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Lauren Baker is not your average millennial. She’s fascinated by budgeting and loves helping people to use their money more wisely. You won’t find this financial coach sprucing any “get rich quick” schemes, just smart advice to get your finances back on track.

“A lot of people have a negative view about budgeting and managing money, but really it is incredibly freeing” Lauren shares. “It takes the guesswork out of managing your money and allows you to move forward rather than spinning your wheels, living week-to-week”.

Lauren has been fanatical about budgeting since she was about eight years old. She says, “My earliest memory is of pocket money and my savings account”. Her obvious career choice was as an accountant and she completed her Bachelor of Accounting and Management before going onto work as a company bookkeeper in a range of industries, from non-profit through to large organisations.

In her business, Lauren has helped individuals, and small businesses get back on track with their finances to more successfully manage their cash flow. “I see the ability to manage your cash flow as the most paramount aspects of financial success”.

“Small changes can have big results when it comes to managing money. When people’s circumstances change, a plan needs to be put into place to manage that transition. Often, people just hope that life will get better soon. They rely on credit cards, AfterPay, shark loans (like Nimble) and pawn brokers. This can lead to a lifetime of debt, and once in a hole, it is hard to get out.”

Lauren shares the following tips.

• Look for ways to track your income, especially if it is irregular.
• If you need extra money, try to do this through making extra income rather than going into debt.
• Understand your fixed costs – those un-avoidable costs that you will have to pay no matter how much output you are generating.
• Don’t live on credit and avoid AfterPay.
• Don’t treat going “off-plan” as failure. We all have times when life doesn’t go exactly as planned. Go back to the plan, re-calculate if necessary and get back to moving forward.