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It’s easier to envisage more success in life, both personally and professionally, if you plan for it. Planning your finances can help give you the confidence to enjoy today, knowing you’re building for your future.
Starting out in the workforce involves plenty of steep learning curves – professionally, personally and financially. ASIC’s MoneySmart suggests the following 10 ways to get your finances on track:
1. Create a budget
2. Track your spending
3. Pay off your debts
4. Start a savings plan
5. Build your super
6. Take charge of your home loan
7. Protect the important things
8. Invest wisely
9. Consider getting financial advice
10. Get help if you need it
Below, we have added some extra detail to each of those tips.
Some realistic planning of how much you will be earning and what you intend to spend can boost your confidence. Try QSuper’s’ Budget Planner to set out your income, expenses and regular savings.
You can also check your financial fitness overall with WealthiQ.
A budget is only useful if it’s accurate, so ensure that you track your spending, compare it back to your expectations and adjust accordingly.
“Whether you're saving for a car, a holiday, a home deposit or an emergency fund to cover you if things get tough, you're more likely to reach your goal if you have a realistic savings plan in place,” says MoneySmart.
Planning to save early also gives you longer to enjoy the magic of compound interest.
Repaying your debts faster means less time spent paying interest on those debts. Also ensure that you’re aware of the interest rate you are being charged on any debts that you hold.
If you have credit card debt, MoneySmart suggests trying its credit card calculator to help you work out:
how long it will take to pay off your card with only minimum repayments
how much time and money you'll save by making higher repayments
There are many ways you can support your superannuation, including:
Find lost super – There is $17.5 billion in lost and unclaimed super across Australia, according to the Australian Tax Office1 It is easy to check whether some of that belongs to you.
Consolidate your super – Moving all your super into one account may make it easier to manage your retirement savings and help you pay fewer fees. Before you consolidate your super, you should check with your other super funds about any fees or loss of insurance or other benefits.
Review your investment options – Take the opportunity to consider and choose the mix of each asset class that best suits your circumstances.
Learn about the ways you can grow your super – There are many ways you can add to your super, on top of the contributions from your employer.
ASIC’s MoneySmart encourages borrowers to think about the features and costs of home loans.
“Work out how much you can borrow, work out your repayments and faster ways to pay off your loan,” it says.
Insurance can help give you the confidence to get on with building your future, knowing that you have protection in place.
Learn more about insurance via QSuper, and learn more about life insurance in general.
Your investment needs may change over time, so take opportunities to review your asset mix.
Find out more about QSuper’s investment strategy, and the range of industry-leading investment options available.
Knowledge and understanding provides confidence. Whether you prefer to attend a seminar, to browse general information or to seek specialised advice, financial information can help you clarify your goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Support and advice is available for those who need financial counselling to help pay off or manage a debt. Moneysmart suggests the following source of assistance:
Financial counselling – A free and confidential service that can help you solve your money problems.
Free legal advice – If you are in debt and have legal problems, community legal centres and Legal Aid agencies offer free legal advice in every state and territory.
Urgent money help – Services are available to help you if you need emergency relief or emotional support.
Knowledge is confidence, and planning your best future means being invested in outcomes today. Take the time to learn more about QSuper or your QSuper account.
1. Australian Taxation Office data correct at 30 June 2018, accessed on 8 November 2018 at https://www.ato.gov.au/Media-centre/Media-releases/Check-now-for-your-share-of-$17-5b-in-lost-super/
2. QSuper Balanced Option only. SuperRatings SR50 Balanced Index (60-76) median based on cumulative returns compounded annually after fees and for initial $50,000 invested over the period to 28 February 2019. Based on funds open to the public. Past performance may not be a reliable indicator future performance.
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