Set goals and reward yourself are among Mr Flavell’s tips 5 — DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF Mr Flavell said those looking to get on top of their finances must forgive themselves when they stumble and plan for a little indulgence.“While it is important to take a proactive approach towards your finances, it is critical that you don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail to follow all of the above mentioned steps exactly,” Mr Flavell said.“We are not robots and we do have moments of weakness in which we make poor decisions,” he said.“Rather than beating yourself up over it, you should factor this into your budget by setting aside money that you can freely use for your own leisure.“It’s great to save money, but at the same time, it is important that you enjoy it as well. In other words, don’t be afraid to treat yourself once in a while,” Mr Flavell said.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair You’re not alone when it comes to money stress and a lack of financial smarts. 1 — PAY WITH CASH “While cards are a convenient way of spending, you can easily lose track of your spending and in some cases, rack up debts,” MR Flavell said.“If you don’t trust yourself to spend within your means and find it easy to lose track of your spending, it might be worth considering using cash to buy everyday items such as groceries.” 2 — BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET If you want to get on top of your finances, Mr Flavell said the best thing you can do is create a budget.“A good budget will include all of your regular outgoings and earnings factored in,” he said.“The more detailed your budget is, the more successful it will be. A detailed budget will show you were you are potentially overspending and where you may be able to cut back.” 3 — REVIEW YOUR SITUATION More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus1 day agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market1 day agoJust recording the numbers wasn’t enough, Mr Flavell said.“Once you have drafted a detailed budget, you will be able to see how much money you are dedicating to certain things like your phone bill, electricity, gas, water etc,” Mr Flavell said.“From there, it is critical that you get online, do your research and make sure you are in the best product for your needs, or partnered with the right companies,” he said.“By taking a proactive approach towards your finances, you may even find that you are able to bundle up certain expenses — like phone and internet — saving you money in the process.” 4 — SET A SAVINGS GOAL WITH FAMILY MEMBERS “Research has shown that people are far more engaged when working with other people towards a common goal,” Mr Flavell said.“So, in order to save, it might be a good idea to do it with family and friends. We all love a bit of competition and this is a great way to keep you focused on your goal,” he said. Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell has five top tips to help Aussies get back on track with their finances.IF you feel overwrought by finances, don’t fret — you’re not alone.According to recent data from Mortgage Choice’s Evolving Great Australian Dream whitepaper, 21 per cent of respondents said they did not consider themselves ‘money smart’Mortgage Choice chief executive officer, John Flavell, said he was startled to think one-fifth of the population lack the confidence to make good financial decisions.“There are a range of reasons why people may feel as though they are not financially savvy,” Mr Flavell said.“According to our survey, 28.8 per cent of Australians couldn’t find the time to improve their financial knowledge, while a further 11.7 per cent said they would simply rely on their ‘friends and family for financial advice’.“In addition, 15.2 per cent of Australians said they just weren’t interested in building their financial knowledge and happy to be complacent when it came to their finances,” he said.Mr Flavell provided five strategies Australians could use to get back in control of their dollars.