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March 02 newsletter

The cost of Christmas can be a financial burden for many families. Instead of a time of happiness and goodwill, the season can be one of financial misery.

We hope our new page and calculator on Christmas Costs will help you prepare for, enjoy and survive, the financial challenges of the Christmas season.

This month, we also continue our series of articles on the secrets of wealth.

Over recent months, you've had the opportunity to do some preliminary work prioritising your financial goals. Now is the time to take the last step to planning for wealth.

If you haven't already chosen the financial goals you want to go after, now is the time.

Now you need to work out the action required to realise your goals. To give our financial plan energy and lift off, you'll need to assign some action to each of your goals.

Let's take a simple example: the Zolas, a family with an average household income, would like to save $20,000 over the next four years for a deposit on their first home. They need to save $5,000 a year. Their target is, therefore, to save $100 per week.

The question is, what actions will be required to achieve that? The Zolas currently save only $20 per week. Their initial action might be to commit to exploring various ways to increase the $20 per week to the required $100 per week, over the coming months.

As we review a number of secrets to wealth over the coming months, the Zolas will be able to identify ways to find the extra $80 per week they need to achieve the financial dream of owning their own home.

We'll be looking at how the Zolas can

  • Reduce their weekly expenditure,
  • Increase their weekly income,
  • Tune in the "thinking engine",
  • Save more effectively,
  • Invest prudently,
  • Understand how debt can be managed effectively, and
  • Protect what they already have.

Your own list of goals may be more aggressive than the Zolas, but will probably be similar: a long-term commitment to follow through, to find ways to bridge the gap between your current savings programme and your financial goals.

To complete your plan and understanding of the first secret of wealth, take a few moments to document your plan. That document will include the steps we've already covered:

  • The goal(s) you're going after,
  • The timing of your goals,
  • The annual savings target required to achieve those goals and, finally,
  • The required actions you've now decided on.

Next month, we'll look at the second secret of wealth.