Call it what you will, but you will never get ahead while carrying debt according to a southeast metropolitan financial planner.
Kim Veale said financial security meant having three months’ living expenses in savings at anyone time.
“It is amazing what it does to your mental health when you have three months’ living expenses saved,” she said.
“If something goes wrong you don’t get that sinking feeling.”
A survey conducted by female-focused not-for-profit 10thousandgirl revealed more women were thinking about the bigger financial picture, but lacked the discipline and skills to start on their financial journey.
“It’s not just women, but young Australians are all bad at finances. We don’t talk about money enough,” Ms Veale said.
“Some of my friends have been in desperate situations and lived week to week, and these weren’t people in low- paying jobs.”
Ms Veale said those wanting to save money had to “make it work for them” by simplifying their lives.
“In Perth we are a bit hooked on a rich and famous lifestyle, but you can still have a high level of enjoyment in your life when you are cutting debt,” she said.
“You need to be prepared to live simply now to have more later in life.”
Home ownership, superannuation fees and leaving direct debits in place were among the traps leaving a lot of people out of pocket.
“We are sold on the idea of buying a house too much in Australia and people are perhaps paying too much,” Ms Veale said.
“But if it is putting too much pressure on you and your partner then sometimes buying is not a good idea.”
Similarly, Ms Veale told would-be investors to avoid negative gearing.
“If your investment is not making you money, then it is a debt,” she said. “Empowerment comes from control.”