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Played hard, done good – 10 money-management tips

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When times get tough, the tough get going. I know it’s an oldie, but a goody. And while I love the idea of non-softies putting their backs to the wheel and working harder, the image worries me a little when it comes to money.

Words of wisdom

A better tale to give someone who knows money times are tough is about the legendary rugby league coach, the late Jack Gibson. He took the mighty Roosters, St George and the Parramatta Eels to grand final wins, coached Australia and was named Coach of the Century.

Like the famous US football coach, Vince Lombardi, what Gibson often said became instantly repeatable, though it was not always great English. However, it was superb teaching.

The bottom line

One of his famous actions was when his team was down in a grand final, which most expected they could win. Gibson, according to legend, simply said in his half-time rev up: “You know what you have to do.”

To me, this is what I’d love to say to anyone I was money coaching to cope with tough times and to build wealth. But first, I’d have to give the fundamentals and make sure my student has got them right – that’s what Gibson was famous for.

Face the music

Here is a list of money tips – compare your actions against it. Write down these characteristics of great money accumulators and see how you rate.

  1. First, take 10 per cent of everything you earn and save it each payday. This is a benchmark and it is great if you can save more, but if it’s less, then at least you are saving.
  2. Second, get your debt house in order by making sure you have the lowest comparative rate of interest possible on your loans – credit cards, home loans, personal loans, etc. Are you a debt expert? If not, why not?
    Go to websites such as RateCity and InfoChoice and check out whether you are costing yourself money.
    Learn how to reduce debt by say paying more against your mortgage, making weekly or fortnightly payments and putting tax refunds against your loan to save you years and loads of interest.
  3. Third, become a shopping expert and use your fingers on the phone and internet to get the very best deal on everything you buy. Try asking for a 10 per cent discount for paying with cash. You will never ever know if you don’t give it a go!
  4. Fourth, have a good look at second-hand before buying new. Go to seconds places that have big discounts for small blemishes which you could do the first time you use the product. Demonstrator models can save you thousands on a ‘new’ car.
  5. Look after your valuables. It is crazy but we buy badly, buy expensive and then don’t look after these assets. Get the car serviced when it needs to be. This will be a short-term outlay for a long-term saving. Wash your car, look after your house and avoid damaging your assets’ value by simply being neglectful.
  6. Teach yourself to understand investing in shares, buying great real estate, building up your super and knowing how to tap into the tax advantages open for investors. This is like goal kicking and this is where you’ll need lots of practice and even outside help, but you can teach yourself a lot.
  7. Do your research on every money play you make. Sure the more significant ones should be tackled and perfected first, but don’t ignore the simple stuff.
    Why not do some work on finding out where is the cheapest supermarket in your local area? Don’t guess — actually do some objective testing. A family could spend $30,000 on food and other household items a year and if they are paying five per cent more than they should that means they are throwing away $1500!
  8. Surround yourself with great information and/or advisers. Go on the internet, use this site, buy the books, the magazines or use the newspaper supplements, but whatever you do, load yourself up with great money inputs. If you do you will end up with great outputs. And on that subject, if you don’t think you can do this yourself for time or motivation reasons, look for experts to help you such as financial advisers, accountants and so on.
  9. Strive to build up your income. Put your hand up for training, read self-improvement books, do courses and go the extra mile in your job. What you learn will help you if you ever decide to start your own business. This is a great source of wealth, once again, if it is done the right way.
  10. And finally, create your money plan. Gibbo would have had a game plan for his footie teams and so should you. It has to start with your goals and it has to show how it will happen.
The hard yards

Like a coach, you have to coach yourself! And if you follow the basics or fundamentals above, one day you might be able to look at your wealth and use Gibbo’s famous line: “Played hard, done good.”

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: Friday, May 06, 2011

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