Live within your means to survive 2017
ABOVE all, live within your means. No, seriously. Live within your means. Noel Whittaker repeats this advice several times when asked what comes first in a financial overhaul.
The personal finance columnist has been writing pointers for readers for the past 25 years and it’s the one tip he stresses for anyone committing to better financial health in 2017.
“You need to understand that if you live beyond your means, it’s a downward road to disaster,” he says.
“Can you pay off your credit card every month?
“I’ve found if people control the things they can control, then they don’t need to worry about the things they can’t control.”
Getting into a good financial position in 2017 is a goal worth sticking to, Noel says. Superannuation changes going into effect on June 30 will bite at the budgets of higher earners, and the government safety net for low earners is being tightened. “It’s a bit of a two-edged sword,” he says.
So where to start? The first step is motivation, Noel says, seconded by knowing your assets, expenses and debt.
“The best road map in the world is useless unless you know where you are,” he says.
“You get a piece of paper and you write down all your yearly predictable costs.
“Then you make an annual total.”
He says the next step is to divide the predictable costs by the number of pay days.
The other major monetary consideration in 2017 will be fixed rates versus variable as Australia faces the potential reality of rising interest rates.
“You can fix your loans payments for under 5% for the next few years,” he says.
Noel’s book Making Money Made Simple is available online.
Finance guru Noel Whittaker.