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Goodbye procrastination, hello financial freedom

26 February 2020

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.

Procrastinate no more! Make 2020 the year you get help from a pro to reach your financial goals.

Have you ever thought about getting financial advice? Maybe you’ve thought about it for a while, you just never seem to get around to it. Perhaps you even made a New Year’s resolution to see a financial planner… yet… you haven’t made the appointment yet.

If so, you’re not alone. Almost half of Aussies (41%) plan on getting advice sometime ‘in the future’, yet just 12 per cent of people actually got that advice in the past year, according to recent research.

Why do we delay?

There are many reasons why people delay seeking the financial advice they need.

The same survey found that concern about the cost of financial advice, coupled with a lack of trust in the industry were barriers for many people.


35% of people are worried that advice will be too expensive.


For others, in particular women, people in remote and regional communities and young people, seeking financial advice can be a daunting prospect.

The study found that people who had considered getting financial advice, but didn’t, were overwhelmingly likely to be younger (83% under 55 years of age) and female (62%).


46% of 18-34 year olds have thought about getting financial advice, but didn’t.


Yet, with the risks of delaying, can you really afford not to get advice?

The right financial advice can help you budget, save and build wealth, protect your assets, and achieve your financial goals at different stages of life.

In fact, 80% of people believe financial advice has given them greater peace of mind.

So how can you beat the procrastination blues and actually make it happen?

Give procrastination the boot

Procrastination often happens when our goal feels overwhelming, or ‘too big’ to tackle. Maybe you’re not sure where to start, or what you need to do to reach your goal. The end result is that you don’t start at all = procrastination.

Similarly, we can procrastinate when we don’t have enough information to make a decision. If you find yourself running through multiple scenarios in your mind, but unable to take firm action in any one direction, it’s likely that you’re missing key information. 

So what can you do about it?

Start small, go fast

One of the best ways to bust procrastination is to break your large, open-ended, goal down into smaller, more specific and practical chunks. For example, ‘retire with enough money to travel the world’, could become several, more specific, actions, like start a budget, consolidate your debt and see a financial planner.

Try making a list of the actions you’ll take to start your journey and tick them off one by one. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s our advice.

Easy does it

Pick the easiest thing you can think of to start with. Studies show that once you start something, you’re more likely to finish it – and then forget about it. It’s only unfinished tasks that hang around in our mind, causing us stress and anxiety (and fueling further procrastination).

Five-minutes is all it takes

You can use this technique together with the first two. Ask yourself, “What can I do in five minutes right now that will help move this forward?”. Once you’ve chosen your task, set a timer for five-minutes and get to work.

Visualise the end goal

Focusing on a specific positive outcome that you want to achieve can help keep you motivated. For example, the dream holiday home you want to own one day. Or what you’ll do the day after you retire from work. We’re more motivated to take action when the goal feels achievable.

Three things you can do right now

To help you get started, here are three things you can do right now!

  1. Read this article… Ok, and this one.

The more you understand the process of receiving financial advice, the easier it will be to bust procrastination. If you’re new to financial planning advice, start here for an explainer. Go here to find out what to look for in a financial planner. Simples.

  1. Find yourself a top-notch financial planner

You can do this online, right now, using our dedicated matching service. Just click on that big green button at the top of the screen that says, ‘Match me with a planner’. Go on, do it right now. See, that feels better already doesn’t it?

Match My Planner is a free online service from the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) that matches you with several financial planners based on your financial goals, location and other info you can choose to provide. You can chat to several planners until you feel comfortable making an appointment with a planner. Find out more about Match My Planner here.

Using Match My Planner, you can interview several financial planners and see who you’d like to work with. So you better have your questions ready! Luckily, we already created this list of five questions to ask a financial planner.

  1. Meet with a financial planner

At your initial consultation, you’ll be able to chat to the financial planner about your goals, what you’d like help with and their fees, before committing to a financial plan. This is your chance to ask lots of questions, so don’t be shy!

The sooner you take action, however small, towards your goal, the quicker you’ll stop feeling worried or anxious about it. So make 2020 the year you beat procrastination and put your finances on the right track.

Find out more about the financial planning process in our handy guide.

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