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Seven rules for success

29 September 2017

Woman with green eyes staring into camera

Money & Life team

Money & Life contributors draw on their diverse range of experience to present you with insights and guidance that will help you manage your financial wellbeing, achieve your lifestyle goals and plan for your financial future.

If you’re ready to start living your dreams, it might be time to change the rules you live by. Actor Charmaine Bingwa and CEO Kylie Travers tell us about the rules that have kept them moving on the path to success.

1. Know what your values are

When you set goals that connect with your values, it’s easier to make decisions and take action that moves you towards them. “Working out your core values –  in my case it’s family and health –  will lead you towards what you need to do to succeed,” says Kylie. “Your values give you a framework when it comes to deciding how to act.”

2. Don’t be afraid of hard work

Charmaine and Kylie both came from families where hard work was encouraged. “My parents raised me to set big goals, work hard and think about the future,” says Kylie and Charmaine has lived by these rules too. “Nothing is handed to you,” she says. “If you have a goal that’s worth pursuing then it’s going to be hard work getting there. But whatever you put in, you’re going to get back. By saving more, working harder, staying up later you’re going to benefit in the end.”

3. Have a budget and stick to it

Growing up with parents who saved as hard as they worked has also helped Kylie and Charmaine experience how important it is to spend less than you earn. And research from the recent FPA Live the Dream report indicates that not having a budget – or not sticking to it – can be a big barrier standing in the way of our success. According to the research, a low bank balance (48%) and debt (26%) are 2 of the 3 top obstacles standing in the way of Aussies who aren’t living the dream the way they would like to be.

4. Always plan ahead

On the other hand, Aussies who are living the dream are planners. They are almost five times more likely than the average Australian to plan and stick to the plans they have made (23% compared to 5%). Charmaine is also a firm believer in always having a plan for the future and sticking with it when the going gets tough. “Persist with your plan of action even when the doubts creep in,” she says. 

5. Be ready to act

Plans that are never acted upon can also stand between you and a more successful future. Aussies who are living the dream are more likely to act quickly on their plans (71% compared to 41% of Aussies who are not living the dream). By being decisive and proactive, they’re much more likely to turn their vision for the future into reality. Charmaine agrees that you need to get into the habit of acting on your plans and intentions. “It’s like having a rhythm to your life,” she says. “You dream about and plan for the future you want and then swing into action.” 

6. Don’t rely on a salary

One of Kylie’s key lessons in life has been the importance of having multiple streams of income. “You need to have different ways of taking care of yourself financially,” she says. “Don’t just rely on your job or you’ll run into problems when you’re needing to put family or health first and work needs to take a back seat.” In a move that was a little unusual for a 22 year-old, Charmaine bought her first property very early on, thanks to advice from her older brother. “It meant making short-term sacrifices at a time when life was all about spending money to have fun,” she says. “But it was well worth stretching myself a little then to prepare for having more choice about what to do with my future.”

7. Make your wellbeing a priority

To balance up all this hard work and sacrifice for the future, Kylie and Charmaine are in agreement about one of the most important rules of all – making sure you look after yourself in the here and now. Charmaine talks about the importance of “taking time to reconnect with yourself” and Kylie is a firm believer in the power of meditation. “When I don’t do it I get stressed,” she says. “Just 20 minutes of meditation makes all the difference to how I feel throughout the day.” And Kylie isn’t alone in using meditation as a tool for her wellbeing success. Successful Aussies are five times more likely to meditate or engage in spiritual activity than Australians who say they are not living the dream.

Whatever rules you’re living life by, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional can offer valuable advice on making positive choices for a more secure financial future.