What things can be salary packaged? You might be surprised to know that you can salary package most expenses, but does it mean you should? You may want to check what type of employer you are employed by and what the grossed up limits are otherwise you could be paying more fringe benefits tax than you should!
During the Christmas and New Year holiday period I looked around to see how my current mortgage compared with other products around the place. I find I do this necessary chore about every other year. In fact, come to think of it throughout our near 9 years here in our humble home we’ve refinanced 3 times, which includes the recent one we’re in the throes of doing (more on that throughout this article), with our last refinancing happening around April 2018.
If you’re new to budgeting and are looking for a quick way to “budget” then the 50/30/20 is the easy way to get started. “What makes it easy?” I hear you ask. Well, all you need is some basic math skills and you’re good to go. Here’s the step by step process of how it works: Work out how much money you receive from your pay (this will be the amount that hits your bank account every pay, otherwise known as your after tax income).
If you’ve read my recommendation on why you should be using Quickbooks Online to help manage your personal finances then your first objective is to get started with a chart of accounts. Why do I even need to create my own chart of accounts? The reason why you should create your own chart of accounts is that Quickbooks uses common industry accounts depending upon the type of industry you selected when you created your company file.
If you are an eager budget beaver like me then you’ll come at a point in your budgeting life where you will soon discover that the free or paid versions of organising your money just doesn’t quite cut the mustard. I have used many free and paid version apps that try to help me keep on top of my money, but there will always be some feature that I need which has been found lacking.
Every once in awhile when I look at my bank account I find myself wondering the same question, “How much should I be saving every month?”. According to a few personal finance gurus (like Dave Ramsey and Scott Pape) a good target you should be aiming to save of your gross salary is around 15%. But let’s look at how this broken down in a little more detail. Go Annualised It can be easy to focus on a month and think that this “normal”, but until you expand your budget to other months of the year you begin to realise that maybe the month you thought was good, was good because the other subsequent months were taking more of the expenditures.
It’s that time of year again for us. Yep, time when our home & contents insurance is up for its annual renewal. I prefer paying for our insurance bills annually as it helps me to find a better deal just before the current one is up for renewal. We have paid our insurance over a monthly timeframe, but because it’s always there you tend to forget about it. Anyway, last year we found the best insurance coverage for us was with NRMA, but this was primarily due to good discounts we obtained by packaging our car insurances with them.
One very important element when you start budgeting is to be able to compare your budget to your actuals to make sure you’re on target. Now the banks I have either personally banked with or have had to do banking with have been pretty good in helping users to categorise their transactions. There’s generally something available, the problem though is whether you can use it. Here’s where a great free service for Australians can help!
The first time my wife and I did a budget together we had no clue on where our money was being spent. We had a good idea of what money was coming in, but when we first sat down together we kind of guessed what we were spending. I think our conversation that night went something a little like this: Me: Hey babe, I think we should probably do a budget.
When you embark on the journey of budgeting you will discover very quickly where all that loose change has been going. But to start, it’s important that you have a bank account set up with a reputable and helpful bank that will provide the means in being able to classify your transactions. One such bank I use to help my wife, and I classify our transactions easily is Macquarie Bank.