Are you financially aware?

By Maria Ho Sue

Monday, June 17, 2013

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WHEN we think of being financially aware, what does that mean? According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, financial awareness is a combination of knowledge, skill, attitude and behaviour necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve individual financial well-being.

To become financially aware, it really begins with realising that you are in charge of your own destiny. This requires the following:

1. Understanding the importance of planning for the future

2. Appreciating good practice in relation to asset protection

3. Understanding common terminology used in investment decision making

4. Comparing different retirement savings options and understanding the tax implications between them

5. Understanding the fundamental concepts of portfolio asset management.

Building an understanding of personal finance and having the discipline to manage a budget and save for the future are key factors toward achieving personal life goals. Building awareness about personal finance -- or financial literacy -- enables people of all ages to manage their financial lives with confidence.

And so the question is what should you do right now to make a positive difference in your financial life?

First, schedule a meeting with your financial advisor. This is the person who will help you along the journey to becoming financially aware.

Your financial advisor will then help you to do the following steps:

1. Set a budget: establishing a budget for whatever your needs are is essential when living within your means.

2. Set goals: regardless of short term or long-term goals, this allows you to stay on path.

3. Identify spending triggers: take a moment to reflect what triggers you to spend money. Write down precipitating events before going on a shopping spree.

4. Surround yourself with supporters: surrounding yourself with individuals that have a common goal is essential to living within your means. Again, this could be your financial advisor, insurance agent, banker or others who are also on a path of financial awareness.

5. Educate yourself about finances: you can never subscribe to or read too many books about financial education.

6. Set boundaries.

7. Love yourself: loving yourself is going to be indicative of a successful plan -- you will want to ensure that your future is secure, and budget accordingly.

It is really about making your life better, one step at a time. So don't feel badly if you are not as financially aware as you would like to be. Implementing these steps is imperative to living within your means and establishing wealth for yourself.

Ready to learn more? Register to attend the Fabulous, Fashionable & Financially Focused Conference on July 12 Register online at




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