When is the right time to finally get to grips with your finances? It’s very simple: right now! And if you’re not crazy about the idea, here are a few key arguments that will make you think again.
“Not now! I’ll get around to it later…” Is that the first sentence that comes to mind when you think about pensions, making provisions for your old age, negotiating a raise or even saving money? That’s understandable. At the same time, though, finance is important for all of us – regardless of how much money we have, how old we are and whether we have much of an interest in finance or not.
After all, money is the currency that enables us to acquire products, experiences or time. And most of us don’t have an unlimited amount of this currency, although we may well have an unlimited number of ideas about what we could do with it. At the end of the day, money might not bring happiness, but it does bring a certain amount of security. And it fulfils all kinds of needs.
So it’s not a question of having to have as much money as possible. Or, at least to begin with, a question of having a clearly defined plan. Right now, we’re focusing on the step that comes right before that, i.e. asking yourself how much you have and how much you need now, how much you will need tomorrow and how much you can expect to need in the distant future.
Taking stock of the amount of cash you have not only brings some much-needed clarity to the situation, but also offers the opportunity to think about what you want in the short and long run. This includes answers to questions such as: how am I doing financially right now and am I coping okay? Do I really want to work full-time – and can I afford to work part-time if I want to? In five years from now, will I want to take a few months off from the rat race – and if so, how will I finance that?
Do I want to take short or extended parental leave – and what will I need to cover this? Will I have to work until I’m 70 – or will I be able to retire earlier? Do I want to go on holiday again – and how much money do I need to put aside for that? Do I just want to be able to stop worrying about next month and get a decent night’s sleep? And what exactly am I worrying about when I’m lying awake at night?
Sustainable money management involves more than just thinking about where your money is going, which bank you have deposited it at or what you should invest it in – but also managing your money with your future in mind. For this, you need to look at the big picture. Understanding the steering effect of money and using it for positive change always starts with ourselves.
Taking a close look at your finances for the first time (in a long time) can of course also trigger all kinds of worries. Not all of us have huge bank balances. But there are solutions to these concerns. The first and most important is being well informed – and then asking questions. Talking about money. With as many people as possible. Because this is one of those areas where two or more heads are invariably better than one.
However, you might also realise that your wishes are not as hard to achieve as you might have thought. That all you have to do is pull a few levers or switch to more long-term planning to make them come true.
Maybe you want to travel around the world? Even if you’re not made of money, it’s still possible to finance a trip like that. And even putting extra cash aside for your later years doesn’t need to break the bank. It’s just a question of getting organised.
It’s not about riches – it’s about you. And how you want to live your life.
Putting it off again and again won’t solve any problems or fulfil any wishes.
You’ll only be able to make good decisions when you have a clear idea of your finances.
Granted, there are more important things in life than money – but then again, you can do a lot of really cool things when you have it.
Asking questions doesn’t cost anything but can be invaluable – particularly when it comes to your salary.
You can only fight your corner when you know exactly where you stand.
Your available budget is enough to cover your needs, so you don’t see any point in taking a closer look at it? First of all, good for you! But the problem here is that, even if you are the kind of person who manages very well on their own budget, it doesn’t mean that this will still be the case in the near or distant future.
This is because life is difficult to plan – but also because the pension provided by the state only covers the absolute minimum, if that. It is really important to be aware of this. It’s not much fun or easy to do, particularly if your budget is very small to begin with. But continuing to put it off is definitely not going to help.
You will find all you need to know about the “money mindset” right here. Whether it’s just an empty buzzword or something that can actually make a difference.
You can find out here how to start economising – and what you should clarify beforehand.
And you can find out important tips about how to get a firm handle on your monthly budget.