There were a number of headlines that caught my eye in “The Age” on 27 November that read as follows:
On Cyber Monday, Pope attacks 'sickness of consumerism'
NAB's Thorburn says incentives acted as 'bait'
Sean started by saving $US5 a day - now he's on the road to becoming a millionaire.
Without repeating the contents of the articles I was struck by the common thread that runs through these which relates to the way in which we view money. There is something for us all in these simple messages.
1. It’s easy to get dragged along Whether it is the feeling that you need the latest gadget (advertising and peer pressure) or being motivated by commissions (performance pressure), it’s easy to get pulled along by external forces. Remember, you should be in control.
2. We are responsible for our own actions Although we can get dragged along with the tide, we are each ultimately responsible for our own actions. So don’t be afraid of swimming against the tide.
3. It’s OK to resist external pressure We are all individuals and so we should take pride in creating our own unique story.
4. It’s about priorities In my experience the financial futures that people create are often determined more by how they manage their money than how they invest it. Sean’s simple approach of saving $5 a day set up a habit and created some financial discipline in his life. So often there is a choice to be made between spending today and investing for the future.
5. What’s really important Christmas is a great time to take stock of what’s important. Consumerism will pressure you to empty your wallet at Christmas whereas I feel that what really counts is sharing more than money with family and friends. For me a home baked Christmas cake that is able to be shared with others is far more valuable than an expensive gift that I don’t really need.
Maybe this festive season is a good time to review your financial priorities and set up some financial disciplines that will set you on the right path.
As always, our wealth advisory team would be delighted to have the opportunity to help you develop a plan that sets you up for success.
Also, have a look at Marie Ickeringill's article on taking time to review your financial position.