Eight ways to get a great start to the new financial year

Decisions you make now will make a big difference to your savings this year.

First understand where you are

Before you can even think of creating a financial strategy you need to understand your financial position. Know what you earn and what you spend.  By looking at this you can get a good understanding of what you can potentially save and put in place saving mechanisms to capture this.

Also at this time of year it’s a good idea to get your records ready in preparation to lodge your tax return so you are aware of any refund or tax owing.

Check your super received in the last year

It may sound simple but you’d be surprised how many people don’t check that their employer is actually contributing to their super fund.  Compare your payslip to your super fund records and talk to your payroll if there are any discrepancies.

Review your salary sacrifice arrangements

Check if you super contribution caps have changed.  If you are over 49 your concessional or pre-tax contribution annual cap has increased to $35,000.  For everyone else it is $30,000.  If you are paid fortnightly, check to see whether you are getting 26 or 27 fortnightly pays this year and talk to your payroll about whether you need to make an adjustment to your withholding tax and salary sacrifice arrangements.  By doing this you won’t get caught at the end of the financial year.

Split your pay to help save for goals/investments.

Make it easy!  Once you understand what you can save, look to automate how you can capture these savings. If a portion of your wage is going straight from your employer into your investment account you are less likely to either forget to invest or choose a more appealing short-term purchase instead.

Check debts and credit cards

Clear personal debt and start fresh for the financial year and ensure you pay your credit cards off in full each month to avoid costly interest.

Set up bank accounts smartly

If you found yourself scrambling to find receipts or locating which bank account you used to spend money on tax deductible expenses, try setting up a bank account specifically for tax deductible expenses or even a small debit card separate to your everyday spending that saves valuable time at tax time in finding expenses and ensures you claim everything you are entitled to.

Embrace technology

There are so many useful apps that can keep you on track with a budget or help with track and store your tax receipts.  Most of these are free or only cost a few dollars so give them a go.

Keep on track

Having set your goals, ensure that you have them recorded somewhere to make sure you stick to them.  Strategies and goals are useless if you don’t focus on achieving them.

Use the support of friends and family and the services of an expert advisor to maximise your chances of success. Letting others know your savings goals will act to keep you motivated, as well as make those close to you a little more understanding if you are unable to spend as freely in order to achieve your savings goals.

Why not increase the financial savviness of those around you – pay it forward and pass on these tips to your family, friends and kids.

By : Olivia Maragna

Source – http://www.smh.com.au/business/good-finance-advice/eight-ways-to-get-a-great-start-to-the-new-financial-year-20150707-gi6wv7.html

 

 

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