I love writing this blog, I really do. When people reach out to say that 'this blog' or 'that podcast' has helped them I honestly get the 'tingles', and not in a weird way! We have had literally hundreds of downloads of the podcast in the past few days alone, if you haven't already you can check it out here, and it's completely free!
Thanks for continuing to read and listen, and for sharing the love!
Speaking of listening (dodgy Segway time!) is it fair to say that none of us are perfect at following advice or indeed the path which we know will result in the best outcomes for ourselves, in all walks of life? Take smoking for instance, we know it is deadly dangerous, a fatal past-time, yet so many of us do (or did!) it. Madness, yet that is the nature of the beast. 'There's none so strange as humans'.
The very same can be said when it comes to our finances. This was evidenced in a recent large-scale study completed in the US, of tens of thousands of individuals, just like you and I ('cept in America!). I have always maintained that we slowly but surely adopt the ways and practices of America. In order to try avoid these 'car crashes' here's a heads-up on mistakes we are, or will be inclined to make shortly,
Spending more than we earn: 56% of respondents either 'break even' or 'spend more than they earn'. If many of those were businesses they would be out of business! This comes back to budgeting. We simply must get a handle on what we are spending, and an awareness of how that stacks up against what we are earning each week or month. Check out this simple tool to help you get into the saving money habit.
56% of respondents said they did not have access to cash equivalent to 3 months salary in the event of an emergency. Seeing as here in Ireland many folk like to plough every last cent we possess into property, that's not very accessible, nor sensible! Keep access to some of your assets/money, it's a must do. Begin to set up or establish your emergency fund today. Do yourself a favour and make sure your emergency 'air bag' is in working order!
Not paying off really really high interest rate products. I know many folks who were totally unawares as to why they were paying a 'few quid' off their credit card each month, yet the balance wasn't reducing. 34% of respondents had only paid the minimum repayment on Credit Card debt! The simple fact is that the rate of interest is huge, meaning you are just repaying interest and not getting your teeth into the capital/debt you owe. Try and clear your Credit Card and Finance Loans which carry the high rates, first.
61% of respondents were unable to answer more than 3 of 5 basic everyday personal finance questions. Spending time learning about managing money, and not making informed decisions is a huge challenge for many people. Personally I love the topic of money management and financial products (which we will get to eventually!), but for many it's understandably a tedious and unnecessary thing to learn about. I firmly believe that financial education should be a key element in the education system, right from primary through to secondary school, at a minimum. How can we possibly expect people to manage their finances in any sort of effective way if they have not got the education or know-how? I gained it through making mistakes initially, then reading about it, then working in it advising clients. As a trainer of financial advisors for the past 4 years I have developed a great over-view of the do's and dont's. I wont claim to know it all but I have a fair idea of most of it, which led to me setting up this blog! But that's just me. We all know we are in the right place here to improve our financial fitness, so please keep reading, keep listening and keep spreading the word about www.informeddecisions.ie!
Thanks for reading, you've been awesome!
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