A recent study conducted by Aviva made some interesting discoveries with regards to the age old link between money and happiness. These days the phrase “money can’t buy you happiness” has effectively been discarded as the tosh it really is, everybody knows that money and happiness have a definte connection.
However the study did find something interesting; it’s not necessarily the amount of money you have that makes you happy, but the level of financial security and planning. The quizzed individuals who felt they had a sound level of financial planning and money management were often much happier than their higher earning counterparts who did not feel in control of their finances.
Specifically the survey found that a lack of money management had a direct link to low self-esteem, and low self-esteem can be very damaging for both your personal and working life. It’s important to remember that purely amassing as much money as possible isn’t necessarily the answer to your woes, so if you haven’t been feeling too great about your finances don’t give yourself further stress in the hope that making more will solve your problems, ie by working extra hours or even an extra job.
So the key is management, and luckily expatriates are always in a better position than their onshore friends when it comes to money managing options. Expats who utilise offshore banking facilities will always feel more in control of their money as offshore jurisdictions offer much more choice and flexibility than high street banks.
Offshore banking gives much in the way of money management, financial services and investment opportunity. You also have a lot of scope to receive better rates of tax and gains. Other aspects of offshore banking are also beneficial for money management. For instance most offshore facilities will be able to handle all of your financial needs under one roof.
But simply choosing an offshore jurisdiction to house your money isn’t the only route to financially planned self esteem, you’ll also have to make sure your personal finances are in perfect order yourself! Luckily that shouldn’t be too difficult, all you need to do is complete a few small tasks.
First of all make sure your personal financial paperwork is organised well, perhaps compile it all into a spreadsheet. Think about making columns for your bills, your interest rates for things like credit cards, mortgages and so forth. This way you’ll have a clear picture of exactly where the money comes from and goes to every month.
The next thing to do will be to make a similar spreadsheet for your spending, or a spending diary. It’s all well and good knowing where your bills go but it will be possible even more important to chart your daily spending, because this is where you can potentially fritter away a lot of cash without realising. For one whole month make a note of every single penny you spend.
Then, when the month is up take a look at your spending and evaluate. You will probably be amazed at how easy it is to spend quite a bit of money on junk every month. Little things add up into big things, and if you actually have all these expenditures written down it might help you cut back a bit.
Then, once you’ve documented your spending you can start setting yourself some realistic goals. These goals could be anything from reaching a certain amount of savings by the end of the year, or paying off a debt (student loan, credit card) or maybe even saving enough to by yourself, or a loved one, an extravagant gift. Whatever the reason for saving the best way to achieve it will be through the outlined plan, as we learnt earlier, the saner the planning, the happier the planner.
If you want some help with your planning, or perhaps you have more long term goals in mind, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with an Independent Financial Adviser. It will be their job to work with you and help you realise your goals to the best of their abilities and experience.