When you think of your current financial position, what comes to mind?
(think fast, jot down the first word you think of).
So what did you write? What it a positive or a negative?
We recently posed this question to a group of Gen Ys and the answers covered the whole spectrum. To be honest, some of the answers really surprised me.
Comfortable, eek, stable, hustling, steady, debt, lazy, not great, on track, precarious, safe, chaos, scared, balanced, happy.
For every person that had a positive outlook on their financial situation, there was someone with a negative outlook. Of course, individual views are relative – your comfortable may be someone else’s eek.
The Gen Ys answering this question, like yourself just before, may have a different answer today as they did six months ago. A ‘comfortable’ situation might turn into an ‘eek’ situation and back again. How we feel about our financial position can vary rapidly depending on many factors, some completely outside of our control (like financial markets or unexpected redundancies).
The problem with this question is that it is hard to ascertain if your answer is the ‘right’ one.
How do you know if your financial position does actually warrant an ‘eek’ response or an ‘on track’ response?
You may be one of the few people who openly discuss finances with their friends and family, in which case good on you! Although I think it’s fair to assume that most people do not fall into that category.
Seeing your finances into context and getting an unbiased perspective on your position can be liberating. One of the benefits of working in the financial advice world is that you come across people with all different financial situations – as evidenced by the results above!
Yet, sometimes when I look at my own finances I struggle not to write down eek! This is where a quick chat or email to Sam (my adviser) is invaluable.
Sharing your answer above with someone else and divulging details of your financial position can be scary.
The first time we met with Sam, my partner and I conveniently “forgot” some credit card debt we were a bit too embarrassed to talk about.
One of the things we do remember from that meeting however, was Sam giving us some context as to where we were sitting financially amongst our peers. Yes, we had some areas to pull our socks up, but equally we were doing okay. Suddenly an eek turned into a comfortable and two years later is progressing with an ‘on track’.
If you look at the answer you’ve written down and want to share it, change it or contextualise it – have a chat with one of our financial advisers and you may be pleasantly surprised.