The following is an excerpt from award-winning Australian financial planner and author Amanda Thompson’s book ‘Financially Fit Women’.
It’s well known that Women face a number of unique financial obstacles – the gender pay gap, less money to retire on than men, financial abuse, less business funding and increased homelessness – so it’s never been more important to get financially empowered, says award-winning financial planner Amanda Thompson.
In her new book, ‘Financially Fit Women: How to be your own CFO – Confident, Focused and On top of your money’ (Dean Publishing), Amanda, founder of Endurance Financial, draws upon decades of experience helping women to guide readers through common money issues and set them up for financial success in business and life.
Amanda knows firsthand the importance of good financial education, and shares her own story overcoming adversity. After having a heart attack at the age of 34 and unexpectedly becoming a single mother, Amanda took the initiative to build her own business that reflected her beliefs, ideals, values and knowledge. Amanda’s life experiences, coupled with her success as an endurance athlete drive her to help women succeed.
This practical book offers advice on various financial topics such as budgeting, investing, debt reduction and retirement planning, and empowers you to live the life you want, define your goals, and use financial wisdom to achieve them. Accessibly written and filled with tools, tips and worksheets, ‘Financially Fit Women’ is the ultimate guide to take charge of your financial future.
Why your personal goals are key to financial success
It’s too easy to get caught up in the rat race of chasing financial success without truly understanding why we’re doing it. We often find ourselves trapped in a cycle of working tirelessly, trying to accumulate wealth, and yet feeling unfulfilled. In the pursuit of financial success, understanding your personal goals becomes the compass that guides you towards a purposeful and fulfilling journey.
It goes beyond mere destination-setting; it involves delving into your deepest desires, dreams, and values to create a meaningful connection with your financial aspirations. Through this understanding, several compelling reasons emerge as to why comprehending your personal goals is crucial for achieving financial success.
Relieves Financial Stress
Financial issues are one of the leading causes of stress. Analysis of HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) data shows that people experiencing financial challenges are twice as likely to be experiencing mental health challenges as those who are not experiencing financial challenges. However, when we have a clear understanding of what truly matters to us and the life we want to create, we gain a sense of control and peace of mind. We become less focused on external validation and comparison, and more attuned to our own unique definition of financial success. Financial anxiety slowly gives way to a sense of empowerment and confidence as we make financial decisions aligned with our personal goals.
Enhanced Decision Making
Understanding your personal goals significantly influences your financial decision-making process. It empowers you to prioritize your spending and investment choices based on what aligns with your values and aspirations. By making decisions that resonate with your authentic self, you avoid impulsive and unnecessary expenses that may derail your financial journey.
This mindful approach to money management ensures that each financial step you take is purposeful, leading you closer to the achievement of your dreams. Moreover, having a clear understanding of your goals enables you to set specific and measurable financial targets, making it easier to track your progress and adjust your strategies accordingly.
IOOF’s “The True Value of Advice” research shows that 76% individuals who have a clear understanding of their personal goals are more likely to develop comprehensive financial plans and effectively manage potential risks. With a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you can set realistic and achievable financial milestones. This enables you to allocate your resources wisely, such as creating an emergency fund to protect against unforeseen circumstances or investing strategically to maximize returns while minimizing risks.
Direction during hard times
Reminding yourself of your personal goals serves as a constant anchor during difficult times. Life is full of uncertainties, and the journey towards financial success may encounter obstacles, setbacks, or unexpected challenges. In such moments, understanding your personal goals provides clarity and motivation to persevere. When faced with adversity, having a clear sense of purpose helps you stay focused and committed to your financial objectives. It allows you to navigate through hardships with resilience, making necessary adjustments while keeping your long-term vision intact.
Improved relationships and communication
Financial matters often have a significant impact on our personal relationships, especially in partnerships or families. The Australian Financial Attitudes and Behavior Tracker, conducted by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) and CoreData in 2020, found that couples who have regular conversations about their financial goals are more likely to report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. When each individual understands their personal goals and values, it becomes easier to have open and honest conversations about money.
Discussing financial aspirations and plans within a relationship fosters trust, transparency, and cooperation. It allows you to work together towards shared financial objectives, avoid conflicts arising from conflicting priorities, and create a supportive environment for mutual growth. Understanding and respecting each other’s personal goals can lead to greater harmony and success in both your financial and personal lives.
Fulfillment and life satisfaction
True financial success goes beyond the accumulation of wealth; it encompasses a sense of fulfillment and life satisfaction. Understanding your personal goals allows you to align your financial pursuits with what brings you joy, purpose, and contentment. As you progress towards your objectives, you experience a deeper connection between your financial achievements and the overall quality of your life. This alignment enhances your well-being and happiness, as you’re no longer pursuing success merely for external validation but for the fulfillment of your authentic desires.
Ultimately, achieving financial success in harmony with your personal goals leads to a more gratifying and meaningful life. Understanding your personal goals is the foundation upon which true financial success is built, bringing clarity, purpose, and a deeper connection to your financial journey.
Amanda Thompson is an award-winning financial planner, author, Ironwoman and the founder of Endurance Financial. Whether she’s launching her own business, facing a cancer battle or qualifying three times for the Ironman World Championships, Amanda has never been afraid of a challenge. Endurance Financial is particularly driven to help women overcome the gender biases that stand in the way of personal achievement; lessons learned after thriving in typically male dominated environments. Amanda draws on her 20 years of financial advising and life experiences to educate and mentor women through their own their financial future. For more information visit www.endurancefinancial.com.au