A Simple But Empowering First Step To Financial Freedom

A Simple But Empowering First Step To Financial Freedom 3D Conceptual Illustration of Family Budget Management, Financial Calculations and Planning.

A simple but empowering first step to financial freedom

Earlier this week a client of mine wanted to review their budget. I do this with them each year, but I could sense their particular concern and haste this year. This isn’t an uncommon feeling in 2022, you only have to look at a screen, or open the paper for a split second to see a headline about the cost of living and rising interest rates.

So here are some simple questions I ask clients, that you can ask yourself to find out how much you know about your money. It’s a simple but empowering first step to take control of your finances or just give yourself a quick financial sense check.

Firstly, look at your weekly spending… After general expenses and lifestyle costs is there a surplus?

With clients we look through each expense, from utilities, childcare / education, insurances, vehicle expenses, lifestyle and so on. Checking to see how much they have left over and discussing what the client may potentially be doing with their surplus cash each week, fortnight, or month, based on their goals, their concerns about money and the financial environment we are in.

Now consider the impact of rising interest rates?

Every day I am working with clients to help them get clarity on how a rise in interest rates could impact their future financial position. While we do not have a crystal ball (walk out if someone tells you they do!), but we can plan for these increases and adjust our budget if needed. It may require a bit of tightening of the budget for some, but it comes with peace of mind.

So, you have a weekly budget, you’re clear about what a rise in rates could mean for you. But what does financial peace of mind look like to you over the long term? What are your goals and aspirations? Or is there something that you’re not factoring in? Again, no one has a crystal ball!

I have been helping this client for three years now and we review their budget annually, or sooner if they require it. Why do we review it so often you may ask? Life changes so much in a year and rarely does it give us a moment to really “catch up” and get on top of everything.

Do any of the below look familiar? Did you stop and review your budget?

  • Changing employers
  • Change in pay rates
  • House purchase or sale
  • Purchase a new car
  • Interest rates
  • Having a child
  • Loss of job or reduced hours
  • Medical reason

These are just some examples. When you have a significant change in your circumstances, you probably should be reviewing your situation, just to be a little prepared, unless you like surprises. Which I’m not a big fan of personally. For example, with us, when we had our first baby there was everything you needed at home for the baby plus what you needed when you went out of the house with the baby. Which are the main things we think about. But what about – Where you planning to go back to work? Part time? Can you afford to do this? Will you have out of pocket childcare costs? Are you eligible for the govt subsidy? Are you going to sign your child up for swimming lessons, dance, soccer, gymnastics? and so on…

Properly preparing for the future turns a budget from a potential anxiety inducing chore to an empowering tool on the path to financial freedom and peace of mind. If you’d like help on this path or just want to chat, please get in contact.

Jess Robinson

Jess is a mum of two, based in Orange, servicing clients across the Central West, from Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Young, Dubbo and surrounds. Jess has over ten years of experience in the financial services industry. Jess is dedicated to helping others better understand their financial situation, empowering her clients, whilst supporting and celebrating her clients as they achieve their short and long-term goals, to feel more financially confident about their decisions.

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