Four easy ways to shape up your finances before summer

Getting financially fit doesn’t have to be hard slog. Follow these tips to get on the fast track to financial wellbeing.

  1. Review your commitments: money can easily trickle away on things we don’t need or value. Reviewing things like mobile phone plans, insurance policies, loan rates and utilities means you can compare prices, ask your provider for a better deal or shop around for one.
  2. Start a budget: once bills are sorted, check whether other areas of spending have room for improvement. The key to budgeting is ensuring you include everything you spend money on – from school fees to champagne. You might be surprised how quickly that daily latte adds up! Various websites and apps are available to help with this, such as Money Smart’s budget planner.
  3. Sell some stuff: this will not only line your wallet, but free up space in your home or workplace. Decluttering is hugely popular and it’s easy to sell the things you no longer want using sites like Gumtree. Or gather your unwanted items and have a garage sale. After all, if you don’t need three bicycles and the pram anymore, why not turn them into cash?
  4. Organise your tax: a good filing system will save you time and money. A simple fix – whether you manage tax digitally or the old-fashioned way – is to separate paperwork pertaining to income and expenses with folders for main categories like rent and insurance. File each piece of paperwork straight away, and you’ll be set come June 30


For straight-forward, practical financial, taxation and accounting advice
contact our knowledgeable team at SVA and WPA by calling 02 8850 0388.

Don’t settle for simmering super!

Superannuation may be a long-term investment strategy but that doesn’t mean you should leave it on a mental back burner. In fact, ignoring your super leaves it at risk of stagnation when it could be cooking up a healthy retirement nest egg.

Reviewing your current super strategy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and it could be a great way to beef up your retirement savings.

Is your super still meeting your needs?

If it’s been a while since you began your superannuation policy, you may discover the choices you made are no longer the most appropriate. To find out, check with your fund to see how your money is being invested and compare this with what else the fund has on offer.

Every super fund has a range of investment options, including:

  1. Balanced: this option is designed to suit most people most of the time, offering above average returns with below average risk. The mix might hold 60 – 75% of its investments in shares and property with the rest in cash, bonds and fixed interest.
  2. Growth: this option offers higher average long-term returns, but with potential for more ups and downs. Losses are often higher in bad years and happen in four or five years out of 20. Growth options usually hold around 85% of funds in shares and property with the balance in cash and fixed-interest investments.
  3. Conservative: these portfolios tend to deliver lower average returns than growth options but with less risk of loss in any year. They typically hold around 70% in low-growth, low-risk cash and fixed interest deposits with the balance in shares and property.
  4. Cash investments in short-term deposits with Australian institutions: these offer relatively low, stable returns with no risk of loss. The downside is the risk that returns won’t keep pace with inflation.

When deciding what’s best, it’s important to consider your attitude to risk and how close you are to retirement. For example, if you’ve got 20 years of work left, a growth option may be more suitable for you than for someone with only a few years left until retirement. That’s because you’ll have time up your sleeve for the market to recover from any downturns.

Superannuation reviews are one of our specialities so call us to arrange a complimentary meeting


For straight-forward, practical financial, taxation and accounting advice
contact our knowledgeable team at SVA and WPA by calling 02 8850 0388.