No matter what your financial situation is, being good with money is a core life skill. Whether you have a little or a lot, there are some basic practices that can help you take control and stay on top of your finances. Maybe you have your first job and want to learn how to accurately budget. Perhaps you're saving up for a major purchase, such as your first home. Maybe you're looking for some ways to cut back your expenses. Maybe you're experiencing financial difficulty and need to find ways to take control of your money and finances. Or you may need help putting in place some realistic savings goals.
Even though Australia's economy is doing well, lots of Australians are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Recent changes in the global financial environment as well as the domestic economy have affected bank customers. Additional pressures, such as illness or job loss, can result in difficulties in managing debts. If you encounter problems with your bank loans or credit cards, it's best to get in touch with your bank as quickly as possible to work out a strategy for keeping on top of your debts. Banks want to help you during periods of financial hardship, but you must contact them as early as possible for assistance.
Banking is not just about handling your day-to-day finances now. Managing your money is also about planning for the future, and having money put aside in case something unexpected happens. Of course, it's wise to get into good savings habits early to try and build your money, and eventually to invest for the longer term.
If you're like most Australians, after your home, superannuation will be your most important investment. Not only is it likely to be one of the biggest investments you'll have by dollar value, it will also be the investment you depend on when you no longer work for an income. Increasing life expectancies means the superannuation of many Australians will have to last them for a retirement of 20 or 30 years. How much you have in superannuation will influence your standard of living in retirement. So taking an early interest in your superannuation can really pay off.
Sometimes unexpected things happen, such as an injury or illness preventing you from being able to work, or you may be on holiday or working overseas for a short time and need someone to look after your financial and legal affairs. A power of attorney is a way to control who makes decisions for you if you're unable to do so yourself.
Insurance plays a significant role in our lives. We all need to think about our financial and life circumstances and how we can reduce the risk of financial loss so we can better protect our families, assets, lifestyles and life goals. But how do you know what kind of insurance you need or how much insurance cover is enough?