Budgeting Tips

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How are your finances tracking? We usually know how much money is coming into our bank accounts, but do you really know where it all goes out to?

If your money is tight or you’d like to save for a goal, the following tips will help get you on the right path to achieving your future goals.

1. ‘Save off the top’.
Put a regular amount into a high interest savings account as soon as you’re paid – then you don’t have the opportunity to spend it and it gets you into a regular savings habit; you may not even notice it’s gone after a while!

2. Be realistic with your budget.
By having a budget in place you can work out what you can afford for your discretionary spend and save for things that you want. You still have to enjoy living, keep this in mind when setting your budget so that you’re more likely to stick to it over time.

3. Reduce your personal debt.
Non-deductible debt is not beneficial in good times or bad, especially if the loan is unsecured (such as a credit card or personal loan), which generally attract high interest rates. Try to avoid building up debt unless it is an investment strategy where you are after the leveraging and taxation benefits.

4. Plan for the future.
Don’t underestimate the importance of superannuation in planning for your retirement – whatever your age. Superannuation shouldn’t be a scary word – you can be as conservative or as aggressive as you like within your Super fund, and the Government has many useful strategies such as salary sacrificing, spousal contributions, co-contribution, and Transition to Retirement strategies that may benefit you. Find out which of these suit you and look to maximise your retirement benefits.

5. Protect, protect, protect
Consider strategies for protecting your income and assets, like having the right insurance policies. Consider protecting your income or the contribution you make to the household in case something happens and you’re unable to work or perform your duties due to an illness or accident. No doubt you’ve also spent a long time saving up the money to purchase your assets, so make sure they are protected.

6. Always seek professional advice.
It is important to have your own views, goals and objectives, however the financial environment changes on a regular basis and it is important to ensure that your strategies are not only relevant to your personal situation, but are also up-to-date, don’t breach any rules and provide the best outcome for you.

To help assess whether your accounts suit your needs and support your plans for the future, visit the team at any ANZ branch in the Northern Rivers district for your complimentary A-Z Review®.

The information in this publication is current as at 16 October 2013. The information is in summary form and does not purport to be complete. It is intended as a general guide only and is not a substitute for professional advice. The information does not take into account your personal needs and financial circumstances and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

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