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Superannuation

Interest rate cut

So this week the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut interest rates by 25 basis points to new all time lows of 2.00%. Wooohooooo!!!! This is great news for those of us with mortgages. Provided the banks pass on the full cut, it is expected that the 25bp cut would save around $45 per month on a home loan of $300,000. So the big question is what should you do with the extra cash that you will have post the cut?

  1. Spend it
    This is one option and it is certainly what the Reserve Bank (RBA) would like us all to do. The whole reason the RBA are cutting rates to put more money in our pockets so we will spend it. This helps the economy as roughly 70% of the economy is consumption – you and me spending. The more we spend (up to a certain point) the better the economy goes.
  2. Pay off other debts
    If you have other debts that have high interest rates like credit cards or personal loans then it pays to get rid of these debts as fast as you can. Putting the extra money you gain from the interest rate cut onto your credit card could save you 20% or more (depending on your interest rate) on each $1 of debt paid off, a great return!
  3. Keep your mortgage repayments the same and pay off your mortgage faster
    The benefit of doing this is that not only do you pay off your mortgage faster but when interest rates eventually rise you will be protected as you are already paying off a higher rate anyway. In order for this strategy to work you need to be already managing ok with your mortgage repayment at the higher previous level.
  4. Put the extra into your emergency fund
    An emergency fund helps to deal with any bumps in the road that life might bring like losing your job or unexpected expenses. You should aim to have at least six months of expenses saved. Adding to your emergency fund always helps to build that buffer for when the unexpected occurs.
  5. Consider putting extra money into your superannuation
    Lot’s of factors are important when deciding whether add money to your superannuation. Make sure you get some good financial advice, specific to your circumstances.

So of all the options outlined above Mr Money and I have decided to keep our mortgage repayments the same and reduce our mortgage even faster. Actually, we have decided to do this for this cut and the previous one. I guesstimate (using a mortgage calculator ) that just by keeping our repayments the same amount as prior to the last two cuts we cut around 2 years and 11 months off our mortgage and save us around $20,000 in interest over the life of the loan if interest rates stay at this level. Whoooppppeee!!!

What have you decided to do with your mortgage rate cut?

If you liked this you might also like:

15 Ways To Save Money In 2015

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Should I Fix My Mortgage?

How Much Your Credit Card Debt Is Really Costing You

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

If you would like to read more from me don’t forget to sign up to my weekly email using the form below:



Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

05/05/2015 5 comments
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5 Easy Way To Sort Out Your Finances 2015

I cannot believe 2014 has flown by so fast!!!  It feels like one minute it was January, then June, then for me November and December have just rolled into one!!!  Given 2015 is approaching fast, here are some easy ways you can sort out your finances in time for the new year!

1) Do a budget

Oh! I hear you groan. Don’t worry, I understand!  But the truth is that a budget does not have to be a complicated scary beast and it is the BEST way to keep control of your finances.  I used the MoneySmart website’s free budget planner and it was dead easy to get my budget done.  If you want to check out the planner click here, or if you want to read about how I did my budget click here.

2) Boost your income

There are lots of ways to boost your income but one of my faves is making sure I am getting all my entitlements from the government.  For this I use the Centrelink Payment Finder – it is fast and alerts me to payments that I might be eligible for.  Also I like to do an unclaimed money search.  It takes all of 20 seconds and is completely free. Potentially it could find you any lost bank accounts, shares or life insurance policies that you might have forgotten about.  My boss found $2000 in lost super by doing this search so it is definitely worth trying it.

3) Consolidate your super

Don’t feel bad if you have more than one super account, pretty much everyone does.  Apparently there are roughly 3 superannuation accounts for every working Australian! So you are not the only one!  Consolidating is way easier than you think, just go to the Australian Tax Office’s SuperSeeker site and you will be able to consolidate your accounts online.  No paper involved!!!  So look into consolidating your accounts, it is easy, free, and it will save you on fees. That means more money for your retirement.

4) Revisit your insurance

Revisit your policies:  do you have enough insurance?  Have your circumstances changed?  Are you getting the best deal for you and your family?  Insurance is not just a case of ‘set and forget’. Things change and when the worst happens and you really need it, you want to be sure that you are covered.

5) Set yourself a 2015 savings goal and work towards it

Whether it is a family holiday, paying off debt, or presents for the kids, set yourself a goal and use 2015 to work towards it.  Click here if you would like some ideas on how to save and here to see how to set a goal and work towards it.  Remember, it is the small things that count, so use the New Year as a fresh start and you will be amazed what you can achieve.

As 2015 approaches it is a great time to think about your financial future and get your financial life in order.  This will be my last post for 2014 before taking some time off to be with my family.  Thank you for reading my posts, your support is greatly appreciated.  I wish you and your family a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful New Year and I will catch you all some time in January 2015!

Shelley

If you liked this you might also like:

15 Ways To Save Money In 2015

How Much Your Credit Card Debt Is Really Costing You

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

If you would like to read more from me in 2015 don’t forget to sign up to my weekly email using the form below:




 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

21/12/2014 6 comments
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Binding Death Benefit Nominations

I don’t know about you, but for me time is just flying by.  Even more so since we had our daughter.  Time seems to have gone into hyper-drive!!!  What is that???  One minute I was 27 years old, footloose and fancy free roaming the globe.  The next minute I am 41, married, with a mortgage and a four year old, hearing the word “Muuuuuummmmm” several million times a day.  A completely different life.  But somehow the years in between seemed to have just whizzed by.

And from what my mum tells me, time goes by even faster from here on in – next stop 50, then 60!  What the??????  I was pretty sure that this was never going to happen to me!  I guess it is!  So I had better make sure I am financially prepared for my retirement.  Especially given – if the current legislation passes– I won’t be able to claim the age pension until I am 70!!  I am pretty sure I would like to retire before 70, so I need to make sure that I have enough superannuation to make that happen.  Otherwise it is the Newstart Allowance (or whatever they will call it by then, if it even exists) and cat food for me! Scary!

So how do I decide whether I have enough super?  It’s a tricky question as there are lots of factors involved; however, here are three options that might work for you.

(1) Run some calculations

First you need to take a good look at your current financial situation.  This includes listing all your assets: things like savings, shares, house, car/s and superannuation.  Then you need to list all your debts: things like your mortgage, credit card debts and personal loans.  Add up your assets and deduct your debts and you will have a fair idea of how much you’re worth now.

Next you need to think about how much income you will need to live on when you’re retired.  Here is a hint – the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (AFSA) Retirement Standard benchmarks says that a comfortable lifestyle for a couple can cost around $56,000 a year.   A modest lifestyle, AFSA says, costs about $33,000 a year per couple.  You might think you need more or less than this depending on your current and expected future lifestyle.

The last factor to think about is how long you might last!  Apparently retired men in Australia live to an average of 86 and a retired woman until 90!  This means if you retire at 65 your superannuation money has to last you on average 20-25 years!  That is quite a lot of time!

(2) Use a superannuation planning calculator

Superannuation calculators are quick and easy to use, and take into account a lot of factors around your individual circumstances. They are a fast way to get a grip on whether your superannuation is on track.  There are plenty around, the Money Smart website has one here.  I used the one on the CareSuper website.  To check it out click here.  I found it really useful and it took me less than 10 minutes to get an idea whether my superannuation was on track for the retirement lifestyle I want.

(3) Get some personal financial advice

A financial planner can help you determine whether your superannuation is on track to pay for your retirement. They will work with you to determine your current financial position, your goals, and your expected post-retirement lifestyle.  The financial planner’s advice will be tailored to you and your circumstances. If you are a member of some industry funds you can access some services of a financial planner for free. For example, CareSuper members get financial advice over the phone on a range of simple super-related topics as part of their membership, or members can see a financial planner at their offices for more complex advice where the first session is free. If you are a member of an industry fund and want some personal financial advice this might be a service that is worth looking into.

Figuring out whether your super is on track to fund your retirement is really important, especially given the pension age is definitely on the rise.  Nobody wants to find out that they have to work longer than expected to fund their retirement lifestyle, or worse that they can’t afford the retirement they would like. Your super is your money and one day you will need it, so look after it now and it will reward you later. So far my superannuation appears to be on track, so hopefully there will be no cat food in retirement for me!  However, things change and it is something I will have to keep on top of, as the years speed by!

This post is sponsored by CareSuper.

have received a fee from CareSuper to blog about super, however this post contains my own opinions. While I am not personally recommending CareSuper, information about superannuation can be obtained from their website caresuper.com.au and it’s always good to get your own advice about financial matters.

If you liked this you might also like:

5 Easy Ways To Sort Out Your Superannuation

5 Websites That Can Help You Make Or Save Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

How To Create A Budget

 

04/12/2014 8 comments
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Redundancy

I think I am in a pretty unique position to write about redundancy.  You see, I have been made redundant twice during my career and my hubby was made redundant at the start of 2014.  So a score of 3 for our family so far.  The first time I was made redundant was in 2004, when the British hedge fund I was working for packed up its Australian office and moved back to the UK.  One minute we all had jobs.  The next minute none of us did.  The model we were trading off hadn’t been performing, so we kind of saw it coming.  Even then it was a shock.  The second time I was made redundant was in 2012.  It was my 39th birthday and I was 11 months in from my return from maternity leave when I was taken into the little room and told my services were no longer required.  I was told it was cost cutting.  Enough said.

Redundancy is a stressful time and can be a time of really powerful, often very mixed, emotions.  Most of the time it is a shock.  It changes everything and throws you onto a completely different path that you did not see coming.  Given we have been through it a few times in our household, here are some of my tips on how to not only survive redundancy moneywise, but come out of it better and happier than ever….

Let’s start on the money front:

  1. Figure out what Centrelink benefits you qualify for:

    I am not just talking about Newstart, but it is handy to know what you have to do to qualify for this. In our case, when my hubby got made redundant and with me working only 3 days a week, we all of a sudden qualified for the Family Tax benefit A & B and the Childcare benefit (the means tested one).  Now you know how much income you are getting from the redundancy you can change your income estimate in mygov and contact Centrelink and see what they say.  You might also find the Centrelink payment calculator useful.  Click here to see it.  Getting these extra payments have helped to cushion our finances during this time.

  2. Think about what to do with your lump sum payment

    Depending on your terms and conditions and how long you were employed for you can get a decent pay out. Now I cannot tell you what to do with yours, if you want specific advice you should see a financial planner, however, for us we have always made sure that our payments were readily accessible, as you never know how long it will take you to find another job.   Since we have a mortgage we put redundancy payments into our mortgage offset account.  It helps to pay off the mortgage but allows us to easily access to the cash.  Click here to see how an offset account works.

  3. Create a budget

    If you haven’t done one, click here and see how to. If you have done one, your redundancy means it is time to change it.  You would be surprised how many of your costs can disappear, lunches at work, travel costs, uniforms or clothes.  We have found ourselves eating out less as we have more time to prepare, plan and cook meals at home.  Also while you have the time, review your expenses.  For each expense figure out whether you really need it and if there is a way to do it differently that will save you money.  For example I rang around our insurance providers to make sure we were getting the best deal.

  4. Check your insurance in your superannuation fund

    I had income protection and life insurance in my superannuation. When I checked the terms and conditions on my insurance as it turns out my income protection insurance was no longer valid on my redundancy.  So I cancelled it.  I am sure they would have merrily collected the premiums but not paid out should I claim while I did not have a job.  So check your terms of your insurance and see if your redundancy makes a difference.  Just remember to put your income protection insurance back on when you get another job 🙂

  5. Think broadly about your skill set and what you might be able to do
    I was a stock market analyst for 17 years, now I blog and train social workers about money. Quite different in many respects but I love how I am using my knowledge-base in a completely different way.  You don’t have to do what you have always done.  You have a wonderful skill base.  Think about how it might be used in a totally different way.  I promise you that you won’t regret it.
  6. Ride the emotional roller coaster

    Being made redundant is an emotional time. You might feel angry, you might feel lost (even if you hated your job), you might feel rejected.  On the days that you feel those emotions know it is perfectly normal.  Redundancy is a big change, it will come with hiccups.  I know it is really hard but try not to take it personally.  Businesses are big machines and they will roll over you if deemed necessary, no matter how good/loyal/hard-working you are.  Rest assured that it is not your fault.

I don’t regret my two redundancies.  They were gifts in disguise and have led me to do things that I would never have dreamed I would be doing.  My last one has allowed me to take a job that gives me more time with my precious daughter and to work in an area I am hugely passionate about and find deeply satisfying.  I finally have a job that makes a real difference.  And, well, you would not be reading this right now without my redundancy as Money Mummy would not exist.  Let’s just say I am not a very good housewife, so created Money Mummy so I had something to do during my redundancy-induced time off :-)!!  Good luck on your redundancy journey, you will be amazed where you will end up.  However, when you are feeling low please repeat after me “One door shuts, another door opens”.  It worked for me :-).

Have you been made redundant?  What are your tips for surviving it?

If you liked this you might also like:

Where To Get Financial Help For Free

5 Simple Savings Ideas That Everyone Can Use

How Much Your Credit Card Debt Is Really Costing You

How Much Can You Save By Shopping at Aldi?

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

 

22/10/2014 19 comments
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Sort Out Your Superannuation

Yayyyy!  Spring has sprung (not that you can tell from our recent weather!) and it is time to get cracking on sorting out all those things you have neglected over the cold winter months.  Now I am not just talking about getting rid of the dust bunnies hiding behind the furniture (guilty) but spring can be a great time to sort out your superannuation too!  I know most people would rather poke their eyes out with hot sticks than think about their superannuation.  However, the truth is that superannuation is your friend; it is there to help you out when you get older and want escape from the world of work forever.  Unfortunately nowadays you cannot rely on the pension to save you as governments creep the qualification age further and further away.  So do it!  Follow these five easy steps and sort out your superannuation for spring and keep yourself off the cat food in retirement!

(1) Get to know your superannuation

Ok so if superannuation is your friend then you need to check in with it and get to know it a little better.  The more you know about your superannuation, the more comfortable you will feel in making decisions about it.  Most funds allow you to access your account on the internet, and some on your phone or tablet.  Login and check your balance.  Knowing how much you have in your super account is a fantastic start to your spring clean.

(2) Check which option your money is invested in

Now take a look at which option your money is invested in.  Which option you choose can have a big impact on how much you will have at retirement.  Which option is right for you is entirely an individual choice and is influenced by factors such as your age, stage in life and risk tolerance.  Get your fund to explain to you what each investment option means and the risks involved.  Many industry funds offer free financial advice.  So if you are the member of an industry fund, ring them and see if you can access that service.

(3) Check your insurance

Super funds offer three types of insurance: life; total and permanent disability (TPD) and Income Protection (IP).  Ask yourself the important questions: do you have the right type/s of cover?  Do you have the right amount/s of cover?  Which is the right cover and how much you should have is entirely an individual choice.  What is right for one person might not be right for another.

(4) Track down any lost or unclaimed super

Apparently there is over $18 billion in lost and unclaimed superannuation that is waiting to be found.  Some of it could be yours!  Superannuation often gets lost when you change address, jobs or name and let’s face it most of us have done one of those things at some time or another.  The Australian Tax Office’s SuperSeeker site will find any of your lost or unclaimed superannuation.  You can use SuperSeeker to claim the lost funds and consolidate them into your current superannuation account.

(5) Consolidate your accounts

Many Australians have more than one superannuation account and we all know superannuation companies like to charge fees.  Over time these fees can eat away at your retirement savings.  Consolidating your accounts can help reduce the amount of fees you are paying and make your superannuation easier to keep on top of.  The SuperSeeker site from the ATO can also consolidate your accounts for you.  It is quick, easy and free.  Even better you do not have to fill out any paper forms!  Yay!!  Alternatively you can contact your fund and they might have a service where they can do it for you.

Spring is a time of renewal.  So lavish some of your spring cleaning attention on your superannuation.  You won’t regret it as it could save or make you thousands of dollars in extra retirement savings.  Which is a much bigger payoff than spring cleaning the hall cupboard or sorting out your wardrobe! Oh, which I must get on to! 🙂

Which area of your finances do you think deserves a spring clean?

This week I am linking up with the lovely Hope from Nanny Shecando for “Step Into Spring!” post series!!

Click here to pop over and see my other fab spring post on her blog called “5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Finances!”

If you liked this post, you might also like:

The Superannuation Co-Contribution – How To Get An Extra $500 Superannuation For Free

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

5 Websites That Will Make Or Save You Money

How To Save On Your Health Insurance

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

08/09/2014 18 comments
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MoneySmart Week Challenge

The first week of September is a very exciting week in my calendar.  It is MoneySmart week!!!  For those who haven’t heard of MoneySmart week, it is a week dedicated to taking simple steps to make a positive difference to your finances.  It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about your money and improve your money management skills.

To help us all do this, this year the people at MoneySmart Week have come up with seven FREE money challenges:

  • Ditch your debt (credit and debt)
  • Sort your super (superannuation)
  • Manage your money (budgeting)
  • Protect what’s precious (insurance)
  • Build your worth (saving & investing)
  • Plan ahead (estate planning)
  • Female financial fitness

There is also an eighth challenge for Under 18s called Start Early!

Each challenge gives you 3 easy steps to help you get on top of that issue.  All the challenges are completely FREE!!

So, don’t miss this opportunity to get you finances in order.  Pick an area (or two, or three or more) and take the challenge!

Also, if you share the fact you are doing a MoneySmart challenge on social media you could win one of seven daily prizes of a $500 gift card.  Please refer to the MoneySmart Week website below for the full details.

I will be doing all the challenges (except the youth one as I don’t really qualify anymore 🙂 ) so make sure you pop over to the Money Mummy Facebook page during MoneySmart Week to see how I am going with the challenges.

To find out more about the challenges, the social media competition and to register click here and visit the official MoneySmart Week website.

What will your MoneySmart Challenge be?

 

If you liked this post, you might also like:

5 Websites That Will Make or Save You Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Where To Get Financial Help For Free

How To Create A Budget

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

20/08/2014 27 comments
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websites that make or save you money

The best ways to save or make extra money are the easy ones.  So here are 5 of my favourite websites that I have used to save and/or make me a little extra money.

(1) The Centrelink Payment Finder

Dealing with Centrelink is hard and quite often it is really difficult and time consuming to figure out what you are entitled to.  The Centrelink Payment Finder makes it really simple and quickly allows you to figure out what you could receive.  It is one of my absolute faves and has alerted me to potential payments that I had no idea I could receive.  Click here to check it out.

(2) Unclaimed Money

I love to do an Unclaimed Money search.  It takes all of 20 seconds and is completely free.  Potentially it could find you any lost bank accounts, shares or life insurance policies that you might have forgotten about.  I always just search on my last name to make the search as broad as possible.  Don’t forget to search your partner’s name and any relatives to see if they have anything owing to them.  Doing the search is quick, easy and potentially could find you an extra bit of spending money :-).  Click here to do your own unclaimed money search.

(3) Energy Made Easy

This is a government site that helps you to find the best electricity deal for you.  When my electricity bill was hurtling out of control this is where I went to find a better deal for my family.  Click here to read post about how much I saved by changing electricity providers and here to visit the Energy Made Easy site.

(4) ATO’s SuperSeeker 

Apparently for every worker employed in Australia there are 3 superannuation accounts.  That means there are stacks of us out there with multiple superannuation accounts.  The main problem with this is that it is costing us all a fortune in fees.  The best way to stop wasting money on fees is to consolidate you superannuation into one account.  Most people think you have to fill in a tonne of forms to do this but you don’t, you can simply use the Taxation Departments SuperSeeker site.  The site also helps you to find your lost superannuation, so you can make sure you keep what is rightfully yours for your retirement.  The process is surprisingly easy.  In fact so easy even my husband could do it.  Read about how he found and consolidated his superannuation using SuperSeeker here and click here to access the SuperSeeker website.

(5) Money Smart’s Budget Planner

Many websites would have you believe that you need to pay to have a good household budget planner to help you to save money.  That is certainly not true.  I used the free budget planner from the MoneySmart website and it worked a treat for me.  Click here to read how I used it to make a budget for my family and click here to download your own free budget planner from MoneySmart.  It is easy to use and will help you on your way to saving more money.

If you liked this post you might also like:

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi

How To Save Money On Your Health Insurance

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

 

25/06/2014 45 comments
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superannuation co-contribution

I am so excited – this year I qualify for the government’s superannuation co-contribution scheme and I am absolutely going to take it up!!  Let’s face it, there are not many ways you can get $500 for free, particularly from the Government!!!  However, this is one of them and it is really easy!!! Who would have thought!!!

So here is how you do it!  Pretty much to qualify for the full benefit of $500 you have to earn less than $33,516 and put an after-tax contribution of $1000 into your superannuation fund by the 30th of June 2014.  As long as you have put the contribution into your fund and you file your tax-return, the $500 will automatically be paid into your fund by the government.  (Click here to see the full criteria).

If you earn between $33,516 and $48,516, you will still get some benefit just not the full $500.  (Click here to check the calculator on the ATO site to see how much you will get).  So at its best the superannuation co-contribution scheme means you put in $1,000 and they give you $500 for free! There are not too many legitimate investments that I know of in which you can a 50% return, for zero risk, guaranteed.  It is the closest thing I have seen to money for nothing.  Nothing is better than that 🙂

Try and take advantage of this if you do qualify.  This is a fantastic scheme to help those of us who are working part-time while looking after our little-ones to continue to build our superannuation balances.  Sadly stay at home mums do not qualify for the co contribution, as while they are doing amazing work, this work is unpaid (unless the ATO start counting hugs and kisses :-)).  However, click here if you are a stay at home mum to read about other ways you can boost your superannuation balance instead.

p.s To find out how to make an after tax contribution to your superannuation fund give them a call.  I rang mine and the process is really easy.

If you liked this you might also like:

How to boost your superannuation balance while you are a Stay At Home Mum

Your superannuation and your children: one thing you really should know

How to pay off your mortgage faster

Women and superannuation: how do you make sure you have enough?

3 easy ways to find your lost superannuation

How much do you save by shopping at Aldi?

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor or accountant for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

19/06/2014 13 comments
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Federal Budget 2014

Ok if the 2014 Federal Budget was all a bunch of gobbledy gook to you then do not worry you are certainly not the only one!!!!  Here is my take on what you really need to know about what was announced in the Budget and how it will impact you and your family!

  • If you get the Family Tax Benefit part B the rules have changed.  Only Families on a income of less $100,000 with children under six qualify.  Though existing recipients of Part B with children six or older will continue to receive payments for two years.
  • Planning to have a baby?  The new paid maternity scheme to start in July 2015 will have scheme payments capped at a payment of $50,000, as opposed the originally promised $75,000.
  • Going to the Doctor will cost you more:  Anyone who sees a doctor and gets bulk billed will pay $7 every time they go.  Non-bulk-billed patients will pay an extra $5 per visit.  Children under the age of 16 and concession card holders will have the payment capped at 10 visits.
  • You will pay more for medicines:  Medication covered under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will increase by $5 and PBS safety net thresholds will kick in only after increased out-of-pocket expenses.  Concession card holders will pay 80c more for PBS medicine, and spend an extra $61.80 before the safety net kicks in.
  • Petrol Prices will rise:  The government will raise the petrol tax (fuel excise) twice per year in line with inflation.
  • Compulsory employer super contributions to pause at 9.5% for three years.  They are currently at 9.25%, so will go up once more in July 2014.  The previous plan was to increase them to 12% by 2019.
  • Pension age has increased to 70 for anyone currently under 50.
  • First Home Saver Accounts (FHSA) have been axed.  No more new accounts can be opened and as of July 1 the government will end its 17 per cent co-contribution.  In July 2015 the tax and social security concessions associated with the scheme will be withdrawn and the restrictions on withdrawals will be removed.
  • If you work for the public service, there are plans to cut 16,500 public service jobs.
  • Those earning over $180,000 will pay an extra 2% per annum tax for the next three years, this is the “Budget Repair Levy”.
  • For those with kids at university or thinking of going:  Our children will have more debt and start paying it back sooner.  Universities will have the ability to set their own fees, so prices will most likely rise. Scholarships will be available to disadvantaged students.  From July 2016, students will have to pay their loans back sooner, starting once they earn over $50,638 a year.
  • For the unemployed:  Those aged under 25 will need to “earn or learn”. People under 30 will need to wait six months to be eligible for Newstart and once on payments will be subject to a work for the dole scheme.

So there it is and it was a tough one!!!!  Of course there was lots more bits and pieces, but these are the essentials that I think could have the greatest impact on your family.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

How Much Can You Save By Shopping At Aldi?

How To Create A Budget

3 Things You Should Know When Saving And Investing For Your Children

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

16/05/2014 15 comments
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find your lost superannuation.

Loads of people I speak to have lost superannuation.  Actually, I think most people do, you simply change jobs a few times and lose track.  Easily done.  Well, until recently one of those people was my husband.  Yes, my husband had superannuation that had been lost in the system from a job he had ten years ago!

I cannot tell you how much this irked me.  Finding your lost superannuation is the quickest and easiest way to boost your superannuation balance, and it helps keep you off cat food in retirement.  Having explained this to my husband, I started a campaign to get him to move his superannuation.  So year one, not wanting to be the nagging wife, I would gently remind him that he had a new job and that he should move his superannuation.  Nothing.  Year two, I stepped up the campaign a notch and I printed out the switch form a couple of times and left it next to his computer.  Nothing.  Year three, giving up on the idea of not wanting to be the nagging wife, I gave regular, not so subtle reminders to move his superannuation.  Still nothing.  Year four, sigh, I gave up my campaign.  Like they say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.  Then about a month ago, out of nowhere, after reading one of my posts my husband declared he was going to find his super.  Hooray! I wasted no time and got him on to the computer and over to the ATO SuperSeeker site.

It was so easy and took very little time at all.  All he needed was his name, date of birth, tax file number and a previous notice from the tax department to register for online services.  (He just used last year’s tax assessment).  When he got on to his account and did a search for his lost superannuation there it was, waiting for him.  Just a few more clicks and he had transferred it to his current superannuation account.  A few weeks later, his current superannuation provider sent us a letter saying the money had been received.  Yay!  So simple.

However, you don’t just have to use SuperSeeker there are a couple of other ways to find your lost superannuation too.  A great way is to contact your current superannuation provider or check their website and get them to do it for you.  Most have a service to find your lost superannuation and they will also help you combine superannuation accounts.  Combining your accounts into one is a great strategy as it not only helps save on fees but it also makes your superannuation much easier to keep track of.  Over the long term, fees eat into your retirement savings.  Also you can click here to contact AUSfund, they look after the lost super of many Australians for some of the biggest super funds in Australia.  They can tell you if they have any of your lost superannuation.

So, don’t wait ten years like my husband did, click here to go to the ATO’s SuperSeeker site and find your lost superannuation today.

If you liked this post you might also like to read the following:

How To Boost Your Superannuation Balance For Free!

How To Boost Your Superannuation Balance While You Are A Stay At Home Mum

Your Superannuation And Your Children: One Thing You Really Should Know

Women And Superannuation: How Do You Make Sure You Have Enough?

* Please note this is for your general information only and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see a financial planner or accountant to get advice specific to your individual needs.

24/09/2013 12 comments
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