when times get tougher

life

When the financial markets are unpredictable, or inflation is on the rise, it can be tricky knowing how to feel. Here are some tips to help you feel more in control and confident about the future.

 

when it comes to your super

 

Start by understanding what level of risk is right for you

Understanding your investment options, their potential risk and return, and the amount of time left until your retirement (to weather any ups and downs), will help you make an informed decision about how to invest your super.

Most HESTA members are invested in our MySuper Balanced Growth option, which has been designed with strong long-term performance in mind. But as your life changes, it’s a good idea to check that your current investments are still meeting your needs or goals.

Before changing your investment mix, it's important to consider how much risk you're comfortable with. It’s possible to take on too much or too little risk. Not taking on enough risk could mean there’s a greater chance that the return on your super won’t be enough to meet your long-term retirement goals. And too much risk could mean you also end up with less as you ride market volatility.

Check out our Risk Profiler to get an idea of how much risk you might be comfortable with.

 

Consider staying focused on the long term

It’s natural to feel a bit concerned when you see investment returns dipping by switching investment options. But history shows us market downturns are generally short-lived. Before you make any investment option changes, seek advice — it's part of your membership.

 

 

away from super

 

Review your budget for hidden/unnecessary costs

If you take a closer look at your income vs expenses, you might find painless ways to reduce your costs. This might include comparing your loan rate to a new lender, or contacting your bank to try to negotiate a lower rate. You could even look at cancelling subscriptions that you’re not using.

There are lots of great mobile apps that categorise your spending automatically, without you having to do anything other than link it to your financial institution. Then simply check the app to see where your money is going.

 

Create a ‘bucket’ system

This can mean a spreadsheet, or an easy envelope system that separates your income into groups. Either way allows you to organise and visualise your daily needs, pay off debts, save for the fun stuff, and have a rainy-day fund for the unexpected and emergencies.

If you use the Envelope System to help you stick to your budget, start by creating four envelopes with one of the bold words below written on each:

  • Essentials (65%) – these are costs you can’t avoid, like rent, mortgage, bills, groceries, clothes, personal grooming etc.

  • Fun (15%) – entertainment, take-away or an online shopping splurge every now and again.

  • Goals (10%) – this is everything (both big and small) you want to save for e.g. your next holiday, a home deposit, school fees etc. The trick is to keep this money out of sight and out of mind! Determine a small amount you can put aside from each pay. Start small and then build up from there once you're confident you can save.

  • Rainy day (10%) – this is for emergencies.


Note: the above ratios are suggested only; you should tweak where necessary to suit your needs and objectives.

 

Build up your rainy day fund

Use any extra cash your budgeting creates to build up a cash buffer — this can help decrease stress around money and increase your peace of mind. To figure out how much to put aside you can read Save for a rainy day.

 

 

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