Your end of financial year checklist
Superannuation | 12/06/2018 |
8 min read
The end of the financial year is a great reminder to look at your financial position, and see how you’re travelling ahead of tax time. Hopefully you’ve made progress towards your goals. But if you find that your expenses are trending higher than you’d like (or higher than your income), it’s time to take a step back and plan ahead. Here’s how to get started.
Take a budget snapshot
You can’t set realistic financial goals and savings targets without knowing how much money you have at your disposal. If you don’t already track your income and spending, then take an annual snapshot as you go through your records to prepare your annual tax return.
Deduct your total spending from total income and what’s left is what you have to work with. Any surplus could be used to kick start a regular savings plan. If you discover a budget black hole, identify areas where you are overspending and could cut back.
Pay yourself first
Did you manage to save anything this year or are you are constantly counting on this month’s income to pay last month’s bills? Do you spend first and hope to save what’s left?
Instead of making saving an afterthought, pay yourself first and allocate a percentage of your income to a regular savings plan. Setting up a weekly or monthly direct debit will remove temptation and encourage you to live within your means.
Review your mortgage
If you have a mortgage this is likely to be your biggest monthly expense so it’s a good idea to check your progress at least once a year. Why not use some of the savings you’ve identified and increase your repayments to save interest? If your mortgage has a redraw facility you could use this to create a cash buffer for emergencies.
While you’re at it, go online and compare interest rates. If your rate is no longer competitive ring your lender to negotiate a better deal and consider switching loans if they won’t budge. Just beware of any exit fees.
Negotiate better deals
Your home loan is not the only expense worth haggling over. These days if you want to get the best deal on your electricity, phone, internet or insurance you need to ask. Before you do, ensure you understand what your current plan/policy covers and research what’s on offer elsewhere.
Make a practice of doing this once a year, when your plan or policy is due for renewal. The savings can be substantial and can be put to much better use reducing debt or growing your wealth.
Check your super
Do you know how much you have in super and how it’s invested? When you retire, superannuation will probably be your biggest asset (outside the family home), yet many Australians don’t know which risk profile their super is invested in. This can cost you thousands of dollars in retirement savings and takes only minutes to correct. Equip members can learn more about investment options here or compare results with our retirement calculator.
Protect your wealth
Reaching your life and financial goals is not just about growing your wealth but protecting it.
It’s important to review your insurance policies annually—or as your circumstances change—to make sure you and your family have adequate cover. Insurance can be a significant cost for families, but the income it provides when accidents or illness strike is worth every cent. Equip members can review their investment options by logging into their accounts.
This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Issued by Equipsuper Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049 AFSL 246383. MySuper Authorisation Numbers 33813823017672 and 33813823017518 (‘Equip’, ‘the Fund’ and ‘the Equip Rio Tinto Fund’).
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