Managing Family and Finances

Elise Ryan is an Authorised Representative, GWM Adviser Services Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee

Everyone leads a busy life, but it’s important to take time out to think about your current finances and your financial future.

When you are planning or have a young family, there are a lot of important tasks that are on your mind. It is easy to let every day things like managing your finances fall to the wayside.

Paying the bills is quick and easy, but thinking about the big picture in 10, 20 or 30 years down the track can feel like a daunting task. Many people think retirement is so far away and that they have plenty of time before they need to start looking at planning for that phase of their lives. There is also the belief that it will just work itself out.

But you are reading this, so take the time now to think about your life in 30 years’ time.

You don’t want to regret not planning for your future.

By engaging an advisor, it forces you to take time out once or twice a year to chat about your goals and strategy and make adjustment where needed. This helps you to not only be aware but also re-evaluate what’s important to you and what your goals are year to year.

Research shows that by writing down your goals, you are more likely to plan and work towards achieving them.

By having a trusted financial advisor to look at your goals and create a tailored strategy, you will have to spend less time thinking about your financial future, and you will be in a much better position in the future.

At Income Solutions, we place a lot of time educating our clients on our investment philosophy so that they walk out of their meetings with complete understanding of what their strategy will be and how it will help them reach their financial goals.

It’s never too late to re-assess your financial position and change your strategy, and it’s never too early for your teenage children to start understanding their finances.

We run 4 events each month that will help you start making a plan, no matter what stage you are in for planning your finances:

Common Sense Investing

Common Sense Estate Planning

Kickstart: Your Financial Future

Pivot: Choose Your Financial Direction

We urge you to have a look at our website – www.incomesolutions.com.au/events or have a chat to one of our financial advisors to see which event would help you to achieve your goals, for you and your family.

 

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Before making a decision to acquire a financial product, you should obtain and read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. The information in this document reflects our understanding of existing legislation, proposed legislation, rulings etc as at the date of issue. In some cases the information has been provided to us by third parties. While it is believed the information is accurate and reliable, this is not guaranteed in any way
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Christmas is Coming! Here’s how to start budgeting.

Here are six ways to make Christmas easier on your back pocket:

 

1.    Make a list

Making a list might sound obvious, but Christmas shopping on impulse is dangerous. So make an old-fashioned shopping list and stick to it. Remember, shops spend a fortune on targeting your spending impulses – a list helps you beat them.

2.    Set a budget and track it

Use your list to create a realistic budget to help you avoid the mistakes of Christmases past. Look at where you overspent or what you didn’t plan for last year, and work out what your friends or family really need.

Then keep track of your spending to avoid going over budget – an app like ASIC MoneySmart’s TrackMySpend can help make this easy, or of course if you bank with NAB and have the Money Tracker this is always a crucial tool to your budgeting!

3.    Think outside the box

Try some gift hacks to reduce costs and double the fun.

Why not try a Secret Santa, so everyone gets just one gift? That way you can spend a little more than usual on your assigned person, and get them something they’ll really enjoy. And meanwhile, the whole family saves, reducing financial stress for everyone. Or you could agree to only buy for the kids in your family or group of friends.

For your kids, buy small gifts for Christmas Day, and give them an IOU for a larger gift to be bought in the post-Christmas sales.

Great gift giving doesn’t mean spending lots of money. For example, the kids can give vouchers for household chores or foot massages or even “best behavior” promise vouchers..

4.    Plastic isn’t always fantastic

If you use a credit card this year to pay for some or all of your Christmas gifts and expenses, track your spending and have a plan to pay it off.

If you spend $1,000 on your credit card, for example, and pay it back at $100 per month, it’s likely it will take you around 11 months to pay off [1].

5.    Cut Christmas Day food costs

Consider a simple classic meal, and don’t over-cater. Or if you’re the regular Christmas host, ask everyone to ‘bring a plate’ – or to bring a starter or dessert. Not only will it save money, it’ll also reduce the effort and make sure everyone can enjoy the festivities (including you!).

Buy pantry items for Christmas lunch in the weeks leading up to Christmas so you don’t have all the costs at once.

6.    Start saving now to spread the costs

How much did Christmas 2015 cost you? If, for example, you’re planning to spend $1,200 this Christmas, it’s a good idea to start saving now. If you save $50 a week over 12 weeks, you’ll have half of it already saved in time for Christmas!

Need some help with getting your budgeting together? Attend our free First Steps to Financial Success seminar in our Geelong office on Wednesday 26th October at 5:30pm, or call us on (03) 5229 0577 for more information.

[1] Based on an interest rate of 18%, at https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/credit-card-calculator

Please note: The advice in this article is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

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BRIDGING THE GAP – FINANCIAL EQUALITY

Recently our very own Alison Adams wrote the below article for RUBY magazine. The message is just too important so we thought the article should also feature as blog post:

get riled, it irks me, it makes me cringe.  Do we really need events specifically targeted at women? 

As a woman, I have had a successful career which has allowed me flexibility and choices and sees me treated with respect in my workplace – I’m treated the same as any male counterparts in an industry that has traditionally been male dominated.  As a mother of two young girls I don’t feel like there are any limitations or restrictions to their future just because they are female.

So if this is how I feel, why is it that:

  • Women remain behind men in the pay scale, earning an average annual gross income of $67,000 compared to men who are paid about $82,500 per year.
  • The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia tell us that in 2011-12 average super balances were $82,615 for men and $44,866 for women.

I feel equal but these statistics don’t feel equal.  Combine this with the fact that:

  • Women have a longer life expectancy than men.
  • Women are more likely to have breaks in employment or work part time, either caring for children or elderly parents.
  • Women could spend 30+ years in retirement. Put another way, on average a 65 year old woman will spend 25% of her life in retirement.

OK, I don’t like to generalise, however we have noticed a trend where women have a tendency to avoid seeking financial advice.  This trend doesn’t seem to discriminate – it applies to single women, women in relationships, divorced women, professional women and stay at home Mums.   Women are great at being busy.  We juggle a lot of roles.  We also tend to be competent at managing our households – we definitely seem to have day to day finances under control.  The same can’t be said for long term planning – and it’s long term planning that can make the world of difference.

All of these factors seem quite grim.  So I’m going to earn less, save less and need to fund a longer retirement.  On top of that I’m going to ignore the situation and not seek advice.  Situation hopeless, right?  Wrong.

In direct response to these issues Income Solutions have developed a targeted presentation for women, helping to break down the issues and provide solutions.   There are so many things that can be done to bridge this gap.  Every woman should feel empowered to take control and make a difference to their future financial fitness.  I’m going to quote on of our advisers, Gareth Daniels “It doesn’t matter how much you earn, it doesn’t matter where you are in life – you can make some informed decisions and sensible choices.  You really can design a lifestyle that you are passionate and excited about”.  Gareth’s comment wasn’t particularly female focused but boy, his message hits the nail on the head!  Ivana Trump once famously said “Don’t get mad, get even”.  She was of course talking about making her soon to be ex-husband pay dearly in their divorce.  Think about it though – getting even is exactly what we want to achieve.  Financial equality…….and we can show women how they can create it themselves without the need to marry and then divorce the rich husband!

How can women get started if they don’t know where to start and are not likely to seek help?  In developing Income Solutions for Women, we’ve made sure the presentation is portable.  We know Geelong is full of great businesses and inside these great business are owners and managers that care about their employees and their future.  After all, that’s just smart business.  Our philosophy at Income Solutions has always centred around education – it is the key to empowerment.  As a result Income Solutions for Women is now available as a work place session. Come on employers, its history in the making!  To book a session or to talk about Income Solutions for Women or any of the other information sessions in our range, give us a call on 03 5229 0577, drop us a line to [email protected], or visit our website.

Alison Adams, Business Development Manager

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