The start of a new financial year might not set your cork popping like New Year’s does. But the financial resolutions you make with a clear head in July are far more likely to create a champagne future. So let’s #GetMoving with some smart money habits.
Tip 1 - Invest your tax refund for your (future) self
If there is just one new financial habit you adopt this year, make it this one. Consider redirecting your tax refund into a managed investment before you have a chance to touch it and work towards transforming your financial destiny from a pumpkin into a crystal carriage. No wand required, just a few minutes to set up an online investment account.
Tip 2 - On pay day, pay yourself first – you’re worth it
Ask your employer about setting up a salary sacrifice arrangement for your super. You could find, depending on your salary, you may save on tax. Super is a long-term relationship – the more attention you give it, the greater the potential. Then sit back and let compound interest work its magic.
Tip 3 - Will you reach your dreams?
Your retirement dream may be lavish; it may be simply to not worry about money, or you may not have even thought about, but it doesn’t hurt to see how you’re tracking. The ASIC Retirement Income calculator will help you determine how much monthly income you’ll need in retirement, show you the progress you’ve made with your current super savings strategy, and suggest what it may take to reach your goal.
Tip 4 - Tool up and save
We all know how important it is to track your spending and prepare a budget. But who’s got the time? With so many time-saving financial apps on the market, it’s worth taking a moment to track down the best tools for the job. Check out TrackMyGOALS and TrackMySPEND, two smart new budgeting apps on the government’s MoneySmart1 website. Or try Pocketbook, another free budgeting tool. They won’t just save you time – if you stick to the plan, they’ll save you money as well.
Tip 5 - Be your own boss
Do you dream about turning your passion into a business and kissing your day job goodbye? If your goal is to create income then it pays to be businesslike from the get-go. Set some goals, create a dedicated work space and write a business plan. A good place to start is the government’s guide, How to write a business plan. Pin down your target market and use social media to grow your network. Do a course to plug any skill gaps. And download some online accounting software to keep track of your progress. You could begin your search with QuickBooks and Xero. The fruits of your own labour are always sweetest.
Tip 6 - Time is money. Your money
The new financial year could also be your motivation for (finally) seeing a financial planner. They can ask the right questions to get a holistic view of your finances, help you with all the tips above – as well as offering you tailored advice to help you set your financial goals and develop strategies to help you reach them.
1. Moneysmart.gov.au, https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/borrowing-and-credit/credit-cards/credit-card-debt-clock
This information is current as at 24 July 2016.
The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. The tax position described is a general statement and is for guidance only. It has not been prepared by a registered tax agent. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice.
Superannuation is a long-term investment. The government has placed restrictions on when you can access your preserved benefits. The Government has set caps on the amount of money you can add to superannuation each year on a concessionally taxed basis. In addition, the government has set a non-concessional contributions cap. For more detail, speak with a financial adviser or visit the ATO website.
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