Income Statements 2019-2020

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How to access your Income Statement
July 2020

Accessing your income statement or payment summary

How you get your end of financial year information from your employer showing your earnings for the year (also known as an income statement or payment summary and previously known as your “group certificate”) depends on how your employer reports your income, tax and super information to the ATO.


• If your employer reports your income, tax and super information to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll (STP) they are no longer required to give you a payment summary, this information will be made available through ATO online services and will be finalised by 31 July

• If your employer is not yet reporting through STP they will continue to provide you with a payment summary by 14 July (as they do now).
Your employer should let you know if you will receive an income statement or payment summary but you should talk to them if you are unsure.
If you have more than one employer, you may have both an income statement and a payment summary.


Accessing your end of financial year information
If you are an existing client of HHG Foothills we are able to access your income statement or payment summary from the ATO on your behalf.
If you are a new client to HHG Foothills please contact us & provide your Full Name (as appears on your previous tax return) Tax File number and Date of Birth. This will enable us to access your income statement or payment summary from the ATO on your behalf.


If you require further assistance please contact Lincoln, Juliana, John or the office on 9739 4077 or email admin@hhgfoothills.com.au

Tax Time 2020

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“The single biggest threat to man’s continued dominance on the planet is the virus.” Nobel Laureate, Joshua Lederberg”

Welcome back to Lockdown 2.0.  The next six weeks will test the resolve of each and every one of us.  The year 2020 will not be forgotten, (for all the wrong reasons).  The uncertainty and anxiety that the virus has created and the follow-on economic impacts, especially now for Victoria, will be long and potentially lasting.    

The Federal Government has announced that it will be handing down a min-budget on the 23rd July 2020.  Once the details of the mini-budget are provided we will produce a further flyer and get it out to you.
 

How we are going to operate:
Office:


We will continue to have the Office manned during normal office hours for the next six-week period. 

Telephones:

Our phone systems will continue to work.  As long as the internet and mobile phone systems do not go down, you will still be able to contact us on any of the following numbers:

  • 03 9739 4066
  • 03 9739 4077
  • 1300 296 388

Linc’s mobile is 0419 827729

COVID-19 Friendly Meetings:

  1. Face to Face meetings:
    Where a Face to Face Meeting is required this will be done in a COVID safe fashion.  Please ring and make an appointment so that we can ensure that social distancing still takes place. Under direction from the Premier of Victoria please wear a mask to your appointment for your safety.

Virtual Face to Face meetings

Please request a Zoom meeting and provide your Mobile number and email address when you book in your meeting.  You will receive an SMS notifying you of a Zoom invitation to your email address.  The email will have a link for you to click on.  You will then be connected

  1. to a virtual face to face meeting!  Please make sure you have a webcam with an inbuilt microphone  If you find yourself in trouble please give Bradley Gardiner (our resident millennial) a call and he will be able to assist you.   

Document Transmission:

There are number of ways you can get documents to us:

The Post:

If you want to send your information by post.  Please contact us by phone and we will send out to you Reply Paid envelopes.  This will ensure that the mail does not go astray.  If the postal system is shut down we will assist you to get your information to us via another method.

Email:

For many of you, you already email your information to us.  Many of you will have receipts and other paperwork that you will need to get to us.  We strongly suggest that you download the “Office Lens” app from the APP STORE to your mobile or IPad.  From there it is simply a matter of taking a photo of the document, converting it to a PDF and emailing it to us.  We ask that you don’t email JPEGs from your mobile or IPad as the size of these documents could jam up and bring down our email.

Please email all documents to the following email:

accountant@hhgfoothills.com.au

With a cc to your usual accounting or financial planning contact.

PLEASE REMEMBER to put your name and telephone number in the subject line of the email.  This will make it easier for our computer system to file your documents.

If you have any questions, please call and ask for Bradley Gardiner

Drop Box at our Back Door:

We have installed a drop box at our back door.  Please place any documents or USB sticks in the envelope provided.  Put you name on the envelope and drop it in the box.

How we will get Documents to you:

DocuSign:

For the past couple of years, we have been transmitting our documents that require signing via the DocuSign software.  We will continue to do this as it is quick and relatively simple to use. If you are having difficulty please follow the link below for instructions on how to sign a DocuSign.

https://support.docusign.com/en/articles/How-do-I-sign-a-DocuSign-document-Basic-Signing

Business Support Grant

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Business Support Fund – Expansion

$5,000 grants to support businesses through the renewed restrictions

July 2020

About the initiative

The Victorian Government has announced that Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ will be in reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 11:59 on 8 July 2020 to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria. These restrictions will be in place for six weeks and will then be reviewed by the Chief Health Officer.

The return to Stay at Home restrictions mean that businesses within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, live music, entertainment venues and other businesses are either restricted in their operations or can no longer operate.

What support is available?

Businesses within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire that are affected by the return to Stay at Home restrictions may be eligible for a one-off, $5,000 grant under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program.

What type of business can apply for this grant?

  • operate a business located in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire
  • be a participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme
  • employ people
  • be registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020
  • have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at 30 June 2020
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020
  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Businesses that have received funding from other components of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package are eligible to apply for this program.

Businesses that have received funding from other components of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package are eligible to apply for this program.

Business owners that do not employ people (non-employing businesses) are not eligible for funding through this program.

How can the funding be used?

Grant funds, for example, may be used to assist the business with:

  • meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Important application information

Eligible businesses are invited to apply for a one-off grant of $5,000. A business, as defined by its ABN, can only receive one grant under this Fund.

As part of the assessment process, evidence provided by applicants may be subject to a check with other government agencies including the State Revenue Office, Worksafe and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Circumstances that may be taken into consideration in any decision whether to award a grant include:

  • any adverse findings by a regulator regarding a business
  • if a business is placed under external administration
  • if there is a petition to wind up or deregister a company or business
  • if the business is, or becomes, deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration).

Applicants must ensure that their Australian Business Number (ABN) registration information and registration with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission is up-to-date and current as at the time of application.

Applicants are required to apply online via the Business Victoria website. All questions in the application need to be completed to ensure timely assessment.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will endeavour to notify all applicants on the outcome of their submitted application within ten business days.

What evidence do businesses need to provide to prove eligibility and compliance?

Applicants must certify that they meet the eligibility criteria and must provide evidence of the address of their eligible business operation through their most recent:

  • utility bill (gas, electricity, telecommunications, water);
  • lease agreement; or
  • council rate notice.

Applicants must also provide evidence of their participation in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme. The evidence required will be the most recent JobKeeper business monthly declaration or for new entrants their JobKeeper enrolment form. These documents must be a PDF file generated from the Australian Taxation Office Business Portal.

Applicants are subject to a risk assessment which verifies business details provided with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commissioner (ACNC), Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) and/or other applicable regulators.

Applicants will be subject to an audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and will be required to produce evidence (such as payroll reports to demonstrate impact) at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of four years after the grant has been approved.

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes of the business in accordance with the terms of funding as set out in these guidelines and attached application, the grant will be repayable to the Victorian Government on demand.

Fine print

  • Sole traders must employ persons other than themselves to be eligible.
  • The applicant must be able to provide a ‘WorkCover employer number’.
  • Relevant regulators are the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC); the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC); Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV); and in the case of sole traders ABN registration will suffice (sole traders who use a business name other than their own personal name must have that business name registered with ASIC).

How to apply

Applicants must submit an application online. Follow the link below and click ‘Apply now’

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-package/business-support-fund

All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached to ensure timely assessment and grant payment.

If you have further questions please refer to the Business Support Fund – Expansion FAQs.

If you require further assistance please contact Lincoln, Juliana, John or the office on

9727 5300 or email admin@hhgfoothills.com.au

Baby Boomer Retirement Planning Tips

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Baby boomer retirement planning tips

In 2015 the youngest baby boomers will be turning 50.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a 50-year old baby boomer or a 65-year old baby boomer – it’s time to start planning for your retirement now!

Here are our top 3 baby boomer retirement planning tips:

1 Work out how much money you will need

Baby boomers can feel stress around planning for retirement because they haven’t had superannuation throughout their entire working life. And with the recent global financial crisis, some baby boomers are still feeling the after shocks to their investment portfolios.

An important part of baby boomer retirement planning is to work out how much you need to draw down to live the life you and your family want.

Working out a budget well before you retire and trialling it while you’re still earning employment income, can be a great way to test out what you’re comfortable with.

As part of this budget, make sure you include incidentals that make life more enjoyable like:

  • A couple of nice bottles of wine a week
  • Trips to the movies and shows, and
  • Unexpected utilities bills.

Thinking that the age pension will help you out?

In the next 20 years, there are plans for the age for the pension to be lifted to 70 years of age. This plan is set to affect baby boomers who have just turned 50.

sunset guy1

2 What lifestyle do you want?

The retirement images we’re fed by the media include grey nomads travelling around Australia, couples holidaying on river cruises and lazy afternoons having wine with friends.

But before you decide to retire, it’s important to sit down with your partner or spouse and work out what lifestyle you both want.

Consider the following:

  • Where would you like to live?
  • How often would you like to travel, and where?
  • What medical costs and health expenses do you need to plan for?
  • How much income per year do you need to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?

Going through these types of questions is challenging, but we can help you out in a complimentary meeting.

Contact us here.

3 Do you need to retire or only semi-retire?

With the average life expectancy in Australia now around 85 years of age, if you fully retire at 65 you may have 20 years (or longer!) to support yourself without an employment income.

So before you tender your resignation and line up for your gold watch, why not consider working part-time for a few more years?

We know some people in their late 60’s and early 70’s who use their long service leave and go on an extended holiday overseas. And some employers are keen to see their most experienced workers stay in the work force on a part time basis.

Before you set your retirement plans in place, remember to seek advice. Everyone’s retirement plan needs to suit their lifestyle needs and priorities.

 

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

Estate Planning For Generation X

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Estate planning for Generation X

Why consider estate planning when you’re in your 40’s?

After all, you’re a busy Generation X with work and family commitments – it can feel hard enough getting your tax done every year!

If you’re a member of Generation X, estate planning won’t always be top of mind.

But life goes by fast and planning for your family and partner when you’re not here is important.

Here are 3 things to focus on.

1 Life insurance

Seen a lot of ads on TV urging you to take out life insurance to protect your family when ‘you’re no longer around’?

Before you take out separate life insurance, make sure you find out from your superannuation fund what level of cover you’ve got.

Once you’ve got this figured out, it’s time to sit down and look at your assets and liabilities.

Now, here’s the hard question to ask – and one of the reasons why many people put off thinking about estate planning!

Would the amount you’re covered for pay off your liabilities and provide a safe financial future for your family?

We know it’s hard to think about worst-case scenarios, but estate planning is an important part of planning for the future.

We’d love to help you figure this out, contact us here.

HHG Foohills

2 Make or update your Will

Having a clearly written, legal, up to date Will sorted out is important.

Your Will is a legal document that indicates how you’d like your assets distributed after your death.

It also includes the person (or organisation) you have given responsibility to for carrying out the wishes noted down in your Will.

Making sure you have a Will ensures that:

  • Disagreements can be eliminated among people who expected to benefit from your estate,
  • It’s clear who will be guardians of any minor children you may have,
  • Your assets are divided according to your wishes,
  • Your family and executors are clear about how you’d like your affairs managed, and
  • Your estate is settled quickly.

Dying without a will can result in your estate taking a longer time to settle than if you have one.

It can also lead to confusion about whom will manage your estate and family disagreements about asset distribution.

3 Organise an enduring power of attorney

As a Generation X you’ve probably got some elderly relatives who have organised powers of attorney.

But what is a power of attorney and why should you organise one?

An enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person (or persons) of your choice to manage your financial affairs and assets if you’re not able to do so (e.g. if you’re ill, overseas or in an accident).

A medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical treatment decisions on your behalf if you become physically or mentally incapable of doing so for yourself.

Each Australian state has their own laws – here’s the link to Victoria’s.

Like some help getting your head around estate planning? Call us on 1300 296 388

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

5 Essential First Home Buyer Tips

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5 Essential First Home Buyer Tips

With interest rates in Australia at record lows, you may be thinking about buying your first home.

But before you start attending open for inspections and auctions, here are 5 things to consider. 

 

1 Do your research before you start looking for your home

You may have heard that the most important thing in real estate is “location, location, location!”

So before you start your house search, sit down and work out where you’d like to live and for how long.

Think about things like:

  • When you’d like to start a family. If it’s in the next few years, your home will need to be big enough, but also be close to childcare centres, parks and schools.
  • How long you’re willing to drive or commute to work?
  • How many shops, cafes and restaurants would you like to be close to?
  • Would you like to be able to walk to the local parks?

HHG Financial

2 Get clear about the real costs of buying your first home

When you’re buying your first home, you may not be aware there are extra costs to consider. If you’ve got $60,000 deposit saved and you’re looking for a house that’s around $660,000, you may think that a $600,000 mortgage will be enough.

Here are some extra things you need to budget for that will increase the costs when buying your home:

  • Building inspection reports
  • Owner’s corporation costs (if you’re buying an apartment or unit)
  • Bank valuation fees
  • Transfer and mortgage fees
  • Conveyancing and legal costs,
  • Stamp duty (varies from state to state with first home buyer rules), and
  • Mortgage insurance

Also consider making a budget for renovations that may need to be done before you move in.

Get quotes for changing locks, floor sanding, new carpets, new curtains and security doors and window screens.

 

3 Before you get a mortgage, set up a mortgage payment plan

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you’ve probably been saving for a deposit. Setting aside money regularly into a savings account is good practice for making mortgage payments.

But are you saving enough each week or fortnight to replicate what your mortgage payments would be?

Sitting down and estimating how much your mortgage payments will be and then aiming to save this amount, will help you track whether you can afford this size mortgage.

 

4 Take your time – never get pressured

Buying your first home will be the biggest investment you’ve ever made – so make sure you never get rushed into something that doesn’t feel right for you.

Don’t ever feel pressured by estate agents to make an offer before someone else does.

Every day in Australia, there are new properties listed for sale, so don’t feel like you’re going to miss out!

 

5 Get financial advice

Before you buy your first home consider making an appointment with a financial advisor and planner.

They will be able to help you with budgets, give you advice on what you can afford and what type of mortgage you should consider.

We’d love to help you, contact us here for a complimentary chat.

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

 

5 Things You Must Know About Your BAS

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5 things you must know about your BAS

Do you run a business in Australia and feel confused or overwhelmed with your taxation obligations?

Here are 5 things you need to know about your business activity statement (BAS).

1 What is a BAS?

A business activity statement (BAS) is a form that’s submitted to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) by all businesses that are registered for GST.

It accounts for:

  • PAYG withheld from employees
  • The difference between GST collected (for customers and clients) and GST your business has paid (to suppliers), and
  • When required, is an advance on your PAYG income tax.

HHG Foothills

 

2 When are the due dates for lodging and paying your BAS?

The due date for lodging and paying will be displayed on your BAS. If the due date falls on a weekend or public holiday, you may lodge your BAS return and pay on the next business day.

Monthly reporting:

If you report monthly, the due date for your monthly BAS is usually on the 21st day of the following month.

Quarterly reporting:

The table below has the reporting dates. If you lodge your BAS return online, you are given more time for three quarters of the year.

Quarter Due date – paper Due date – online
1 – July, August and September 28 October 11 November
2 – October, November and December 28 February 28 February
3 – January, February and March 28 April 12 May
4 – April, May and June 28 July 11 August

 

3 What if I can’t pay my BAS on time?

Always lodge on time, even if you can’t pay on time. As soon as you know you can’t pay your BAS on time, call the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 11 42 to discuss payment options.

 

4 I’ve just registered for GST, what do I do next?

We give all our clients these simple three tips below:

  1. Open up a separate bank account for your business and process all income and expenses through this account. This makes it easy to identify what you’ve been earning and spending in your business.
  2. Identify what book keeping system you want to use. It can be as simple as an Excel spread sheet or online software like MYOB or Xero.
  3. Set aside a set amount each week for your BAS payment. Some of our clients set up separate business savings accounts and deposit a regular amount into this every week. This simple step gives them peace of mind, as they know that they can easily pay their BAS on time.

 

5 Is there someone who can help me with my BAS?

Yes! A BAS agent or Tax agent can help you complete and lodge your BAS statement.

When you’re looking for help make sure they:

  • Will be able to help you maximise your deductions,
  • Know all the ATO requirements,
  • Have experience and can answer any questions you’ve got, and
  • They have the staff and time to take on a new client.

With over 30 years experience as registered tax agent’s, we help hundreds of businesses at BAS time to complete their return and file it on time.

Contact us here and chat to us about we can help you with your BAS.

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

5 Steps To Get Credit Card Debt Under Control

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5 steps to get your credit card debt under control

Has your credit card statement arrived with your Christmas purchases on it?

It can be quite a shock when you finally open the envelope from your bank and notice how much you spent on presents, entertainment and holidays!

Here are 5 things to consider so your credit card debt doesn’t feel like a burden.

1 Find out how much you owe on all your credit cards

Sit down with your credit card statements and write down a summary that includes the:

  • Monthly payment
  • Interest
  • Creditor
  • Balance due
  • Credit limit, and
  • Due date for each credit card.

This can feel daunting to do, but knowledge is power – you need to know how much credit card debt you’ve got before you can improve your situation.

HHG Financial

2 Contact your bank

Interest rates are at record lows in Australia now and banks are keen for your business. Make a call to your bank to see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate.

A lower interest rate will mean that you can pay off your credit card balance quicker.

3 Consolidate your debt

If you’ve got multiple credit cards, you may like to consider consolidating all your debt into a personal loan, into your mortgage or transferring the balances into a lower rate card.

Combining your debt into a personal loan will mean that at the end of the loan period, your debt will be cleared. The interest rate may be around 7 to 14 per cent but this rate will still be lower than your credit card interest rate.

If you combine your credit cards into your mortgage you need to be disciplined about making extra payments each fortnight or month.

Paying the same mortgage amount won’t clear your debt.

Transferring your credit card balances to a lower rate credit card is appealing to some people as some banks offer an interest free term.

To make this option work, it’s important that you take advantage of the interest free period by setting up a repayment plan and sticking to it.

4 Change your spending habits

To change your financial situation, you will need to change the way you spend. Instead of swiping your credit card with purchases, consider taking cash out of your account each week and use this for your daily expenses like grocery shopping and transport costs.

Having to part with a set amount of cash each week can help rein in your spending tendencies.

5 Get some advice

Your credit card debt didn’t just appear overnight – it’s been accumulating over time.

And if you know you’re going to miss a payment, contact your bank and let them know.

If you’re not sure what to do first, it’s a good idea to get some independent financial advice.

Need some help?

We offer a complimentary chat – contact us here.

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

Has The Block 2015 Inspired You To Renovate For Profit?

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Has The Block 2015 made you consider renovating?

The Block reality TV show has returned for 2015.

Millions of Australians will watch couples renovate apartments over a tight time frame to hopefully achieve a huge profit.

But before you rush into buying a ‘renovators delight’ in the hope that your financial future will be secure, consider these 5 tips.

1 Do your research

Investing in property (with the view to renovate) need to be done with a clear head and with as much information as possible.

Sit down with your financial adviser and get some objective advice about what you want to do and how this fits into your long term financial plan.

Details to consider before you buy include what types of people will want to live in your home. Will it be families, semi retired or mainly professionals with no children?

This will impact on the type of renovation you do.

HHG Foothills

2 Keep your renovation simple

Renovating an investment property is different to renovating your own home. You may love stone kitchen bench tops but this choice in an investment property will add thousands of dollars to your renovation. To save money but for the same look, you’d choose a laminate bench top.

Leaving your own tastes and preferences out of the renovation can feel challenging. If in doubt, always go for neutral, simple choices. 

3 Don’t go overboard

Be inspired by The Block, but don’t replicate everything they do! Instead of moving walls, making windows bigger and adding on rooms, go for the low cost improvements that can add value. 

Simple improvements that add value to your property include:

  • Freshly painted white walls,
  • Plain window furnishings,
  • Polished floorboards,
  • Neutral tiles, and
  • New light fittings

4 Get competent and professional trades people

If you’re inspired by The Block 2015 to get in and do some renovating yourself, go for it! But there will be trades people you need to hire including:

  • Builders,
  • Electricians, and
  • Plumbers.

A professional builder will be able to guide you through the renovation maze and help you out with hidden problems like asbestos removal. And they’ll have their own contacts you may want to use.

5 Freshen up the outside

When you’re budgeting for your renovation, make sure you save some money for exterior.

Things to budget for include:

  • Roof and gutters
  • Exterior painting
  • Rendering of brick work
  • Landscaping of garden, and
  • A new letterbox.

Renovating an investment property can be challenging and almost always goes over budget. So before you dive in and take up the challenge, make sure your finances are in good order. 

Like some financial advice before you renovate? Click here to book in for a complimentary chat!

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.

 

Four Ways To Save Money In 2015

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Four ways to save money in 2015

If one of your financial goals in 2015 is to save money, have you worked out how you’re going to do it?

Here are four ways to save money in 2015 so your financial future looks brighter. 

1 Set realistic saving goals

On New Year’s Day you may feel excited and upbeat about your resolution to save more money, but by early February the euphoria has worn off.

One way to avoid sabotaging your financial goals is to set small, realistic saving goals.

If your overall financial goal is to save $10,000 by December 2015, chunk this down into a monthly goal of $800, then a weekly goal of $200.

Having a clear weekly goal written in your diary each week, will keep you on track. And it will help you keep focused!

Knowing that you want to save $200 a week will help you avoid spending money on things you want, but don’t necessarily need.

financial planners lilydale

2 Check all your insurances

If you’ve got a direct debit set up for your bills, you may not have looked at your insurance bills in great detail lately.

Set aside half an hour or so and look at all your insurance bills: from health cover, car and home insurance to income insurance.

As you look at what you’re paying, check that the insurance is covering your current needs and requirements.

For instance, if you’ve completed your family and still have maternity cover in your health insurance plan, consider changing plans.

Maybe you had a pay rise last year and your income insurance only reflects your old salary, consider changing your level of insurance.

3 Examine your monthly expenses

Look at your most recent personal bank account statement and consider what you’ve spent money on.

For example:

  • Did you really need to buy four albums through iTunes at $20 each, two of which you really don’t like anyway?
  • Were you charged extra for data usage on your mobile bill – if so, could you monitor your usage and cut back?
  • Did you have to buy the two outfits from the online clothes store, when you only really wanted to buy one?

You may notice that the small amounts all add up to a few hundred dollars of potential savings a month!

4 Use the competitive market to save money

Interest rates have fallen in the last few years, so it makes sense to look at all your loans and check if you’re paying too much.

A monthly difference between a $500,000 standard variable loan (25 years) at 4.7% and the same loan at 5.7% is around $300 a month or $3,500 a year.

Next look at your credit card interest rate.

If it’s around 18% and has a large balance, consider talking to your bank about refinancing your credit card and even consolidating the balance outstanding into your mortgage.

Need help with your financial savings plan? Our first consultation is FREE!

We’d love to chat with you and help you achieve your 2015 financial goals.

Click here to make an appointment.

The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. For our full disclaimer, please click here.