Get the fundamentals right

A financial plan is a set of strategies that help you achieve your goals. Not sure what your long-term financial goals are? One of the easiest places to start is to focus on getting the fundamentals right so that when your goals become clearer, you are in a great position to hit the ground running.


Step one really is to know where your money goes. To get ahead, you need your outgoings to be less than your income. Once you have that nailed, focus on getting the below fundamentals right and you’ll be well on your way to wealth accumulation and financial freedom.


1. Setup a budget.

Simple is best. We suggest you start with four categories – your savings (aim for 10% of your pay), your bills (rent, insurance, car), your living costs (groceries, mobile phone, fuel) and your fun money. If you want some software that can help you, talk to us about the Fortress Wealth Hub.


2. Setup an emergency fund.

This emergency fund should be three months’ worth of your take-home salary. I know what you are thinking: that will take me years to save! Yes, it might… but so what? The golden rule of personal finance is always save first. Set up an automatic transfer so that every time you get paid, money goes into the account. Trust us, the peace of mind you will feel once you’ve saved that magical number will be worth it. This fund will allow you to deal with any financial disasters swiftly and easily, without having to resort to using a credit card or going into debt. Which leads us to…


3. Stay out of debt.

Use your emergency fund for unexpected expenses, not your credit card. Better yet, don’t have a credit card! Save up for what you want to spend money on. It’s easier to save if you have a clear idea of what you are saving for, so set some goals.


4. Protect your wealth.

Get some insurance to cover unforeseen health issues or loss of income. Remember, your grand plans of holidaying owning homes and building investment portfolios all come crashing down without your income.


5. Learn how to invest.

Ask an expert (hello!) or read, read, read. There are endless books and websites available, so self-education has never been easier. As a starting point, aim to understand how your superannuation is invested and whether it is going to meet your retirement goals. If the answer is no, do something about it!


If you get the fundamentals right, you are on the track to financial freedom. You are also developing an awareness of saving, budgeting and investing, so when the day comes that you have a lot of money, you will know what to do with it!


We’d love to hear from you! To book a free consultation, please book online or contact us on


Fortress Financial Solutions founder Chris Black is an award-winning financial planner based in Toowoomba who specialises in superannuation, investing, business succession, cash flow management, retirement planning and personal insurances (including life insurance, income protection, total permanent disability and trauma insurance).

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.

This market update was compiled by BTFG Research.

This publication has been prepared by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714 (Westpac) and is current as at 7 December 2017. This document has been prepared for use only by advisers and clients of BT Advice, Magnitude Group Pty Ltd (trading as Magnitude Financial Planning) and Securitor Financial Group Ltd (“authorised users”). BT Financial Group is the wealth management arm of the Westpac group of companies (“Westpac Group”). This publication does not

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