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Money Mantras: Building financial wellness one step at a time

November 20, 2023 | 6 min read 

Summary: Mastering these money mantras - budgeting, saving, setting financial goals, investing, and celebrating financial milestones - can lead you on the right road to financial wellness and security.


Key takeaways:

  • How our five ‘money mantras’ – budgeting, saving, setting financial goals, investing, and celebrating financial milestones – can set you on the path to prosperity.
  • How to tailor your financial strategy to your goals, risk profile, and circumstances.

Achieving financial wellbeing requires more than just smart investments and strategic planning. It's about embracing a holistic approach to money management that goes beyond numbers and charts.

We have developed five ‘money mantras’ that embody the essence of our philosophy, offering you a roadmap to financial success that is not only effective but also empowering.

As you embark on your financial journey with us, we invite you to explore these five guiding principles that can shape your path to financial freedom, security, and prosperity. Each mantra is a pillar of strength, designed to help you build a solid foundation and make informed decisions that align with your unique financial goals and aspirations:

  • Budgeting
  • Saving
  • Setting financial goals
  • Investing
  • Celebrating financial milestones

In each section, we will offer actionable tips and insights to help you take control of your finances and pave the way towards a brighter financial future.

Budgeting: Your financial roadmap

Creating a detailed budget is the foundation of sound financial management. It's like having a roadmap that guides you through your financial journey. Here are some simple habits to get you started:

  • Track your expenses - Begin by noting your monthly expenses. This will give you a clear picture of where your money is going. You can use apps or spreadsheets to make this task easier.
  • Categorise your outgoings - Divide your expenses into categories such as housing, transportation, groceries, entertainment, and savings. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back if needed.
  • Set realistic goals - When creating your budget, set realistic financial goals. Whether it's saving for a holiday, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund, having clear objectives will keep you motivated.
  • Establish an emergency fund - Allocate a portion of your budget to an emergency fund. This safety net will protect you from unexpected financial setbacks and reduce the need to rely on credit in emergencies.
  • Review and adjust - Regularly review your budget to ensure you're staying on track. If you notice that you're consistently overspending in certain areas, consider exploring more affordable options.
  • Automate savings - Set up automatic transfers to your savings or investment accounts. This ensures that you're consistently saving, and the money is diverted before you have a chance to spend it.

Remember, budgeting is not about restricting yourself but about taking control of your finances and making sensible choices with your money.

Saving: Tailoring strategies to your personality

We all have unique spending habits and personalities. Here's how you can tailor your saving strategies to match your individuality:

  • For spontaneous spenders - If you tend to make impulse purchases, practice delayed gratification. Implement a cooling-off period where you wait a certain amount of time, which could be a day or a week, before making non-essential purchases. This gives you time to assess whether it's a genuine need or just a fleeting desire.
  • Reward-based savings - Create a reward system for yourself. For every financial goal you achieve, treat yourself to something special. This can act as positive reinforcement for sticking to your savings plan.
  • Small changes, big impact - If saving feels challenging, start with small, manageable changes. For example, try cooking at home more often, cancel unused subscriptions, or shop during sales and use coupons. These minor adjustments can lead to significant savings over time without sacrificing your lifestyle in a significant manner.

Setting financial goals: SMART and achievable

Setting financial goals is crucial for staying motivated and ensuring you're headed in the right direction. Using the SMART criteria can make your goals structured and achievable:

  • Specific - Clearly define your financial goals. Instead of saying, "I want to save money," specify the amount and purpose, such as, "I want to save $5,000 for a car within the next two years."
  • Measurable - Your goals should be quantifiable so that you can track your progress. Knowing how much you've saved and how close you are to your target keeps you motivated.
  • Achievable - Ensure your goals are realistic and attainable based on your current financial situation. Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration.
  • Relevant - Your goals should align with your financial priorities and long-term plans. They should be relevant to your life and aspirations.
  • Time-bound - Set a deadline for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay committed.

Remember to review and update your goals periodically as your financial situation and priorities change.

Investing: Finding your risk tolerance

Investing is a powerful way to grow your wealth, but it's essential to align your investment style with your risk tolerance. Here are some investment styles based on risk:

  • Conservative investors - If you prioritise safety over high returns and are uncomfortable with significant portfolio fluctuations, conservative investments are ideal. Consider assets such as high-interest savings accounts and high-quality bonds. While the returns may be modest, your principal is relatively secure.
  • Moderate investors - If you're willing to take on some risk for potentially higher returns, a mix of shares and bonds might be suitable. Diversifying your portfolio can help balance risk and reward.
  • Aggressive investors - For those comfortable with substantial market fluctuations and seeking high returns, a portfolio heavily weighted in shares, or even alternative investments such as startups may be appropriate. However, be prepared for higher volatility.
  • Balanced investors - If you want a middle-of-the-road approach, consider a balanced portfolio that combines conservative and aggressive investments. This strategy can provide growth potential while minimising excessive risk.

It's vital to evaluate your risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizon before making investment decisions. Diversifying your investments can also help spread risk.

Celebrating financial milestones: Motivation and progress tracking

Marking financial milestones by treating yourself is an activity that is often overlooked, but it can be a powerful motivational tool. Here's how to implement this in your financial journey:

  • Define clear milestones - Set specific financial milestones, such as paying off a significant portion of your debt, reaching a certain level of savings, or achieving a specific investment return.
  • Reward yourself - When you reach a milestone, celebrate your achievement. This doesn't mean splurging irresponsibly, but rather treating yourself to a modest reward, like a nice dinner or a weekend getaway.
  • Include treats in your budget - Plan for those celebration expenses in your budget. Allocating a small portion of your monthly budget to celebrations ensures that you're financially prepared when the time comes to commemorate your achievements.
  • Reflect and realign - Take time to reflect on your progress and reassess your financial goals. Celebrating milestones provides a sense of accomplishment and renews your motivation to continue working toward future objectives.


*Based on KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report as at May 2023 KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report

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  • This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the Insignia Financial group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at November 2023 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. It is recommended that you consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) before you make any decisions about your superannuation. You can obtain the latest copy of the PDS (or other disclosure documents) and TMD by calling us on 132 652 or by searching for the applicable product at You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.