Australians’ Personal Money Management in a Shambles
Australians approach budgeting in the same way as we do dieting. Like bad credit, obesity is on the rise in Australia too, yet when it comes to the obesity cure and prevention (dieting and exercise), we simply procrastinate, lose motivation and give up!
Sure Australia is renowned for its athletic prowess and excellence across a wide range of fields, however when it comes to personal money management, Aussies aren’t doing that great. Unfortunately Australians are suffering from debt levels higher than most countries and our addiction to the ‘plastic fantastic’ isn’t doing us any favours either. Put simply, we have two main areas of weakness: we don’t budget and we are becoming too addicted to credit cards. As dire as the situation may sound, there are things that we can all do to improve our financial lot, and I’m going to share it all with you now!
Fail to Budget, Fail to ‘Live’We Australians approach budgeting in the same way as we do dieting. Like bad credit, obesity is on the rise in Australia too, yet when it comes to the obesity cure and prevention (dieting and exercise), we simply procrastinate, lose motivation and give up! It’s all ‘too hard’ are common catchcries, and unfortunately the same can be said of budgeting. Most Australians don’t stick to a household budget. Instead they will simply wait for pay day with eager (often hungry) anticipation and then as quickly as the money hits their bank accounts, it disappears. Where did all the money go? Most people don’t even know, and this is because they don’t budget!
Failure to budget is really a failure to live. How many of us are suffering as a result of bad budgeting and poor financial management? Our lifestyle completely suffers, and we are miserable and limited due to a lack of money. If we budget, we can plan to live because we’ll have money to live well.
Budgeting is all about:• Accounting for money in;• Accounting for money out;• Living within your means;• Sticking to a savings plan; and• Clearing debts.
Most of the time, it is simply the discipline aspect we need help with, and it is at hand. Australians need to call bad credit mortgage experts like us if they feel budgeting is beyond them, because we will give them the expert advice and direction they need to ensure they develop a good budget and stick to it. Then they can secure a good home loan and enjoy the benefits of a financially stable future.
Addicted to Credit Cards, Destined for DebtWe live in a materialistic society, and daily we are bombarded with, “Buy now, pay later” messages. Our largest department stores are flogging interest-free schemes like they are going out of fashion, and those that can least afford the debt are accruing it by the thousands of dollars!
In Australia, credit defaults are on the rise. In other words, people are skipping, missing or ignoring their credit card payments. Defaults in excess of $500 will appear on your Credit File, which can be all that stands between you and a loan. In addition, if you are determining how much you can afford to borrow on a home loan, for every $1000 of credit limit that you have, subtract $5000 from the possible amount you can borrow in a home loan. Take into consideration the fact that the average Australian now owes $2600 on their credit card (The Courier Mail, 4th January 2006), and that is a significant reduction in the amount you can borrow.
Combine these facts with the reality that many people pay interest in excess of 12% on each credit card and only pay the minimum repayment, and it’s clear that unless there is real improvement in money management, Australians are just going to sink into a darker hole of debt.
The key to managing your credit cards is to kill credit card debt. If you have multiple credit cards, get rid of the high interest one first, and then cancel it. Make sure you cancel it so you know the card really is dead and won’t come back to life. Systematically pay your credit debts and once you do this, either cancel the card or reduce the limit to something manageable so you don’t fall into the hole again. Finally, only use the card when you absolutely need to, for example if you have a direct debit that requires a credit card, or if you are making a hotel booking. Do not indulge in excessive, credit card spending. Chances are you don’t need those items you are going to purchase anyway, so avoid it.
Do Something Today!Your financial problems won’t go away if you ignore them. Sticking your head in the sand will only sink you further into the dark hole of debt. Take affirmative action today and turn your debt situation into a positive one. It’s the opportunity to pursue the financially successful future that awaits all who pursue it diligently.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julian Thornton is a Melbourne, Australia-based mortgage and debt analyst specialist. Julian specializes in the field of bad credit mortgages and personal money management coaching. Julian can help literally anybody into their own home and prepare them for financial success. If you need financial relief and desire control of you personal finances then Julian can help you. He is the author of “How To Get A Mortgage When No-one Wants To Give You One!”