Tag Archives: Finances

What to Consider When Choosing a Super Fund

Choosing a superannuation fund is an important decision, affecting your long-term savings and retirement. All super funds are different, with different features, investment options and fees. If you are looking for your first super fund or want to switch funds, here are a few things to consider when choosing.

Fees and performance

All super funds charge fees, and you want to look for one with the lowest fees. Fees are deducted from your account balance and can have a significant impact on your long-term savings. Superannuation fees can be hundreds or thousands of dollars, so it is essential to compare fees across different providers when choosing. Additionally, compare fees against the funds’ performance over at least five years.

Risk appetite

Everyone has a different appetite for risk – how much risk are you comfortable with? Most superannuation funds will offer a variety of investment opportunities, catering for different risk appetites, ranging from conservative to high risk. Consider and compare funds that provide similar investment strategies that are suitable for your lifestyle and age.

Insurance

Many superannuation funds offer insurance that generally have cheaper premiums than those available through insurance companies. Typically, this includes life insurance, total and permanent disability cover, and income protection. Premiums are deducted from your superannuation balance. Consider your lifestyle needs, but make sure you fully understand what you are covered for and the costs involved.

Usability

Depending on your needs, a differentiator between funds is their usability and customer experience. If you plan on checking your superannuation balance often, like you would a bank account, then you should consider a fund that has an easy to use online platform and can be easily contacted, for example with an online chat or through a mobile application.

Superannuation is always changing, so it is essential to do your research and not get complacent. Check-in on your balance now and then, ensuring that employer contributions are being made and your balance isn’t wasting away to fees or underperforming investments.

How to Manage Your Finances During a Crisis

A crisis will have a significant impact on your lifestyle, your emotions, and your finances. People struggle with job loss during these times and are left worried about how they are going to pay for bills and essentials. Keep reading to find out how to manage your finances during a crisis.

Stay on top of reliable information

Changes can happen rapidly during a crisis, so it is important to stay on top of the latest reliable information that could help your financial situation. But remember to take a break from the information to you don’t get overwhelmed. Look to official government websites for reliable information and avoid social media as people tend to spread false information.

Apply for any help you are eligible for

Losing part or all of your income is incredibly stressful and frightening. However, the government often release support and assistance to those affected by crises. Head to official government websites to research what you can qualify for and apply as soon as possible. Be aware that many other people are in the same situation, so wait times may be longer.

Review your budget

You will need to review your budget to establish your “emergency budget”, based on your reduced income. Start with your most essential expenses such as housing, food and medical costs. You might find that some of your expenses have dropped because of the crisis, for example, travel to work and eating out.

Go through your monthly expenses and identify ways to cut back on spending. Identify the discretionary spending that you can go without, such as subscription services, parking or gym memberships.

Learn new skills

Use the crisis, and any free time it brings, to learn new skills or sharpen your current knowledge. Think about professional education to advance your skills as this may help you maintain your current employment or give you an advantage if you need to seek new positions later on.

Dealing with your finances during a crisis is incredibly stressful. There is no shame in asking for help during a financial crisis. The Farm Protectors are here to help you survive and overcome any crises you face.

5 Ways To Be Better With Your Money This Year

A new year is a great time to check over your finances and determine your short and long-term goals. While many people want to spend less and save more, following through is the hardest part. Here are 5 simple ways to be better with your money this year.

Track spending on non-essentials

Your essential expenses rarely vary month-to-month, such as rent, mortgage repayments, groceries and car maintenance. However, non-essential purchases can have a significant impact on your saving goals. Think takeaway food, tickets and coffees. By tracking spending, you can figure out the best ways to save money. You might find that you’re spending several hundred a month eating out and might forego a meal out or choose a less-expensive restaurant.

Use the 24-hour rule for purchases

With online shopping so prevalent now, it is very easy to find yourself browsing your favourite stores. A great way to avoid impulse purchases and wasteful spending it to implement the 24-hour rule – wait 24 hours before purchasing an item. Take the time to decide if you genuinely want or need the item. Chances are you will decide that you don’t need it. If you still really want it after the 24 hours, you know that it will be a worthwhile purchase. For more expensive items, consider a one-month rule.

Get a money buddy

Money is a taboo topic for most people. However, talking about money can help you reach your goals and feel a little less alone. Trying to achieve financial goals can seem never-ending, and people may become disheartened. Find a friend, family member or co-worker who has the same financial goals as you, and pair up to motivate and keep each other accountable.

Enlist the help of professionals

Guidance can be essential to financial success and saving more. At The Farm Protectors, our strategic advisers will help you reach your goals, improve your health and ensure you have adequate protection against any future contingencies.

We’re here to help you reach your goals, now and into the future. Take strides this year to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

How to Get Your Finances in Shape at Every Stage of Life

As you go through life, your financial goals will shift and change. Very few people have the same goals as they did a few years ago. Below is a general guide for how to get your finances in shape at every life stage.

20s

You might not be earning a whole lot of money in your 20s, but it is the time to get good habits in place. Your focus should be on creating a budget and sticking to it, resisting the urge to borrow to supplement your income. Once you’ve mastered your budget, you’ll want to start building some savings. Saving will give you the financial freedom to make smarter choices about what to do with your money. It is a good idea to start by creating an emergency fund.

30s

Your 30s might feel like a constant battle of working to pay the bills. You will need to be strict with your budget to ensure that you can meet your short-term goals (like a holiday with the kids) and your long-term retirement goals. You will need to consider how important your goals are and be realistic about the timeframe you want to achieve them.

40s

At this stage in your life, you will likely be reaching your maximum earning potential and will have some substantial financial commitments, such as a mortgage. Many people struggle with lifestyle creep in their 40s. Lifestyle creep is the gradual increase in spending as your wage increases. This often results in extra purchasing, at the detriment of your savings. Before making purchases, you need to ensure you stick to your budget and prioritise purchases, so you can still save for retirement.

50s

Your 50s should be all about maximising your superannuation. If your balance is low, you might find that you need to implement a strict budget to get back on track. Think about making contributions right up to the concessional cap.

The team at The Farm Protectors are here to help, whatever stage of life you are at. We can provide guidance on budgeting, savings, and retirement planning. Contact us today.