Set your money goals

With a new fi­nan­cial year upon us, now’s the time to turn over a new leaf and get fi­nances in or­der, writes Brooke Evans-But­ler.

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle -

What bet­ter time to get your fi­nances in or­der than now — at the start of a new fi­nan­cial year.

Women of all ages can have a fresh start fi­nan­cially and the ex­perts have weighed in with ad­vice.

In your twen­ties

Kane Jiang, Cer­ti­fied Fi­nan­cial Plan­ner pro­fes­sional and direc­tor of AA Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning, recommends set­ting sav­ings goals to fund your life­style goals, for ex­am­ple for a de­posit to buy a prop­erty.

Marie Watts, CFP pro­fes­sional from Bou­tique Ad­vis­ers, says in your 20s it’s not how much you earn, it is how much you spend. She recommends en­sur­ing your in­come is pro­tected, then sug­gests work­ing out a bud­get.

“The Bud­get Plan­ner on the MoneyS­mart web­site is a great place to start,” she says. “The free bud­get­ing app is also avail­able on this web­site. Avoid your in­come be­ing de­posited into the same bank ac­count as the one your spend­ing comes from — that’s a recipe for spend­ing ev­ery­thing you earn. In­stead, con­sider trans­fer­ring your ex­pen­di­ture al­lo­ca­tion to another ac­count with day-to-day ac­cess, leav­ing the sav­ings prefer­ably in an ac­count with no card ac­cess.”

In your thir­ties

Mr Jiang says be­cause young fam­i­lies are typ­i­cally on a sin­gle in­come, he recommends women in their 30s fo­cus on min­imis­ing house­hold ex­penses.

“Con­sider work­ing part-time as soon as prac­ti­ca­ble,” he says. “Child­care costs are sub­stan­tial, so con­sider fam­ily sup­port (ros­ter babysit­ting with friends/rel­a­tives) and con­sider public ed­u­ca­tion for the kids. Con­sider claim­ing a Cen­tre­link fam­ily tax ben­e­fit. You may be able to ob­tain about $10,000 per an­num if your fam­ily sit­u­a­tion sat­is­fied the re­quire­ment.”

Mr Jiang also recommends con­tact­ing a mort­gage bro­ker to review your mort­gage at least every three years.

“For ex­am­ple, a one per cent in­ter­est rate sav­ings on a $500,000 loan is $5000 per an­num to the fam­ily,” he says.

He also recommends re­view­ing in­surances, in­clud­ing health, home/con­tents and life cover.

In your for­ties

Ms Watts ad­vises women in their 40s to start think­ing about fam­ily wealth long-term.

“Ex­tra su­per con­tri­bu­tions, mod­est su­per-split­ting and spouse con­tri­bu­tion strate­gies com­menced early can act to equalise su­per bal­ances be­tween the higher and lower in­come earner,” she says. “Th­ese use small steps and the power of com­pound­ing over time, po­ten­tially max­imis­ing as­sets in an en­vi­ron­ment that will be even­tu­ally tax-free.”

In your fifties

Mr Jiang recommends con­sid­er­ing plan­ning for re­tire­ment, such as max­imis­ing salary-sac­ri­fice to su­per­an­nu­a­tion.

Ms Watts says if you are not al­ready ac­tive and in­formed, to get in­volved and par­tic­i­pate in all fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions.

“Ask ques­tions. Un­der­stand. Do a bit of research for your­self. Pre­pare for be­ing able to make con­fi­dent fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions on your own,” she says. “Ask your­self ‘What if’. If you do not have the time or in­cli­na­tion to do this your­self, seek fi­nan­cial ad­vice from some­one who is pre­pared to im­part knowl­edge and coach­ing/men­tor­ing as part of his/her service, and be pre­pared to pay for it.”

Pic­ture: Getty

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