We often like to think that as we get older, we get wiser and by the time we’re proper adults – with kids, mortgages, responsibilities – we’re done learning. Well, when it comes to finance, the money lessons don’t stop.
At every stage of life, whether you’re single and carefree, raising a young family or retired and ready to wind down, it’s still possible to learn how to make your money work for you.
Young and Single: Ignorance is not bliss
When you’re young and single it’s easy to spend up big without a second thought.
One of the most common mistakes is spending more than you earn.
Try using actual cash, it’ll make you more conscious of your spending and help you live within real limits.
Young Couples: Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Love may be in the air, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be roses, especially as money can cause quite the stir in a relationship.
The best thing to do is tackle the issue head on and have an open dialogue about your cash flow.
This is the time to learn your limits as you prepare for the future. Start to streamline – two cars can become one, share the rent and build your super – and also be wary of the dreaded credit card trap.
Young Families: A time to future proof
With the arrival of kids comes the departure of your cash as expenses build and an income dries up.
Learning to live on one income is actually a great way to prepare for the future as you see what can be sacrificed in order to survive.
At this time start building a cash savings safety net as you’ll need it down the line.
Maturing Families: Plan for your golden years
As the kids grow up and get on with their lives, it’s time to take matters into your own hands when looking to the future.
It’s around this time that super becomes super important.
Currently there are millions of dollars sitting in either lost or inactive super accounts.
It’s also a good idea to kick start your debt removal – credit cards and mortgage – in order to enter old your golden years with a clean slate.
Retirees and Empty Nesters: Protect yourself and your family
It’s time you reward yourself for a life well lived, but it’s still important to keep one eye on your nest egg.
Some retirees may be lured into tactics like reverse mortgages, but it’s a risk as they can affect pension eligibility.
This is also a time when people can become vulnerable to scams or opportunists. Enlist the help of those around you – children, friends or trusted confidants – before making any finance decisions or major moves.