Five rules of money management

No matter your income level or financial goals, everyone can benefit from developing strong money management skills. Here are five rules of money management that can help build a solid foundation for financial wellbeing.

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Key takeaways:

  • Having a savings plan and an appropriate level of insurance cover can help insulate you from financial stress.
  • Tracking expenses gives a complete picture of where savings can be made, helping reach your financial goals more quickly.
  • Avoid accumulating debt where possible, but where it’s necessary, prioritise paying off debts with the highest interest rates.
  • Continuously improve financial literacy by reading books, attending seminars, and following reputable financial websites. Knowledge is power!

Just like physical fitness, achieving financial fitness requires discipline, knowledge, and effort. But don’t worry, because once you have those skills in your armoury, the path to financial freedom will start to unfurl before your eyes.

No matter your income level or financial goals, everyone can benefit from developing strong money management skills.

Here are five rules of money management that can help you build a solid foundation for your financial wellbeing:

1. Create a budget and save regularly

Establish a budget that outlines your income, expenses, and savings goals. Stick to this plan and track your spending to ensure you're living within your means.

Make saving a priority by setting aside a portion of your income each month. Aim to save at least 10 percent (and ideally 20 percent) of your earnings for both short-term emergencies and long-term goals.

That’s not to say you should be overly frugal either. If you are so disciplined with your spending that you leave little or no budget for fun activities, it is unlikely that you will maintain that habit for a prolonged period, so don’t forget to treat yourself and your loved ones.

2. Pay yourself first and minimise debt

When wages are received, try to allocate a portion to savings before paying bills or spending on discretionary items. This helps prioritise your financial future and can become so habitual that you’ll hardly notice the money going, but you can be pleasantly surprised at how quickly your savings grow.

Most of us need to take on debt at some point in our lives, particularly for big ticket items such as a house or a new car, but try to avoid accumulating high-interest debt whenever possible. Try paying off existing debts systematically, starting with those with the highest interest rates. Use credit responsibly and only when necessary.

3. Invest for the future and establish an emergency fund

Consider investing. Some investments include shares, bonds and real estate. Selecting an investment will depend on your financial situation and risk tolerance.

Don’t just focus on short-term outcomes. Long-term goals, such as retirement, should also be given due prominence and consideration in your investment strategy. Seek professional investment advice if required.

Another key aspect to consider when investing for your future is to make sure you’re covered in the event of a major setback.

Ensuring you have adequate insurance coverage for things such as health care, home, motor, life, and income safeguards should your finances take a hit when unexpected events occur.

Consider building an emergency fund that covers up to six months' worth of living expenses. This fund can provide a safety net during unexpected financial setbacks, such as a prolonged period of unemployment or illness.

4. Track your expenses and avoid impulse spending

Consider keeping a record of all your expenses to gain insight into your spending habits. Identify areas where you can make adjustments to save money, such as shopping around for better insurance deals, having more home-cooked meals rather than expensive takeaways, or holidaying in your own country rather than overseas.

Before making a purchase, consider asking yourself whether it aligns with your financial goals. Implementing a waiting period for significant purchases helps you to avoid impulsive buying.

5. Keep abreast of all things financial and set realistic investment goals

Stay informed about personal finance topics, investment strategies, and money management techniques. Education equals personal empowerment. Continuously improve your financial literacy by reading books, attending seminars, and following reputable financial websites. The more you know, the better financial decisions you can make.

Consider defining specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) financial goals. Break them down into actionable steps to stay motivated and achieve success.

So, take charge of your finances, embrace smart spending habits, and enjoy watching your financial dreams transform into a rewarding reality.


Important information: This document has been prepared by IOOF Investment Management Limited (IIML) ABN 53 006 695 021, AFS Licence No. 230524 as Trustee of the IOOF Portfolio Service Superannuation Fund ABN 70 815 369 818 (Fund). IOOF Employer Super is a Division of the Fund. IIML is part of the Insignia Financial of companies, consisting of Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate. This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this document, you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from a financial adviser and seek tax advice from a registered tax agent. Please obtain and consider the PDS and the Target Market Determination (TMD) both of which are available for consumers to better understand products before making any decision about whether to acquire a financial product. Information is current at the date of issue and may change.