5 easy moves to get you financially fit

Your advice today is coming from Ted Richards. Six Park's Director of Business Development, Ted is a former AFL premiership player with the Sydney Swans, where he earned accolades not only for his football skill but his leadership, toughness and sportsmanship. He was a board member of the AFL Players Association from 2012-16. Ted has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Applied Finance and has previously worked for Citigroup and Airlie Funds Management. If you wish to discover if Ted is the right wellness expert for you, sign up at Stack Health for free today. Receive your complementary health concierge service where you are matched with your perfect wellness expert no matter where you (or they) are in the world.

Putting your finances through their paces can pay off in mores ways than one. Focusing on your financial health can improve your physical wellbeing too. This is because worrying about money can affect our health, our sleep and our stress levels. This mainly occurs because people don’t have a handle on where their money is going. It’s crucial for people to stay engaged with their spending patterns, reduce their debt levels and monitor investment returns and fees. Feeling more in control of our finances can have amazing effects on our wellness and overall level of happiness.

Here are a few simple things you can do to get your finances in shape and start to feel more in control of your money situation:

  • Recognise your bad habits. We all have bad habits, whether it’s to do with our eating, fitness or our spending. It’s time to be honest with yourself and try to identify at least one bad habit you know you have when it comes to money and one thing you can do straight away to try to turn this habit around. Do you reward yourself by spending, for example? It’s time to identify a new way you can reward yourself. 

  • Get rid of the sweat over high interest debt. The most important thing you can do is prioritise paying off the highest interest debt first (this is usually credit card debt). Always aim to pay off more than the minimum – the faster you pay down debt, the less you pay in interest. 

  • Make your money work hard for you. If you’re holding cash, there is no point sticking the money under your bed or keeping it in your everyday operating account when cash interest rates are at record lows. You have to make your cash work for you! Once you have a reasonable lump sum together put your money somewhere that will provide the best opportunity for growth. Think about moving the money into a ‘saver’ account, which often attracts slightly higher interest and separates it from your day-to-day account and spending. Be wary that many of these saver accounts don’t offer rates that much above inflation right now, so if you’re likely to hold your money for a few years, consider other investing options to get potentially higher growth, which can have a huge impact on your wealth generation over time. With robo-investing, for example, you can now have an investment portfolio without having to pay huge fees or expensive advisors. Whichever way you go, make sure you choose no/low-cost accounts so your money isn't whittled away by fees.

  • Make sure your super measures up. Engage with their superannuation account. Be aware of what fees you’re paying and educate yourself on what others charge (not just your performance). Consolidate your accounts if you have more than one to make sure you’re only paying one set of fees. The earlier you educate yourself about your superannuation the greater the opportunity to increase the quality of your retirement.

  • Establish a healthy routine. One of the easiest and simplest things to do is take 5% off the top of your pay when received and put into a savings account, as it’s a near certainty that your life will adapt and not change materially without that 5%. You can always stop if your life unravels (it won’t).  So if you make $50,000 after tax/super contributions, that’s just over $200 a month.  Set up automatic deposits into a savings account on pay day and you’ll have $2,500 plus interest after 12 months. It also helps to put your debts on auto-pay so you’re never paying additional and unnecessary fees and charges.

Bryce Finck