- 80 per cent of Australians feel their finances are out of control
- Women more stressed about money than men
- Less than one in four Australians habitually set and track financial goals
With bills piling up, the social calendar booking out and a couple of weeks to go until pay day, do you ever get the feeling your finances are out of control?
You’re not alone.
New research from financial planning firm Eqeus shows that 80 per cent of Australians are worried about their financial future or feel they don’t have control over their finances.
“We are seeing increasing numbers of people of all ages who simply don’t know where to start with financial planning or who to turn to for advice,” said Eques Managing Director John Hollyman.
Women are feeling the financial pressure more than men, with 78 per cent of respondents reporting they feel stressed about money compared to 69 per cent of men.
But despite these sky high stress levels, 43 per cent of Australians find it uncomfortable to talk about money, and 26 per cent can’t even talk openly about money with their partner.
What’s causing this problem?
One of the biggest causes of financial stress is not setting firm financial goals and putting a plan in place to achieve them.
But less than one in four Australians reported that they habitually set goals and track their progress.
The study shows that the main barrier to setting goals is the feeling that there’s little point, as any money coming in is quickly absorbed by bills and other living expenses, making thinking ahead difficult.
On top of this, a quarter of respondents simply ‘hadn’t gotten around’ to setting goals.
And Hollyman says this apathy towards financial planning is a worrying trend.
“The reality is that ignoring personal finances will have consequences whatever stage of life people are in. No matter what your current situation, there are always options available to help both manage the day-to-day and prepare for the important moments in life,” he said.
If you’re struggling to set goals or get on top of your finances, Eqeus recommend this simple 5 step plan to get back on track:
1. Start with WHY
Before you do anything else, stop and think why you want to make a financial plan. What do you love to do, who are the important people in your life and how will a good plan help you look after these things?
2. Set SMART Goals
Regaining control means working out where you want to go and prioritising this. Set your goals and break these down into steps to reach these goals.
3. Set a SPENDING Plan (link this to your Goals)
Give yourself with permission to spend in the areas that are most important to you. In doing this, you will be able to celebrate the goals that you set above.
4. TRACK your Plan (Monthly at a Minimum)
If you aren’t tracking your plan, then you could be losing control again without even realising.
5. CELEBRATE your Achievements
Every time you meet a goal and stick to your spending plan, celebrate these achievements. You deserve it!