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:
- 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.”
Full article on LifeBuzz. Here’s the highlights – we’ve added an exercise for each idea to get your started. What # rings true for you?
#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people.
EX: Identify someone you spend time with who drains your energy. Unless they need your help, cut your time with them back a little.
#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.
EX: Identify your #1 problem at the moment. What’s one thing you can do about it?
#3. Stop lying to yourself.
EX: What do you need to be more honest about?
#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner.
EX: Do something for yourself today! Just do it!
#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not.
EX: Identify someone who you want to be like. Do you really want to be them?
#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past.
EX: Think of a memory in the past you hold onto. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the memory. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake.
EX: Do something you think you’ll fail at. See what happens!
#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6. Identify something you are constantly berating yourself about. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#9. Stop trying to buy happiness.
EX: What have you bought lately because you thought it would make you feel good? Next time you make a similar purchase, ask yourself ‘why?’. What feeling are you trying to buy? What else can you do to create that feeling?
#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness.
EX: Identify a person that makes you happy? What makes them that way? What quality do they have? Mmm yes you have it too!
#11. Stop being idle.
EX: Get up today and DO something you’ve been putting off.
#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready.
EX: START. Start investing, start a conversation with a guy you like, start negotiating a career progression… just START.
#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
EX: Focus instead on the relationship you have with yourself, all other relationships are a bonus.
#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6 & 8. Identify something you have experienced in a relationship in the past. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else.
EX: Set a goal around improving yourself. About making an improvement on your efforts last week or last month, or yesterday or last year.
#16. Stop being jealous of others.
EX: Identify someone you’re jealous of. Pay them a compliment – call, email, text or in person.
#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself.
EX: Identify something that’s great in your life.
#18. Stop holding grudges.
EX: Repeat similar exercise from #6 & 8. Identify a grudge you have. Take a deep breathe, fill your belly. Breathe into the idea. Now exhale, say out loud ” I let it go”.
#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
EX: Next time someone brings you down, look them in the eye and tell them you don’t agree. And that actually… you rock at that!!
#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others.
EX: Next time you find yourself explaining yourself, stop. If they get you they’ll get you.
#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break.
EX: Take a sporadic break – a walk around the block or a week away!
#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments.
EX: Smile deliberately at something beautiful that catches your eye. Enjoy it for a minute +.
#23. Stop trying to make things perfect.
EX: Laugh out loud at an imperfection.
#24. Stop following the path of least resistance.
EX: Do something that CHALLENGES you.
#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t.
EX: Ask someone for help.
#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles.
EX: Next time you catch yourself blaming someone else, bring it back to you? What could you have done differently? What can you do better next time?
#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
EX: Pick your battles a friend once said to me. It’s the same with helping others. Pick a few people to support in your life, and support them well.
#28. Stop worrying so much.
EX: Jump up and down 10 times, waving your hands around above your head. Keep going till you burst out laughing – what were you worrying about again?
#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
EX: Life’s like a garden, you need to fertilise the plants not the weeds. Identify one of your plants (key goals) – water it!!
#30. Stop being ungrateful.
EX: No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere is desperately fighting for theirs. Say thank you for something out aloud.
What can you stop doing?
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
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
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
Just 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 >>
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:
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!
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
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
The fun bookclub-like GIG (Girl Investment Group) program supports you and girlfriends, workmates or new 10thousandgirl friends to complete the 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program. The aim is to learn the principles behind personal finance and investing in an engaging, supportive and light-hearted environment.
GIGs are all about learning the life and finance skills we need to know but often didn’t learn at home or at school. Supported by interactive webinars, videos and beautiful workbook materials, 10thousandgirl supplies the Personal Finance Program with an agenda and learning materials for each meeting, and you let your group know what time and who’s bringing tea, treats or wine.
Financially empower yourself while 10% of your program fees go toward providing a microloan for a woman to start a new business and lift herself and her family out of poverty. Pretty inspiring!
Want to find out more?
Here’s an overview of GIGs (Girl Investment Groups) and the NEW 10thousandgirl Personal Finance Program.
Interested and want to find other like-minds in your area? Register your interest.
Already decided this is for you? Here’s the Steps to Getting Your GIG Started.
Currently a financial services professional looking for opportunities to financially empower women in your local area? Interested in a Mentor opportunity? Read on…
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:
- Managing debt
- Creating a Debt Repayment Plan (video tutorial)
- Reaching your savings goal
- Credit Card Calculator
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!
Start small, be strategic, keep on it and you’ll get there in no time.
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.
Age: Do I have to?
Tell us a little about yourself (personal, professional, fun, family) so we can get to know you a little better!
I’m a self-employed PR and communication import from the UK, a Hello Kitty enthusiast. Love exercising outdoors.
When did you buy?
My first, July 2009, my second, May 2011.
Did you buy alone or with someone else?
By myself – very happily. I read articles about whether girls should buy alone or not, such nonsense, of course they should, every wants/needs a home and everyone needs financial security at any point in their life, if they can afford it.
When did you first think you wanted to buy?
Like most people, I had lofty ideas of self-employment, first property and marriage by 30. Ha, try telling your life how your life is going to pan out…
How did you know property was for you?
I’m a relentless researcher, I put exactly the time it takes to find what I want. So, when I do, it’s usually the right side of perfect based on research, realigning according to needs, wants and price.
I’d been looking longer than most, probably eight or nine months, so when I found it, it was an easy & quick sales process, and most importantly, it felt like home when the minute I walked in to the viewing. It was a top floor sunny haven that when I closed the door, the rest of the world disappeared. Also useful was that I could go to viewings in office hours when many can’t, that way, I got to move quickly and secure the deal.
I’d come from renting a great property in terms of location, price and size – right on Bondi Beach, but it was ground floor and dark. I’d had a peeping Tom and I didn’t realise how much I appreciated moving into a sunny top floor safe haven. I still appreciate it three years on, and have that nice feeling of ‘home’ every time I walk in.
When did you get serious and start taking the steps to buy?
As an import, with no family or experience of buying in Australia, let alone Sydney’s unique, expensive and competitive Eastern Suburbs, I attended a one day course on first-time property buying through the Eastern Suburbs Community College. It turns out to have been the best $130 odd dollars I’ve ever spent as far as wealth management and creating a home are concerned.
Who did you talk to during the buying process (professionals/family/friends)?
I asked the guy taking the course, Scott Durrant of Successful Ways (property coach, buyer’s agent, mortgage broker, and other financial/property services) what else he did beyond teaching – that’s what was great, he imparted his knowledge without selling his other services. There was instant trust there as a result.
What questions did you ask?
Subtly, reason for the sale, how many in the block, planned works, owner/tenant occupation, strata fees, company title vs strata, how long it had been on the market.
I worked with Scott as my property coach, I’d go and trawl every Saturday and report back. People who are in property love talking about it, they don’t get tired of the questions. He’d help me with the next set of questions to ask the agent and filter the good properties from the bad.
What other research did you do?
Pavement pounding – I went and looked at everything in my price range and certain specifications, just to be sure, it helps narrow the criteria for what you will and won’t compromise on.
How did you save for the deposit?
It’s kind of a weirdly bad story with a good outcome. I went through a really tough few years in my personal life, I’d quit a very well-paid job to start a business in a completely new area, my boyfriend dumped me shortly after, a parent (in the UK) had cancer, a sibling (here in Aus) went through quite a serious situation so I threw the new business idea aside, focused on family and keeping myself sane, started freelancing and eventually grew a good set of clients. During the three or so years, I was quite isolated as a result and this pot of money kind of grew itself. Almost accidentally. Good things do come from bad!
Also, somehow, I’ve never had a credit card and have been debt-free since paying off my student loan in my late 20s so I was lucky not to have the mental drain that I understand debt can be.
It’s daunting but just get saving, sooner rather than later, and establish a budget and plans. I’d allocate myself a certain amount of cash each week, no card payment allowed. When you realise how much you fork out on rent and socialising along the way, it’s sickening.
Did you buy as a home or for an investment?
Both – always as home to live in for a few years, and always with the intention it would be a good investment in the longer-term.
Where did you buy?
Bellevue Hill, near Bondi in Sydney’s East.
What was the most difficult or challenging thing during the process?
Wondering if the deposit pot was ever going to reach the magic number!
Giving up those gorgeous Saturday mornings to do the mad dash between apartment showing times for eight or nine months, have your hopes raised and dashed when somehow, they weren’t quite right. You start wondering where you need to compromise.
What was the most fun or rewarding thing during the process?
Always the potential of what I was going to discover …but the most rewarding thing was that I found a beautiful home with great rental and sale potential, at what could almost be described as a bargain (for Eastern Suburbs prices).
What was the most important thing when looking at the mortgage?
Take advice, shop around, consider offsets, consider whether you’re cautious or risky to decide on fixed vs variable.
Who or what was the most helpful?
I keep saying it, but seriously, Scott Durrant at Successful Ways was invaluable & patient. I’d research the properties, go and view, report back, and he would help me evaluate each one, and how to negotiate with the agent. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend doing a course, or working with him.
What has it been like after the purchase?
So painless that I did it again! Scott helped me work out that there was enough equity in my property to buy again. I went through the process a lot quicker this time, probably helped by the fact that I wasn’t going to live in it so could make an impartial good decision. That said, it’s great and I would consider living in it if I ever had to! It’s a one bedder with sunroom, study, terrace, lock-up garage in a small block just back from the beach in Bronte. It’s rented out, I cover some of the mortgage each month, which with my existing mortgage is something not everyone could manage I guess but I’m doing the hard yards now for the future.
Do you have any other property related goals?
Well, I’m currently looking to buy my third actually for a business idea, and ultimately would like property in New York and London in the not too distant future, also part of a business & property strategy I’m currently looking at.
I’m essentially using well-bought property as part of my superannuation / retirement strategy.
Any tips you would give other 10thousandgirls who are thinking about buying?
-Work out what you will and won’t compromise on, garage, balcony, light, two rooms etc – I compromised on the location, I had my heart set on Bondi but realistically, the quality, and the quality vs price quality just wasn’t there. Especially when you’re competing with couples and their dual income, and often rich couples with parental backing.
I knew that without the beach on my doorstep, I needed a balcony. I also personally prefer the art deco blocks vs the new builds, because they’re better quality and won’t crack in ten years.
-Check on the hidden costs and don’t pretend they’re not there – sinking funds, insurances etc, strata fees. Older blocks don’t tend to have as high strata fees to cover lifts, pools, concierge etc. do the reports, get the advice.
-It took me a long time to get my head out of Bondi and look at surrounding suburbs. Best thing I did. I almost bought a lemon right on Bondi Beach, thankfully, Scott and his team had done the research to show that insurances for the awnings over tourist cafes hadn’t been paid for a while, so if anything happened to them, I and other owners would have been liable.
-Buy with head and heart, not just heart. It’s easy to say but only by spending a good period of time researching will you come to a happy medium.
Thanks Jo for sharing your story and your tips!
So the banks are the focus of a traditional post RBA rate movement ‘bashing’ which is understandable as Australian’s will generally be effected in some way or another because they either
1/ have a home loan
2/ have savings account or a term deposit
3/ are a shareholder
Now banks provide a service and Australian banks are as strong as any in the world which was demonstrated through the GFC as other banks around the world were defaulting. Now as per any other business, banks are out there to make money for their owners, ie their shareholders of which many Australians are either directly or through their superannuation funds and if you are not all in cash or self manage your fund the chances are you are invested in them as well.
But just as a business like your local supermarket, they have a product to sell. To enable them to have this product to sell they need to buy that product and the difference between how much they buy the product for and sell the product for is their margin which the use to generate a profit which they can then return to their owners/shareholders. The banks product is however lending money, so to lend money they have to buy money…… to buy money the banks can do several things, one of which is borrow it from depositors, ie savings accounts and term deposits for a certain interest rate and then lend that money out at a different interest rate. The difference of which is the margin they keep for the service.
Competition among the banks for the consumers money ie term deposits and debt will push this margin down and ensure the consumers win but the banks will also always try to keep this margin at a suitable level to keep their owners/shareholders happy.
The trick is to remember that when all this noise is out there – the effect of how the bank reacts to reserve bank cash rate changes will differ for each person, depending on whether you are a borrower, depositor or shareholder.
How do interest rate changes affect you?
Alisdair Barr is the founder of Future Map, a dynamic financial literacy program focused on building life planning and financial literacy skills in the workplace. Having held senior leadership roles for the last 10 years at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, he is passionate about reducing complexity and helping to map out a better future for all Australians. More from Alisdair on www.futuremap.com.au