What 2022 taught me about money and life

Cara Brett 3 January 2023

2022 was a year like no other really. The sentiment seems to be that it was a generally pretty good year, but there were some difficulties for many too.

We felt (and continue to feel) the impacts of covid and shutting the world down for a couple of years. Supply and demand issues, increased interest rates, and the increased costs of living were the themes of the year. On the positive side though, so many people were able to get out and do some long overdue travel which was amazing to see. I’ve certainly got a lot of inspiration for future trips whilst watching everyone’s holidays on socials.

Over the break, I did what I always do and I reviewed the year and started to make plans for the year ahead. When thinking about 2022, I came up with the 4 major learnings I gleaned from the year personally.

Putting money in my offset account is always a good idea: I’ve never paid the minimum on my home loans, and I’ve always kept a pretty healthy buffer in my offset account but this year the benefits of this were substantial. For each interest rate rise (there were 8!), the costs of repayments increased for everyone, but every dollar sitting in my offset account directly reduced the amount of interest I was paying. I’m glad that in the good times (i.e. low interest rates) I still made it a priority to pay off my home loan as soon as possible.

You need to be ok with timing changes: We all make plans to do things at certain times, but sometimes external factors will impact that. For example you may wish to renovate, travel, or upgrade your house, but some external factors out of your control won’t allow that right now, so you need to be willing to be flexible. Trying to get builders right now is tough as they are in contracts for the next few years after the covid rush of renovations. Travel is not as straight forward as there are less flights available and the ones that are available are more expensive. You may need to be more flexible with your timing and expectations. As a person who loves to plan down to the absolute minute in detail, this year taught me to be a little more flexible with my timing and to trust the overall process that the plan is still getting us in the right direction.

Health is everything: This one is something that I have always believed, but your health is everything. I managed to get covid 2 times in 2022, as well as the other usual colds which made life a little harder. When you are sick you are not running at full capacity and as business owners, we are still working even when we are sick. I’ve always prioritised my health, but it’s reminded me even more so.

I hope my insurance is a waste of money, but I’m sure glad I have it: I wholeheartedly hope that your life insurances (like income protection, TPD and trauma) are a waste of money. It means you are living a long, healthy life, and that is what we all want. Much like I don’t want you to have to claim on your car insurance because of a car accident, I don’t want you to claim on income protection because that means you are sick or injured, but having it just in case is important. I’ve managed several client’s insurance claims again this year and having insurance when something goes wrong is so beneficial. I have personally never had to claim on any of my life insurances and I hope I never do, but I am so happy I have insurance in place for myself because I know that if something happens, I have a safety net for me and my family. For those clients who have been unable to work this year, the insurance payments for income protection have kept the world ticking along and let them focus on their health and other areas of their life.

So those are some of my major learnings for the year which i’ll take into the new year as I finalise all of my personal and business goals.

I hope that 2022 was a good year for you, and I hope that 2023 is even better.

About the author: Cara Brett

Cara Brett proudly heads up Bounce Financial - founded in 2014 after a successful, decade-long career in the financial services industry. Cara’s experience encompasses both the financial product and financial advice sides. This gives her a comprehensive and holistic knowledge of all facets of financial planning.