4. Improve your financial confidence and control, take responsibility
Do you have a ‘she’ll be right’ mentality when it comes to money, feeling that it’s all out of your control so you don’t need to take responsibility for what happens to you financially? Do you buy things because everyone else is buying them, not taking into account whether you need it or can afford it? This is a key area of interest for financial wellbeing researchers, referred to as the “locus of control”.
Leading researcher in this area Dr Pushpa Wood, Director, NZ Fin-Ed Centre, Massey University explains: “Locus of control in the financial wellbeing space means whether an individual believes/perceives they have control over their destiny or whether it is someone else/external factors controlling their destiny,” she says.
“Each of these perceptions will then influence their approach to financial behaviour and management and will determine whether their behaviour moves towards self-management or handing over this responsibility to someone else.”
For Kempson, financial locus of control is the extent to which people feel the responsibility for how they manage their money rests with them. “It affects all the key behaviours that determine financial wellbeing,” she says. Having an internal locus of control is widely recognised as a positive trait that contributes to an individual’s wellbeing.
5. Review your online risk
From text messages alerting you to a parcel that is going to be delivered to emails asking you to click a link to ‘confirm’ you details, scams are all pervasive. Almost three-quarters of Australians surveyed in the ANZ Financial Wellbeing Survey felt confident in their knowledge of how to protect their security online and 69 per cent felt they understood how to protect their privacy online. Interestingly, the least confident cohort in the survey were 18-24-year-olds.
Keep on top of the latest security alerts through ANZ’s security centre. Other useful resources include the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch website, the eSafety Commissioner’s website and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
6. Embrace optimism and a future focus
The survey found a person’s level of optimism influences how confident and in control they feel about their finances. Their orientation towards the future also matters. Having the confidence and foresight to save for retirement rather than simply hoping for the best will directly impact financial wellbeing.