For many readers, March is a slightly traumatic month. It’s getting near the end of the financial year and it’s also a time to own up to that the credit card statement that has a few more zeroes than normal. While you sit down and contemplate how you might deal to that, it might also be a good time to review a few other things as well to make sure you are financially healthy.
So here’s a playlist for you to enjoy in those last days of summer before the dark clouds of despair cover you like a well worn blanket. Who knows, if you do a little work now on some of these areas, winter might be quite bearable after all. Plus you get a unique money playlist to remind yourself what you have done.
Slice of Heaven – Dave Dobbyn / Under Pressure – Queen David Bowie
We all want that slice of heaven, and for those reading this, you may already have it. The question is when will you own it, and what happens if mortgage rates go up you could be under pressure? Spend some time reviewing it now and throw a little more at it if you can. You might be very surprised just what a little more a fortnight might do to your mortgage term.
Wouldn’t It Be Good – Nik Kershaw / Highway to Hell AC/DC
Good debt and bad debt. Credit card debt is B.A.D (a great 80’s band) so if you pay your credit card debt off before interest is applied all good. If you just pay the minimum, then you know where you are going. Give the card a good slapping, maximise the benefits but keep away for that high interest cost and pay your card off every month. Or at least find a way to get it down.
Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen / Sweet Dreams Are Made of These – Eurhythmics (bonus track: Don’t Stop till you Get Enough – Michael Jackson)
This is all about building your savings and investments from each payday. So if you don’t want to be worrying about your power bills when you decide to finally stop work, review what you can save today so you can enjoy tomorrow. KiwiSaver is the easiest place to start but 3% isn’t going to get you there. 10% is the rule of thumb so check out other investments like managed funds that can allow access to your money if needed but still get your money working harder for you than the bank. Michael is bang on with this one; if you don’t, it will be BAD.
Independence Day – Comsat Angels / Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
I have snuck these bangers in to help focus on why you need to have a budget. No one likes a budget, but without one you won’t be able do much of what we have already talked about. Own it and stick to it. It’s more fun than going to the gym.
Celebration – Kool and the Gang / Money’s Too Tight To Mention – Simply Red
Yes, this relates to the dreaded R word being ‘retirement’. Many say they won’t retire, but what if you don’t have a choice. Having a plan and getting some good personal financial advice from an Authorised Financial Adviser to make it happen is incredibly important. If you can’t afford one then check out: https://sorted.org.nz/get-sorted/run-your-retirement-numbers/. I bet you spend a heap of time when planning your next holiday rather than just hoping it will be alright on the day when you go to the airport. Same goes for non-working years, don’t underestimate just how long you are going to be around.
Heroes – David Bowie / Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad – Meat Loaf / Give a Little Bit – Supertramp
Having a savings buffer to deal with life’s challenges is essential to your financial wellbeing. From the car breaking down to more serious issues like losing your job, poor health, and accidents can all impact your finances. If you don’t have a buffer, then you will need to most likely borrow money at a higher cost of interest rate or put it on the mortgage (if you have got one) which can add up if it’s over a number of years. As a benchmark Heroes, aim for three months as a minimum of your salary, but two out of three ain’t bad, but even just having a little bit, say a month’s salary, is a good start.
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel / The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
How many times have you heard on the TV or news that a house has burned down and the residents didn’t have any house or contents insurance? It’s incredible and can have a massive impact on your financial future. Simply put, having insurance is a bridge that gets you over a disaster to a new beginning. Anything else is just plain gambling.
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen / Don’t Leave Me This Way – Communards
Death is never a topic of conversation around the BBQ and if it’s yours, it’s not that cool. However life insurance is there for those in your life that will need your financial support, even if you have gone. The songs say it all, but it is important you have the right cover! Get a review and check you are paying the right amount.
Bonus Track – Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
For goodness sake get your $521 Member Tax Credit (MTC) from the government. Dire Straits couldn’t say it any better!
Mint Asset Management Limited is the issuer of the Mint Asset Management Funds. Download a copy of the product disclosure statement here: www.mintasset.co.nz