Stressed about money? Here are five tips you should follow, according to a financial adviser.

"You’re a financial adviser. Surely you don’t stress about money."

This is what many assume about me given my chosen career path.

But my career as a financial adviser doesn’t make me immune to everything that’s going on in the economy. 

Like everyone else, I’m affected by the cost of living and it can get stressful. 

We can't control the many variables (war, COVID, natural disasters, etc) affecting household budgets but we can be prepared for rocky times ahead. 

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If you're struggling with the rise in the cost of living, there are things you can action today to put yourself in a better financial position.

Here are a few things I do to manage financial stress.

1. Review your expenses.

Put all of your expenses into a spreadsheet and you may find that there are a few small line items making a big dent in your budget. 

Small expenses like streaming or in-app subscriptions may only be a few dollars here and there, but they add up.

Do you really need a subscription to Netflix, Disney+, Hayu, Binge and Amazon Prime?

Create a budget to track money coming in and coming out. You’d be surprised by how easy it is to cut back on services you don’t use. 

2. Now is the time to shop around.

Stop paying the lazy tax.

People often stick with a company i.e. an insurance provider, superannuation fund, electricity supplier because making the switch would be too painful. 


But shopping around can easily save you a few hundred dollars a month. This can add up to thousands of dollars in a year. 

If the thought of shopping around sounds daunting, speak to friends, family and even your financial adviser for recommendations, it could save you time and effort. 

3. Make a plan for your tax return.

Now everyone is travelling again, it may be tempting to splurge on a tropical holiday with your tax return. 

But if you’re serious about your finances, you may want to invest or put the money away for a rainy day. 

Think about how you can use your tax return to make more money i.e. investing in an ETF, starting a business, etc.

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4. Start a side hustle online.

In uncertain times, no job is a guarantee. Look to create financial security by generating income from your side hustle. 

With the tools and technology available, it’s easier than ever to start an online shop, work with brands as an influencer or get paid as a content creator. 

Earning a second income can have tax implications, but a certified financial adviser can give you advice on how to best structure your business to minimise how much tax you need to pay.

5. Get help.

A common misconception people have about financial advisers is that you need to be wealthy to have one. 

Individuals, couples, families can benefit from having someone optimise your finances. Whether it be setting up a budget, taxes or investing your extra cash, you can often gain new insight from an expert. 

Gerry Incollingo is the Managing Partner of LCI Partners, a firm that specialises in accounting advisory, lending, wealth, property, insurance and legal.

Feature image: Canva/Mamamia.

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