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How to stop spending more money than you earn

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How to stop spending more money than you earn

Post by AlleyRose on Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:20 pm

SPENDING more money than you earn is a problem affecting all Australians — not just those struggling on lower wages.
Advisers are seeing an increase in people living beyond their means, but say there are a few simple ways to prevent a financial mess.
Recent research by AMP has found that Australians are less confident about their finances than they were two years ago, and the fastest growing group of financially-stressed people are those incomes above $150,000 a year.
AMP financial adviser Darren James says controlling your finances is not just about how much you earn.
Higher earners typically lift their spending in areas such as holidays, transport, education and entertainment, he says.
“It’s really just like a diet. If there’s food in front of you it’s too easy to eat. If you don’t put a restriction on how much you can spend, you’re much likely to fritter away what’s there.

AMP financial adviser Darren James it’s easier to be a disciplined saver when you have written goals.Source:Supplied

“People think I will do it this once and then I will catch up. But then other things come in and pile on, and you are consistently chasing your tail.”
Preventing problems starts with writing down everything you earn and spend. Avoid the word “budget”, which either scares or bores most people.
James suggests calling it a spending plan. “Without this plan there’s no way of knowing how much is coming in and going out — and what you have left over at the end of the week or month to spend, save or go towards paying off debt,” he says.
Write down your goals. “It’s always easier to be a disciplined saver when you have goals to reach,” James says.
JBS Financial Strategists financial coach Glenn Malkiewicz says he has seen many low-income families with almost nothing in savings, but the same is true for high-income families.
“Studies show that the vast majority of the differences in wealth have very little to do with someone’s income level, chance events such as an inheritance, or investment choices. The major determinant of wealth creation is simply based on how much individuals choose to save or spend,” he says.
Malkiewicz says people who overspend usually don’t know how much money they spend, and don’t have goals or a direction in life for their money.
He suggests breaking spending down into three parts: fixed expenses such as mortgages and bills, lifestyle expenses that allow you to enjoy today, and future spending and saving for the things you want to achieve.
“You need to make sacrifices and need to find the right trade-off. Bring some consistency, discipline and structure into your saving.”
- Write down all your spending for a month to spot potential savings.
- Use free apps and website calculators to help track spending.
- Write down short term and long term goals and monitor your progress.
- Break your spending down to needs and wants.
- Set up separate accounts for saving and spending.
- Beware of bank redraw facilities because they lack transparency.

Originally published as How to control overspending

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