Know how much you earn, how much you spend, and what you spend your money on.
Budget: The reason why most advisers say do a budget is that it is incredibly useful. Use a spreadsheet and include everything you think you spend, even coffees, then go through your last 3 months of bank statements and note what you actually spend plus double check for any yearly expenses missed over the past three months. You might be surprised about how you actually spend your money.
Assets and Liabilities: Pull together all of your credit cards, store credits, and loan statements. List the interest rates and fees. Pull together your savings and investments and write down the investments rate of return.
Super and Insurance: Collate your superannuation statements and note the admin and management fees. Check for insurances and premiums.
Keep all this information together and easy to access.
Not all of us are lucky enough to know exactly what we want to do, for most people it is an exploration process, if you already know then that’s great you can skip this step. Otherwise ,write down what you find joy in.
“Think about some of the things you do when you are not thinking of anything else. That is the stuff that feeds the soul. Don’t be ashamed of what you want.”
Don’t worry if you’re still not sure or you change your mind, as you try new things you will grow and so will your direction. Don’t resist your desire to change because you ‘think you should’ because you studied for it, made sacrifices or because it makes a lot of money.
Once you have an idea of the kind of life you want to live. Work out your short-term, medium-term and long-term goals which will help you get there. Define them and prioritise them. Incorporate goals that focus on what really matters to you, don’t forget to also include goals that will allow you to have a balance, include fitness and mindfulness.
Using a SMART method can be helpful like working towards buying a home. Write down the Specifics, make it Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and give it a Time-Line.
Remember that it is totally normal for your goals to change, it’s better to just start with something and as you progress you can refine them.