“What else I can claim as investment property tax deductions?” I hear this question all the time.

The end of financial year is upon us. In a few weeks time, you can pull out all your records and prepare your tax return again. Hopefully you’ll get a tax refund, because I’m yet to meet someone who’s happy to pay more tax on top of what’s been paid during the year. Understandably, there are more people than usual in June, seeking tax advise on what to do to minimise tax.

We talked about how to contribute to your Super fund to claim tax deduction before. In this post, I’m going to focus on what can be done to claim more investment property tax deductions. You might think it’s too late in June but there are still a few last minutes steps you can take to boost your tax refund or minimise your tax payable.

First of all, get a check list of what you can claim as investment property tax deductions.

Expenses for immediate tax deduction

Advertising fees to look for tenants

If you are engaging a real estate agent to manage your property, this cost will be listed on your yearly income and expense report. If you are managing the property yourself and found your tenants through newspaper or online ads, make sure to keep a record of advertisement fees.

Rates

This includes Council rates and water rates. Though it sounded basic, but trust me, plenty property investors don’t know those are part of investment property tax deductions. So make sure to keep all the records of your rate payments during the financial year.

Strata levies

Also know as body corporate fees, are getting higher and higher each year. Remember, you can claim immediate deduction on payments to body corporate administration funds and general purpose sinking funds. They form a big part of investment property tax deductions, so don’t miss this category. However please be mindful, payments to a special purpose fund to pay for particular capital expenditure are not deductible.

Utility costs

Tenants usually pay their own electricity, gas and water usage costs. However in some cases, landlords agree to paid all of it or a percentage of these costs. As a property investor, make sure to claim the utility costs you paid as part of your investment property tax deductions.

Gardening and yard work

This includes dump fess, labor costs you paid for tree lopping and lawn mowing. You can also claim costs of replacement of garden tools, fertiliser, sprays and replacement of plants.

Cleaning

This category of expenses include internal, for example, carpet cleaning and external cleaning, for example, house cleaning. Therefore, you can claim payment to cleaners and cost of cleaning materials for your rental property as investment property tax deductions.

Insurance

There are many types of insurance you can get for your rental property. As a result, you can claim building insurance, contents insurance, public liability insurance and landlord’s insurance 9covers rental defaults) as investment property tax deductions.

However, please be mindful that you can’t claim mortgage insurance as your rean tax deduction as it forms part of your borrowing cost.

Interest

You can claim tax deduction for interest paid on loan to purchase, build, repair and improve your investment properties. For example, interest on your investment property mortgage is tax deductible. Like wise, you can claim interest on loan taken out to build your investment property, providing the property is rented or available for rental during the year you are claiming a tax deduction.

On top of the above, you may also claim interest charged on loans taken out:

  • to purchase depreciating assets,
  • for renovations, or
  • for repairs to the property.

Note, from 1 July 2019, you can’t claim tax deduction on interest or other holding cost of vacant land with no permanent structure on it in general.

Land tax

A big percentage of property investors miss claiming land tax deductions because very often, land tax incorporate their main residence as well. But you can certainly claim the land tax paid in proportion to your rental property as a tax deduction.

Agent management and admin fees

Most property investors engage real estate agents to manage their investment properties. Of course, this serve doesn’t come free of charge. Typical agent fees includes, property manage fees, admin fees, sundry fees such as postage etc, annual report fees.

Legal expenses

As a property investor, you can’t claim legal expenses are capital in nature, such as costs of:

  • purchasing or selling the property
  • resisting land resumption
  • defending the title to the property

However, you can claim legal costs in order to evict non-paying tenants.

Office supplies

Property investors can claim stationery, rent books, postage and business use percentage of a computer etc in relation to managing their rental property. As a result, those costs are tax deductible

Telephone

As a property investor, you can certainly calls made to a tenant, agent or tradesman to arrange repairs etc.  Bear it in mind, in case of a tax audit, you’ll need to provide a diary detailing this expense.

Repairs and maintenance

This is a more complicated area. In general, you can claim repairs and maintenance costs while your rental property is rented.

Repairs generally involve a replacement or renewal of a worn out or broken part. For example, replacing some guttering damaged in a storm. Similarly, replacing part of a fence is a repair job. If you replace the entire fence, the cost will become capital in nature. As a result, you can’t claim the total cost immediately as a repair cost. You can however, claim the cost of replacing the entire fence over a number of years as part of deprecation.

According to ATO, initial repairs include costs you incur to remedy defects, damage or deterioration that existed at the time you acquired the property. Therefore, those costs are considered to be
capital in nature, not immediate tax deductions.

Depreciating assets costing $300 or less

You can claim immediate tax deduction for your rental property depreciating assets costing $300 or less. For example, if you bought a microwave for your rental property for $299 last month, you can claim the entire amount in this financial year.

Even better, you can claim immediate tax deduction if you hold an asset jointly with others and the cost of your interest in the asset is $300 or less. This is the case even though the total cost was more than $300.

Expenses as tax deduction over a number of years

Borrowing costs

You might incur certain costs when borrow from a bank. Typical borrowing costs are as below:

  • procurement and establishment fees
  • legal expenses for mortgage
  • stamp duty on mortgage (Many states have abolished mortgage stamp duty)
  • valuation for loan approval
  • survey and search fees
  • mortgage broker’s commission
  • lenders’ mortgage protection insurance

You can claim those expenses as tax deductions over the period of your loan or 5 years, whichever is shorter. If the total cost is less than $100, you can claim the whole amount in the relevant financial year.

Depreciation on assets

You can claim tax deductions on depreciation of assets such as air conditioners, stoves etc costing over $300 (your share) over their effective lives.

Tax Ruling Taxation Ruling TR 2020/03 – Income tax: depreciation effective life is very helpful guide in this regards. If you decide to make an estimate of effective life, you need to use a similar methodology the Tax Commissioner used.

Capital works/building write off

You can claim investment property deductions on certain kinds of construction expenditure. In the case of residential rental properties, you can generally claim the cost over 25 -40 years.

These are referred to as capital works (special building write-off) deductions. The deduction is limited to 100 per cent of the construction expenditure.

Deductions based on construction expenditure apply to capital works such as:

  • a building or an extension (for example, adding a room or garage),
  • alterations such as removing or adding an internal wall, or
  • improvements to the property – for example, erecting a pergola, patio or carport.

Deductions can be claimed only for the period the property is rented or is available for rent.

What you can do now in June to claim more deductions as a landlord?

We’ve covered a long list of expenditures that you could claim as tax deductions for your incoming tax return. Now, you might ask what you can do now in June to get more tax benefit. Is it too late?

Of course not. Here are a few last minutes steps you can take to boost your tax return:

Seek tax advise if you need help

Always ask for professional advise if you need help to improve your tax position. The fees you paid to professionals for tax advise is tax deductible. So don’t forget to ask for a tax invoice to include it your tax return.

Carry on minor repairs

Does your investment property need some minor repairs and maintenance? It’s time to get it done now. Need a new lick of paint? A few new light bulbs?  Another set of keys and swipe card? Why not get them organised now. Any R&M expenditure paid in June for your existing rental property will be 100% tax deductible.

Conduct a pest control

There has been a lot of rain in the past year. Consequently there have been a lot of spiders and other pests around. June is the perfect time to conduct a pest control to protect your investment property. Your tenants will thank you for that and potentially stay longer.

Prepay some expenses

Have some bills in relation to your rental property floating around but not yet due? You can pay them now to claim an immediate tax deduction and boost your tax refund.

You can claim immediate deduction if you prepay expenses such as insurance or interest on mortgage if  either:

  • the amount if less than $1000,

    OR

    • the payment covers a period of 12 months or less and the period ends on or before 30 June of the next income year.

    Replace/Purchase assets for under $300 (your share)

    As mentioned before, you can claim immediate tax deductions on assets costing less than $300. So think hard, what do you need for your rental property that will cost $300 or less before the financial year ends.

    If you own a property jointly with others, as long as your share of the asses is $300 or less, you can still claim an immediate tax deduction.

    For instance, you own a rental property jointly as a couple. Your rental property in great need of a new air-conditioning costing $600. By all means, go and get it now. You can claim the whole amount this year instead of claiming the depreciation costs over a number of years.

    Get a depreciation schedule

    If your rental property is a lot less than 40 years old and you don’t have a depreciation schedule, get one done. Now.

    Depreciation schedule is especially important for brand new rental properties because the tax benefit will be thousands of dollars. The cost of getting depreciation schedule is usually a few hundreds of dollars and it’s totally worthwhile. Besides, the cost of depreciation schedule is tax deductible too.

    In conclusion, there’s still plenty time to be prepared and claim more tax deductions come July. It’s all about research and planning.

     

     

     

    Government Super Co Contribution

    The Government Super co contribution applies to personal contributions made by low-income earners from 1 July 2003 onwards. Back then it was $1,000 co contribution for $1,000 eligible contributions. Just so you know, back then I wasn’t even slightly interested in it because my employment income was high. As mentioned in the previous post about personal Super contributions to save tax and build wealth, I quit my corporate job in 2009 and started being self employed.

    If you’ve ever been self employed, you know your income can vary from year to year. Some years, your income could fall within the “low income” threshold. I always knew about the government Super co contribution but thought the amount was too little to be bothered. But small amounts do accumulate and they could grew to a much bigger amount staying in your super fund.

    For Australian tax payers whose income was less than $53, 564 ($54,837 for the 2021 year), the government will make co- contribution into a tax payer’s superannuation account where eligible non-concessional contributions up to $1,000 have been made by qualifying low income earners. Fifty cents in every dollar of contributions, up to a maximum superannuation co – contribution of $500 a year will be paid into the taxpayer’s superannuation account for the income year.

    You may be eligible the Government Super co contribution if you:

    • made personal contributions to obtain superannuation benefits for themselves (or a dependent in the event of their death) to a complying superannuation fund or Retirement Savings Account (RSA) on or after 1 July 2005 (provided the contributions were not salary sacrifice contributions and they will not claim a tax deduction for the contributions)

    • have lodged an income tax return for the relevant financial year

    • total income was less than $53,564 (for the 2020 financial year$54,837 for the 2021 year). 

    • have not been the holder of a temporary resident visa at any time during the year unless they are a New Zealand citizen or the holder of a prescribed visa

    • are less than 71 years old at the end of the financial year during which the contribution was made

    • have at least 10% of their total income for the income year attributable to carrying on a business (i.e.  self-employed) or to activities that result in the person being treated as an ‘employee’ for superannuation guarantee purposes. Those who earn less than $450 per month or are part-time workers under 18 (i.e. not covered by the superannuation guarantee regime) will still qualify for the government co-contribution as they are still regarded as ‘employees’ for SGAA purposes

    • have a Total Superannuation Balance of less than $1.6m on 30 June of the previous financial year

    • have not exceeded their non-concessional contribution cap in the relevant financial year

    Total income for the purposes of the Super co contribution includes:
    • assessable income
    • reportable fringe benefits amounts
    • reportable superannuation contributions

    less

    • any assessable First home super saver released amount, and
    • any allowable business deductions

    Also, there are two income tests applied in determining the government Super co contribution.

    10% Total income test

    In order to satisfy this test, 10% or more of the taxpayer’s total income must come from either:

    • employment related activities
    • carrying on a business, or
    • a combination of both

    Amounts from these sources are referred to as eligible income amounts.

    The total income amount is not reduced by allowable business deduction amounts for this test.

    Examples of eligible income:

    • salary and wages
    • business earned as a sole trader (the assessable income: turnover – allowable business deductions is used)
    • business earned in partnership (the partnership distribution is not reduced by deductions claimed on the individual tax return in earning the income)
    • directors fees

    Note if you are carrying on a business, you may have a high turnover but still be eligible for the super co-contribution due to your allowable business deductions.

    The following amounts are not eligible income

    • non-business partnership distributions

    • distributions from a trust

    • income from individually or jointly held assets, such as interest, rent and dividends

    • income related to another year of employment, such as employment termination payments and lump sum payments

    Be aware, where you have a partnership distribution, the ATO will treat it as ineligible income. If you have business partnership income, make sure that you complete Item A3.

    Total income threshold

    To determine your assessable income for calculating the amount of the co-contribution:

    • Total income is reduced by amounts which the taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for carrying on a business. That is, it is net income rather than assessable income for business income.

    • Net partnership income is included. Partnership income includes joint rental and investment income. If the net partnership or joint income is a loss, the amount is 0. This means that, where a person has a rental property in their own name, assessable income is included for the total income threshold test. However, where you have a rental property in joint names, you only need to inclue the net rental income (or 0 if it is a loss).

    The ATO will treat joint rental and investment income as solely earned income unless you complete Item A3 correctly.

    Government co contribution calculation

    The taxpayer’s co-contribution is reduced by 3.333 cents for each $1 of total income over the lower threshold.  The lower threshold for the 2020 year is $38,564. And the government Super co contribution phases out completed where the total assessable income, reportable employer superannuation contribution and reportable fringe benefit amount reaches the upper threshold of $53,564.  

    For the 2021 year, the lower threshold is $39,837 and the upper threshold is $54,837.

    Provided the taxpayer is entitled to receive the co-contribution, the minimum amount payable is $20. The co-contribution will be paid directly into the taxpayer’s superannuation account or RSA (Retirement Savings Account).

    The formula for calculating the maximum co-contribution amount is:

    =  $500 – {[(total assessable income – allowable deductions from running a business + RFB + RESC) – lower threshold amount] x 3.333%}

    The ATO has a SUPER CO-CONTRIBUTION CALCULATOR on their website

    The co-contribution payable is the lesser of:

    • the maximum co-contribution amount; or
    • 50 cents for every dollar of personal superannuation contributions.

    The ATO will automatically calculate the amount of co-contribution, based on the information on the tax return, including the adjustment amounts included at Labels F, G and H at Item A3.

    Also for your reference, the ATO has a worksheet available to calculate the amounts.

    GOVERNMENT SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS WORKBOOK

    How to make personal super contributions for government super co contribution purpose

    Firstly, you do not need to make your personal contributions as a single lump sum. You can make payments throughout the financial year. The ATO uses the total amount you have contributed for the year to calculate the co-contribution.

    Your super fund can tell you how to make personal contributions. Most funds offer you a number of options including:

    • BPAY®
    • direct debit
    • through your bank account.

    In some cases, you can make regular super contributions into your super account directly from your after-tax pay. If the contributions come from your before-tax pay, they are generally referred to as salary-sacrificed contributions and will not qualify for the super co-contribution.

    Your super fund needs your TFN before it can accept your personal contributions.

    Above all, your personal contributions must reach your super fund by 30 June each year for you to receive a government co-contribution for that financial year.

    Completing Item A3 On Individual Tax Return

    In some circumstances, the ATO may be able to calculate the correct co-contribution without Item A3 being completed. The ATO will match the information on the tax return with information from superannuation funds and pay you the co-contribution automatically. However, often the completion of this item is crucial or the taxpayer may not get the correct amount of co-contribution, or may miss out altogether on the benefit.

    LABEL F – Income from Investment, Partnership and Other Sources

    You should complete the box if you

    • showed income from a partnership at Item 13 of the tax return or
    • were in a joint income group and they have deductions for the following joint income:
      • interest and dividends (Items 10 and 11)
      • trust distributions (Item 13 labels L, U or C)
      • foreign entities income (Item 19 labels K and B)
      • foreign income (Item 20 labels E and F)
      • rental income (Item 21 label P)
      • bonuses from life insurance companies and friendly societies (Item 22 label W)

    The amount = the assessable income from each of the above income types in the taxpayer’s name only, plus the net amount (or 0 if that amount is a loss) of each of the above income types in joint names

    If this amount is NIL then enter code C in the box.

    LABEL G – Income from Employment and Business

    The ATO will automatically treat certain amounts as employment or business income. Label G includes the amount of any adjustments to this automatic calculation. For example, assessable income from foreign employment income and partnership distributions where the partnership is carrying on a business will need to be added. Deduct some amounts from employment or business income on the tax return. For example, if you received parental leave pay or Dad and Partner pay after employment ceased, deduct this amount. Other examples are employment or business income that relates to an earlier income year, such as back payments of wages or a lump sum paid on termination. To clarify, Label  G includes the below:

    • total employment income NOT SHOWN at Items 1, 2, 3, 4 (excluding death benefits), Item 12B, IT1 or IT2 plus
    • business income NOT SHOWN on the Business and professional items schedule of the tax return

    less

    • Items 1, 2, 3, 4 (excluding death benefits), Item 12B, IT1 or IT2 – total income that was not from employment
    • any parental leave pay that has been received AFTER the taxpayer CEASED employment (not the amount received during the time the taxpayer is on leave from their job)
    • non-business income on the Business and professional items schedule of the tax return

    If this amount is NEGATIVE then enter code L in the box.

    LABEL H – Other Deductions from Business Income

    Business deductions that are not at Item P8 on the Business and professional items schedule for individuals of the tax return. This may include, for example

    • the business portion of a distributed partnership loss included in calculating the amount at N or O at item 13 (as long as the partnership carries on a business)
    • deductions at X or Y at item 13 which relate to the business income portion of a partnership distribution
    • personal service income deductions at item P1 on the Business and professional item schedule for individuals which relate to carrying on the business
    • deductions shown at D10 for costs involved in managing the business tax affairs as a sole trader or partnership business

    Government Co-Contribution for Superannuation Contributions – Temporary Residents

    Finally, temporary residents are not eligible for the government co-contribution for any personal superannuation contributions that they may have made during the year. It is not available to anyone who has been the holder of a temporary visa at any time during the year. As a result, any temporary resident who becomes a permanent resident during the income year will not be eligible for this benefit either.

    From 1 July 2009, New Zealand residents who are living temporarily in Australia have been eligible to receive this payment, irrespective of whether or not they are classed as temporary residents.

     

    There are a lot articles offering generic side hustle ideas but how many good side hustles out there that might help you to make money real fast? We certainly don’t just want to hustle for nothing or very little reward for the work we do.

    A lot people suggest doing online survey for extra income in those articles. But seriously? Do you know how much they pay for doing online surveys? You get a few cents for hours laboring online.

    Blogging can be a good side hustle if you are persistent; have a lot good content to share and have large based audience. The thing is, you certainly can’t make money from blogging at early stages. Most people tried blogging but never managed to make any money out of it.

    Being a part time cleaner will help bring extra income but how many of you out there would like to clean other people’s dirty toilet?

    Good side hustles are the ones that bring you enjoy. They are flexible and will  pay you well for your effort fast.

    I’ve personally had some good side hustles that I didn’t even consider them “hustles”.  Most of them are derived from my hobbies and personal interest. I do them so well and people are willing to pay for my expertise in that field. Some are accidental because one opportunity leads to another and things just happen naturally.  Many of these hustles could be built into a full time business/career. I know that not everyone wants to change career paths so often (it’s probably not a good idea financially any way). Hopefully those can draw some inspiration if you are looking for side hustle ideas to make good income fast.

    Below are some good side hustles I’ve had that make money fast:

    Resell online

    You don’t have to buy and resell. Start with your own closet first.

    Before even think of selling, I surly did more than enough buying. Being an impulsive person and someone who didn’t value money much, I splurged on clothes and accessories. Until one day, I sold a set of Louis Vuitton bracelets for what I paid for buying it brand new. That was an incidental good investment I’d say, considering I’ve had it for 10 years.

    It also clicked that maybe preowned luxury designer items are highly sought after. So I started to look around the house and collect the ones that were not in use for sale. My sister gave me some of her designer bags and Louis Vuitton wallets to off load. All of them were sold out like hot cakes.

    After all the personal collection were sold, I started to buy preowned Louis Vuitton handbags and accessories for resale on online auction site. I studied intensively on how to to tell which ones are real  and which ones are fake. Later I’ve written an article about how to buy authentic pre owned Louis Vuitton together with  a lot of designer handbag guide articles on this website to help people buy the real deal and save a lot of money.

    Progressed to an online store

    Back in 2009 when I started to sell preowned Louis Vuitton handbags online, there wasn’t any real competitors at all in Australia. It soon became a necessity to have my own e-commerce store. Eventually I had an online store to sell preowned designer handbags and accessories. There were a lot work evolved being an online store owner. My stock photography skills became better and better so many people thought those photos on my website were not taken by me of the real items I had. They thought they were stock photos from some other professional websites. I had to learn how to operate an online store by installing and using the applications, as well as optimizing SEO so there will be more visitors to the online store.

     

    good side hustles

    Some of the handbags sold online

    good Side hastles - resell online

    Designer accessories sold online

    good side hussles

    2012 -talking about my online store

    There was so much to learn and it seemed never ending. The good news is that all the skills I’ve learned from this helped me to land other good side hustles.

    Personally I’ve never had the aspiration (or perhaps the ability) to be a great entrepreneur and be super rich and famous. I’m just this introvert person who suffers from anemia and often lacks the energy that’s required.

    When an opportunity came to sell the online business for a decent profit, I did. That was a great life experience and many great lessons were learned that will serve me for life.

    One important lesson I’ve learned is: When you try to do something, do it really well – even just for a side hustle.

    Photography Service

    Photography is definitely an expensive hobby. Before smart phones came into play, you’d have to buy heavy and sophisticated cameras to take decent photos. You’d have to learn about the exposure triangle and all the different buttons and dials on the camera.

    I’d always had an great interest in photography. One year of professional training at university taking photos was just a start. My online store taught me how to do stock photography really well. But I was too shy and awkward to deal with people directly. Photography changed that.

    I started to take photos for friends and really studied how to interact and photograph people. Back in 2013, after I sold my online store, people were still willing to pay well for good photos taken for them. Within a year, I got another good side hustle that developed into a business. That lasted a good couple of years. At the peak, it brought close to $10K in one month, not too shabby.

    But soon I realised carrying heavy photography gears and running after my objects are not my thing. So I scaled all the way back. But I’m forever grateful for what running a photography business’s taught me. Portrait photography is a very personal thing. You’ll have gain people’s trust before they can show their true personality. I became a people person and could make people feel at easy in front of my camera.

    Private tutoring

    There are a few other good side hustles led from professional photography service. One of them is private photography tutoring. I’ve got some good clients from photography and some of them offered to pay me to learn how to take photos for their travel. This is much less physically demanding than having a photography session and people do pay well for knowledge and experience.

    Photojournalism

    Another exciting hustle derived from my photography is photojournalism. Because of my ability to take good photos, a friend of mine introduced me to an agent for celebrity event photography. I got invitations to different red carpet events in Sydney and saw some most famous people in real life close by. For me, it was pure excitement. I got to take photos Matt Damon! Brat Pitt! Cate Blanchett! …

     

     

    I got to meet the stars of my favorite TV shows at the time: Game of Thrones! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau took this photo with me using my Cannon DSL because I didn’t know how to take selfies properly, haha.

    Nikolaj-Coster-Waldau-with-Yvonne

    March 2014 In Sydney

    I was also lucky enough to be invited to be the official photographer for a few red carpet events (meaning no other photographer was present).

    But I soon got over it. Side hustles means side hustles to me. The agent moved to LA for bigger ponds. I didn’t put enough effort to pursuit it any further. After the excitement worn off, I stopped doing it.

    Good side hustles photographer

    THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB premiere & party 2014

    Be a personal shopper/stylist

    This one comes from my photography business too. I developed a niche of providing online dating portrait photography years ago. Many people need help with styling during the photoshoot. Quite a few clients want to pay for someone to go shopping with them and pick the best suited outfits. As shopaholic and a photographer who always help clients styling during photoshoots, it’s only nature that I picked up the gig of being a personal shopper/stylist.

    Consulting Service

    Having had a couple of businesses and knowing a great deal of photography, plus a thing or two of e-commerce, I landed a contract gig offering marketing consulting service. That nearly led into another full time employment but decided not going ahead. It could be more financially beneficial and secure to be full time employed with a big company. But it just felt that marketing is not my long term career. Maybe I’m more suitable jumping from one gig to another and not used to full time employment any more. Or, I just feel too old to keep up with 20 something  kids who are always full of energy. That was a hard decision but I’ve since moved on.

    I’m still offering consulting service but it’s in an area that I’ve always been passionate about – tax consulting. The saying is: there are only two things are certain – death and tax. I guess in the tax consulting business, the older you are, the more experience you’ll have. And the more desirable you’ll be.

    My point is, pick something you enjoy doing and be really good at.

    Teaching

    Because I know so much about tax and have helped thousand of people a year doing their taxes, I was offered a side gig to teach at tax school.

    The idea of teaching a class was a bit scary for me because as mentioned early, I’m naturally shy and low in confident. But eventually I took this opportunity to train myself to be more confident and it’s really been great journey. I’ve had so much fun teaching. In order to prepare the tax course and be prepared for all kinds of questions from student, I’ve learned even more about tax. It never hurts to learn more, right?

    Attend marketing focus group

    I wasn’t looking out for it but a client from my photography service put me into one of those market focus group meetings. All you need to do is to show up and offer your opinion.

    That group meeting went for around 1 hour. A meal was offered and cash of $120 was paid. Not bad at all.

    In conclusion

    I’ve really enjoyed all the good side hustles mentioned above. And they all provided decent income immediately over the years. For various reasons I’m only still doing a couple of them.

    Perhaps there are a lot of side hustles, some would list hundreds. But it’s not a numbers game. If you want to achieve a financial goal, be it making extra income or pay off your mortgage, choose a few good side hustles to invest your time in. Time is precious. No matter what you do, don’t waste your time. You want to enjoy whatever you choose to do and make money along the way.

     

    personal super contributions saving for retirement

    Are you making any personal Super contributions into your Super fund? If not, you need to seriously consider it.

    I never wanted to make any personal Super contributions until later in life after becoming a tax consultant. It’s never late than ever. I finally learned how important it is to have Superannuation strategies to save tax and build wealth.

    In case you don’t know, I’m naturally not good with handling my own money.

    I always thought personal super contributions were not necessary until now

    Along time ago, more than 10 years from now, I quit my corporate job and stopped contributing to my Superannuation altogether. Up until then, all my Superannuation balance was made up of compulsory employer contribution and earnings from that. Salary sacrifice to Super has been a thing for a long time but I was remarkably (also stupidly) confident on my own ability to invest and build wealth. During the 10 years being self employed, I never made any personal super contributions. It turns out, my Super performed much, much better than my personal investments outside Super. A decade is long enough to teach a money fool like me to finally learn to stop wasting my hard earned cash and my precious time. I’ll just concentrate on the most simple and effective way to build a next egg – through personal super contributions.

    Understand the Tax advantage of Superannuation

    First of all, tax on your Super investment income earning is 15 per cent. There’s no tax on investment income on the first $1.6 million of Super funds for people over age of 60.

    We could save a lot of tax by using Superannuation to our advantage, considering most people’s average tax rate is higher than 15%.

    Fair enough, you can’t access your super money until later in life. But paying less tax on your super investments means you’ll be able to keep more in your Super fund and grow personal wealth faster.

    There are a few ways to to save tax and build your wealth at the same time. The Australian government allows Australians to contribute up to $25,000 from your after tax money now ( $27,500 from Financial Year 2022). This is your concessional Super contribution cap.

    Concessional Contributions Cap

    You can claim a deduction providing you don’t go over your concessional contributions cap. This concessional cap includes super guarantee payments made by your employer, as well as any salary sacrificed contributions.  The difference between those other contributions and you concessional cap is the max amount you could contribute personally and claim a tax deduction. The concessional cap for the 2020 and the 2021 years is $25,000. However this may be increased by unused concessional contributions brought forward from previous years (from 1 July 2019.)

    You can claim a tax deduction on personal super contributions, which can save you a lot of tax dollars every year.

    Most likely, you’ll be able to claim a tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions. Prior to 01 July 2017, only those who earned less than 10% of total income as an employee could claim this deduction. This 10% rule doesn’t exit any more. As a result, many Australians under 75 years of age can claim an income tax deduction for personal superannuation contributions made into an eligible superannuation fund. There are certain eligibility requirements.

    Personal super contributions are amounts that you’ve paid from after-tax income to an eligible superannuation fund or retirement savings account (RSA). You can’t claim Salary-sacrificed contributions as tax deductions.

    Most superannuation funds are eligible complying superannuation funds but this should be checked if a deduction is to be claimed.

    Any deduction claimed can only reduce your taxable income to nil. It cannot add to or create a loss.

    You must have done the following before claiming a personal super contributions as a tax deduction:

    The following additional conditions must be satisfied:
    • the age-related conditions
    • the fund must not be a
      • commonwealth public sector superannuation scheme with a defined benefit interest
      • constitutionally protected fund or other untaxed fund that would not include the contributions in their assessable income, or
      • super fund that notified the Commissioner before the start of the income year that they elected to treat all member contributions to the
        • super fund as non-deductible, or
        • defined benefit interest within the fund as non-deductible.
    Age Related Conditions
    • Aged 75 years old or older. You can only claim contributions made before the 28th day of the month following the month in which you turned 75 as a deduction. You must satisfy the work test.
    • 18 years old at the end of the year. You can only claim a deduction if you earned income as an employee or a business operator during the year.
    • Aged 67 – 74 years of age. You must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption criteria for the fund to accept your contribution.
    Work Test

    From 1 July 2020, there’s some change for a fund to accept personal superannuation contributions if you are over 67. You must satisfy the work test or meet the work test exemption. To satisfy the work test, you must have worked at least 40 hours during a consecutive 30-day period in the financial year. Otherwise, the superannuation fund won’t accept the contributions.  Prior to 1 July 2020, you needed to satisfy the work test. Or meet the work test exemption if you were over 65 years of age when the contribution was made.

    The work test exemption applies from 1 July 2019. To meet the work test exemption criteria, the taxpayer must have:

    • Satisfied the work test in the financial year preceding the year in which the contributions were made
    • Have a total superannuation balance of less than $300,000 at the end of the previous financial year, and
    • Not previously used the work test exemption.

    Australian 2021 federal budge has some update on the work test, as mentioned in this post.

    Note: You Super will deduct a 15% contributions tax from any superannuation contribution that you intend to claim as a tax deduction.

    If your average tax rate is below 15%, it won’t be a tax effective strategy. Low income earners could benefit from government super co contribution, which I’ll cover in another blog post.

    From 1 July 2018, a tax payer like me with a total superannuation balance (TSB) of less than $500,000 on 30 June the previous financial year may be entitled to contribute more than the concessional contributions cap. We can make additional concessional contributions for any unused concessional cap amounts from previous years. The first year of entitlement to carry forward unused amounts is the 2019/20 year. Unused amounts are available for a maximum of 5 years.

    So in 2019/2020 tax year, I made larger than ever personal super contributions based on unused concessional cap amounts from 2 years, to my Super fund. And claimed the whole amount as a tax deduction.

    personal super contributions saving for retirement

    Take advantage of carry-forward unused Superannuation concessional contributions

    From 2019–20, carry-forward rules allow you to make extra concessional contributions. You can contribute above the general concessional contributions cap, without having to pay extra tax.

    The carry-forward arrangements involve accessing unused concessional cap amounts from previous years. An unused cap amount occurs when the concessional contributions you made in a financial year were less than your general concessional contributions cap.

    To use your unused cap amounts you need to meet two conditions:
    • Your total super balance at the end of 30 June of the previous financial year is less than $500,000.
    • You made concessional contributions in the financial year that exceeded your general concessional contributions cap.

    The amount of unused cap amounts you will be able to carry-forward will depend on the amount you have contributed in previous years, starting from 2018–19. You can use caps from up to five previous financial years.

    ATO will apply the oldest available unused cap amounts first. For example, unused cap amounts from 2018–19 would be applied to increase your cap first before unused cap amounts from 2019–20.

    Unused cap amounts are available for a maximum of five years and will expire after this. For example, a 2018–19 unused cap amount which is not used by the end of 2023–24 will expire.

    If, after applying all your available unused cap amounts, you still have excess concessional contributions, you may need to pay extra tax – divisional 293 tax. So be very mindful not to exceed your accumulated cap amount.

    How to view your carry-forward concessional contributions

    You can view and manage your concessional contributions and carry-forward concessional contributions using ATO online services through myGov.

    Log in to ATO online services, select Super, then navigate to Carry-forward concessional contributions.

    Be aware that due to the reporting timeframes of funds, the latest information may not be available in ATO online services. I would say the best way is to contact your super fund for the most up to date information. Your online super account should have all the information about your contribution history so you can easily keep track yourself too.

    Dis I say It’s better late than ever? My super balance is still embarrassingly low compared to what it should have been now. But I’m finally playing catch-up and learning to use Superannuation as a financial vehicle to save tax and save for retirement.

     

    Australian Federal Budget 2021  

    The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, delivered the Federal Budget for 2021 tonight (11th May). It’s good to know the update of the key tax and superannuation measures for individual tax, business tax and superannuation. 

    Individual tax

    Low Income Offsets LMITO retained for 2021-22  

    The low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) will continue to apply for the 2021-22 income year.  Otherwise, the LMITO was legislated to only apply until the end of the 2020-21 income year, with  the result that low-to-middle income earners would have seen their tax refunds in 2022 cut by  between $255 and $1,080 (for incomes up to $90,000 but phasing out up to $126,000).  

    Taxable income (TI) Amount of offset
    $0 $37,000 $255
    $37,001 – $48,000 $255 + ([TI – 37000] x 7.5%)
    $48,001 – $90,000 $1,080
    $90,001 – 126,000 $1,080 ([TI  -90,000] x 3%)
    $126,001 + N

    The amount of the LMITO is $255 for taxpayers with a taxable income of $37,000 or less. Between  $37,000 and $48,000, the value of LMITO increases at a rate of 7.5 cents per dollar to the maximum  amount of $1,080. Taxpayers with taxable incomes from $48,000 to $90,000 are eligible for the  maximum LMITO of $1,080. From $90,001 to $126,000, LMITO phases out at a rate of 3 cents per  dollar.  

    Consistent with current arrangements, the LMITO will be received on assessment after individuals lodge their tax returns for the 2021-22 income year.  

    The low income tax offset (LITO) will also continue to apply for 2021-22 income year.

    The LITO was  intended to replace the former low income and low and middle income tax offsets from 2022-23,  but the new LITO was brought forward in the 2020 Budget to apply from the 2020-21 income year. 

    Taxable income (TI) Amount of offset
    $0 $37,500 $700
    $37,501 – $45,000 $700 – ([TI – $37,500] x 5%)
    $45,001 – $66,667 $325 – ([TI – $45,000] x 1.5%)
    $66,668 + Nil

    The maximum amount of the LITO is $700. The LITO will be withdrawn at a rate of 5 cents per dollar  between taxable incomes of $37,500 and $45,000 and then at a rate of 1.5 cents per dollar between  taxable incomes of $45,000 and $66,667.  

    Personal Tax Rates unchanged for 2021-22; Stage 3 start from 2024-25 unchanged  

    In the Budget, the Government did not announce any personal tax rates changes, having already  brought forward the Stage 2 tax rates to 1 July 2020 in the October 2020 Budget. The Stage 3 tax  changes commence from 1 July 2024, as previously legislated.  

    The 2021-22 tax rates and income thresholds for residents (unchanged from 2020-21) are:

    Taxable income ($) Tax payable ($)
    0 – 18,200 Nil
    18,201 – 45,000 Nil + 19% of excess over 18,200
    45,001 – 120,000 5,092 + 32.5% of excess over 45,000
    120,001 – 180,000 29,467 + 37% of excess over 120,000
    180,001+ 51,667 + 45% of excess over 180,000

    The Stage 3 tax changes commence from 1 July 2024, as previously legislated. From 1 July 2024, the  32.5% marginal tax rate will be cut to 30% for one big tax bracket between $45,000 and $200,000.  The 37% tax bracket will be entirely abolished at this time.  

    Therefore, from 1 July 2024, there will only be 3 personal income tax rates – 19%, 30% and 45%.  From 1 July 2024, taxpayers earning between $45,000 and $200,000 will face a marginal tax rate of  30%.  

    The tax rates and income thresholds from the 2024-25 for residents (as already legislated) are:  

    Taxable income ($) Tax payable ($)
    0 – 18,200 Nil
    18,201 – 45,000 Nil + 19% of excess over 18,200
    45,001 – 200,000 5,092 + 30% of excess over 45,000
    200,001+ 51,592 + 45% of excess over 200,000

    Tax rates and income thresholds 

    Rate 2020-21 2021-22 to 2023-24  From 1.7.2024  (unchanged) 
    Nil  $0 – $18,200 $0 – $18,200 $0 – $18,200
    19% $18,201 – $45,000 $18,201 – $45,000 $18,201 – $45,000
    30%   $45,001 – $200,000
    32.5% $45,001 – $120,000  $45,001 – $120,000  N/A

      

    37% $120,001 –$180,000  $120,001 – $180,000  N/A

      

    45% $180,001 + $180,001 + $200,001 +
    Low and middle income tax offset (LMITO)  Up to $1,080 Up to $1,080 N/A
    Low income tax offset (LITO) Up to $700 Up to $700 Up to $700

    Foreign residents tax rates

    For 2021-22, the tax rates for foreign residents (unchanged from 2020-21) are:  

    $0 – $120,000 – 32.5%;  

    $120,001 – $180,000 – 37%;  

    $180,001+ – 45%.  

    For 2024-25 and later income years, the tax rates for foreign residents are:  

    $0 – 200,000 30%;  

    $200,001+ – 45%.  

    Working holidaymakers  

    For 2021-22, the rates of tax for working holiday makers (unchanged from 2020-21) are:  

    $0 – $45,000 15%;  

    $45,001 – $120,000 – 32.5%;  

    $120,001 – $180,000 – 37%;  

    $180,001+ – 45%.  

    For 2024-25 and later income years, the rates of tax for working holiday makers are:  

    $0 – $45,000 – 15%;  

    $45,001 – $200,000 – 30%; 

    $200,001+ – 45%.  

    Self-education expenses: $250 threshold be removed  

    The Government will remove the exclusion for the first $250 of deductions for prescribed courses of  education. The first $250 of a prescribed course of education is currently not deductible  

    A limitation on deductibility exists under s 82A of ITAA 1936 in respect of deductions that would  otherwise be allowable under s 8-1 if the self-education expenses are necessarily incurred in  connection with a course of education provided by a place of education (eg school, univeraity, college etc)  and undertaken by the taxpayer for the purpose of gaining qualifications for use in the carrying on of  a profession, business or trade or in the course of any employment. In those circumstances,  currently only the excess over $250 may be deductible.  

    Primary 183-day test for individual tax residency  

    The Government will replace the existing tests for the tax residency of individuals with a primary  “bright line” test under which a person who is physically present in Australia for 183 days or more in  any income year will be an Australian tax resident.  

    Individuals who do not meet the primary test will be subject to secondary tests that depend on a  combination of physical presence and measurable, objective criteria.  

    The new residency rules are based on recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its 2019  report Reforming individual tax residency rules a model for modernisation. 

    Medicare low income thresholds for 2020-21  

    For the 2020-21 income year, the Medicare levy low-income threshold for singles will be increased  to $23,226 (up from $22,801 for 2019-20).  

    For couples with no children, the family income threshold will be increased to $39,167 (up from  $38,474 for 2019-20). The additional amount of threshold for each dependent child or student will  be increased to $3,597 (up from $3,533).  

    For single seniors and pensioners eligible for the SAPTO, the Medicare levy low-income threshold  will be increased to $36,705 (up from $36,056 for 2019-20).  

    The family threshold for seniors and pensioners will be increased to $51,094 (up from $50,191), plus  $3,597 for each dependent child or student.  

    Income Tax exemption for ADF personnel deployed to Operation Paladin  

    The Australian Government will provide a full income tax exemption for the pay and allowances of  Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Operation Paladin from 1 July 2020.  Operation Paladin is Australia’s contribution to the UN’s Truce Supervision Organisation, with ADF  personnel deployed in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. 

    Business Tax  

    Temporary full expensing extended by one year  

    The Government will extend the temporary full expensing measure until 30 June 2023. It was  otherwise due to finish on 30 June 2022. Other than the extended date, all other elements of  temporary full expensing will remain unchanged.  

    Currently, temporary full expensing allows eligible businesses to deduct the full cost of eligible  depreciating assets. A business qualifies for temporary full expensing if it has an annual aggregated  turnover under $5 billion. Annual aggregated turnover is generally worked out on the same basis as  for small businesses, except the threshold is $5 billion instead of $10 million.  

    Loss carry-back extended by one year  

    Under the loss carry back measures, an eligible company (aggregated annual turnover of up to $5  billion) could carry back a tax loss for the 2019-20, 2020-21 or 2021-22 income years to offset tax  paid in the 2018-19 or later income years.  

    The Government will extend the eligible tax loss years to include the 2022-23 income year. Tax  refunds resulting from loss carry back will be available to companies when they lodge their 2020-21,  2021-22 and 2022-23 tax returns.

    Temporary loss carry-back also complements the temporary full expensing measure by allowing  more companies to take advantage of expensing, while it is available.  

    Employee share schemes: cessation of employment removed as a taxing point  

    The Government will remove the cessation of employment as a taxing point for tax-deferred  employee share schemes. Currently, under a tax-deferred ESS, where certain criteria are met  employees may defer tax until a later tax year (the deferred taxing point). In such cases, the deferred  taxing point is the earliest of:  

    • Cessation of employment;
    • In the case of shares, when there is no risk of forfeiture and no restrictions on disposal; 
    • In the case of options, when the employee exercises the option and there is no risk of  forfeiting the resulting share and no restriction on disposal;  
    • The maximum period of deferral of 15 years.

    The change announced in the Budget will result in tax being deferred until the earliest of the  remaining taxing points.  

    30% Digital games tax offset from 1 July 2022  

    A 30% Digital Games Tax Offset will apply from 1 July 2022 for eligible businesses that spend a  minimum of $500,000 on qualifying Australian games expenditure.  

    Games with gambling elements, or that cannot obtain a classification rating, will not be eligible.

    Intangible assets depreciation: Option to self-assess effective life  

    The income tax law will be amended to allow taxpayers to self-assess the effective life of certain  intangible assets (such as intellectual property and in-house software), rather than being required to  use the effective life currently prescribed in the table in s 40-95(7) of the ITAA 1997. 

    This amendment will apply to patents, registered designs, copyrights and in-house software.  Taxpayers will be able to bring deductions forward if they self-assess the assets as having a shorter  effective life to the statutory life.  

    The self-assessment of effective lives will apply to eligible assets acquired following the completion  of temporary full expensing, ie to assets acquired from 1 July 2023.  

    Tax Exemption for grants made to businesses affected by storm and floods  

    The Government will provide an income tax exemption for qualifying grants made to primary  producers and small businesses affected by the storms and floods in Australia.  

    Qualifying grants are Category D grants provided under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements  2018, where those grants relate to the storms and floods in Australia that occurred due to rainfall  events between 19 February 2021 and 31 March 2021. These include small business recovery grants  of up to $50,000 and primary producer recovery grants of up to $75,000. The grants will be made  non-assessable non-exempt income for tax purposes.  

    Small business to be able to pause ATO debt recovery  

    The Government will introduce legislation to allow small businesses to pause or modify ATO debt  recovery action where the debt is being disputed in the AAT.  

    Specifically, the changes will allow the Small Business Taxation Division of the AAT to pause or  modify any ATO debt recovery actions such as garnishee notices and the recovery of GIC or related  penalties until the underlying dispute is resolved by the AAT. This measure is intended to provide  an “avenue” for small businesses to ensure they are not required to start paying a disputed debt  until the matter has been determined by the AAT.  

    Small business entities (including individuals carrying on a business) with an aggregated turnover of  less than $10 million per year will be eligible to use the option.  

    Superannuation  

    Superannuation contributions work test to be repealed from 1 July 2022 

    The superannuation contributions work test exemption will be repealed for voluntary non – concessional and salary sacrificed contributions for those aged 67 to 74 from 1 July 2022.  

    As a result, individuals under age 75 will be allowed to make or receive non-concessional or salary sacrifice contributions from 1 July 2022 without meeting the work test, subject to existing
    contribution caps. However, individuals aged 67 to 74 years will still have to meet the work test to make personal deductible contributions.
    Currently, individuals aged 67 to 74 years (ie under 75) can only make voluntary contributions (both concessional and non-concessional), or receive contributions from their spouse, if they work at least 40 hours in any 30-day period in the financial year in which the contributions are made.


    Super guarantee $450 per month to be repealed


    The Superannuation Guarantee $450 per month eligibility threshold will be removed from 1 July 2022. As a result, employers will be required to make quarterly Super Guarantee contributions
    on behalf of low-income employees earning less than $450 per month (unless another Super Guarantee exemption applies).


    Downsizer contributions eligibility reduced to 60


    The minimum eligibility age to make downsizer contributions into superannuation will be lowered to age 60 (down from age 65) from 1 July 2022.
    The proposed reduction in the eligibility age will mean that individuals aged 60 or over can make an additional non-concessional contribution of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home. Either the individual or their spouse must have owned the home for 10 years.
    The maximum downsizer contribution is $300,000 per contributor (ie $600,000 for a couple), although the entire contribution must come from the capital proceeds of the sale price. As under the current rules, a downsizer contribution must be made within 90 days after the home changes ownership (generally the date of settlement).


    First Home Super Saver Scheme to be extended for withdrawals up to $50,000


    The mTaximum amount of voluntary superannuation contributions that can be released under the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme will be increased from $30,000 to $50,000 with effect from the start of the first financial year after Royal Assent of the enabling legislation, expected to be 1 July 2022.
    Voluntary contributions made from 1 July 2017 up to the existing limit of $15,000 per year will count towards the total amount able to be released (which includes voluntary concessional and non – concessional contributions).
    Currently, the FHSS scheme allows for future voluntary contributions up to $15,000 per year (and $30,000 in total) to be withdrawn for a first home purchase. To be eligible, a person must be 18 years or over, have not used the FHSS scheme before and have never owned real property in Australia. Withdrawals of eligible FHSS contributions (and associated earnings) are taxed at the
    individual’s marginal rate less a 30% tax offset.

    For your interest, there’s an ABC news commentary that summarised the winners and losers in simple terms.

    Australia taxation can be quite complicated. Very often, clients ask me: do I need to lodge a tax return at all? Their situations are different. Sometimes, it’s a pensioner who doesn’t any income other then their pension.  It could be someone who’s under 18 years old, only works part time earning a few thousands a year and a few dollars bank interest. Or, it’s some who’s new to the country, worked part of the financial year and also received some rental income from overseas.

    Most people are genuinely not sure what to do with their unique situation. Occasionally there would be someone who wants to try their luck with ATO.

    “I made some money from this side gig. Do I REALLY need to report this in the tax return? Very likely tax office won’t know this.”

    “If I lodge a tax return, I’d have to pay more tax. Do you think if I don’t lodge a tax return, the tax office will just let it go?”

    Taxpayers who must lodge a tax return include:

    1. Most resident individuals whose total assessable income exceeds $18,200 for the 2020 income year. However:
      1. Persons who received certain Australian Government allowances will not need to lodge a tax return if they only had income from this source or if their taxable income was not more than $20,542.
      2.  Persons who received certain Australian Government pensions or who are entitled to an aged pension will not be required to lodge a tax return unless their rebate income is more than:
        1. $32,279 if at any time during the year they were single, widowed or separated
        2. $31,279 if at any time during the year the person and their spouse had to live apart due to illness or the person or their spouse was in a nursing home
        3. $28,974 if at any time during the income year the person and their spouse lived together
      3. A person who was an Australian resident for only part of the year will be required to lodge a tax return if their taxable income exceeds their adjusted tax-free threshold ($13,464 plus ($4,736/12) x number of months or part month the person was an Australian resident)
    2. Every person who, during the year, was not an Australian resident for tax purposes and derived income (including capital gains) that is taxable in Australia, other than franked dividends, interest and royalty income subject to withholding payments
    3. Every person carrying on a business or profession regardless of profit or loss.
    4. A person who has had tax withheld under the PAYG withholding system other than amounts withheld from:
      1. franked or partially franked dividends where the amount of the dividends or distributions received and any franking credits totalled less than $18,200

      2. dividend, interest and royalty payments received by foreign residents
      3. Departing Australia Superannuation Payments
      4. payments made to persons participating in the Seasonal Labour Mobility Program
      5. certain superannuation lump sum payments made to a person with a terminal medical condition
    5. A person who has a Reportable Fringe Benefits Amount (RFBA) or a Reportable Employer Superannuation Contribution (RESC) shown on their PAYG Payment Summary or Income Statement, regardless of income.
    6. A person who paid Pay As You Go Instalment Tax during the income year, irrespective of income.
    7. A person who has made a loss (including a capital loss) during the income year or has a carried forward loss (including a capital loss), which they can claim in the current year .
    8. A person who was entitled to the private health insurance rebate but did not claim the correct entitlement as a premium reduction, and their spouse (if they had one) is not claiming the rebate for them in their income tax return.
    9. A person, 60 years old or older, who received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to a non-dependant
    10. A person, under 60 years old, who received an Australian superannuation lump sum that included a taxed element or an untaxed element or it is a superannuation lump sum death benefit paid to a non-dependant.
    11. A person who is liable to pay or is receiving child support through the Child Support Agency (CSA) unless their adjusted taxable income is below $25,575 (for the 2020 income year) and they have received a government pension, allowance or payment for the whole period.
    12. A person who has made personal contributions to a complying superannuation fund or retirement savings account (RSA) and is eligible to receive a super co-contribution.
    13. A person who has made concessional superannuation contributions exceeding their concessional (pre-tax) contributions cap.
    14. A person who has made personal superannuation contributions exceeding their non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap.
    15. A person who was entitled to a distribution from a trust or had an interest in a partnership and the trust or partnership carried on a business of primary production.
    16. A person who is a special professional covered by the income averaging provisions. These provisions apply to authors of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, inventors, performing artists and active sportspeople.
    17. A person who was an Australian resident for tax purposes and had exempt foreign employment income and $1 or more of other income (Module 10).
    18. A person who derived assessable income from dividends and distributions and franking credits that was more than $18,200 (or $416 if aged under 18 at 30 June 2020).
    19. A person who has been asked to submit a return by the Commissioner. A full tax return is required even if there is no assessable income to report.
    20. A person who is a minor (under 18 years old on 30 June) and whose income was more than $416 (excluding salary and wages or other payments for work that was personally performed) or whose income from dividends or distributions and franking credits was more than $416. A minor whose unearned income is less than $416 will still be required to lodge a tax return if they have had tax withheld.
    21. Foreign residents with an accumulated Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt, VET Student Loan or an accumulated Trade Support Loan (TSL) (as of 1 June immediately preceding the income year) if their repayment income, and any foreign-sourced income, was more than $11,470 for 2019-20. The return must also be lodged electronically.
    22. A person who derived Australian sourced taxable income (excluding any superannuation remainder or employment termination remainder) of $37,001 or more whilst they were on a working holiday visa (417 or 462).

    Hope this long list helps! With Australian end of financial year fast approaching, it’s best to get your head around and be prepared for any financial implications.

    Though it may seem like an impossibility to retire early if you are not a trust fund baby, the reality is that anybody can do it. I explored this a bit in a post about whether retiring early is possible

    There is an actual movement called FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) and it is catching on all over the world. Anybody who has ever thought of ripping up their time card at work and walking out has often imagined what their life would be like if they didn’t have to work anymore. 

    It is a little more complicated than finding a way to sit on a beach and drink mojitos all day, however. The idea is to have the freedom to choose, when, how, and how much you want to work instead of being stuck in a cycle that you can’t get out of. With this in mind, it does take some planning and putting pieces in place to achieve financial independence. 

    In this article, I will go over what you need to do to be able to actually retire early and live life on your own terms. 

    Start investing

    The most important thing to start before anything is to put money in investments as early as possible. It is the residual money that you make from the investments that will allow you to earn passive income so you are free to focus on the things that are important to you later on. The earlier you start, the more you will earn.

    There are a lot of different types of investing from ETF trading in Canada to buying and trading cryptocurrency. It’s up to you to find the right fit that suits your personality, your budget, and your level of acceptable risk.

    No matter how you envision your FIRE life, it will involve having a solid portfolio of investments. Without this, you may not have the freedom that you need to be able to live exactly the lifestyle that you want.

    Once you have an investment strategy then you can move on to the actual planning of your roadmap to financial independence. 

    Define your FIRE style

    There are as many types of FIRE systems as there are people who decide to retire early. It is highly subjective to the person and their needs and wants so there is no one size fits all approach.

    With that said, there are a few different categories that your idea may fall under. 

    To hit your number for early retirement faster you can try out the LeanFIRE system. This involves stripping down your lifestyle to the bare minimum. Minimalists are the ones most likely to succeed in this type of system because they already have the lifestyle which requires frugality and the discipline that comes with it. 

    LeanFIRE requires living with the bare minimum and then continuing that into retirement. You won’t live a life of luxury doing this style of FIRE. it is not for everybody since there is a lack of many creature comforts that most people require. The benefit is that with such extreme saving and barebones expenses needed to retire you can end up retiring earlier even if you don’t make a lot of money.

    FatFIRE is very similar to LeanFIRE in that cuts and sacrifices have to be made, but there is some room for some reasonable indulgences. It does take a frugal approach which means having to make sure that you are cutting many unnecessary expenses. What it doesn’t involve is going vegetarian for the sake of saving money, as an example. Often, your lifestyle will remain almost the same with just cutting most of the fat out of your budget. 

    BaristaFIRE is probably the most popular of the many different approaches. This simply means that you have done FatFIRE for instance but you want to continue working in your retirement. In fact, you are more interested in the financial independence aspect over the early retirement part. In other words, you plan to keep working but with more control over your options. 

    You can “retire” from the regular job that you are not crazy about and take a lower-paying one that is more fulfilling or offers a more flexible schedule. The reason it is called the BaristaFIRE is that you could step down from your corporate job and take a job in a coffee shop with less responsibility and the ability to work fewer hours. The point is that you will still have some money coming in so you don’t have to use your savings, or even to keep your health insurance. 

    Get rid of debt 

    Regardless of which scenario is best for you, the one constant is that you have to eliminate or severely reduce your debt. This is what is going to hold you back from retiring early if you have it hanging over you. 

    When you start cutting expenses, the savings should go to two places. One is to invest a portion and the other portion should go to paying down your debt. Start with the debt that is fastest to eliminate, or has a high-interest rate. Credit card debt is the most logical place to start.

    Knock off as much of that debt as quickly as possible as it is what is taking a big chunk of your budget in the sense that you pay for so much interest over time. You should have zero credit card debt when you retire. Only use your credit cards to accumulate miles or points while making sure to pay off any charges as soon as the bill comes in.

    You should try to also be mortgage-free as this also determines how long it will take to retire. If you can have no mortgage then you will have far more flexibility in your lifestyle and when you are able to retire. However, if you have other debts then pay those off first as you can keep deducting your mortgage interest from your taxes, unlike your other debt. 

     

    As soon as we leave the nest, it seems that we spend our entire life working, and while it can be hard to admit, money does seem to make the world go round. However, it is possible to make things easier for ourselves. We just need to identify our expenses and develop strategies to manage our finances.

    Interested in learning more? Then keep on reading. We are going to talk about some of life’s most significant expenses.

    Let’s get started!

    Education

    In the US, the average cost for a four-year college attendance sits at around $25,362. It certainly is a lot, and if you move away from home, paying for student accommodation and other expenses can certainly add up. Some people may have parents that have saved for them, and others may have received a scholarship. However, there are many of us out there that need to fund ourselves. Here are a few tips to consider:

    • Take AP classes – Advanced placement programs allow you to earn college credits while you are still attending high school. If you are able to do this, you won’t have to pay for them later on.
    • Get a part-time job – One of the best ways to save for college is to find work on weekends or during the summer holidays. This will give you some savings and work experience at the same time.
    • Lower living expenses – Live at home if you can or if you are moving away, consider renting a place with fellow classmates. This will allow you to split costs and focus on saving.

    Housing

    Housing costs are one of the biggest expenses that you may face at some point in your life. When it comes to saving for it, there are a few things you can do, but ultimately you’re not going to be able to afford a mansion unless you have an income that can pay it back. Here are few areas that you need to think about.

    Buying a home: The benefits of buying a home or building like with these Arizona home builders is that it is yours. You can make changes and sell it later on. However, most homes require a substantial deposit, and you need a great credit score in order to get approved for a loan. The best way to do this is to avoid falling into debt by creating a manageable budget.

    Renting: Renting is great for those that don’t have enough funds for a down payment but also comes with disadvantages. What you spend can be referred to as “dead money” as you will never own the property. Alongside this, what you payback could be more than a house repayment.

    Utilities and maintenance: Alongside the costs of physically buying or renting a home, you also need to pay for utilities and maintenance. This can be another significant life expense, but it is possible to reduce the costs. You can find tips on how to slash your electric bill here.

    Vehicles

    The cost of a new vehicle varies, but it’s safe to say that there is an average of around $20,000. However, the expenses don’t stop there. Paying for gas, maintenance, and insurance all add up and can definitely drain your wallet. If you can’t afford it, you are better off starting with a used car and making use of public transport before splashing out on something new.

    Weddings

    $33,900. Yep, that’s the average cost of a wedding in the US as of 2019! Costing more than a new vehicle, this big day can get expensive. In order to save, many couples have long engagements so that they can put away a bit of cash each week. However, you may also consider reducing your wedding costs altogether. Take a look at these budget-friendly wedding ideas for more information. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful wedding!

    Vacations

    Vacations are a great way to relax, spend time with family and friends and most importantly, enjoy yourself. However, if you choose to head overseas or even out of the state, for that matter, you’re looking at a big price tag. From accommodation, airfares, food, and attractions, you can easily spend more than you anticipated. Before you head away, sit down and work out a strict budget for each day. This way, you won’t go over your limit but can still have a great time.

    Raising a Child

    Growing your family is an exciting step to take and one that most people wish to do eventually. However, before you go doing anything, it can be wise to analyze the average expense of raising a child. $233,610 is a lot of money, and you need to be prepared for it. You may want to think about having yourself financially secure with a stable job before trying to have a baby.

    Retirement

    One of the most significant life expenses that you need to save for is your retirement. The amount you need depends on whether you want to reach early retirement or continue working. You’ll also need to consider your current income and how you want to live after you retire. Do you plan on enjoying a life of luxury, moving abroad, or staying close to home? All of these questions will make it easier to save in the long run.

    Funerals

    Depending on what type of funeral you want to have, services can range from around $3000 to $15,000. The last thing you want is for your family to be under financial stress after you have gone, so saving for it alongside your retirement plan is essential. Look into the basics and consider investing in life insurance to pay for the costs. You may even take out a certificate of deposit so you can earn high rates.

    And that’s it! By reading through the above and learning about life’s most significant expenses, you can understand the importance of saving and preparing for the future.

    What do you think? Are there any tips you would recommend to others?

     

    Achieving financial independence is perhaps the most challenging task to undertake yet very essential for a better life. People have varied reasons for wanting financial independence, from getting out of debt, retiring early, to accumulating wealth. 

    Whatever your reason might be, financial freedom will surely help you achieve your dreams and have a better future. There are many ways you can accomplish your financial independence, such as through investments and savings. 

    While the latter can be somewhat risky, there are investment means that have proven to be safe. Consider forex trading as a prime investment plan. You can opt to partner with a bank or a forex trading company to help you realize your financial goals and choose a suitable forex trading plan.

    As one of the best investment plans, forex trading offers you a range of options suitable for your current and future financial capabilities. There are forex traders who trade commodities and cryptocurrency, among many more. It is the best means to access market prices and make your investment earlier in life.

    It takes a lot of determination, compromises, and focus on being financially independent.

    No matter your financial goals, there are general levels of financial freedom everyone should work towards. They comprise of;

    Early Retirement

    You don’t want to be the 60-year-old in an office full of young workers only to earn a meager salary. No, you want an early retirement to do exciting things in your free time, like travel. With the increasing cost of living, early retirement is almost unachievable unless you’re a millionaire. 

    Nevertheless, it is attainable only for people who take financial independence seriously enough to make early investments that will cater to their retirement life.

    Emergency-Ready

    Your primary financial goal should equip you to weather an emergency. As unpredictable as life is, preparations for the unforeseeable future are mandatory, and you can only accomplish this by being financially capable. 

    Flexible investments are more suited for emergencies because you can withdraw funds at any given time. An emergency could also be any life-changing plan in your life, like insurance.

    Independence From Your Paycheck

    It can be quite frustrating to plan your life according to the dates you’ll receive your paycheck because otherwise, you can’t do what you want due to a lack of money. Your financial goal will prepare you to escape this nightmare and instead live your life spontaneously.

    Time; and More Time

    Most people crave time to do exciting things that will make them happy and help them relax. With a regular job, time is an expensive commodity. Planning your financial goals will help you quit your job and start doing what makes you happy, like starting your own business or retiring early to travel the world.

    Clearing Debt

    Debt makes you take extra shifts and get part-time jobs because they run you down to your last cent; bad credit is bad for your future financial plans like a mortgage. Therefore, you need to have a sustainable financial plan that will help you clear your debts to have the resources to make significant financial decisions.

    Once you’ve established your financial capabilities and goals, you can go ahead to make investments that will be worthwhile. Use the general levels of financial independence to help you get started.

    Being financially successful can have different meanings to different people. For some, it could mean being extraordinarily rich. For others, it could simply mean getting out of debt and gaining financial confidence.

    Whatever your specific financial goals are, I guess no one will reject the idea of financial security. For someone is not so good with money like myself, there’s still hope to be financially successful with just a few simple changes in mindset and spending habit.

    Are you like me in the following ways?

    • Buy something and don’t realise you already have it at home.
    • Rarely use or open the things you buy.
    • Shop online when you are bored.

    Or you are in debt. You are on a low wage. You think you are useless with money.

    If you’ve said yes to a lot of the above, fear not. As long as you are open to learning and think about why you are spending, you can still be financially successful.

    In order to achieve financial success, you have to know what your financial goals are. Your goals should be based on your current financial situation and be realistic. Don’t dream. Be practical.

    Here are 10 ways to be financially successful

    1. Find out exactly how much your are earning and spending every day, week, month

    It sounded so basic right? The truth is most people under estimate how much they’d spend. Record your daily spendings. Gather all your receipts, credit card and ban statements. Keep daily accounts of what goes out and what goes into your accounts. Guess work won’t do it. You must know how much you’ve got to spend and keep to start with.

    2. Check your bills and statements

    Check everything you’re asked to pay, from credit card statements to grocery bills. Look for over charing and general mistakes. Who know how much money you could be losing buy not keeping an eagle eye on your account. I’ve lost thousands by not checking my credit card statements.

    3. Start saving now

    Most of us can save money if we simply cut back on non – essential expenditures. Some simple ways of saving include: Cancel gym membership if you don’t go more than once a week. Go out only once a week to eat. Eat breakfast at home. Don’t shop when you are bored. Buy a water filter instead of keeping buy bottled water.

    4. Think before you spend.

    Think about what your are buying all the time. Made spending hard. Rat everything you want to buy and only buy what you need or something you really, really, really want. Ask yourself: how much do I really need/want this? Buy the absolute essentials. If it’s something you really want than really need, sleep on it and reassess your desire later. Very often, you’ll find that you actually don’t want it that much after a couple of days.

    5. Shop smartly and delay gratification

    Don’t be a sucker for brands. Instead shop around for bargains. The richer you want to be, the more you have to delay gratification. Of course you need to maintain certain standard of living to be happy. But you do have to cut back, save and do without luxuries in order to have money to invest and therefore, have money further down the track.

    6. Invest wisely

    As tempting it may be to dabble in the stock market., or give your money to someone who says they can triple it in two weeks, remember it’s impossible to get rich quick. Unless you can afford to lose money, only take sensible risks with your cash.

    7. Don’t give up your day job

    Don’t be so quick to put your job on hold for a career break. Move to a less stressful job for less money. Or quit your job to travel round the world thinking you can always slip back into the job market. While these are all options that can work, the reality is that what you earn today may not be what you earn tomorrow. I’ve learned this in a hard way. So if you have a great job with a good earning potential, think long and hard before changing careers or taking a career break, and ask yourself whether you will financially regret it in five – ten years’ time. If the answer is “maybe”, think again. Think really hard about what you’re doing.

    8. Protect your money

    Pay attention to what’s happening to the financial market. Do you need to move your money around to make it work better for you? Or take your money out of something that’s losing money? Or change jobs because your current company is not doing well? Always look ahead for potential financial hazards that might knock you sideways, so that you can sidestep them before they happen.

    9. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

    Don’t put all your money into savings account, share market or properties. Diversify in different investment streams. Properties, for example, is a great investment, but what would you do if the market crashed? Have you made provisions for your own financial security? If not, it’s time to do so.

    10. Make the most of your spare time

    We all have unused skills that others could benefit from, whether they are a talent for painting, making things or writing. You would be amazed at how many people make money form the things you take for granted. Research and see how others make money. Consider offering yourself out for hire. Get a second job! The fastest way to get rich is to increase your income by utilising your spare time. Think you have no spare time? Well, think of all the time you spend browsing on your smart phone.

    As the world becomes ever more digitized, people are increasingly turning to so-called “digital wallets” to make payments. Perhaps the most famous example of these is PayPal – the online-based digital bank account that allows you to collect payments through eCommerce sites, like eBay. Many others have come and gone since then, with some of the biggest companies in the world, like Apple and Google, now offering their own versions. 

    Today, though, there’s a new kid on the block called Afterpay. It’s an Australian digital wallet that promises to transform how people make payments online. The service provides all the usual goodies, such as being able to pay for stuff online and use an app to buy items in-store. But it also offers a bunch of features that many customers will find helpful. 

    The company says that it never charges interest on purchases. So if you receive a line of credit from the company, it’s free. The other benefit is that using the service doesn’t affect your credit score. The app won’t pass your information on to any third-parties, permanently depriving banks and other financial institutions of all your financial information. 

    There are limits, of course, to how much you can use on credit, but Afterpay deals with these as “loans” instead of regular credit. For this reason, the app is relatively consumer-friendly. 

    The following infographic charts how Afterpay affects your credit rating, allows you to do things like split purchases and sets limits for your spending. Read on to find out more. 


    See how Payday Deals explains Afterpay

    I almost totally abandoned my blog last year. Instead of posting regularly, I had very few posts in the entire 2019. Not much thought and effort were directing to this space and it looked sad.

    I had no energy for anything else. I was physically and emotionally drained day after day after my slavery, low paying contract job (got that half way through 2019). Why am I going for a job like that? It’s kind of complicated (more on that later), but one of the main reasons is that I want to teach myself a lesson, to teach myself the value of money.

    It’s fair to say that my intelligence in money management is really low. I have a Master’s degree in Finance and looked after big company’s finance department but my personal finance has always been neglected. It’s with regret to admit, I never treated money with care.

    In the light of a new year and new decade, I thought it’s time to lay out some of my biggest money mistakes in years and try to learn something from them.

    Leaving a rental property vacant for months before selling it a the lowest point.

    I used to have a house and rented it out. Without shopping around for a good real estate agent, I just used the first one available. Of course they charged the highest commission. But I was too sloppy to care about that. The tenant was very demanding and a little too nasty for my liking so I decided to sell the house. It was around 2011 when the Sydney housing market was slow and depressing. Nobody was buying at the time. And my tenant made sure the house was a mess whenever there was an open inspection. It took forever before the tenant finally moved out. Instead of finding a new tenant and change to a better real estate agent, I just let the property vacant for more than 6 months. The house was eventually sold at a very low price after being on the market for nearly a year.

    Then magic happened. Sydney experienced the strongest housing boom in history. From 2012 onwards, you could hardly catch up with the rapid growing pace of Sydney housing price. Years later, I found out the person who bought my house sold it a few month after buying it from me and made nearly $300k profit straight away.

    Lesson learned? Too many. The key one is never to be too emotional. A bad tenant certainly shouldn’t be the reason to sell your rental property.

    Trading Foreign Currency with huge leverage without knowing how to trade properly.

    I can be timid and have low self esteem but occasionally over confident. Take trading Forex currency for example.

    I heard someone traded Forex for a living and never needed to go to the office everyday. At the time I hated my job in corporate (that was 10 years ago). It was a well paid job but being an emotional person I couldn’t handle the pressure that well.

    So I quit my day job, wishing to carve out a career trading foreign currency and live happily ever after. My investment in Forex was $125k. My vision (day dreaming) was to double that money in a year. I did study Forex very hard, learning all the candle stick formation, support resistant level, different patterns and fibonacci etc etc. After all, I had a finance degree and did well, trading FX would be a piece of cake right? Wrong. I lost the entire $125k. Luckily I was too lazy to transfer money to my forex account on time so I didn’t end up loosing my entire savings account.

    Thinking back, I was over leveraged and once again too emotional. I acted like a gambler, risking too much in hope of getting my money back.

    One day I was walking past a food market, someone handed me some promotional material. It was a pack of chewing gum in a blue case. Turning it over, it reads: Gambling problem? Call this number: xxxxxx. It was totally spooky. How didn’t they know? Do I have “Gambler” written all over my face?

    Withdrawing cash from ATM without taking the cash.

    Did I say that I’m very careless with money? Yes. Did I also say that I day dream too much to a stupid degree? Let me tell you a personal story.

    A few years ago, I was looking to buy a unit in Sydney. There was one that was almost reasonably priced but requires major renovation. After inspection, I walked away pondering the possibilities then the agent rang.

    “Good news, the owner agreed to sell at this much xxx, but there’s another buyer that’s really interested. He’s coming to pay deposit this afternoon. If you come now and pay $1000 deposit and it’s yours.”

    “But I want to think about it a little bit more.” I replied.

    “No need, it’ll be gone if you don’t take it today. It’s a real bargain. I just want to let you to get it first because I really like you.” The agent assured me.

    So I proceeded to the ATM to take $1000 out. While pushing the buttons to withdraw cash from the machine, my mind went wild, imagining ways to renovate, thinking over and over if it’s a really good fit. My daydream was cut off by the sound of ATM shutting down the withdrawing slot.

    Wait! Did I take the cash or not? I looked frantically everywhere in my wallet, bag and pockets. No $1000. But I did withdraw the cash!!! I have the receipt from ATM. But where’s the money? Did someone else take it while I was day dreaming? Oh God.

    So I went to the bank teller telling my story. Nobody believed me. ” Surely you took the money, our record shows you withdrew the cash.”

    “But I didn’t take the cash!” Everyone just looked at me like it was impossible.

    “Trust me! You have the video camera there! Can you rewind it and see what happened just now? Because I can’t remember what happened to the $1000.”

    “No, we can’t do that.”

    Tears started to rolling from my face. How couldn’t I be that stupid? In the end, a bank employee took sympathy towards me. ” If you didn’t take the money and nobody else did, the money could be taken back to the machine. It’ll be added back to your bank account if that’s the case. Just wait for 2 weeks for it to work out.” With that in mind, I left the bank.

    You might have gathered by now, I didn’t end up buying that unit. Truth is, nobody else did either. There wasn’t another buying going to pay deposit that day. So my stupid mistake at ATM actually prevented me falling for a common trick of a real estate agent.

    And for your information, the $1000 was deposited back to my bank account after 2 weeks.

    Paying for groceries in shops but always leave things behind after paying.

    Do you need to remember to take your shopping bags with you after paying the bills? Isn’t it common sense you pick out things in the shops, pay for them and take the goods with you?

    Obviously I’m not normal. I just pay for things leave shops without taking the paid shopping with me. My mind is always somewhere else and I’m hardly ever present.

    How many times I have to go back to the shops and collect things afterwards and how many times I left the goods behind forever? I don’t remember. 

    Do I still leave my shopping behind after paying? Yes.

    Paying for yearly membership then never ever use it.

    I guess this could be a common one to a lot people but I bet it happens to me more often than others. I used to buy yearly gym membership but only went twice then forgot about it. The worst thing is that, I was too lazy to cancel the membership and let that automatically renewed for 3+ years. After eventually cancelling my gym membership, I got the $1500 yearly yoga pass. This time, it was slightly better. I attended about 10 yoga classes before giving up going for the rest of the year. That happened 3 years in a row. In the mean time I bought aquatic centre pass intending to go swimming regularly but never ended up using it even once.

    There were a number of other club memberships that I paid for but never ever used them. Looking back, it’s easy to understand why I didn’t accumulate any wealth.

    Still paying rent to my old rental apartment months after moving out.

    Setting up an automatic monthly payment to pay rent is normal, but forgot to cancel the monthly rental payments after you move out is not. It was only after a few month when the rental property manager mentioned to me, “Btw, we noticed you are still paying rent to our account.” did I realise there was something very important to be done.

    Paying for a car deposit without buying the car (then losing the $500 deposit of course).

    I’ve had a lot of impulse purchases. There were many things bought that belonged to that “bought and forgot” category. But at least I get the pleasure of owning them. But that car purchase was not the case.

    Impulse purchase is always a bad idea. It made it so hard to declutter. I wanted to learn to play piano so a piano was bought. I wanted to learn to play tennis so I bought the whole set of gear, special shoes and lots of cute outfit to go with it. The same happened to golf, badminton etc etc. Of course I didn’t have any patience to learn any of those.

    Sold my old wallet but forgot to take money out.

    So I sold one of my used Louis Vuitton wallet but there was still a $50 note in it. Lucy the buyer is honest and told me about it and transferred the money back to me.

    There are many bad examples and there’s no need to list more. Will I ever change my bad money habit? I think so, because there’s no other choice. Who wants to grow into the old age, being stupid and destitute? Is it too late for me to learn the value of money? Well.

    It’s better late than never.

     

     

     

    As much as we would all like for this to not be the case, sometimes we suffer financially. Sometimes things happen in our lives that mean that we end up in a bad financial situation. Maybe it’s something that you didn’t see coming. And could not have! Or maybe it was something that happened as a result of your own actions. Whether you are in debt or you have gone through an experience that has affected your financial situation, you may need help. You may need to know what options you have in order to deal with the financial crisis and get out of it. So let’s take a look at some of the options you have here.

    Reduce What You Spend

    The first course of action is always going to be to reduce your outgoings. No matter what has happened or how you got there, you need to cut this down. So go through your bills and be ruthless. Cut out anything that you do not need and look to lower the cost of just about anything that you can.

    Work On Your Savings

    From here, if you can, you then need to work on your savings. If you’re in the position to do so, you need to try and put some money away, so that you are protected should you ever need that money to fall back on. It could also help you through this period too.

    Maximize Your Income

    Now, one thing that will always work out for you, is to go on the offence. Do not let this current situation define you. Instead, fight back and dig yourself out of it instead. One of the best ways to do that is to supercharge your income and look to earn more. Do not just suffer in silence. Because in this day and age, there are a ton of ways that you can earn more if you want. So go out there and look to really push the amount you earn.

    Get Help

    So the next thing that you might want to do here, is to bring in some help. Maybe you have no idea how to change things or put things right after an issue has happened? Maybe you’re dealing with health problems and you need help with the finances? Then looking for a company to help you to get through this could be the best possible route.

    Slow Down

    But above all else, it might be time for you to slow down. If you’re doing too much, spending too much, and really starting to spend your money in more ways than you really know you should be, you will really want to make sure that you slow down, step back, and take a look at your life. Because if you are amidst a crisis, a lesson could be learnt here. So make sure that you think differently and that you come out of this in a better position than you went into it.

    Growing old is probably not something you want to focus on right now. It’s probably something that you actually dread thinking about due to how much stress it could cause. Retirement planning is, after all, thinking quite far into the future (at least for most of us) and the majority of the population struggles enough living in the present–they don’t want to think too far ahead.

    We also need to keep in mind that all good plans are doomed to fail. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, how many contingencies you describe and how much time you put into the plan, it’s eventually going to fall apart and you’ll feel like you’ve wasted a huge amount of time.

    This feeling can vary from person to person, but one area that you should never neglect to plan is your retirement. No matter how stressful it sounds or how dull it might seem, you’ll come to realize that planning for your retirement at an earlier age comes with many benefits, and we’re going to describe them in this article.

    Investments are powerful

    Keep in mind that money you invest now is going to grow in the future. Be it property that you’ve invested in, a retirement plan or even some savings in an account, the more money you save now, the more comfortable your life is going to be in 10, 20 or even 30 years time. That’s one of the reasons why many of us strive for a more successful career–so that our finances can take better care of us in the future.

    If you want to live a comfortable life, then remember that your financial situation is very important and you need to keep it in consideration when you’re planning your future. The money you save now is going to be spent when you’re older and no longer fit for work.

    Planning can help you out

    Whether you’re planning on a retirement living location, where to invest your finances or who to pass your money on to, there are certain responsibilities that you absolutely should keep in mind when retirement planning. Your wealth, for instance, could be lost if you don’t write up a will and choose who to give it to. While this might seem like a very distant thing, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    Planning also helps you set goals in life. For instance, if you plan to move to a different country in the future, then it’s going to help if you focus on planning and stop being absent minded. Without goals, it can be difficult to navigate through life and find the motivation to do something. Everyone has their own goals, so sit down and decide what your personal goals are so that you can plan ahead for the future.

    Hopefully, this article has given you a bit of info on why it’s never too early to plan for your retirement. Whether it’s securing your financial situation or giving yourself a source of motivation, there are plenty of reasons to start thinking about your retirement at an early age.

    Should you save for your future or spend on enjoying life now? While money cannot buy you happiness, a recent survey by insurer Aviva reveals that being in control of your finances does. In fact, 57% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their current savings. However, financial awareness has led to a 47% increase in millennials with $15,000 or more in savings since 2015, according to a GoBankingRates survey.

    Living without a budget can be compared to traveling across the planet without a roadmap – or a plan for that matter. While it is still possible to achieve, the result can end up wasteful and expensive. So, can people improve their finances as a means to boost overall happiness? Experts say yes.

    3 Ways Improving Your Finances Will Boost Overall Happiness

    Buy Experiences, Not New TVs

    Retail therapy might seem like a great option if you’re spending to boost your mood. However, spending on experiences is more likely to boost mental happiness overall. Even if you want that new smartphone that everybody seems to have, experts suggest the thrill of making the purchase will pass sooner than you expect.

    Staying In Control Of Your Debt 

    For many people, having some sort of debt is normal and allows them to enjoy a fantastic quality of life. But the key is to be in control of your outgoing payments, to avoid any stress. From time to time, it makes sense to re-evaluate your financial commitments and look at refinancing or consolidating your payments. By finding a more favourable APR or changing the length of your repayment plan, you can stay on top of your finances. Taking control in such a way allows you to relax, safe in the knowledge that you can afford your current lifestyle.

    Making Smarter Decisions

    The key to financial happiness is to give yourself permission in what you choose to spend along with where to put your savings. These conditions can help you decide on the necessities before the essentials, including:

      • Basic financial needs are covered
      • Savings of at least six months’ worth of expenses for an emergency fund
      • Savings for retirement
    • Funds for experiences, not materials

    Instead of buying “things” that will provide temporary happiness, buy memories that will last a lifetime. After all, studies have shown that paying for experiences like travel and hobbies tend to make people happier than buying material things.

    Focus on spending your valuable time with friends and family and deepen those relationships. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure help you spend more time with loved ones who make you happy.