How fit are your finances?

Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)

Wearable technology can monitor our heart rate and tell us how much sleep we’ve had, but what about our financial wellbeing? If you could benefit from a Fitbit for your finances, read on.

Just like your physical health, the more you can monitor what’s happening with your finances, the easier it will be to improve your financial fitness.

We all know that financial stress can have a negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing, leading to stress, anxiety and depression. Research has even shown that employees suffering high financial stress are “more than four times as likely to complain of headaches, depression and other ailments.”

So, if you could get a Fitbit for your finances, what would it track? Keep an eye on these key metrics and you could be feeling financially fit in no time.

1. Spending

Expenses are a fact of life, but this is one area where things can easily get out of hand. Much like overeating, it’s all too easy to buy too much and spend on things you don’t really need, especially if you’re not keeping track of where your money is going. And technology sometimes makes it even easier to overspend. Buy Now Pay Later and tap and go payments make it harder than ever to keep track of what’s leaving your account.

What to do:  

  • Make a list of your essential costs, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, fees and regular bills.
  • Try using a spreadsheet or budgeting app to make tracking your spending as easy as possible. Many banks now offer breakdowns of your spending by category in their apps, so take advantage of these free tools.

By monitoring where you’re actually spending money each day, you’ll quickly get a true picture of your financial health.

If your spending habits are putting you on the wrong path, learn how to plan and stick to a budget.

2. Debt

Like carrying a few extra kilos, debt can creep up on you and weigh you down more than you realise.

Reserve Bank data shows consumers have nearly twice as much household debt as income. Meanwhile, the average Aussie tips the scales at $3271 in credit card debt, adding huge pressure to their daily l