Millions of Aussies aren’t maximizing their money because of fear and insecurity, but they are potentially missing out on tens of thousands of dollars.
While there is no single path that guarantees money success, there are some key mistakes that almost certainly guarantee money mediocrity.
But knowing what these mistakes are will help you know what to look for and what to avoid.
Fear of taking action
Money can be confusing and complicated, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stuck in information overload and paralysis of analysis. Because you don’t want to make a mistake that will cost you a ton of money, you’ll end up stuck doing nothing or just doing the same thing you’ve done in the past.
When this happens, you miss the opportunity to get more out of what you have today. But more importantly, you are creating opportunity costs that will increase for years to come.
When you start nailing it with you money today, in 12 months you’ll be better off. You would have saved more money, invested a little more and because of that you have more money in the future.
For example, $5,000 invested using the Australian stock market’s long-term return of 8.7 percent would be worth $160,724 40 years from now. This means that every year you don’t take action, you could be costing yourself more than $100,000 a year.
Don’t let the fear of making a mistake create an opportunity cost that you will regret. Take the time to figure out what smart action looks like for you, and create a solid game plan to break through the fear.
Our inner pleasure seeker is working against us here because you don’t want to say no to things these days. Managing your money wisely is difficult, and when you save and… to invest without a clear goal or ‘why’ it is even more difficult.
Take the time to understand what success really looks like for you. If you want to build a passive income from investments, how many do you want? And how much do you need in your wallet to get to that point? And when do you want to be there?
This way, you’ll have a clear goal and timeline to work toward, and then focus on ticking off your progress milestones during each billing cycle.
I talk to a lot of people who get excited to get on top of their money. They may have seen something on social media, attended an event, or read a book that motivated them to make money succeed.
But because money is one of those things that are really important but not urgent, it’s easy to slip it off your to-do list for a tomorrow that never seems to come.
Money is a momentum game and the first steps are always the hardest. But once taken, you will begin to build your money momentum that you can use to make your next steps easier. Your money success shouldn’t take much of your time or energy, but it does require regular focus to maintain your momentum.
Schedule some time in your calendar regularly to move things forward, or seek professional help to hold you accountable for taking the next steps in your money journey. The key here is consistency.
Waiting for the ‘right’ moment
Just like starting a new health kick or a new diet, starting a business or even starting a family, getting on top of your money is something that you can easily put off.
The ideal time always seems to be just around the corner, but there’s always a reason why it would be easier to wait next week, next month, or next year to get started.
There is no perfect time.
But once you take action, something funny happens. You start to get results, which motivate you to take more action and make more progress. Before you know it, you’ll have built up some established habits and behaviors and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start sooner.
The best time to get started with your money was always 10 years ago. The second best time is now.
Money can be complicated and confusing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s normal to fall back into bad habits and behaviors that can sabotage your progress.
If you’re trying to do all of this on your own, it’s easy to let things slip. You lack the confidence to take the right steps at the right time to get the results you want.
When you have someone in your corner, everything is a little different. You have someone to align your ideas with, hold you accountable, and point you to the smart next steps to take to move things forward.
This can be a partner, an accountability buddy or a professional advisor. The key here is someone who knows you and understands money enough to support you in the decisions you make to give you the confidence that you are on the right track.
Success with money can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. When you take the time to understand and avoid the mistakes described here, you remove the main barriers to your success.
You avoid the frustration that can surround money and start building your money momentum faster and easier. The result is financial confidence, something that needs to be worked on.
Ben Nash is a financial expert commentator, podcaster, financial advisor and founder of Turning wealthand author of the Amazon Best Selling Book ‘Get Unstuck: Your Guide to Creating a Life Unlimited by Money’†
Ben has just launched a series of free online money education events to help you get on the first financial foot. You can View all details here and reserve your place.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature and does not take into account your personal goals, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for your circumstances before acting on it, and seek professional advice from a financial professional if necessary.