Get your paperwork in order
If tax time is always a bit of a scramble for you gathering paperwork & receipts, then consider what technology you can use to your advantage to make sure you’re not missing out!
It doesn’t need to be ground breaking, even something as simple as setting up folders in your email inbox and every time you receive something that (maybe) relevant to your tax (i.e. income, expense, deduction or donation) just save it!!
Using this plus a combination of the ATO MyDeductions app to take photos of your receipts, means that you’re far less likely to miss any valuable tax deductions and…… better yet if you’re a tax-time scrambler, it saves you going back through your bank statements line by line.
Do some work on your cashflow & budget
The cost-of-living crisis is tough right now, things are tight and we may not have as many spare dollars left over at the end of each pay.
What better way to kick off the new financial year than to drill down into your spending categories and shine a light over where you could get better deals and squeeze out a few extra dollars – refer below for the categories that are best to tackle first:
- Review & compare your insurance – it seems that every year our insurance renewals are only going up, and in some cases by a lot more than the inflation rate! Insurance is a delicate area where sometimes going for the cheaper product may actually provide inferior coverage, so I genuinely believe that it can’t hurt to do the following:
- Ring your current provider & negotiate, ask for a better rate or you’ll consider a change!
- Get in touch with a General Insurance Broker – just to see what they can do. Hey, if it turns out they can’t get you a better deal, then at least you can tick this area off as REVIEWED!
- Review your debt & interest rates – the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been pretty relentless on their cash rate decisions over the last 12 months, which may have caused your debt repayments to increase.
- Like comparing insurance, it can never hurt to give your Lender/Bank a call and have a crack at negotiating a lower interest rate.
- Reach out to a Mortgage Broker to run their eyes over your debt products. The lending market has plenty of different offers, structures & products that may suit you better.
- Review your electricity & gas provider – we’ve all probably heard and are beginning to see the large price upticks in our bills. Don’t just review this once in the next financial year, make it a quarterly exercise to jump on this website, upload a PDF bill and let technology and comparison sites present to you what other offers & price rates you could get by switching. https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/
Find ways to increase income
Reducing costs is sometimes the easier place to start, but equally as important is finding ways to increase your income.
This doesn’t always mean finding a second job or demanding a pay rise. You can find other ways to monetise things such as your hobbies or other skills.
Some ways I’ve seen people do this is:
- Participate in paid sport umpiring
- Refurbish old furniture
- Making carved woodwork objects
- Uber driving (relevant for our city-based folk)
Set some financial goals & progress milestones
This takes on numerous different shapes and forms for each unique individual and sometimes are hard to nail down.
But there’s no excuses for not getting started, I challenge you to pick 3 of the below which are relevant to you and make a plan to achieve it by 30 June 2024:
- Make contact with a Mortgage Broker to review debt(s)
- Make contact with an Insurance Broker to review insurance policies
- Set up an Emergency Fund (high interest savings) and save a total of 6 months’ worth of living costs
- Make a new investment of $ and regular savings to this of $ per month
- Pay off car loan in full OR reduce it by $
- Pay off credit card debt in full OR reduce it by $
- Download the ATO MyDeductions app and keep digital records of income & expense deductions
- Begin tracking your regular expenses – using tracking tools, apps or even a spreadsheet.
- Brainstorm and plan options to increase your income – make enquiries.
- Read one piece of financial content or literature to improve your financial knowledge (Jayden’s blog 😊)
Even some of the smallest steps which achieve only the slightest progress, will gradually allow you to build momentum and a positive mindset towards your financial world.
Once you get started and gradually get your finances under control, it is truly the most empowering feeling.
Good luck and I wish you all prosperity for the financial year ahead.
Jayden Allison CFP®
MFinPlan, BCom (Eco&Fin), Dip. FS (FP)
Employee Representative of Phillipsons Financial Planning
ABN: 87 103 720 181
AFSL No. 332836
General Advice disclaimer
The general/factual information provided was done so without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs; you should consider the appropriateness of the general/factual information, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs, before following or relying on the general/factual information; if the general/factual information relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a particular financial product, then you should obtain a copy of, and consider, the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for that product before making any decision.