Five financial resolutions for every woman
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- Pay only 15% tax on a bigger chunk of your salary
Take a look at your super; if you're getting by on the minimum employer contribution of 9%, why not salary sacrifice an extra 3% and take it up to 12%? Salary sacrifice is simply squirreling a chunk of salary into your tax advantaged super bucket before income tax is calculated. Because that chunk is then taxed as super contributions rather than salary, it only cops 15% tax (provided you're within your concessional cap of $25,000) instead of your full marginal rate, and it's perfectly legal, which is even better.
For example if your salary is $100,000 and you salary sacrifice $3000 into your super, you'll pay $1,155 less income tax than if you did nothing, but a full $2,550 gets invested for your future security.
If you want to see how well placed you are for a secure future in champagne and stilettoes there's a nifty little tool.
- Fix up your admin
To deal with the necessary evil of admn in 2013 try a few apps to make (and keep) life easy. Shoeboxed offers a fast and simple way to collate and categorise all your receipts in the cloud. Once your account is set up, a click of your smartphone is all it takes to send your paperwork shooting off to them to be scanned, sorted, categorised and ready to download in an excel file for your tax returns. You can also post receipts to them regularly in a special envelope which they provide.
Alternatively use a bookkeeper if you're time poor; Sophie Andrews and her team at The Accounts Studio can sort a pile of messy financial paperwork into a neat freak's dream in no time and for a very reasonable fee too.
- Protect yourself
Whether you're single or have a partner, have you thought about what happens to your security if you're unable to work? Review your income protection and trauma insurances and make sure the amounts they'll pay and the terms on which they'll pay out will be adequate for your needs if your health fails. Seek advice from a reputable licensed financial adviser if you're not sure. Just don't stick your head in the sand please, ok?
Thanks, I feel quite strongly about this, enough said.
- Take on your bank
I've heard so many negative stories this year about banks. There is enormous frustration regarding the way in which banks continue to treat small business owners, especially female ones. "Hello banks, are you listening? Small business is a lynchpin of our economy – wake up to the opportunities."
The smart people are putting their business banking out to tender, which is a great strategy and gives both parties a chance to match their needs more effectively. If you decide to do this, remember the second tier banks too out there beyond the big four, they're often more hungry for your business and willing to do deals.
Putting your banking out to tender needn't be limited to the business world either. If your bank is not playing nicely with your personal banking, give them some competition to sharpen them up. While you're shopping around, check out the premium and private banking offers as well as the standard ones, then negotiate hard to get as much benefit as you can for your fee. If you're a good catch they'll play ball with you; just make sure you're the one who keeps the ball at the end of the game.
Yes, rest. None of the first four tips count for anything if you don't get enough rest. When you're well rested you can take on anything, so get to the beach, or the pool, or the couch; wherever floats your boat and be yourself. And with that, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a fruitful and financially secure New Year.
Sara Lucas is an Authorised Representative of Fitzpatricks Dealer Group Pty Limited ABN 33 093 667 595 AFSL 247429
This information is of general nature only and is not intended as a personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. We recommend you consult a professional financial adviser who will assist you.
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