April marks the fact that we’ve made it four months into 2021 and you might be considering whether or not your new year resolution goals remain on track. With the indulgent long Easter weekend now behind us, we may have experienced the loss of focus and momentum that comes from taking a break from the routine of everyday life. While a balance is important to sustain your own physical and mental health, keeping some tricks up your sleeve to continue striving toward your goals is the slow and steady approach that saw the tortoise win the race. As Albert Einstein once said “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
We give you 4 financial tips for you to consider this Autumn to keep moving on your financial checklist.
- Learn, learn then learn again
If you haven’t already, starting the path to financial literacy puts you on the forefront to understanding what you have and your wealth-building potential. Whether it be via books, podcasts, seminars, professional appointments, or mentorship, continuing to learn about the ever complex and exciting world of money equips you with the tools you need to make sharper and more informed financial decisions.
Consider searching for a mentor in your particular field or industry and doing some research on how they got to where they are. If they’re willing to take you on as a mentee, you can gain practical advice, encouragement and support from someone who’s been in your shoes, become more empowered to make decisions and develop your own strategies and grow your social networking and communication skills.
- Have a money conversation
A recent study by Fidelity Investments indicated that four in five women have refrained from talking about their finances with their closest network. Of these 1,542 respondents 56% reasoned that the topic was too personal, 32% felt uncomfortable about the conversation and 27% stated that they’d been raised not to talk about money. This issue isn’t just a lack of conversation over coffee, these statistics also mean that these reservations are stopping women from seeking professional financial advice. The Fidelity Investments study also revealed that less than half of the women surveyed would be comfortable discussing their money with a professional financial adviser, leaving the decision-making to their partners or up for guessing.
How do you start the money conversation?
– Identify areas where you’re confused, not as confident or that downright stress you out. These are your gaps in knowledge and a great place to start a conversation. There’s no shame in asking for help and no question is too silly to ask.
– Schedule a regular money catch-up with an accountability buddy such as your partner, a friend or a family member. You can make a fun event of it and reward yourselves after with a treat of choice – did I hear somebody say cocktails?
– Create a checklist of savings and goals you’re projecting for the next 6-12 months and let this be the starting point for a conversation. Being more open about your savings goals and strategies with others as well as getting crystal clear with what you want, can help others support you properly.
- Track your spending
It’s rare in this go-go-go world that we have a timeslot in our schedule to simply sit down and assess our spending. Allocate time to sit down with your bank statements and take a close look at where you spend your money and how often. You will be able to identify trends and patterns and potential ways to increase your savings such as by making your own meals and bringing them to work if you notice most of your payslip is continually funding takeaway or restaurant dining.
- Plan to go for that raise
The same point above applies here that often time escapes us and we don’t get the chance to allocate time where it needs to go, for example planning for your salary raise meeting. Most employers are open to salary reviews but like any proposal you’ll need to put the work into a comprehensive presentation and plan outlining why you deserve this raise and how to justify the allocated funds. Create a list or mind map of all the achievements you’ve been able to conquer in your workplace and start to paint a picture of yourself that would sway your management into increasing your annual salary. You can practise your pitch in front of family and friends for their feedback and to ensure you’re adequately prepared to shine the light on yourself as an employee.