19 June 2020

Focus Your Money – Empowering Canberra families to take financial control

| My Gungahlin
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We spend our lives earning it, spending it and borrowing it, but how well do we actually manage the money that passes through our hands?

One local business is helping Canberra families manage that money better, by taking a unique approach that helps people plan for their expenditure and then track it throughout the year.

Focus Your Money is an initiative by finance professional John de Ridder, who has notched up over 42 years in the industry.

His aim is to empower everyday Australians to make better financial decisions that help them achieve their goals.

He notes, when it comes to personal finances, it’s not just what we earn and what we spend, it is how we relate to money that really counts.

“I look at the human side of personal finance,” Mr de Ridder explains.

“Our habits and attitudes have a lot to do with how we relate to money and make ends meet. In short, our habits and attitudes can support or sabotage us.”

At Focus Your Money, Mr de Ridder sits down with clients, forecasting in detail the expenses they will have in the next 12 months. He then employs a unique system to track that expenditure, keeping them accountable to the goals they have set.

Along the way he helps identify where surplus cash goes and offers advice on “plugging any leaks”.

For past clients the outcome has seen them save thousands in ad hoc expenditure over the year. Instead they channel it into reducing debt, paying off their home sooner or using their savings for the things they really want.

“It’s exciting to watch people take this power back,” Mr de Ridder reflects. “It liberates them.”

Mr de Ridder came up with the program after years in the loan industry where he was dismayed to find the sector often focused on offering products rather than actual financial solutions based on people’s needs.

“Too often we get caught up in keeping up with the Joneses. This is a simple program that changes how people interact with money.

“We forecast everything as part of the 12-month spending plan – from holidays to clothing, medical expenses, even Christmas gifts. You name it. Then we factor in these expenses, putting a bit aside each week, fortnight or monthly.

“When the bills come in, people have the cash aside to pay them, without the need for credit card debt and stress. And when it comes to all those little luxuries that seem to add up – if it’s not in the budget, we just don’t spend it. That simple.”

He notes the forecasting and budgeting are key to the program’s success.

“There are plenty of tools out there to track your expenditure,” he reflects. “But that’s a bit like closing the gate after the horse has bolted.”

“Instead we anticipate expenditure, plan accordingly and plug the potential leaks where surplus cash gets lost.”

Mr de Ridder established Focus Your Money in 2006 and has now helped over 2500 clients become financially empowered.

More information about Focus Your Money is available at mygungahlin.com.au/directory-platinum-listing/focus-your-moneyor John de Ridder can be contacted directly on0419 427 419.

  • Focus Your Money

    Focus Your Money

    John has over 20 years’ experience looking at other people’s finances and importantly his own. His career has taken him from the big end of town working for Westpac Banking Corporation to his own franchise of the well-known coffee shop Michelle’s Patisserie.VIEW FULL LISTING

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