Pay To Pay

Reporter: Jonathan Creek

If you count down the hours to pay day, because there's no money in the bank, " Join the club". But that need not be the case according to Greg Smith, a money coach and author of "How to Stop Living from Pay to Pay". "Most Australians have been bitten by the "gotta have it now bug" and when the credit card bill comes in what do we do, we say no I'll leave it till next month. Unfortunately next month rolls over and it keeps getting bigger and bigger", Greg said.

A thousand-dollar-a-month addiction to the latest gadgets drove Anthony Moore into a debt spiral. With a newborn to support, wife Alesha reached out to Greg for help. Like many couples, the Moore's have very different money personalities. Greg diagnosed Alesha as " Careful", Anthony as a " Spender" -- neither " Savvy". "I've realised I just don't have the discipline at the moment to have a credit card, so no credit card -- debit card for me", Anthony said. And that was just the beginning. Greg has streamlined the couple's bank accounts to save on fees and fixed some of their loan repayments to avoid future rate rises. The biggest challenge though was making the pair see past their next pay cheque.

Rebuilding his financial life after a relationship breakdown, a redundancy and a business collapse, Greg believes he's well qualified to teach people how to save in order to survive, " Money Monsters". "Money Monsters are basic things like unexpected bills -- I wasn't expecting that parking fine, I wasn't expecting that bill from school -- things like your washing machine blowing up, your fridge blowing up", Greg said.

Resisting the "Seven Deadly Money Sins" like Greed, Lust and Envy are key to getting ahead, but beating Sloth, the most important. "Most people couldn't care less about money. If I've got a money problem I'll stick my head in the sand and it's going to go away. But it doesn't", Greg said.

A $12,000 credit card bill plus a mortgage, meant Steve Tompkins barley limped over the pay day line. By being smarter with his money and looking at the bigger picture, Steve's now in good financial shape. "I can see the future. I've got a 2, 5 and 10 year plan where my debts consolidated and the extra income that's usually paying off those debts month to month, is now being churned back into several investments", Steve said. "There is a light at the end of the tunnel. A little bit of energy, a little bit of discipline, and have a bit of fun along the way. Also have a bit of a mental attitude and a positive attitude that you can do this", Greg said.

Greg Smith's book, "How to Stop Living from Pay to Pay", is available at all good bookstores, or visit Greg website http://www.lifestylemoney.com.au/