By: Yianni Tsimopoulos
My mother once gave me some great advice that went like this: ‘Don’t worry about anything that’s outside your influence.’
In other words: If you can’t change it, don’t worry about it!
Let’s think about this for a few moments. What is that you worry about the most? Is it inside, or outside of your influence? You see, most of us worry and panic about things we have absolutely no control over – things we can’t change.
Mums advice made me realise that if I can’t change it, I just won’t worry about it. Instead, spend time the time and mental energy effecting positive change where you can, not where you can’t.
I’ve outlined 4 ideas that we personally use in the Tsimopoulos household to make sure our money worries are very minimal, and we can focus our energy on areas that deserve the attention.
Everyone should have a special fund where they save some extra money, just in case. A lot of people call this an ‘emergency’ fund, but I personally think it brings negativity into the situation by calling it this, I feel as though I would be ‘asking for it’ if I’m ‘saving for it’. A good start to saving for this fund would be to try and achieve a goal of one or two months of your expenses.
I’ve seen a lot of complicated ways to go about this, and to be perfectly honest, I think a lot of people overcomplicate it. The strategy is fairly simple, pay more than you need to. For example, if your home loan interest rate is currently sitting at 6%, make payments based on 7.5% or 8% and get used to it. Most people get worried when the Reserve Bank meets and of course if the RBA does raise the rates, chances are your mortgage will raise with it, but if you are prepared for this, will it be as much of a burden compared to if you weren’t prepared?
Almost every bank has an online presence now, and almost all of them have set and forget payment features. This feature, partnered up with all the bills you usually receive every month can make your life much easier. Mortgage payments, electricity and gas, mobile phone payments, almost everything has a monthly fee these days. If you’re still writing checks for all of these and mailing them in, you’re creating a lot of worry that you don’t need! Utilise the technology around you and make your life easier.
Think about it – from your young years, all the way to retirement, your ability to earn an income largely dictates how comfortable you and your family will be.
Let’s take the fictional character Betty Boop who just turned 30 years old and currently earns $60,000 a year. When Betty gets to age of 67, she would have earned $2.2 million. Don’t forget that I haven’t even taken into account any pay rises or promotions or even indexation! Essentially Betty Boop is worth $2.2 million as of her 30th birthday.
If you had a machine that would earn you this much money over time, would you pay to have it insured? I think I know the answer to this.
I’ll finish off with a quote by the great Mark Twain that says: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened”. It looks like Mark Twain had the same problems everyone else had, let change this and stop worrying; let’s start planning.
Yianni Tsimopoulos is the Managing Director and Senior Wealth Adviser of the Nationwide Group of Companies, a boutique financial services company in Adelaide. He is described by his clients as a traditional family man who makes complex financial concepts simple and easy to understand.
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