I recently got hold of a book, The Barefoot Investor', if your having trouble saving, clearing debt or saving for a deposit on a house I highly recommend this book.
Likewise, if you are a sole trader and haven't quite got your finances in order.
Somethings I've learnt form this book that I really think will help you out.
1) BANK FEES.
Be smart and actually look at you bank statements. How much every month are you being charged in bank fees and ATM withdrawals? That is money you are just throwing away. If your accounts offer you waived fees for a certain amount to be depost each month make sure your hitting that. Switch to a bank account that has no ATM fees such as ING.
Super is the one saving system that no one is paying any attention too, me included!
I am not originally from Australia so i started my super late. For those that are also not from OZ super is your retirement fund. Your employers have to put 9.5% of your salary into a super fund.
If you change jobs often it is very easy to lose track of your super. Lets be honest all this financial stuff can get quite confusing, so you just go with whatever Fund your employer suggests. Having no idea of where your money is being invested or the charges you pay on the Fund each year. We need to pay more attention to it, this is your retirement money!
If you are self employed, you MUST start putting money aside to pay your Super. You don't pay tax on the money you put into Super, so be smart.
3) HEALTH FUND.
If your over 30yrs chances are you have a Health Fund. If your a single person earning over 90k p/a you may need a Health Fund otherwise you will be paying the equivalent in Health Fund fees to the government in the form of Lifetime Health cover loading, with no benefits of a health fund.
But here's the thing, if your paying $1300 a year to a Health fund and not using any of the extra benefits your out of pocket. So if you fund has dental, optical, Osteo, Chiro, Physio, massage and all the other benefits make sure your using them each year!
I calculated my fees for the year as $1300 and what I got back in credit for my Fund was around the same.
If, however your not using the benefits then you out of pocket each year. Be smart get a dental check up its free!
4) CREDIT CARDS, CUT THEM UP
A good question asked in the book, who taught you about money? It was school right where a big bank comes in and sets up a piggy bank or a young adult account. Then at 18yrs old this bank gifts you a credit card and super low interest. So from an early age we are taught about money by a big bank thats marketing is all about getting money out of us for the rest of our lives in credit card debt!
Its like Ronald McDonald teaching us about Nutrition!
5) BUY THE BOOK
Take control of your future and your legacy! I encourage you to buy this book, (i am not in any way endorsed for this). It will change your life and see you set up for a much nicer financial future, no longer relying on credit cards and be in a financial position to fight any financial fire.
Since reading this book i have opened up 4 different accounts, transferred money into a 'mojo' account as savings and cut up all credit cards. I have a plan in place to reduce my debt over the next 12 months and ensure my super and my tax is paid.
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