Category: Money Matters
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Sub category: Spending
18 January 2019

Five steps to refresh your finances in the New Year

New Year doesn’t have to mean new you. Sure, you can throw around a lot of flashy resolutions, but it doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. Sometimes the New Year is just a good time to refresh.

That’s how it should be with your finances as well. Coming into the New Year gives you a chance to stop, collect yourself, and get your finances in shape for the year ahead. Here are some of the key personal finance areas to take a look at.

1. Get your budget in order

Take a look at some of your statements from last year to see if there were any expenses that caught you off guard and made you go over your budget.

Check out some budgeting apps that might help. Pocketbook, for instance, integrates with ING and automatically tracks and categorises what you spend your money on.

You could also try creating different accounts for each of your major regular expenses so you have a clear view of how much money you need to spend on each of your day to day expenses.

2. Sort your super

Is your super doing all it can for you? You might not be making as many contributions as you need to get to you goal, or you might be paying fees on multiple accounts, so it’s important to check.

Think about consolidating. If you’re consolidating into an ING Living Super account, you can speak to an ING Living Super consultant who will guide you through the process. ING Living Super’s RapidRollover tool can help you track down your existing super accounts.

Before rolling over or consolidating your super accounts, you should consider:

  • whether there are any exit and/or withdrawal fees you may incur with your existing superannuation provider(s);
  • where future employer contributions will be paid; and
  • any effects on current insurance cover and other benefits held under your existing superannuation account(s).

If there’s room in your budget, have you thought about make voluntary contributions?  Voluntary contributions are known as non-concessional contributions as it is made from your after-tax pay.  The maximum cap on non-concessional contributions is currently $100,000 for FY2018-2019.  This can be a consistent way to boost the funds you have in your super provided you do not exceed the maximum contribution cap.  For more information on voluntary contributions and caps, you can visit the ATO website or contact our Super Specialist.

As there may be consequences associated with your decision to rollover (including incurring additional charges and/or the loss of existing benefits) and making additional contributions, you may want to discuss any potential changes with your accountant or financial adviser.

3. Get serious about your goals

Maybe it’s a new car. Maybe a dream holiday. Whatever your goal is, have a think on if you’re doing everything you can to reach it.

A technique you can try to help visualise your goals is to name your accounts after them. This way when you look at your online banking, you can see how you are tracking against each goal and if you need to be putting a little more effort towards them.

Take advantage of little and often savings, like with Everyday Round Up. Though they seem small at the time, they can help you get towards your goals just by going about your daily routine.

4. Check in on your home loan

Paying off a home loan doesn’t have to be daunting. There are a few techniques you can try in the New Year to make it easier. Explore an offset account – this can reduce the amount of interest you pay on your home loan repayments.

Everyday Round Up can also be used for making frequent micro payments to your loan. These payments could help you pay off your home loan faster and pay less interest overall.

5. Revisit your insurance

Since your life is always changing, and sometimes your home is as well, it’s always good to keep a close eye on your Home and Contents Insurance.

If you’ve upgraded your house for instance, you might want to see if your current policy covers the upgrade. Or alternatively, perhaps you have downsized and are paying too much.

ING’s Home and Contents insurance allows you to customise your plan based on your lifestyle, so look into it if you think you need a refresh.

Have a great start to the New Year! You can always get in touch with us. We’re here to help.

Everyday Round Up

Everyday Round Up applies to card purchases using your Orange Everyday bank account. You must opt in to Everyday Round Up and select the round up amount ($1 or $5). When you spend with your Orange Everyday card, we’ll transfer the extra amount from your Orange Everyday to your nominated Savings Maximiser or eligible home loan account (Orange Advantage or Mortgage Simplifier). A round up will not be debited if doing so would reduce your Orange Everyday balance below $20. ING recommends you seek independent financial or taxation advice where appropriate.

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

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