Three-minute financial check-up

While the standard of living is constantly improving in Australia, economic disruptions, stagnant wage growth and continually increasing house prices are putting more and more people under financial stress.

A recent report by the social research group, the Melbourne Institute, ‘Taking the Pulse of the Nation’, found one in three Australians reported being under financial stress while one in five reported experiencing mental distress.

It found that those on fixed-term contracts and anyone self-employed were particularly vulnerable to feeling financial stress, as were people employed in the hospitality and IT sectors.

There is nothing worse than that niggling feeling that you’re not in control of your financial situation or worse, the dread that you may not be able to meet your next home loan repayments or that you’ve maxed out your credit cards.

For many people, it is simply that their lives are so busy they never have the time to focus on their financial position and so the constant pressure of earning money and paying bills can easily spin out of control.

Just as all financial situations can be improved, so all financial problems can be resolved and the earlier you act, the better. Just the simple step of reaching out for help will make you feel better about your financial situation.

So, it may be as simple as being unsure whether you will have sufficient savings in super to retire in the way you were hoping to, or it might be that you have created a debt mountain that you feel helpless to reduce.

If you find yourself spending a large part of the day worrying about your finances, if you have trouble sleeping at night or if your financial position is causing repeated arguments between you and the people you care most about, it is important that you reach out for help.

A good place to start is completing this three-minute financial check-up. If you answer no to any of the questions on this list, you should make time to discuss your financial situation with a qualified financial planner.

They will be able to tell you just how serious your situation is and more, how you can take steps immediately to improve your financial position and help you get your financial position back on track, so you do feel in control.

This will allow you to move into the new year with confidence and the peace of mind that you have your financial situation under control, and you can embrace life with enthusiasm and gusto, free from financial worry.

Your three-minute financial check-up

Action YES NO
Do you pay all your credit cards off in full by their due date?
Do you sleep easy knowing all your bills will be paid when they fall due?
Do you have a budget, and do you stick to it?
Are you making all your loan repayments on time?
Do you know exactly how much your home loan is today?
Do you know what you would do if you lost your job tomorrow?
Are you confident about your children’s financial future?
Do you have life and total and permanent disability insurance in place?
Do you have income protection in place?
Do you know how much you have in super?
Are you and your partner in agreement about your finances?
Do you feel confident about your overall financial position?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, then you need to speak to a financial planner. The sooner you do, the closer you will be to achieving peace of mind regarding your financial position.

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