Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

How to have a ‘good’ life crisis in 2012:

So ‘get out of debt’ no longer features on your New Year’s Resolution list.
By Motherpedia
Date: December 27 2011
Tags: finance, money,
Editor Rating:

It’s that time of year, when we finally stop and take a break from work to spend time with our loved ones. For many this comes with a period of reflection when we look back on the year that’s gone and set goals for the following year.

Along with ‘get fit’ and ‘lose weight’, ‘get out of debt’ consistently ranks in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions.

As you’re pondering the year ahead, it might be time to plan a ‘good’ life crisis for 2012. Lynette Murray from Acton Advice suggests you make five life decisions that when practised with daily discipline will ensure ‘get out of debt’ no longer features on your New Year’s Resolution list.

1.       Run your own race

Recognise that when it comes to money everyone is different. Your money personality dictates the financial strategy you will be most comfortable with.  If security is very important to you, you may find some wealth creation strategies push you beyond your comfort level. On the other hand, if money is a form of self-expression for you, a rigid credit-card diet is not going to work.  Your first decision is to understand your money personality and work with it, not against it.

2.       Know your values

Know your values and live by them every day. If family is the most important thing to you, your financial decisions need to deliver on this value.  This may mean staying in a smaller house because you can afford it on a 9 to 5 income.  Your second decision is to define what success means to you.

3.       Focus

Your third decision is to actually make the commitment to reduce your debt and take steps to achieve this. Any good life crisis worth its salt should include a Mortgage Health Check.  Your home loan is normally one of the biggest debts you have to service and a regular Mortgage Health Check will ensure your home loan product is best suited to your needs. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your current lending provider, home loan products change, fees go up and interest rates fluctuate which means there might be a better option available for you.

4.       Schedule – that which gets scheduled gets done

Take the time to manage your finances. This comes back to knowing your money personality. For some people money management comes naturally, but if the idea of doing the finances bores you to tears, then get creative.  One couple used to schedule Tuesday nights as their finance night and over a glass of wine, they would companionably do the filing, pay bills and spend quality time talking. If being debt-free is important to you, you cannot allow it to be at the mercy of activities that matter least.

5.       Measure – that which gets measured gets improved

If you think about elite sportspeople, they measure improvements in seconds and inches as they continually strive to run faster, jump higher or score more goals. Everything is measured and it allows them to take corrective action quickly. If you want to reduce your debt, you need to know exactly where you stand financially and set targets to help you meet your goals.

So this year before you doze off in front of the cricket, commit to making 2012 the year of your ‘good’ life crisis.

Lynette Murray is an Authorised Representative and ActonAdvice is a Corporate Authorised Representative of WealthSure.

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