BWC communications intern Louise Priddle signed up for our first Financial Literacy 101 workshop and came away with five top tips from the experts:
- Make a real budget … and stick to it
Being conscious of money-in versus money-out is important. BWC Director Cara Brett, from Bounce Financial, says you need to be realistic about the money you actually spend, rather than restricting yourself too tightly and dipping into your savings later. The key here is to include everything.
- Pay off your debt … particularly the bad kind
Bad debt, such as credit cards, car loans and payday loans, is something that you want to get rid of quickly, according to Nicole Green from Unique Finance. Don’t be afraid of borrowing money for things like a home, but be careful about using debt to prop up your everyday expenses – it’s a sure sign you are living beyond your means.
- Top up your super
Retirement might seem a long way off but it will be here sooner than you think. On average, women have half as much superannuation as men, so making contributions or salary sacrificing is important to ensure you have a decent amount to live on when you stop working. There are still some tax advantages for investing in super and jobs with the government or an NGO often have their own super perks. The rules change frequently so make sure you have a chat with your accountant or financial adviser.
- Invest in your own nest
Buying a house or shares is a good option if you want an asset that is likely to increase in value over time. Of course no investment is guaranteed but borrowing money in these instances may not be such a bad thing.
- Give yourself a safety net
Australia is one of the most under insured countries in the world which means most of us are exposed to big financial risks when things don’t go according to plan. Life, income and total and permanent disability insurance are the key ones for all of us to have or at least consider. Life insurance is also much easier and cheaper to get the younger you are, and something you definitely won’t regret if you’re ill or have an accident. If cashflow is a little tight it may be possible to pay for insurance out of your super so talk to your financial adviser about what’s best for you.
Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia
Women’s money toolkit
How much super will you have?
Centrelink benefits estimates
Lodging your tax return online
Calculating tax withheld on salary
Income Tax payable/refund estimator
ATO Summary of Deductions
My Gov Website for super searching
Universal Rollover Form
http://www.afr.com/leadership/it-took-an-expat-to-turn-around-the-brisbane-womens-club-20160113-gm550r – the business world sits up and takes note of BWC’s relaunch!
http://bmag.com.au/your-brisbane/brisbane-extra/2016/03/07/brisbane-women-push-through-the-glass-ceiling-together/ – article on “Regeneration – a story of change”, a stunning exhibition curated by the BWC in support of the Women’s Legal Service.