For Good!)

Most of us resolve to get our finances in order at the start of a new year (along with our diet, health, relationships…) but how many of us see that through? Well, maybe this is the year you take control and whip your finances into shape.

While growing your savings is no easy feat, a little bit of careful planning, teamed with a strategic budget, can go a long way towards helping you reach your financial goals in 2014 and beyond, whether that be paying off your credit card debt,  reducing your mortgage, or saving for a holiday or your first home.

Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough offers a few money saving tips and real-life pointers to help us stick to our financial goals this year.

1. Avoid unnecessary extras and costs
Evaluate your regular outgoings and identify any unnecessary costs which you can cut down or cut out. Cutting back on guilty pleasures like takeaway coffees, Friday night takeaway or premium television packages can lead to significant savings in the long term.

2. Think small when budgeting
Planning ahead with your finances for a full year can be daunting, and ultimately, ineffective. Instead, budget monthly or in accordance with the length of your pay period. This will allow you to amend your budget fairly quickly if you over overestimate or underestimate certain expenses.

3. Update your savings account
Research the benefits offered by savings accounts across various financial institutions. Switching banks and opening a new account with a lending institution that offers lower fees and higher interest rates will allow you to save more in less time.

4. Pay off and cancel your credit card
Credit card interest rates are notoriously high. Constant use without complete payment at the end of the month can lead to significant debt. Many people get stuck using a credit card and struggle to break the cycle as interest continues to accrue. Make paying off your credit card a priority early in the year, and cancel it as soon as possible. Debit cards are an ideal alternative, providing a similar level of protection for online and over the phone purchases, without the significant interest rates.

5. Compare to find a better deal
You may be paying more than is necessary on your home loan, insurances, utility bills, etc. Comparing your options via your mortgage broker or websites such as HelpMeChoose.com.au can help you find the best deal suited to your needs and save you money in the process.

For more budgeting tips and home loan options visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au.

What are your best money savings tips? Share them in the comments!

January 13, 2014

10 Super Terms Every Woman Should Know

Is one of your resolutions to get serious about your savings? If not, it should be! To help you understand superannuation, Crystal Wealth Partners director John McIlroy explains the top 10 super terms to help your retirement and investment choices.

1. Default option
Refers generally to the investment option you are given when you have your super money paid into an industry fund or retail fund and you decide not to make a specific investment choice.

2. Industry fund
These were established primarily to provide benefits for employees engaged in a particular industry (e.g. building industry).  These funds are designed to enable individuals who frequently change jobs within an industry, or have more than one employer within the same industry, to maintain all of their superannuation benefits within the one superannuation fund. Many of these funds have become like retail funds, which means that anyone can be a member, rather than just employees working in a particular industry. Historically, industry funds have provided a low-cost super option with limited investment choices but many are now offering a wider range of investment options.

3. MySuper
This is the name given to a new range of simple super accounts that are low-cost and provide limited investment options. There are MySuper rules which any super fund needs to meet to be classified as a MySuper account. Any fund, industry, retail or corporate super fund can provide MySuper accounts.

4. Preservation
To ensure that superannuation benefits are used for the primary purpose of the provision of benefits in retirement, the government has imposed provisions that restrict access to amounts held within the superannuation system.  These provisions are generally referred to as the ‘preservation rules’. Your age determines when you are able to access your super benefits and most younger people are able to access super benefits from age 60. Older people can access their super from age 55.

5. Retail fund
These are generally superannuation funds, which are ‘open’ for membership to the general public. They are mainly provided by larger financial institutions such as banks and life insurance companies and what they offer can vary considerably from low cost/low choice options to more complex structures which are sometimes referred to as wrap platforms.

6. Rollover
If you are entitled to a superannuation benefit you can, regardless of age, transfer all or part of the payment to another superannuation fund. This can occur simply to amalgamate multiple super accounts into one fund while working or can it occur upon retirement to consolidate savings.

7. Salary sacrifice
This is another type of super contribution but rather than being compulsory, an employee voluntarily elects to direct salary or bonuses into super rather than receiving cash. This may provide some tax benefits to the employee over receiving cash remuneration.

8. SMSF
Self managed superannuation funds are one of the choices you have for managing your super, along with industry funds and retail funds. SMSFs are often also referred to as DIY superannuation funds. They are super funds with fewer than less than members that satisfy specific control and membership conditions. As the name suggests you can invest your own super through this type of fund, but you have to comply with certain rules. You can also appoint advisers to help you.

9. Super Guarantee
Super guarantee or SG refers to the prescribed minimum level of superannuation contributions required under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992 to be made by employers on behalf of their employees. Also referred to as compulsory super, these contributions are currently at a prescribed level of 9.25 per cent of salary or wages. Most employees have the choice of having these contributions directed to a retail fund, industry fund or SMSF.

10. Superannuation pension
A pension payable from a superannuation fund which is usually provided by way of monthly payments. There are various types of superannuation pensions available and they are an alternative to taking super benefits as a lump sum at retirement.

Crystal Wealth Partners is a privately owned boutique financial advisory and investment management firm specialising in delivery of services to high net worth individuals and family offices.

What are your financial goals for 2014?

January 8, 2014

How to Save $6386 a Year by Getting Smart With Your Bills

My guess is you spend more time dwelling on your Facebook status than your financial one… planning your Pinterest board than your interest hoard…linking in than stopping money leaking out.

But it is. And the irony is that technology is making the flow faster.

A growing phenomenon I’ve dubbed Digitally Induced Laziness sees us blithely ignore all the automatic payments that come out of our accounts each month – allowing oh-so-convenient to become oh-so-conned.

Providers of everything from utilities to financial services rely on their bill-DIL existing customers to fund big discounts to entice new ones. You may even find your deal gets slowly worse.

Here is where you’re likely to be losing the most money.

Your mortgage

The big banks are exploiting your electronic inertia big time. The difference between the standard variable rate offered by the Big 4 and the most competitive mortgage on the market has swelled to a shocking 1.42 percentage points. Historically they’ve only skimmed 1 point or so off the top. Today you’ll pay 5.91 per cent versus just 4.49 per cent, which means you could save on the average $300,000 mortgage a massive $75,000 in interest.

Possible saving: $250 a month; $3000 a year. BUT it’s possible to take this total interest saving from $75,000 to $122,644 without paying an additional cent… you simply need to maintain your repayments at their existing level. This means you’ll also clear your debt more than five years early, after which your money is your own. And your big-bank lender may even agree to match this if you threaten to leave.

Your electricity

For all the talk about big increases in the price of electricity, and some areas have seen hikes of four times the rate of inflation in the past five years, you can actually make huge savings. A family can save a big chunk by moving to a better offer; you just need to be wary of contracts that commit you for a period of time as you may end up stuck on an increasingly uncompetitive deal.

Possible saving: $386 a year, says Market researcher Energy Watch.

Your insurances

You could probably be paying 15 per cent less on every single general insurance policy – think car, home and contents. The potential savings could be even higher with risk insurers like life or income protection providers, but because of age or health history it can be trickier to change. You could also save a truckload on your health insurance – and bear in mind that laws designed to keep health insurance competitive dictate that you do not have to re-serve waiting period for hospital cover.

Possible savings: More than $2000 a year.

Your telecommunications

New players are massively shaking things up when it comes to your mobile phone and your data plans. Look into signing up with a new provider as soon as you get off a phone contract; you’ll be stunned by the savings now on offer. Consider also bundling your internet into the deal to save a bucketload more.

Possible saving: Maybe $1000 a year (and that’s assuming you’ve already been tech savvy enough to get on to Voice-over Internet Protocol like Skype  for overseas calls).

Screen time of a different kind could yield big results if you’ve inadvertently become a bill DIL. In fact, swap Instagram for an hour a month for probably an instant grand.

Fess up – how much time do you spend each month dealing with your finances?

Nicole is the founder of TheMoneyMentorWay.com and developer of the 12-Step Prosperity Plan, an achievable and even enjoyable blueprint to take Aussies from worry to wealthy. Nicole’s writing has earned her top personal finance awards in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Her career credits include founding and editing The Australian Financial Review’s Smart Investor magazine, and reporting and editing for the magazine arm of the UK’s Financial Times. Author, qualified financial adviser and Fairfax’s Money Matters columnist for the last decade, Nicole is a regular on television and radio. She talks money without the mumbo jumbo. Follow her on Twitter at @NicolePedMcK.

September 30, 2013

How To Sell Your Car The Easy Way

Looking to sell your car? Automotive industry expert Samantha Stevens shares her tips on how to get the highest return, when is the best time to sell and how to make your car stand-out from the rest.

1. Categorise your listing
When buyers are searching, they want to be able to find the car they’re looking for quickly and easily, so make sure you categorise by make and model correctly. If there is an option to add tags, be sure to put in all that are relevant to attract more potential buyers.

2. Create a narrative
Step into the shoes of a car salesman and make your listing exciting to read so that potential buyers don’t switch off after the first few sentences.

3. Include bright and abundant photographs
A picture speaks a thousand words – and it’s never been truer than with a car listing! Potential buyers are quick to judge, so make sure your photos are bright, clear, high-res and showcase each angle of your vehicle.

4. Provide the specifics
Buyers will want to know the details, so be sure to share the specifications, kilometers, engine size, additional extras and be honest!

5. Set a reasonable price
There is always room for negotiations so do some research into the benchmark for a similar make/model and set a price that is realistic. Make sure the price is not too expensive as you may not get any interest. Too cheap, and people may wonder what’s wrong with the car.

What are your best tips for selling a car?

August 13, 2013

10 Ways to Have Fun with Finance

By Kate Hurdley, Personal Success Coach & Director of Inspired Excellence. (Adapted from financial strategist Belinda Cheong’s presentation at an Inspired Excellence seminar on wealth creation).

  1. Pay yourself first.

    There’s no other logical way to start creating financial independence and abundance. Commit to putting 10% (or as much as you can afford) into a savings account each payday, or after a windfall if your income is irregular. Become aware that expenses miraculously expand to fit the exact amount of money we have in our account, so hide a little bit away first, and your expenses will be none the wiser!

  2. Set a realistic budget – and spend less than you earn.

    Remember what’s important is not how much money you earn, but how you manage it. Those little things do add up, so plan your spending and you won’t get caught out. A twelve-month cash flow projection will help you understand and plan your financial situation. Make some changes to the way you manage your money. Things won’t miraculously change for you today, unless you do something different to what you did yesterday.

  3. Your credit cards are a cash flow tool, not a crutch.

    Stop contributing to the banks’ profits, and cut those cards up! Commit to only using your credit card if you’re short of cash, and then pay the whole thing off as soon as you are paid. If you’re only paying the minimum amount due each month, all you’re paying is the interest – which won’t make even a slight dent to the total! Think about reducing the credit limit on your credit card, and start getting that balance down.

  4. Accept that get-rich-quick schemes don’t work.

    Get educated instead. The key to financial wealth is understanding the planning and management process, understanding your spending patterns, and making a plan for yourself. Stop looking for a quick fix to your financial problems. Don’t invest in a scheme, invest in yourself! Start learning about yourself, your spending habits, finance, and investing. Build yourself a future.

  5. Find your own Unreasonable Friend.

    This could be a coach, a friend, or a colleague – anyone in your life who will be tough on you when you need it most, and will hold you accountable to your financial goals. Meet with this person once a fortnight and prepare to be questioned!

January 1, 2001

10 Ways to Have Fun with Finance (cont’d)

  1. Stop saving for a rainy day – Invest for some sunny days!

    ‘Play’ or ‘Freedom’ money is cash set aside to give you the freedom to take advantage of an opportunity when it comes along. And those opportunities are definitely out there. Saving for a rainy day means putting money aside for when the cappuccino maker blows up, or the plumbing packs it in. Useful situations to have money for, but what about putting that saved money to work for you and building on it. Talk to a financial planner.

  2. Do you suffer from the Cinderella complex?

    Any Cinderella clones out there? Do you secretly harbour a belief or hope that one day a dashing Prince Charming will rescue you from financial destitution, and take care of you forever? This belief will single-handedly block you from achieving your true financial potential unless you do something about it now! As financial strategist Belinda Cheong says, Prince Charming may come along on his white horse, but what if he’s broke! Or he’s rich, but a bastard! Remember, any Prince Charming worth his salt will find a financially independent woman ten times sexier than a co-dependent one.

  3. Believe that Wealth and Happiness can go hand in hand.

    Let go of all your ‘scarcity’ beliefs about money, such as “money is the root of all evil”, or “you can’t be happy and rich”. Whatever you choose to believe, will happen. You can be rich and happy – but only if you believe it, and only if you put a plan in place to make it happen. Remove the words “I can’t afford that” from your vocabulary. Instead, choose to say, “I am awaiting abundance”, or “Soon, I will be able to afford that.” The more you reinforce the positive state of your finances, the faster it will happen for you. Remember, being broke is temporary; being poor is a state of mind.

  4. Write your own shower statement!

    Constantly focusing on your lack of wealth, the debts and bills to pay, and your financial stress means all that will come into your life is poverty, bills, and stress. Yuck. Start focusing on what you do want. Write a financial vision statement – listing your financial goals and dreams. Write a ‘shower statement’ such as ‘every day, I am becoming more financially successful”, or “I am financially and emotionally abundant, I experience wealth in my life every day.” Stick it on your shower wall, and repeat it aloud every morning. Start making yourself feel good.

  5. Make a decision to start now.

    It’s easy to say that you’ll start paying attention to your finances as soon as you’ve paid off your debts, or as soon as you’ve settled these whopping bills. Stop procrastinating. The time to start is now. When you are in charge of your finances, you are in charge of your life. Go and see a financial planner for advice and get the money ball rolling. As Napoleon Hill in ‘Think & Grow Rich’ said, “Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.”

Kate Hurdley, a qualified Personal Success & Values Coach/Therapist, works with action-oriented women who want to live passionate, rewarding lives. Kate also runs Serenity & Success, an inspirational seminar series targeted at business owners, entrepreneurs and ‘career girls’. These seminars are aimed at helping busy, ambitious people achieve life balance, inspiration and self-awareness.

For details about upcoming seminars, or personal success coaching/therapy, contact Kate at Inspired Excellence on 0414 389 354 or by email: kate@inspiredexcellence.com.au

Belinda Cheong was a speaker at the launch of Serenity & Success seminar series run by Inspired Excellence (0414 389 354). A financial strategist and planner, Belinda is committed to educating people about finance and wealth creation in a fun, uncomplicated way. For more information contact Belinda at Argyle Financial Strategists (Canberra), on (02) 6234 8111, or email her at: argylefinancialstrategists@hotmail.com

January 1, 2001