Monday, 27 May 2013

Life insurance ... don't slip up, protect your family against the banana skin in your life

Life insurance ... don't slip up, protect your family against the banana skin in your life

Australia is one of the most underinsured nations in the developing world, ranking 16th in a global listing, and for those of us who have life insurance we often haven't got enough.

Not everyone needs life insurance, it depends upon your stage in life and your individual circumstances. Ask yourself the following question ...

Would anyone I care about be worse off if I was unable to work or passed away, and if so, do I want to make sure their interests are protected?

For most, the answer will be a resounding 'yes'!

With the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealing that 3 in every 4 Australians will be diagnosed with a serious illness during their working life, if you're in a relationship or have children, you should ensure you are insured and ensure you have enough.

Make sure you check out Sally Tyrie's Q&A on life insurance and get clued up and insured up today.

Money Smart not Money Short

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Do you want to know about the superannuation guarantee in Australia? How much do you need to squirrel away to be happy?

Whatever your lifestyle, whatever your income, if you are employed the superannuation (super) guarantee is of benefit to you.

The government has proposed to increase the super guarantee rate from 9% to 12% of your income between July 2013 and July 2019.  The first change is due on 1 July 2013 when the 9% rate will increase to 9.25%.

The big issue is that people just don't have enough saved to cover them when they begin their retirement. 

The AFSA Retirement Standard reports that for a couple to live a ‘comfortable’ life in retirement you will need an income after tax of just over $56,000 a year. 

Make sure you check out Sally Tyrie's Q&A on the government changes to Super and get on top of how much you need to save for your retirement.

Money Smart not Money Short

Monday, 20 May 2013

Did we learn something from the funny 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'? The irony - I think we did....

Try these quick tricks to get you on the saving straight and narrow. Standard practises in a Money Smart not Money Short home;

1. Coupon clipping
2. Customer loyalty schemes
3. Group buying
4. Choosing store brands and shopping online
5. Mobile banking - check it before you spend it
6. Switching gas and electricity
7. Switching insurance providers on car, home, life
8. Reducing expenditure on mobiles, weekly shops and holidays or entertainment.
9. Shopping seasonal on fruit and veg
10. Using credit cards reward schemes and paying off debt weekly before the interest rate is applied.

If you would like to read more check out the rest of this article at 1MUM.

Happy saving and be Money Smart not Money Short!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Interest Rate Decrease Announced Today - 7 May 2013

Interest Rate Drop
The +Reserve Bank has just announced an interest rate decrease of 0.25% bringing the interest base to 2.75%. This is very exciting for Australia as it is actually an all time low in interest rates and these interest  rate savings will in some instances be passed on to the consumer. +NAB is the 1st bank to move and pass these cuts onto consumers today and we will be waiting to see when +Westpac Australia , +CommBank and +ANZ follow suit.

Why cut the rates?
A slow down in spending in the Australian economy due to the high cost of living in both metro and rural areas has meant people have less money to save and therefore are less likely to be working towards larger expenses such as trading up their homes, renovating and even going on holiday.

Sign posts
Day to day high street spending is down and has been for some time and this has a huge effect on SME high street business and more and more local stores are doing it tough. The retail sector has also announced a 4% drop in spending in the last quarter.

Related reasons for the drop?
The government is $17 Billion short for their budget so they are passing this onto previously promised +family payments by scrapping the new scheme. Overal there is less money coming into the economy from a number of sectors so dropping the interest rate is hoped to encourage spending again - in particular in the housing market.

What does it mean for consumers
As consumers we are getting smarter and the GFC has taught us the value of saving, budgeting and being cautious when it comes to debt. Comparing the costs of what we pay for our cars, coffee and petrol to USA and the UK makes for chilling reading.

This cut can mean a reduction in household in mortgage costs of up to $100 per week based on an average family mortgage of $300k.

Work out your potential savings by reducing your interest payments by 0.25%.

Money Smart not Money Short
Why not take the weekly savings and put them into a high interest savings account to either pay off debt or pay for Christmas this year. If you have an offset mortgage just add the saved interest payment back into the offset account and further reduce your monthly mortgage payments.

Read our finance expert Sally Tyrie's article on interest rates to make sure you are making the most of this interest cut.

1MUM - Simple advice for smart people