By now you have probably been welcomed to Spring by every company that you have ever interacted with, as well as friends and family on all social media.
It is not clear where the term Spring Cleaning came from, but from personal experience, people often get to the end of Winter and want to make a fresh start. In that way Spring Cleaning started with the bird and the bees…
Finances are no different. It is an opportune time of year for your finances to be reviewed. Here are 7 things financial that you should aim to complete during Spring.
Complete your Tax Return
By now you should have received your payment summary from your employer. The quicker you complete your tax, the quicker you will receive your refund. That refund is far better off in your pocket that the Governments.
Your payment summary outlines the amount of after tax earnings you had last year. Do you know where it all went? How much did you save?
Review your Annual Superannuation Statement
Late July, and into August the vast majority of members will receive their superannuation statements. These statements are an important document that outlines everything to do with YOUR retirement savings.
The statement will include:
- Where your superannuation (retirement savings) is invested, and how that investment performed in the last 12 months
- Your beneficiaries (and the type of beneficiary nomination). Are you sure the right person will receive your super if you were to pass away? Does you super fund get to choose?
- The statement will have details of the type of insurance, the amount of cover you have and the amount that you paid for it in the last 12 months. Have you got enough? Who will receive this benefit? How long do you need it for and what will it cost in 5, 10 or 15 years’ time?
Review Cash Flow and Budget
You have your payment summary, you know how much you received last year, but where did it all go? Do you monitor it in anyway? Have you got a method for keeping track?
Spring is the time of year that your financial details are the most up to date, and it is a perfect time to KNOW where your money goes.
What is your cost to income ratio? Oh know the financial person is talking gobble de gook… It is simple, how much was your income, and how much did you spend. Now divide your income by your costs, and times it by 100 to get a percentage. If it is over 100% then you spent more than you earnt. If it is less – that is a good start.
What would be an optimal Cost to Income percentage? In business it would be less than 60%, in our personal household we need it to be less than 75%
If we were injured and had to claim on our income protection insurance, they only pay 75% of your earnings!!
Review your Beneficiaries
Your superannuation statement tells you who will receive your super and any insurance in super if you were to die.
Is this the right person, or have your relationships changed?
Does this nomination line up with what your Will says? While you are checking on this, take the time to review the beneficiaries of your Will. Are they still what you want?
Could someone challenge your nomination, and leave the final decision to your big faceless superannuation fund? Unless your nomination is “Binding” or “Non-Lapsing” it is very easy for your nomination to be challenged, leaving the final decision in the hands of the trustee of your superannuation fund.
Plan your Holidays
Why not? We are all allowed have some fun, and I am sure a holiday is in your budget. If you are planning to go away at Christmas time, early Spring is a good time to look at booking this holiday. It is still possible to get reasonable pricing, and this will help your budget.
What are your plans? Is it a ski trip to Japan, or a good Aussie Beach holiday?
Plan your Christmas presents
Similar to the holidays, if you start planning your Christmas presents now, you can save… The shops are still a month or two away from putting out the Christmas decorations (they have to get past Halloween first).
If your budget is tight, make a list, check it twice, and nominate a value for each person and stick to it.
Set your goals for the coming 12 months
Lastly now is a great time to set yourself some financial goals. You have a budget, you know what is happening with your retirement savings, you know how much you earn.
Now is a perfect time to set a little goal to reach by Spring 2017.
It could be anything:
- A Dream Holiday
- A New Car
- Start an Investment portfolio
- Get you Cost to Income ratio below 75%
Whatever your goal is, make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and give it a time frame.
John Forwood and Forwood Planning Pty Ltd ATF Forwood Planning Trust are Authorised Representatives (No. 1007813/1238510) of MyPlanner Australia Pty Ltd AFSL 345905.
The information provided above is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.