Be honest, how do you feel about 30 June? Not so much the day itself, but the implications that come with it. It marks the end of the Financial Year, which means tax time, which means getting your affairs in order, which means booking in with the accountant, which means a mad rush to try and find all your receipts, which means silently cursing yourself for not being more organised during the year, which ultimately makes you want to curl up under the doona and hide for another 12 months.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Life admin is one of the most annoying, stressful and tedious parts of modern life and managing your finances sits right in the middle of it. I don’t know anyone who likes doing it, and if they say they do they’re either lying or they are an accountant.
However, it is important, especially as we get older, and even more so now we’ve seen how life can throw us some serious curve balls. So, here are my tips for keeping your life admin to do list from getting out of control.
Don’t try to do everything at once
Why spend all day doing something you hate? The ideal way to manage your life admin is a little bit at a time. Start by writing a list of everything you think you need to do (eg: consolidate your super, cancel your store cards, organise your receipts, create a budget, talk to a mortgage broker, etc). Try to put the list in order of priority, so you know what requires your attention first. There you go! That’s your first task done! You don’t need to do any more life admin today!
There is evidence that writing all your tasks down on a list can actually reduce your stress levels, because we feel a little less overwhelmed when we see what’s in front of us. Whether this is the case for you or not, with a list you at least have a sense of where you stand.
Pick your moments
Now, let’s get some of those tasks ticked off. As I said, life admin is easier to manage when you don’t try to do it all at once. But how do you make sure you are actually ticking off those things on the list? It’s all about picking your moments.
Say you’ve just completed a presentation at work which went really well and you’re feeling pumped up. Now is the time to tackle one of those tasks on your list. Use the positive energy to propel you through. Even if you only get partway through a task, you’ve still made progress.
And it’s important that you note that progress on your list. Because you’ll also find that you get a secondary positivity hit from having achieved a task you’ve been putting off for so long.
Get an accountability buddy
Do you have one of those friends who always seems to be on top of everything? That you just know has all their life insurance in place, has made extra repayments on their mortgage and could tell you to the dollar what their super balance is? Guess what? They’re probably not as organised as you think.
In reality, most of us do not have it all under control. But what we do have is access to a range of support tools that can help us improve.
By far, the best thing you can get hold of is an accountability buddy. Someone who will keep checking in to see how you’re progressing through the list and push you gently in the direction of further help when needed.
“But I don’t want to show my life admin list to my friends or family!”
That makes total sense. When it comes to our finances, we all have a tendency to try to prove to others that we’ve got everything under control and that we know all about things like interest, share markets, capital growth and the like. It probably goes back to cavemen times when no-one wanted to appear weak or incapable of sourcing and preparing food (the major asset of the time), lest they be chucked out of the cave.
Which is why you need a financial adviser. We are not only great at keeping you accountable, we’re also experts in life admin – it’s what we deal with every day! Think of it as more bang for your buck – you get someone who can make sure you are ticking things off your list, but who can also help you complete some of those tasks. And as an added bonus, you’ll probably find your financial literacy increases along the way. It’s a win-win-win!
The main takeout here is that life admin doesn’t have to be a burden. If you want to chat to someone about getting your admin under control, give me a call today. It can be your first task ticked off the list!