money HOW TO MAKE YOUR work

BOOST YOUR FI­NANCES AND MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR $900 STIM­U­LUS. BY Adrian Raftery.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Lifestyle -

1Con­trol

or re­duce debt We have been blessed re­cently with some large in­ter­est rate cuts. Even though some banks have re­fused to pass on the lat­est cut – the of­fi­cial rate is now at three per cent – rates are still much lower than in pre­vi­ous years, so take ad­van­tage and main­tain your mort­gage re­pay­ments at June 2008 lev­els and try and cre­ate a buf­fer this year. 2Start

a share port­fo­lio The best re­turns in the share mar­ket gen­er­ally oc­cur the year af­ter it crashes. The av­er­age re­turn for th­ese “re­bound years” has been 28 per cent. There are some bar­gains to be made now. Re­mem­ber to spread your risk by di­ver­si­fy­ing with a few dif­fer­ent stocks and pur­chase them over a few months. 3Cut

up the credit card This is prob­a­bly the hard­est thing to do as most of us view credit cards as our “se­cu­rity blan­ket”. But the quicker you de­stroy them, the bet­ter. 4Govern­ment

co-con­tri­bu­tion If your in­come is un­der $ 30,342 then you can get the max­i­mum $1500 gov­ern­ment co-con­tri­bu­tion if you put a per­sonal con­tri­bu­tion of $1000 into your su­per. You can get smaller gov­ern­ment co­con­tri­bu­tions if your in­come is higher; the scheme phases out when your in­come reaches $ 60,342. If you haven’t started yet this fi­nan­cial year, then start putting in $ 40 a week from now un­til June 30. 5Pay

off HECS debt be­fore June 1 HECS debts, which are ad­justed each year by the CPI fac­tor, are set to rise by around five per cent on June 1. Un­like pre­vi­ous years, when inflation was lower, this is prob­a­bly more than what your bank is pay­ing on your sav­ings, so try and pay your debt off. There is a 10 per cent dis­count for vol­un­tary pay­ments. 6Don’t

in­cur late fees Get into the habit of pay­ing bills on time. It amazes me how many peo­ple get hit with late fees by be­ing in­ef­fi­cient. Over 12 months, th­ese add up. 7Write

a bud­get Bud­gets are es­sen­tial for any sav­ings plan. Ex­cel has a tool to make it eas­ier. Sim­ply type “Per­sonal Bud­get Tem­plate” into the “Help” menu. 8Set

up four sav­ings ac­counts Set up four ac­counts – for ed­u­ca­tion, hol­i­days, Christ­mas and emer­gen­cies. Put a reg­u­lar amount from ev­ery pay packet into each ac­count. Be dis­ci­plined and try not to ac­cess th­ese funds other than for their spe­cific pur­poses. 9Study

Ex­tra study may lead to a pro­mo­tion or a bet­ter-pay­ing job. 10Make

your­self in­dis­pens­able Times are tough for busi­nesses and a few are go­ing to lay off staff. Make your­self in­dis­pens­able with your will­ing­ness to do a va­ri­ety of tasks. 11Cut

back on dis­cre­tionary spending There are two ways to save money: earn more or spend less. Have a look at your spending habits and see how much fat you can cut. Eat­ing out, so­cial­is­ing, tech­nol­ogy, cloth­ing and trans­port are the main ar­eas to fo­cus on. Worry about the cents and the dol­lars will look af­ter them­selves. 12Get

fit Chal­lenge your­self to get fit. You will be re­duc­ing your binge­ing on junk food and al­co­hol and also help­ing your sav­ings. ● Adrian Rafr­ery is the CEO of Ac­coun­tants R US. For more in­for­ma­tion and ad­vice visit www.arw.com.au

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.