Your Money

10 money rules for the young and the restless

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How many times have you heard people say: “I wished someone had told me that when I was young?”

Well, here is what all young people (and for that matter, most people) who feel uncomfortable about not being more financially comfortable should read.

Follow these rules and you’ll put yourself in the frame for a comfortable life. You might even wind up rich!

Flick the debt

Simply, you need to become a savvy investor and consumer. You have to avoid being embarrassed by too much debt and you need to be driving with a seatbelt in the fast lane of money.

What do you want?

Success handling money gets down to learning a handful of rules, which will determine whether you end up well-off or in the poor house.

Stop for a moment and imagine what you want for yourself as you get older. A car? A house? A happy family? A comfortable life? A wealthy life?

Set for life

Let me give you a tip. The people who have new cars when they are young end up driving bombs later in life. And those who go for a second-hand car when they are young and invest their money often wind up with a house, a new car and overseas holidays later in life.

I recently met an officer in the army who is in his 30s, and because he has lived in army-supplied housing, he used the tax system to help him buy not one, not two, but five houses, which are all rented out. Apart from having a job he loves, he is set for life! Here are rules to practice and get rich by:

Rule one

Write down your goals – if your goals are not written down they are not on the planet!

Rule two

Next, do a budget. I know it sounds boring, but it will tell you an exciting story. It tells you how much you can save and here is my advice – it’s probably the best money advice you have heard – pay yourself first.

Rule three

GST your life and take 10 per cent of your pay each week and bank it or invest it, don’t spend it! Grow it and it will make you rich.

Have a look at these figures – let me put your life to money.

You will work for at least 40 years. Imagine if you average $50,000 a year for your working life, which means you save 10 per cent or $5000 a year.

Over 40 years that gives you $200,000 but if you received say seven per cent a year return, you would wind up a millionaire. That’s the power of compound interest. 

Rule four

Have a bank account that your pay goes into and another to pay the 10 per cent into. This should pay a higher interest rate.

Right now you can get eight per cent on bank accounts, but many people are lucky to get four per cent on their money! Why? They don’t know or won’t keep the rules.

As your money builds up you can put it into even better investments, such as a blue chip share portfolio or a great investment property.

Rule five

Make sure you always ask about the extra fees and charges that go with bank accounts, mobile phones and credit cards, which can add up to a big bill each year.

Rule six

Don’t become a credit card patsy. Go to www.cannex.com.au and check it out!

You will see some cards charge 17 to 20 per cent while others are 11 to 12 per cent. Some charge an annual fee of $35 while others slug you for more than $100.

Some give you 55 free days where you don’t have to pay back the money, while others hit you from day one. We all use credit cards, so become an expert!

Rule seven

Do a bit of homework on your bills. Live by the motto that every dollar you give away through being undisciplined and slack to others makes you poorer and them richer.

Rule eight

Ask dumb questions to make you a smart consumer and investor. Never pretend you know, simply ask and keep asking until you understand. It’s only dumb to pretend you know and end up losing money big time. 

Rule nine

Become a tax expert. Some people say it sounds boring, but how can saving money be boring? How excited are you when you find a $100 bill in the street? Being a tax expert will give you lots of $100 bills!

The final rule

Rule 10 says surround yourself with a good accountant, financial adviser, lawyer and even a business coach. This will reduce the chances of making bad decisions and you can benefit from experts’ knowledge. They can help reduce your tax, show you smart investments and possibly help you into a business, which can be the source of great wealth.

It will cost you but these people, if they are good, save you a lot more than you ever pay them!

Here’s an example that proves the point: a couple with a $100,000 loan over 25 years wanted to pay it off early, but couldn’t afford to pay more each week. So their adviser told them to put their $2000 tax return into their repayments in one go and this cut the loan down by nine years and saved $45,000!

The minority in this world end up financially strong and they are the strong people who have kept these rules. Good luck.

For advice you can trust book a complimentary first appointment with Switzer Financial Services today.

Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.

Published on: Thursday, June 02, 2011

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