Financial Tips and Treasures

Did you know that from 1 July, you will be able to do this using the newly launched myGov online service?

Once you set up an account with myGov, you essentially gain access to a secure online inbox. Here you will be able to receive online letters, statements as well as other important information from various government bodies such as:

  • Medicare
  • Centrelink
  • Veterans’ Affairs
  • eHealth Resources
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • Child Support

The ATO’s Steve Vesperman said “You’ll be able to update personal information, keep track of your superannuation, pay any tax debts and keep tabs on the processing of your tax return…you can be confident that your personal information and records are secure.”

To set up your myGov account, visit my.gov.au.

Follow the conversation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ato_gov_au and join the Facebook community at www.facebook.com/ato.gov.au

 

 

Here’s three things to review when choosing to invest in a stock.

First of all, what is a share? What are you paying for, and what are you getting in return when purchasing a “stock”? How does one determine which stocks to invest in?

When one buys a company’s stock, they actually become a part owner of the company. The “share” or “stock” is called such because all share-holders are investing their money to buy a piece of ownership in the company; and in return believe that the company will use the invested money effectively to perform well in it’s particular industry. Depending on how a company allocates the money brought in by investors, and many other variables, the company’s value will either increase or decrease. As a company’s value increases or decreases, so will the value of its shares. As a stock appreciates in value, one can choose to sell their stock for a profit (known as stock appreciation). A second way to profit from investing in a stock is the issuance of dividends. Dividends are simply the sharing of profits by a company to its investors.

With that being said, there are a few key things to look at when choosing a stock to invest in.

1. Performance history of the stock

With today’s technology, information on every publicly traded company is readily available. There are years of information on stocks traded today which will help in deciding which are good investments and those which are not. Looking at a stocks trading price over time can be indicative of its future performance, especially when compared to the market overall.

2. Stock volatility

For example, if a particular stock has consistently outperformed the market by decreasing less than, or even increasing, when the market average price is decreasing, odds are that the stock will continue to outperform the market in the future. The measure of how drastically a stock’s price changes up or down, especially when compared to the market as a whole, is known as volatility. A safer investment is in a stock with less volatility.

3. P/E ratios

The standard measurement of a stocks value is the P/E ratio, which stands for price to earnings. To calculate this ratio, one must take the price of the stock and divide it by the company’s annual net income. For example, a company with a stock price of $100 and net income per share of $5 will have a P/E ratio of $20; which is the recent average market P/E of United States stocks and slightly higher than the long-term average of Australian stocks.

Typically, stocks with a higher P/E ratio than the market average are considered expensive, while the stocks with a lower ratio are considered cheap. Either type can be considered a “good investment”, depending on how a person prefers to invest. The stocks considered expensive could be a company with a high stock price and low earnings, but may be growing very rapidly and will be increasing in value in the future. Conversely, a stock that may appear cheap because of a lower price or higher earnings per share could appear as such because many believe that a company’s future earnings will be less than they presently are; making what appears to be a good investment what is known as a value trap.

The cardinal rule for investing is to make the best decision with the information one has at the time. Through stock information now available online and the use of financial ratios, especially the P/E ratio, everyone is capable of investing intelligently in today’s markets.

 10thousandgirl would like to thank Aaron Cunningham, for writing this article.

Budget at a glance

Infographic: Thanks to theconversation.com

Personally I’d like to see less spending on defence and welfare and more on education – since one would think the latter decreases the need for the former, however…

Here’s some other resources to help get your head around it:

  • Official papers : http://www.budget.gov.au/2014-15/index.htm
  • Summary & transcript : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/budget-2014-joe-hockey-speech-live
  • Fan of these changes : http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/federal-budget-2014-young-to-wait-until-25-to-get-dole-20140513-388di.html
  • ABC take : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-12/budget-2014-what-we-know/5439838 

Watch out for:

  • Family Payments : http://www.budget.gov.au/2014-15/content/glossy/welfare/html/welfare_08.htm
  • First Home Savers Account abolished: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/First-home-saver-account/

2014 budget at glance info

10TG piot group loans

Actually two women’s lives.

Last night a group of 30 inspiring women around Australia gave two micro loans. These 30 women came from all walks of life – a mum from a farm in north west NSW, an artist from Melbourne, a mining consultant from central Queensland…

Over the last 6 weeks this powerful group of women completed the 6 Step Challenge, 10thousandgirl’s new ‘Michelle Bridges’ style online personal finance program. And they blitzed it!!

They documented their life plans, tracked their spending, worked out their net worth, negotiated rates on home loans, high interest savers and utility bills. They reviewed their insurance, consolidated super. They discussed investment principles and the behaviour of cash, property and shares. They opened super letters for the first time and made calls to their super fund to change their investment mix to fit with their age and stage. In week 4 they documented their personal investing plans, asking themselves:

  • What are my #1 financial goals?
  • How much money do I need for each goal?
  • When do I need it? What’s my timeframe?
  • What investment options suit that goal and timeframe?
  • What are my next steps?

And last night they wrapped up by mapping out their personal and professional support networks. They discussed the different professional support roles, how to find trusted advisors and learnt good questions to ask when approaching and engaging an adviser.

Then they wrapped up with an INSPIRATION FEST. Discussing what inspires them, who do they inspire? How do they stay inspired?

Well, wonderful women. You certainly inspired me. Thank you for your Ripple Effect. May it be felt across your life, among your family and friends lives, in your work and community life and as part of your program fee, you each donated $10 into a pool and were able to donate two micro loans, one to Merelita Marama and one to Linita Ponitini.

So thank you for your globally felt Ripple Effect… 

 

Merelita Marama, Nasautoka Fiji
Activity: Manufacturing
Loan Use: Sewing
Term: 26 Week

Some people are born with a natural talent. Merelita Marama (47) is one of them. She loves sewing for the people in her village and is a skilled seamstress. Merelita has built a steady client base among her friends, neighbours, office workers and church members. With her loan, she intends to buy more sewing equipment to help expand her business. Merelita is certain she will make greater profits, which will improve the lives of her four children.

Linita Ponitini, Tonga
Activity: Farming
Loan Use: Farm produce
Term: 52 Week

Linita Ponitini has three children under twelve. Her goal is to build a house for her family. She and her husband grow a range of crops, which Linita sells in the local market. But their profits are insufficient to cover both family and business expenses. So Linita is seeking a loan to buy seeds and seedlings to increase the farm’s production and yield.

Want to provide micro loans? Sign up http://www.goodreturn.org

Want to do the 10thousandgirl 6 Step Challenge? Sign up http://www.10thousandgirl.com 

growup careersJust read a blog on the MoneySoft site that made me go ‘yeah, that’s me too!’ Have you hit that age or stage where dreams of marrying a prince are slipping away and you’re finding yourself thinking about money?? 

Here’s Amy’s story… ‘Before I was a mum, I was a woman who enjoyed shopping for myself, being out with friends and family, paying for Foxtel to make sure I was update with every show and movie available on this planet. I enjoyed manicures, pedicures, facials, dinner parties, brunches, shopping online, spending summer days at the beach and having a quick drink before heading home. I drove everywhere, not really stressing about the cost of parking meters, or parking stations. Late nights splurging on food and drinks was not an issue as I could most probably sleep in the next day and if not have a quick nap before meeting up with friends for dinner. Everything seemed simple. Life was simple. What I wanted I did with no care in the world.

Something happened between my twenty’s and my thirties. I would always put it down to “well that’s what happens when you start having kids”…but in actual fact it’s just that my priorities shifted. I woke up one day thinking hang on (and that’s a PG version of what I was really thinking) why has everything changed? At what point did I become so money conscious and when did I start loosing sleep over this matter?

I can’t tell you exactly when or why but it happened. I found myself regretting a lot of my decisions from my younger days. What if I didn’t live paycheck to pay check, what if I saved a bit here and there, maybe just maybe I wouldn’t be in the predicament that I’m in now. When friends were all putting deposits on their investment properties I was that hippy saying “Enjoy life, life is short, we have plenty of time to work our a$$’ off and worry about money” then I would laugh and go home and think how I have got it so down packed this thing called life…. Just quietly I think those friends are now laughing.

Something had to be done it was getting ridiculous, having twins, a husband and all the pressures of life I no longer craved the ‘what I wanted I did with no care in the world’ kind of approach. My husband who is equally if not more a little ‘whatever’ with our finances came up with a great idea, pretend like we don’t have money. The first few months was great, we set up separate accounts to which our income was assigned to and another account for all our bills to come out of. We did the whole take food from home for lunch, put our left over coins in a jar at the end of the day, started selling a few bits and pieces online for some extra income, but slowly slowly our spending demons started resurfacing and scratching through the few months of hard work we had put in. In the end we looked at each other and..’ READ FULL ARTICLE >>

 

Money Circle Comparison Site

 

There’s a new money tool for women just launched. I’ve been loving their blog the last few months and now they have a comparison site.

Here’s an excerpt from their last newsletter with links to a few great blogs:

Penny Pryor reminds us, if you want to save money just ask for a better deal. You can manage the costs of your kids’ mobile phones with a little help from Nicole Avery. 

Tax expert, Jasmine Kidd, shares seven tax deductions commonly missed by landlords. For those of you working and paying a packet for childcare, Tracey Sharah helps you get the most relief from childcare allowances

And with winter coming, Veronica Foale suggests how to you stay warm without burning money

So if you’re looking to compare super funds, health insurers, home loans or savings accounts, add this one to your list of fun comparison sites: http://moneycircle.com

We all know Christmas is a festive time and it’s pretty easy to let our spending go astray.

Here are our favourite MoneySmart Top Tips and Tricks for Christmas. 

Track your Christmas gift, food and decoration spending this year with the TrackMySpend app. This app is free and easy to use. The new version of the app allows you to categorise your expenses and set spending limits for each category. You can also use the app to keep track of other expenses such as holidays and Boxing Day sales shopping, as well as your daily expenses. 

Make a List. Before you start shopping, make a list of who you’ll buy gifts for along with how much you plan to spend on each one. Remember, the longer you spend in a shop the more you are likely to buy, so having a list will help keep you focused and stop you from frivolous spending you can’t afford.

Shop online. You can more easily compare prices and products to get the best deal possible. Keep an eye out for free shipping and gift wrapping too. See MoneySmart’s tips on shopping securely online.

Make a ‘No Unnecessary Gift’ pact with your family and friends.  Agree to not buy each other gifts this year, or make other arrangements instead of a gift, like setting a lunch date for January or helping each other out with a goal or task.

Embrace the real Christmas spirit this year by donating money to charity. Many charities have items you can buy as gifts in the recipient’s name. Remember, any donation you make of $2 or more is tax deductible. See MoneySmart’s donating page for more information. 

Often one thoughtful gift is more useful than 10. If you can’t abstain from gift giving altogether then follow the savviest Christmas tradition of all – Secret Santa (some people call it Kris Kringle). Set a gift cost with a group of friends or family, draw a name out of a hat for each person and buy just one gift. 

A gift for the future. Instead of wasting money on an unnecessary gift, you might think about making an investment on someone’s behalf. For example, you could start a bank account for a child in your family and add to it each Christmas. They will thank you when they are 21 and you have saved a couple of thousand dollars for them.

Start saving for next year. Open a high interest savings account now and start saving for next Christmas. See the magic of compound interest at work with our compound interest calculator. If you put away just $18 a week for 52 weeks, you’ll have the average Christmas spend of over $900 saved for next year’s celebrations.

Thinking of putting a few gifts on your credit card? Use the MoneySmart credit card calculator to see how much your gifts will cost you if you don’t pay them off quickly.

10thousandgirl’s personal favourite? Make your Christmas gifts. There’s no better gift than one that’s taken time and love.

Enjoy being resourceful! Xx

We all want the best deal, this is the value of comparison sites. Here’s our picks!

MOZO

What we like about MOZO

  • General web layout and usability
  • MOZO Answers – a forum to ask and answer questions, check it out http://mozo.com.au/answers
  • Their blog and infographics

FINDER

We met with the Finder guys the other day and here’s what we found!

  • Great young team who really care about people’s financial literacy and empowerment
  • Home loan calculators – lots of them! Ones to help calculate property buying costs, savings with split loans, stamp duty, difference a lump sum payment can make to a loan and of course, loan comparisons
  • An interactive site with loads of info to explore and use to help make your financial decisions 

HOW DO COMPARISON SITES WORK?

We also liked how Finder were quite upfront with how how comparison sites work in a section called Free? What’s the Catch? Here’s a good explanation of how comparison sites work:

Someone has to foot the bill, but it’s not our customers. Instead, the providers on the site pay.

When you click through to or apply with a financial institution, broker or retailer from our website, that provider will pay us a small referral fee for sending you to there. We don’t mark up the products just for listing them on our website, and we don’t get ongoing or trailing commissions.

We also sell some ad spaces on our sites, although we try to limit those so you don’t feel too cluttered.

WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER?

Keep your eyes out for new comparison site for women, Money Circle. Great blog posts and social media commentary to date so we’re looking forward to seeing their next steps and what they’re going to offer in 2014.

Happy comparing! Xx

Did you know the average credit card debt in Australia is $3500? And paying minimum repayments at the average interest rate of 21.5% could take over 90 years to pay off?

Shocking but true.

In a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald ‘Plot a path to turn red into black‘, some basic tips to get yourself out of a credit card pickle were shared along with case studies which show it can be done.

Here are some other tips and resources to help get on top of debt and back into black:

TIP!! If you are consolidating debt, make sure you are careful of your credit rating, making multiple applications for credit cards etc can impact your ability to apply for a home loan etc. at a later date. Talk to your bank manager/s but don’t let them log any applications for you unless they’re 100% sure you will get it. You can check your credit history by getting a free copy of your credit report from these credit reporting agencies:

TIP!! Paying a little more than the minimum repayments on your credit card can mean the difference between having the debt for 90 years or 2!

Paying more than minimum repayments on credit cards

Start small, be strategic, keep on it and you’ll get there in no time.

FREE Ebook! 12 Kickstart Ideas To Refresh Your Life And Finances

Happy New Year!


For some that sentence oozes expectation, for others it evokes a sense of anticipation and excitement.

Its mid-late Jan. Who do you resemble?

A) Ah I’ve set goals before, they haven’t worked, this year I didn’t bother
B) I set goals this year but I’m battling already
C) I’m kicking goals big time
D) My opinion on goalsetting is… we’d love to hear from you, please share!

Of course, at 10thousandgirl we’re firm believers in goal setting. After all, if you don’t know what you’re looking for there’s not even a chance you’ll find it!

To help we’ve put together an easy-to-follow goal setting and financial refresher EBOOK.

Feel free to download as many times as you like and share with your friends, family and work colleagues.

It’s a Ripple Effect!

DOWNLOAD Free Ebook! 12 Kickstart Ideas To Refresh Your Life And Finances




So did that picture capture your attention??
The ATO (Australian Tax Office) has put together some info on identity theft and your tax file number. It’s important reading 10thousandgirls!

Is your identity secure? It’s your identity – protect it!

Your identity is a precious thing, and it’s up to you to protect it!

Your identity is made up of your personal details like your name, date of birth, address and other information, including your tax file number (TFN). Your TFN is a unique nine digit number issued to you by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You may have applied for your TFN through your school.

Identity crime

Did you know if someone else finds out enough about your identity, they could impersonate you and use your identity for illegal purposes? For example, they could use it to access government benefits, access your bank account, lodge a tax return in your name or even take out a loan in your name. This is called identity crime.

How does identity crime happen?

Identity criminals take other people’s details by:

  • stealing purses, wallets, mail, or mobile phones
  • sifting through rubbish
  • advertising and interviewing for a job that does not exist
  • asking questions while pretending they are a government, bank or other representative
  • offering to help you complete a tax return or other official document
  • reading information on a social networking page online, or
  • tricking you into clicking on a link in an email, or web page that captures your details.

How can I protect my TFN?

  • Never give someone your TFN unless there is a good reason, such as completing a tax form or opening a bank account.
  • Never provide your TFN when applying for work, especially if you are applying for a job online.
  • Only provide your TFN to your employer after you start work.
  • Just like your PIN for your bank keycard, never store your TFN in your mobile phone, in your purse or wallet, or share it with your friends or family (including on social networking sites).
  • See our online security page (www.ato.gov.au/onlinesecurity) for tips on using computers safely and information about genuine ATO email and SMS campaigns.
  • When throwing away documents with your personal details on them, make sure you shred or destroy them properly first.
  • Report the loss or theft of your TFN or other identity documents without delay.

So who can I give my TFN to?

You should only give your TFN to someone who is authorised to ask for it. The most common people and organisations who are legally allowed to ask for your TFN are:

  • the ATO when discussing your tax records
  • your employer after you start work
  • your bank
  • the Department of Human Services
  • your super fund.

Help from the ATO

You should immediately report any loss, theft or misuse of your TFN, see www.ato.gov.au/identitycrime

Photo Credit

Name PJ Ann Aguilar
Age 31
Profession Public Servant
Location
Canberra ACT

Tell us a little about yourself (personal, professional, fun, family) so we can get to know you a little better!
I’m currently on maternity leave from my part-time position at the Australian Government’s Office for Women, I run a microbusiness Simplicity Retreats, most recently became the Canberra Coordinator for 10thousandgirl and I’m also a Property Investor. However my most fulfilling (& demanding!) role is being mum to my two little boys, 3 year old Jacob and 4 month old Matt.

When did you buy?
We settled to build our residential home in November 2007, then was fortunate enough to build some equity to let us buy some investment properties.

Did you buy alone or with someone else?
All were bought with my husband Greg.

When did you first think you wanted to buy?
Probably a couple of years before the first purchase.

How did you know property was for you?
After reading a lot of books on property investing, I felt it was something very tangible, a type of investing I could easily learn and give a go.

Who did you talk to during the buying process (professionals/family/friends)?
For the first purchase, our mortgage broker was great support emotionally and technically (though soon after he sold his firm and became a church minister!) Since then I coordinated financing directly and don’t use a broker anymore. Also for the first purchase, we felt very overwhelmed and my dad helped us crunch the numbers to put our minds at ease. More recently I rely on great advice from my accountant and solicitor, and we learnt extra strategies from a property investing course we did.

What other research did you do?
With our residential home, we went to a lot of open houses and building displays. With the investment properties, I do a lot of “window shopping” online – look at certain areas, properties within our budget and how much similar properties are rented for (rather than relying on advertised ‘potential rents’). I also talk to agents to get local knowledge, which is very important especially if buying interstate.

How did you save for the deposit?
I was fortunate enough to stay at home until I was in my early 20s which let me save. My husband and I also saved together leading up to the purchase. We then used equity in our residential house to pay for the deposit (and purchase costs) of the investment properties. So while we didn’t have to save for the other deposits, we do have to live within our means and regularly save to build a buffer to support our investments (and allow us to sleep at night!)

Where did you buy?
Our residential house is in Canberra, other properties are in regional areas in NSW and QLD.

What was the most difficult or challenging thing during the process?
The first purchase was the hardest. We went through the building process and had no idea what we were doing! Our solicitor at the time was more trouble than helpful – I did a lot of the work myself. But it all worked out and we feel very fortunate to have a homely-home for our boys. Buying the investment properties were easy in comparison. I feel our confidence build with each purchase. Though we still have to work on our negotiating skills!

What was the most fun or rewarding thing during the process?
I really enjoy the shopping part! Researching and seeing what’s on the market. Once an offer is accepted I also like learning the administrative process and see the purchase come to life.

What was the most important thing when looking at the mortgage?
Borrowing only what you can afford. But also just biting the bullet, it may seem like a lot of money but it is less than what it will be if you keep putting it off. Also don’t be afraid of mortgage insurance, even if you add it to the overall loan – because if it means you’ll be in the market earlier then it’s worth it.  Our first purchase was a 95% loan, but there was no way we could’ve saved the amount of equity we earned in the short time we acquired it.

Do you have any other property related goals?
Yes we’re planning to keep purchasing property, but holding off for now while I’m off work and we’ve saved some more. Being home with the boys while on maternity leave has been very motivating – that having our properties earning us passive income will give us more choices in the future and more time together as a family.

Any tips you would give other 10thousandgirls who are thinking about buying?
Be focused on your goal, keep an eye on your spending habits so you can save as much as you can. Know what you can afford, get across the fine print. Whatever you purchase you need to be able to sleep at night. So read a lot, ask a lot. Then just go for it! Because what you don’t know, you will learn along the way. Good luck!


As our Canberra Coordinator, PJ loves connecting with, and encouraging women to support each other about personal finances. She can be contacted at canberra@10thousandgirl.com, or if you’re located in the Canberra region, come and join other local 10thousandgirls at the Personal Finance LinkUp this Saturday 18 August: http://10thousandgirlcanberralinkup180812-eorg.eventbrite.com/

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