While everyone’s been hit by COVID-19 differently, there’s one thing that pretty much everyone’s had to wrestle with.
Specifically, the fact that a lot of people are taking a good, hard look at their finances.
Thanks to the changed economic outlook and the new glut of spare time, many people are looking at ways to financially get through these times.
From deciding to play the stock market on their own to reevaluating business goals, good financial planning and advice has become even more important than ever before!
Whether it’s managing investments, creating a plan towards early retirement or minimising financial risks to your business, a good financial planner can be the difference between a prosperous future, and one full of avoidable financial errors.
And it doesn’t even have to involve a professional financial advisor, either. For many Melburnians, their financial needs are humble enough that all they need is a solid plan or checklist to follow.
The essential financial planning checklist: 4 simple accounting tasks you should do every single day
When you think of financial planning, odds are things like your property, the stock market and your long-term plan are the things that spring to mind.
While each of these are important parts of financial planning, they aren’t the entirety of it – financial planning also involves a range of other tasks, including many which you can do on your own without professional help.
Spending a little bit of time every week or every day on your finances can help you meet your financial goals, improve financial security and prepare for the future.
Because if there’s one thing we have plenty of at the moment, it’s time!
Fortunately, you don’t need an accountant or financial planner to…
1) Track your spending
If you want to know whether or not you’re spending wisely, you need to know where your money’s going.
Luckily, online banking makes that easy.
Spending as little as 10-15 minutes a day going over your spending can help you:
- Control your expenses
- See if you’re bringing in enough to meet your financial goals
- Keep on top of unexpected costs
Do you have a budget? Even better, as now you have something to compare your weekly or monthly spending against.
You can even download a financial management app to make it even easier!
2) Build up a rainy day fund
Whether it’s an unexpected car accident that isn’t covered by insurance or a vet fee that comes out of nowhere, life has a habit of throwing a spanner in the works.
These unexpected costs can delay or completely derail your financial goals.
When it comes to financial planning, it’s important that you have a rainy day fund to get through the surprises life throws at you without having to resort to changing your financial goals.
Building an emergency fund doesn’t always need to dramatically change your financial situation. In fact, it can be as simple as taking a couple of dollars that would have gone into savings, and redirecting them into your emergency fund.
3) Create a budget (and check it!)
Everyone should have a budget.
Luckily, it’s easy to make one – all you need is a little bit of time, records of how much you spend on average each month, and a good idea of how much you’re bringing in.
Creating a realistic budget is a crucial part of financial planning, and is one of the first steps towards achieving your financial goals.
Creating a budget is the hard part – you’ll have to calculate average spending, income and more down to a monthly, weekly or even daily level, all while setting aside money for savings and your emergency fund.
Once that’s out of the way however, all you’ll need to do is check your online banking details against your budget every day or so to see how your actual spending stacks up compared to the ideal.
4) Check in on credit card debt daily
If there’s one message to take away from our accountants in Melbourne, it’s that debt isn’t inherently bad, provided that it’s properly managed.
That’s why your daily financial planning checklist should also include a quick review of all your purchases made using credit cards.
While things like HECS, mortgage repayments and car loans may be larger, they’re also relatively constant (and therefore easier to account for) – it’s credit purchases that tend to spiral out of control.
We recommend spending a couple of minutes each day looking over credit card repayments in particular, as well as crunching the numbers to figure out ways to repay these debts before the interest starts to pile on.
How an accountant can help
While you don’t need an accountant to do the financial planning essentials listed above, that doesn’t mean that you should be managing your finances completely on your own, especially if you run your own business or manage a complex financial portfolio.
On top of these daily financial planning activities, it also pays to talk to a professional when:
- Evaluating your progress
- Setting out long-term goals
- Encountering tasks you can’t complete on your own
In addition to crunching the numbers, our accountants in Melbourne can help you make the right calls and plan for your financial future.
Using our wealth of experience, we can give you access to the numbers and figures you need to make a decision, and help you plan a path towards your financial goals, whatever they are.
If needed, we can also put you in contact with financial advisors in Melbourne…
Do you need a financial planner in Melbourne?
Our accountants in Melbourne have built a strong network of professional connections over the years to help clients like you achieve their financial goals. We work closely with professionals in other areas to provide comprehensive services to our clients.
And that includes financial planning services.
Our financial planning team works together with our accounting team to help clients with more advanced services like:
- Investment strategies
- Portfolio management
Together, we’ll help you get to where you want to be.
Achieve your financial goals with our accountants in Melbourne
Whether you need financial planning or help managing your business’ finances, our team can help!
Offering a wide range of services ranging from personal accounting services, to financial planning, to business accounting services, Bruce Edmunds & Associates has one purpose: to help you achieve your financial goals.
Financial planning is an important part of that, and requires work both from your end as well as from a professional.
Tell us what you want from your life, how your business is going, and where you want to be in five, 10, or 30 years – we’ll work together with you to create a plan to get there.