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Given that money touches many parts of our lives, managing our personal finances is a habit that is useful to help us achieve our goals and provide peace of mind.

Not sure where to start? The tips below provide some things you may like to consider to stay on top of your money.

1. Track your money

A budget is an effective way to identify which of your expenses are essential and those that you could potentially reduce. It also helps you assess all sources of income that keep your household running. You can use Australian Catholic Superannuation’s Budget Calculator to assist you with staying on top of your income and expenses and to help you get a step closer to your financial goals.

After you’ve created a budget, the next steps are to implement and stick to it, as well as to conduct regular reviews to ensure it’s meeting your needs. In fact, why not set up a reminder in your calendar to do a budget check-in over the next few months.

2. Start small and start today

Whatever your goals are, you’ll have a higher chance of realising them if you start saving today. Thanks to the power of compounding, even small amounts that you save can grow by reinvesting the returns with the initial amount.

To get started, you may like to set up an automatic transfer from your regular account so that a certain amount is transferred to a high interest savings account, an investment or your super each time you receive your pay.

If there’s one thing that the global pandemic has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. Having money for unexpected situations such as a job redundancy or a major car repair can minimise the need for you to take up a personal loan or use your credit card, both of which can attract high interest charges.

3. Make your super work harder for you

Planning for retirement may not be your priority especially if you have many more years before you leave the workforce. However, the funds you set aside now can determine whether you have enough to live on after you stop working. In addition to growing your nest egg, there are a couple of other advantages of making voluntary contributions to your super or your spouse’s super. If you meet the Australian Tax Office’s eligibility criteria, you may benefit in the following ways:

• receive a government co-contribution of up to $500 to your super if you are a low or middle income earner, who has made an after-tax contribution.

• save on taxes if you make post-tax contributions to your spouse’s super. These contributions can also help grow your spouse’ super especially if they’ve taken a career break.

• use your super contributions towards a deposit for your first home under the First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSS).

Another thing you may like to check is whether you have multiple super accounts. Having more than one account could mean that you’re paying multiple fees and insurance premiums out of your super balance.

Consider consolidating multiple super accounts to ensure that you are not using your retirement savings to cover unnecessary costs. You should carefully consider if consolidation is right for your circumstances.

4. Manage your debt

If you have debt with interest that isn’t tax deductible, consider reducing those with the highest interest rates first. You may like to check with your lender to ascertain if there are any early repayment penalties.

Other ways that may help manage your debt include making repayments more frequently or consolidating your loans. Determining whether to increase your loan repayments or to use any surplus cash flow for other purposes can be complex.

A financial adviser can help you with these decisions and with identifying opportunities to become debt-free in the best possible way, while taking your circumstances and other goals into account.

Want more tips on managing your finances? Australian Catholic Superannuation understands that different people have different preferences when it comes to learning, so we offer various ways for you to learn more about making your money work harder for you. Choose one or several of the following resources that suit you:

  • financial advice
  • articles
  • webinars
  • videos

Any advice in this document is of a general nature only, and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Prior to acting on any information in this document, you need to take into account your own financial circumstances, consider the Product Disclosure Statement for any product you are considering, and seek independent financial advice if you are unsure of what action to take.

For more information about Australian Catholic Superannuation, visit us:

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