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Financial Planning

Plan more, worry less

24 January 2018

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.

Want to make money worries a thing of the past? A new year can be a great time to take control of your finances and enjoy greater peace of mind, now and in the future.

New year, more stress

Thanks to the post-spending hangover many of us suffer after buying big for the festive season, the new year can start with an unhealthy dose of financial stress. According to a 2017 survey of 1000 Australians conducted by Core Data, 30% are suffering from financial stress[1] and it’s not limited to people who are on five-figure salaries. People surveyed earning up to $150,000 a year were only slightly less likely to experience financial-stress than those who earned up to $90,000[2].

Where does the stress come from?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are a number of important indicators of financial stress[3], from being unable to raise $2,000 in a week for something important to not paying bills on time. So just how is it almost a third of Australians are finding themselves stressed about their finances?

In our recent research report Live the Dream report, the Financial Planning Association surveyed Australians across the country about their regrets, dreams and attitudes to money and living well. 80% of those surveyed were experiencing some level of stress about money, with 1 in 4 feeling acutely stressed.[4] The top two financial regrets from the survey were found to be not saving enough (37%) and making poor financial decisions (30%)[5].

Stress-busting tips from the experts

If these are the two major blind spots that lead people into more trouble and worry about money, it makes sense to seek advice on budgeting and making better financial choices. And that’s just what our new e-book is designed for. From mistakes to mastery: finding financial freedom draws on the wisdom and experiences of seven financial planning professionals to help you save more, make wise choices with your money and prepare for a future free from financial stress.

Tips for saving more

Follow this expert guidance to become a better saver this year and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a savings safety net.

  • Don’t get sucked into the ‘spend-more-than-you-make’ trap. Focus on living on 80 per cent of your income, and save or invest the rest. Downsize your life if you have to.” Tony Sandercock CFP®
  • “Emergencies or major life events can happen at any time, so it’s important to have a buffer of at least six months living expenses, in addition to adequate personal insurance that is reviewed on an annual basis.” – Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP®
  • “Successful people have a savings culture. They understand the long-term benefit of putting some money away, far outweighs the short-term pleasure gained from spending it on something they don’t really need.” – Darren Withers, CFP®
  • “Pull money automatically from every pay cheque into retirement accounts, savings accounts or additional debt payoff before you have the chance to spend it.” – Tony Sandercock CFP®

Tips for making better decisions

These wise words tell us why advice from a financial planner can make a difference to your future wealth as well as your financial wellbeing.

  • Wealthy investors realise that no one person can be good at everything. They stick with what they are good at and surround themselves with people who are experts in things they are not.” – Darren Withers, CFP®
  • “Even if you felt you could do it alone, why would you ‘play rookie’ with your financial position? The reality is, most people do not know if they are optimising their situation.” – Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP®
  • “Working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING® professional can add significant knowledge and experience to financial decisions.” – Darren Withers, CFP®
  • “Like most things in life, if we are not kept on track or reminded of what we should be doing, we often don’t do it. A relationship with your financial planner keeps you focused and accountable.” – Michelle Tate-Lovery CFP®

Looking for more expert help and advice with your finances? Download our e-book or find out more about what to expect from a meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING® professional.

[1] Financial Mindfulness, Financial Stress Press Release, 4 September 2017 “The results show nearly one in three people (30.4%) are suffering from significant financial stress”

[2] Financial Mindfulness, Financial Stress Press Release, 4 September 2017 “Respondents on salaries of up to $150,000 a year with investments of up to $750,000 were only marginally less financially-stressed than those who earned up to $90,000 with investments of up to $350,000.”

[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6530.0 – Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2015-16, “DEFINING FINANCIAL STRESS A household can be said to be in financial stress if they experience four or more indicators of financial stress within a 12 month period.”

[4] Money and Life, Live the Dream 2017 Research Report 18 August 2017, “The research also shows 80 per cent of working-age Australians are stressed about money and finances, with 1 in 4 indicating acute stress levels.”

[5] Money and Life, Less regrets, more success, 18 October 2017,