How To Achieve Your Financial New Year’s Resolutions

New Year, new start, and new financial resolutions. The start of a New Year is a perfect time to review the year that was and make financial resolutions for the year ahead. Learn what it takes to successfully accomplish your financial goals my following these simple steps: Plan to succeed If you want to get serious about your savings this year, start by identifying your financial aims and the goals you want to achieve by the end of the year. Are you saving for a holiday, a new car, a wedding or would you like to start investing, grow your super or reduce your debt? Write your goals down. They should be clear, concise and actionable. For example instead of listing “I want to increase my super”, you should write “I want my consolidate my super, grow it to X amount, by X date”.   Choose realistic goals. While it’s great to challenge yourself, there is nothing more deflating than setting unrealistic goals that you won’t be able to achieve by the end of the year. When you’re listing your goals – work out how much you will need to save, taking your financial situation into consideration (your income, debts, mortgage, savings and recurring fees for things such as insurance). Make a budget The aim of making a budget is to map out how much you spend across different areas of your life, objectively make decisions on where you could save, spend with purpose and ultimately take control of your finances. Start by working out how much you need for your essentials, including rent/mortgage, groceries, bills, transport. Allocate out your savings...

7 tips to avoiding the Christmas budget hangover

Christmas is a time for catching up with family and friends, overindulging and underestimating just how long it takes to get all those Christmas decorations up! Start planning your Christmas budget early to make sure you’re organised. Having a plan in place early will also ensure you know how much you will be spending and how much you will need to save. Below are 7 tips to avoiding the Christmas budget hangover: Work out your budget The first step to avoiding a Christmas budget hangover is working out what you can afford. Once you have an overall budget you can decide how you want to split your budget up. A good place to start is with gifts, grocery shopping, and your travel costs if you’re not hosting. Earn some extra cash If Christmas is at your house this year, you’re most likely doing a big clean up in preparation. Clear space by finding things around the house you no longer use or need and sell them online. Facebook marketplace, Gumtree and eBay are all user friendly and can be a fast way to make some extra cash and declutter your house. Anything you find that you can’t sell, you can always give away to charity to spread the Christmas cheer early. Make a list and check it twice Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and write down how much you’d like to spend on each person (it’s a good idea to agree on a budget between loved ones or even start a Kris Kringle amongst extended family). If you have any ideas for...

Super and how you can increase it

Retirement might seem like it’s a long way off in the distant future, and that can make it difficult to actively consider and review your super. The problem with this thinking, is that if you haven’t set your super up with careful consideration, you are most likely not getting the best possible return. If you want to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement – now is the time to grow your nest egg. The earlier you set your super up the better – however it’s never too late to rethink your super. Once set, we tend to leave our super to its own devices. Make sure to review your super, to ensure you’re getting the best return.  Start with these tips to make sure you’re making the most out of your super. How much super will you need to retire? The best way to find out how much super you will need to retire is to work out what kind of lifestyle you want to live in retirement. Next you’ll need to work out how much money you will need to fund this lifestyle.   For a general idea, according to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) the retirement standard for those aged around 65 is (as of June quarter 2017): Modest Lifestyle Comfortable Lifestyle Single Couple Single Couple Total per week $467 $671 $840 $1,155 Total per year $24,270 $34,911 $43,695 $60,063 To check how you are tracking, use ASIC’s retirement planner. Tips to increase your super   Could you have lost super? Combine your super into one fund. According to the Australian Taxation Office...

Planning your transition to an Aged Care Home

Take the stress out of transitioning to an aged care home by planning ahead   The decision to look into moving into an aged care home can be an emotional one. There are difficult decisions to make, with many factors to consider. You will need to look into the best location, how much the facility or care will cost, how to fund it, and the transitioning process.   Aged care is a complex system to understand, and it’s highly recommended to contact a financial adviser to help navigate the rules with tax, entitlements and social security systems. Seeking advice at this stage can help you through a stressful time managing finances, understanding entitlements, considering investment options and the distribution of your estate. Australia’s aged care system helps support the elderly in their own home, with short-term care or in a residential aged care facility. Below are the fees you can expect to pay, if you’ve decided to move into a government approved residential care facility. Paying for accommodation When it comes to your accommodation costs, your income and assets will determine if you will receive government assistance. You will either have your accommodation costs paid in full, partially paid or need to pay them in full yourself.   If you will be paying for your accommodation, you will have 28 days after becoming a resident to choose from these payment options: A refundable accommodation deposit (RAD): a lump sum payment refunded when you leave the facility – capped at $550,000. A daily accommodation payment (DAP): a daily payment. A combination of the two. The Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR)...

Goal setting for the new financial year

  The beginning of a new financial year is upon us and as we mentioned in our last post – we’re big fans of forward planning. Outlining a clear plan and goal setting makes it easier for you to both focus and measure your efforts throughout the year. Best of all – it sets you up for the next end of financial year. Setting a goal will give you have a clear picture of what you would like to accomplish this year and make it easier to plan the steps to make this a reality. Goal setting tips for the new financial year:    Set up an income calculator. First of all, determine exactly how much income you have coming in from all sources.  Set your goals. Determine what your long and short term goals are. Do this by picturing yourself in a year’s time – are you debt free, in your new house or on that family holiday? Now figure out exactly how much you will need to save to make this a reality. Start a budget. It might not be the most fun way to spend your Sunday afternoon, but it is the best way to understand your financial strengths and weaknesses. Record your spending habits for a week and take stock of where you are spending your money. Now create a new budget, keeping in mind what you could be getting cheaper and things you could cut out altogether – like that morning latte. (Tip: save time by using a track spending app like: TrackMyGoals or TrackMySpend). Organisation tips for the new financial year: Get organised....