How You Can Save for a House and Still Enjoy Your Smashed Avocado Toast

Australia’s housing affordability crisis puts homeownership out of reach for most young Australians. And, it seems to be their obsession with the humble avo toast breakfast combo that’s holding them back from reaching their home-owning dreams. Clearly.

But, my outlook on life is that it should be enjoyed. So, in this blog, I’ll share with you my tips to better manage your money so you can save for a house and still enjoy your smashed avo toast.

Better Cash Flow Management

Life really isn’t about sacrificing all the fun to get ahead – you still need to enjoy yourself too. Before embarking on your savings plan, it’s important you start with the basics and build yourself a solid base. You can do this by introducing 5 financial buckets to your money management system.

Build an emergency fund

First thing’s first. You need to build your emergency fund – start with around $2,000 – $3,000. If you don’t have it spare, spring clean your house and sell your unwanted items on eBay. Or, get a part-time job to boost your earnings. This is your first and very important step.

After you’ve established your emergency fund, you will split each pay into 4 accounts.

Create an Avocado Fund

Yep – you guessed it. The Avo Fund is your play account – it enables you to nurture yourself so you still enjoy life. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, fancy wine, or coffee served in avo shells every morning on your way to work – have fun with it. Besides, heading out for coffee and breakfast each week also allows you to support your local community (that ain’t all bad!).

Each pay, transfer 10% of your earnings into your Avo Fund.

Create a Happiness Fund

Not to be mistaken for your everyday avocado-esque treats, your Happiness Fund collects money for those bigger, nice-to-have purchases, like holidays, Prada handbags, or Ultra HD TVs. This should be a high-interest earning account for long-term saving.

Each pay, transfer 10% of your earnings into your Happiness Fund.

Create a Debt Reduction Account

Time to get rid of that debt. Starting with your credit cards – cut them up. Their money is no good here when you’re trying to save! Your debt reduction account pays down your personal debt, credit cards, personal loans, outstanding bills.

List your debts in size from smallest to largest.

Each pay, transfer 20% of your earnings into your Debt Reduction Account. Start paying off your smallest debt first, making your way through to the largest. But, make sure you continue to pay the minimum amount for each so your larger debts don’t accumulate in the process!

Create an Expenses Account

This is your big one and covers everything else from your pay. Your Expenses Account is for managing your everyday expenses and bills, like rent, mortgage, utilities, food, and petrol. It empowers you to take more control of your expenses by prioritising these essential items in order to build wealth.

Each pay, transfer 60% of your earnings into your Expenses Account and use this account to manage your bills and expenses.

Now to Help You Save

This is the good bit!

Once you regain control of your expenses and pay off your personal debts, you will redirect your 20% debt allocation into your Emergency Fund. Your aim is to fill your Emergency Fund to the level it can support you for 3-6 months in a loss-of-income scenario.

Then, once it’s been filled, you can start sending this 20% into a high-interest account to save for your house!

Wealth growth always starts from a solid base – eliminated debt and strong cash flow management. However, to truly be successful and commit to a long-term savings plan, you must also be enjoying life (otherwise, what’s the point?). So, dig in!

 

 

A Financial Planner’s Tips to Surviving Christmas

christmas-tree-converted

As the year begins to end, and the amount of events and parties begin to multiply, the next few months can be overwhelming on your budget.

Whether you are planning the events or just attending them, there is a cost that comes with this time of year –if you aren’t careful, this price tag can be hefty. I’ve put together a few tips to help you manage your budget over the Silly Season.
A Financial Planner’s Tips to Surviving Christmas

1. Plan Ahead;
Know what is coming up and plan for it. For a lot of workplaces, Secret Santa gifts can be a great way to reduce the amount of spending. This doesn’t have to be limited to workplaces either – it works great for family gatherings!

2. Begin looking now for gifts that may be suitable for family and friends, the earlier you get in, the easier it can be to budget spending – rather than having spending occur all in the one week, or day!

3. If you are planning an event, look into the difference in cost between a Price Per Head, or a bar tab. Depending on the size of the party – it can work out cheaper to have a bar tab – rather than allowing the venue to determine the average amount of drinks, and charging you for it.

4. Resist the sales – and try to take a step back.

The advertisements will be on almost every corner soon, and the ever present “sale” signs will be riddled through television.

Stick to what you need, and separate it from what you want. There is a fine line we often cross, finding ourselves over our heads in items that we generally wouldn’t purchase, had the sale not been on.

With that said, sometimes a little nudge is needed for purchases, however just stay mindful that spending is promoted through retail at this time of year . . . keep on the lookout.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at Bright Future Financial.

Thanks for your support in 2014 and we look forward to 2015 and helping more Australian’s get back the high fees and charges they have been paying. Safe travels.

 

reindeer-baubles

Ride to work each day

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The battle between cyclist and motorist has been going on since the invention of the motor vehicle, and will continue into our future. However, as a money saving and health gaining exercise, cycling has many positives:

  • you get fit while you commute;
  • you get to work quicker each day and don’t stuck in traffic – (your boss will be happy and you may even get that job promotion);
  • you get to enjoy the outdoors and everything Australia has to offer;
  • you will stay trim, taut and terrific – just think how good your suit or dress will look like on you now;
  • you will be helping the environment and leaving less of a carbon footprint; and
  • you will save money – more money to go towards something special, could be a beach holiday or a new dress? Better than spending it on your car.

With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you start today? Ask your employer if you have facilities at your work to support your cycling (such as bike racks, showers etc), or visit your local city council to find out if you have a local cycling center that offers showers and security for your bike. Put together a cycling group with your work colleges.

 

How To Get A Pay Rise Without Asking Your Boss?

 

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How To Get A Pay Rise Without Asking Your Boss?

Sounds great, but that’s not possible you say. Well did you realize that over $4billion dollars every year is paid to banks, brokers, insurance agents and financial planners?

But how does this get me a pay rise? Well most financial products in Australia have either a commission or a fee that is being paid into the pockets of somebody other than you. Even worse in most cases you may have never even meet the person who receives those commissions. It’s like taking money each week out of your pay packet and giving it to a stranger on the street.

Sounds crazy? Why would you do this? More than likely before today you didn’t even know that these fees existed. This is the reason I started Bright Future Financial, as I have seen people struggle each week to pay bills, and even put food on the table for there family. I wanted to help Australians understand what hidden fees they are paying, and help get this money back into their own pockets.

But I’m in an industry fund, so I don’t pay commissions. Well this is correct but fees are also being paid on your life insurance, your income protection, your car insurance, your house insurance and even your home loan, and the list goes on.

This is the pay rise you deserve – stop funding other people’s lifestyle. I want this money to be yours, to help you pay your bills, or even take your family on that holiday you have always wished. Bright Future Financial has an administration service does this for you a minimum cost, without fuss and paid into your bank monthly. Call us on 1800 457 647 or visit our website www.brightfuturefinancial.com.au.

The Wedding Planner; not just about the Vows

 

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The Wedding Planner; not just about the Vows

Wedding planning can become a stressful time for a lot of newly engaged couples. When discussing a wedding idea, often a wedding budget is placed out of mind until it is to late. Running into debt for your wedding is definitely not advised when starting a new chapter of your life – so let us help you!

Set yourself a budget as soon as you begin to think of your wedding. Although this doesn’t sound the least bit romantic, it will reduce the stress when viewing wedding venues. Laying down an amount will allow you both to be realistic – many places will lure you in with “cheap” costs, but upon reading the fine print, you will find that there are hidden costs which can clock up to $3000 extra!

Decide upon what elements of your wedding are the most important. What is something you wouldn’t mind splurging on, and what is another that you could cut back. This may even be as simple as reducing the amount of decorations or flowers on the day – or being a tad “cut throat” and drastically reducing the invite list.

Whatever it is, the day will be great – whatever you choose. However keep in mind that when you break the bank on the wedding, that debt will still be there, be mindful and reasonable. While planning – take time to reconsider monetary costs, and don’t be afraid to look around, or ask for a better value. After all, it is your day!

The Silly Season – Decoded

The Silly Season – Decoded.

reindeer-baubles


As the year begins to end, and the amount of events and parties begin to multiply, the next few months can be overwhelming. Whether you are planning the events or just attending them, there is a cost that comes with this time of year –if you aren’t careful, this price tag can be hefty.

Plan Ahead; Know what is coming up and plan for it. For a lot of workplaces, Secret Santa gifts can be a great way to reduce the amount of spending. This doesn’t have to be limited to workplaces either – it works great for family gatherings!

Begin looking now for gifts that may be suitable for family and friends, the earlier you get in, the easier it can be to budget spending – rather than having spending occur all in the one week, or day!

If you are planning an event look into the difference in cost between a Price Per Head, or a bar tab. Depending on the size of the party – it can work out cheaper to have a bar tab – rather than allowing the venue to determine the average amount of drinks, and charging you for it.

Resist the sales – and try to take a step back. The advertisements will be on almost every corner soon, and the ever present “sale” signs will be riddled through television. Stick to what you need, and separate it from what you want. There is a fine line we often cross, finding ourselves over our heads in items that we generally wouldn’t purchase, had the sale not been on. With that said, sometimes a little nudge is needed for purchases, however just stay mindful that spending is promoted through retail at this time of year . . . keep on the lookout.

Makeup, makes up for a lot of costs.

makeup woman

Makeup, makes up for a lot of costs.

When we look at everyday expenses – often we overlook the process of getting ready. For a lot of women, makeup can be a costly everyday expense, and although it pays itself of over use.

Retail stores can draw up the price for regular items – simply by stocking it in their stores. We often fall victim to convenience, and more often than not we are the ones that suffer.

For example the retail asking price for a Clinique foundation is around $60, however when looking online at makeup superstores, you can find the exact same item for $30. We don’t have to necessarily skimp on quality just to save money – often we mistake saving for sacrificing. It is correct that you may have to reduce purchasing certain items in order to save – but quality shouldn’t be something that you have to reduce, if it’s not necessary.

Have a look around online, and don’t be afraid to ask for a better price. Depending on what makeup brand you use, you may be able to find your products for cheaper in stores such as Kmart and Target. Keep an eye out for discounts and deals – stores such as Myer or David Jones choose to offer “freebies” linked in with purchases. These “gift with purchases” can save you money on items you may have needed to purchase in the coming months. Unlike a lot of deals, these gifts with purchase are designed to reward you, rather than entice you into spending more on items that you do not need.

Babysitting, Dog Walking & More – Not just child’s play!

A man walking with a dog. Illustration.

Babysitting, Dog Walking & More – Not just child’s play!

A lot of us can remember nights spent babysitting – and earning a few extra dollars for the magazine or sweets we were saving for. Times are changing, and so are the rules of the game.

For a lot of university students working a part time job can be hard – university can hold irregular hours and as studies pick up, work is often the first thing that needs to drop. Casual work holds irregular hours, filled with often-awkward conversations with managers as you try to work out schedules to fit study and class while still maintaining enough hours.

Babysitting is not just a spare change job any longer- websites such as “findababysitter.com” offer an opportunity for those interested in Nannying to join with a family that offers a position that suits their needs. Many offer flexible hours and offering rates such as $20-$30 for an hourly rate, they offer a very appealing opportunity.

With the rostered hours often posted on the website – this can offer an easy selection process to ensure that the hours work for you – allowing for regular work!

Organise your Bill’s and Repayments

calendar with the date of payment of the credit

Organise your Bill’s and Repayments

If you caught our post last week on Facebook about this, then you will know a little already, about what you can do! No matter what walk of life you are from – bills will commonly be a stress at one point in your life.

Sometimes it can feel like they are creeping up on you, and the impeding stress they may bring on a monthly basis. This shouldn’t be how you feel about your bills, yes they can be stressful – but when managed well, they won’t be any longer!

Do you know when your repayments are due? If you had to think about this for a while then this can be a great way to reduce another stress! Many bills have late fees attached to them, so ensuring that you are on top of your dates and repayments, you can be saving at least $30/ month just simply by repaying your bills on time.
Another way to reduce stress each month can be saving for your bills on a regular basis. This can be done through saving as little as $20 per week for your $80 phone bill at the end of the month.

Although it may not seem like a huge change to your everyday expenses – organising your bills and repayments will help you to try and figure out your finances. Go through your bills and write down the due dates – then set reminders in your phone for a week before the due date. When you are aware of the dates, it will ensure that you can be financially set up before the date springs up on you!