Get active with your finances

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This month’s theme is ‘Get Active’! Most people will think this applies to your health and fitness – But here at Goodlife, we’re applying this to your financial health and wellbeing!

How can you ‘Get Active’ and get your financial lives in ship-shape order? Let’s look at one powerful and helpful tip:

Budgeting

Why do we put so much importance on ‘Budgeting’? It’s essential that you know where your money is going and whether there’s any room for discipline. Just like you’d start your exercise regime with stretching – Budgeting is the starting point for personal financial success!

Do you track what you spend your money on? It probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that almost every Kiwi Mum and Dad I meet, doesn’t budget or have any mechanism in place to track spending. This is the first port-of-call we look at when working with our clients. There’re plenty of options available to you out there from software to spreadsheets to writing it all down in a book! Utilise free software here are the Sorted website.

The New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services also has some great online tools that you can use to help you track your spending and plan your budget. They also offer free budgeting services if you are struggling with your finances.

Or, email me on daniel@goodlifeadvice.co.nz and I’ll send you the spreadsheet that I personally use every week. It just takes me 10 minutes! All you need to do is download your statement and tick off each item after you’ve entered it – Easy! I can also provide you with a list of categories to itemise your spending.

The first thing you need to look out for is whether you’re www.sorted.org.nz/home/sorted-sections/kiwisaver/key-featuresspending more than you earn. Unfortunately this is common in NZ. Once you’ve got an understanding of your weekly, monthly, or annual spend, you can check this against your net income (take home pay) to see if there’s a surplus. Here is a great website to find out what your net income is:

http://www.gra.co.nz/taxcalculator/2012TaxCalculator

Once you know whether or not you’re coming out with a surplus, you can then think about a savings plan! And that’s what we’re here to help you with personally. Remember, there’s plenty of financial assistance along the way to add to your savings from places like the Government and various tax effective strategies.

http://www.sorted.org.nz/home/sorted-sections/kiwisaver/key-features

Good luck with getting active with your finances this month!

Categorised: Grown Ups
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Daniel Carney

This article was written by Daniel Carney. Daniel is an Authorised Financial Adviser at Goodlife Financial Advice* and is also a proud dad to two gorgeous kids. He's fanatical about the need to help kids become financially literate and can't wait until his own kids are old enough to play Monopoly with him. When he's not helping people sort their finances, Daniel plays guitar and drums in a band and enjoys spending time with family and getting lost in a good book.

*A disclosure statement is available, on request and free of charge by calling 0508 GOODLIFE.

Please note that this blog represents the views of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Kiwi Families Ltd.

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