Simon Hoyle has been a finance journalist for more than 25 years – a finance journalist because the football and motorsports rounds at The Age were filled when he was awarded a cadetship. He worked on BRW and Personal Investment magazines, and was part of the team that launched Money Management. Hoyle spent 11 years at the Australian Financial Review before moving on to be an investment writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. He was appointed editor of Professional Planner in November 2007.
Glenn Freeman is a senior journalist for Professional Planner. He has around three years’ experience in financial services journalism, having also covered broader areas of business including M&A activity and energy. His journalistic experience includes five years spent abroad, where he was editor of an oil and gas title in the United Arab Emirates along with other in-house and freelance projects, which included stints in motorcycle and automotive journalism.
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Nearly a third of Australians (32 per cent – up from 29 per cent in 2015) say they always or often live pay cheque to pay cheque and 30 per cent are concerned about the amount they have to pay off for debts each month according to research from BT Financial Group.
While nearly 70 per cent of us think we have complete or good control over our finances new research details that more Australians are feeling the pinch.
BT’s Head of Financial Literacy and Advocacy, Bryan Ashenden said income levels have no significant bearing across attitudes to debt with similar levels of concern across low and high incomes.
“No one is immune, we all have worries about our money from time to time, but what can make a difference is to put steps in place, so that we worry less,” said Mr Ashenden.
The research also shows Millennials take their financial matters seriously, despite conventional wisdom suggesting that the younger generation are frittering away their money.
Millennials are the most financially prepared cohort with nearly half (49 per cent) stating they always or often create plans to reach their financial goals, in contrast to 39 per cent of Generation X respondents.
However despite the financial preparedness of Millennials, they still have money habits they need to curb with 18 per cent reporting they always or often spend more money than they have, compared with just 10 per cent of Gen Xers.
Commenting on how we can take the reins of our finances, Mr Ashenden said: “The first step is to encourage open conversations about money matters with our loved ones. From there we can start to build a picture of what our finances look like and put steps in place to better manage our money.”
BT’s tips to help relieve stress and manage your money include:
Crunch the numbers. Dull but necessary. The best way to stay on top of your finances is when you know what is coming in and going out each month. There are plenty of online calculators that can help.
Get a handle on debt. Knowing exactly what you owe and how much it is costing you is the first step. Can you consolidate loans to get a better interest rate?
Create a savings plan. Even if you can only save a small amount, accumulating savings for unexpected expenses can create peace of mind.
Consider your super. Saving into super is how you can afford to live in retirement. For Millennials as little as $1 invested in super today can mean $10 in retirement.
Seek professional advice. Financial advisers help you identify your financial and lifestyle goals, design a plan, help you stick to the plan, and make changes to the plan if your circumstances or goals change.
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