World Financial Planning Day, a global event to help raise awareness of the value of financial planning, takes place on 6 October. It’s the perfect opportunity for individuals and families around the world to take positive steps to toward controlling their financial lives—now and in the future.
How can you improve your financial well-being on World Financial Planning Day?
Following is a comprehensive list that includes some starting points, as well as some more complex strategies for those who want to make 2021 the start of a long-term commitment to financial success.
20 things to do on World Financial Planning Day:
- Improve your financial literacy
Don’t know much about managing your money? Start by visiting financialadvice.nz where you will find a hub of information and resources to help you improve your financial wellbeing. Here, you can also find help deciding what kind of advice you may need and assistance in preparing for discussions with a financial adviser.
- Start a money journal
Explore your attitude towards money, your hopes and fears, and your dreams for financial success. Doing so can help you crystallize your long-term goals so you can plan for the future.
- Write down your long-term life and financial goals
Include them in your journal, along with a timeline for achieving them.
- Reconcile your bank accounts
Check your bank account debits against the payments you’ve made, and make sure any pending bills are either paid or scheduled.
- Compare interest rates for savings accounts
This is a perfect place to start building or expanding your emergency fund. While you’re at it, commit to saving a specific dollar amount or percentage of your income each month.
- Make an extra credit card payment
If you carry a balance on your credit cards, use World Financial Planning Day to start paying down the card with the highest interest charge.
- Determine your net worth
List your assets (what you own), estimate what each is worth and add up the total. Next, list your liabilities (what you owe), and add up the outstanding balances. Subtract your liabilities from your assets to determine your net worth.
- Estimate how much money you need to retire
Wondering how much money you need to live comfortably in retirement? Use a free online retirement calculator to figure out a rough estimate. One to try: https://sorted.org.nz/tools/retirement-calculator/. Can you afford to bump up your contributions to your KiwiSaver? Are you in the right fund? Seek advice from a financial adviser to get the most from your KiwiSaver.
- Put your money to work by investing
Term deposits, shares, property, KiwiSaver, managed funds – sound intimidating? It’s really not. An investment adviser can help you to determine your investment goals and find the right balance (between risk and return). Also, you don’t need to have a lot of money to invest. Investing is for everybody!
- Organise your important household and financial accounts
Would your loved ones know how to run your household or understand your last wishes if you became sick or injured, or died suddenly? Use World Financial Planning Day to start organising your important documents and accounts, store them securely and share their location with a family member, financial planner and/or attorney.
- Create a budget and track your spending
Get a handle on where your money is going. Try creating a budget and tracking your spending.
- Automate your savings and investments
One of the least painful ways to save and invest is to automate the amounts you want to set aside each month so you won’t be tempted to spend them.
- Get insurance advice
Get the right insurance in place to protect what you value most – your lifestyle, your family your income, your business, your mortgage, and/or your retirement – in the event the unexpected happens. An insurance adviser can help you choose the best protection plan for your needs.
- Look for ways to lower your monthly bills
As contracts for things like your mobile phone, internet, or power expire, do some comparison shopping to see if you can reduce your monthly spend. You may even be able to negotiate a lower rate with your current provider.
- Make some extra money by selling unwanted items
Looking for a way to reduce clutter and make some quick cash? Explore the many online tools for selling your unwanted items. Before doing so, be sure to review secure ways to handle payment and delivery, and research common scams.
- Create a personal document retention policy
Learn how long you should keep important paperwork, such as contracts, loan documents, tax returns or account statements. Create a system to purge documents you no longer need, and scan and save the ones you need to keep.
- Talk money with your child
Does your child understand the concept of saving money? Use World Financial Planning Day to help your child open a savings account and understand the basics of paying bills and building credit.
- Start an education/tertiary savings fund for your child
If you are considering private education for your child/children and want to help fund their tertiary education, start a separate savings account as early as possible, so when the time comes you have a nice financial buffer to achieve this goal.
- Create or update your will
If you have a will already, use World Financial Planning Day to review and update it as needed. If you need a will, use the day to schedule an appointment with an attorney or appropriate estate planning professional to create one.
- Make an appointment with a financial adviser
The good news is that those who get professional financial advice are more likely to feel happy with their financial position and better prepared for the future than those who don’t. They feel more confident in their financial decision making, in control, and clearer about their finances.
Financial Advice New Zealand covers four main areas: mortgage, insurance, investment and financial planning. To find an adviser in your area visit https://financialadvice.nz/find-an-adviser/