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New Yearâ€™s Resolutions For Your Business
BENEFITS OF BEING ORGANISED
Your DECEMBER Kids Taking Stock In
THE Planning VALUE OF Money Succession
Forgotten Tax Deductions
5 MONEY HACKS FOR 2020 HOW TO SPOT CUSTOMER SCAMS
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TEACH YOUR KIDS THE VALUE OF MONEY
12 FORGOTTEN TAX
HOW TO SPOT CUSTOMER SCAMS
OF BEING ORGANISED
5 MONEY HACKS FOR 2020
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
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Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this. - Dave Ramsey
YOUR KIDS THE VALUE OF MONEY
6 Money Matters
t is never too early to start teaching your kids the value of money. Setting a good early foundation in regards to financial habits can really help your child to develop successful skills that will help them later in life. Teaching your child at any stage might not be easy especially when it comes to explaining the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ but perseverance will pay off and taking the time to teach your children how to successfully manage their money will pay dividends in the long run! When embarking on teaching kids how to manage money it is important to be age appropriate in your approach. It’s not plausible to expect a four year old to get a job and by the time your child has reached their teenage years they will be well aware that things cost money and are not free! So the message is to formulate an age appropriate approach to money management. Here are some practical things that we can all do to teach our children the value of a dollar:
Up until 7 years of age
• Use a clear jar to save: Although piggy banks are great the benefit of using a clear jar is that your child gets a visual and can actually watch and see as their savings grows. This might have started with a few coins and then grown by added a $5 note and then a few more coins. Talk to your child about how exciting it
is to see the jar slowly fill up and how proud you are of their commitment to savings. You can even make a plan of what they might like to use the money for once the jar is full or do a guessing competition as to how much money might be in the jar. • Lead by example: Children are little sponges and are great mimics so chances are they will be taking note of your own money habits. If you are arguing with your partner about money chances are that they will hear it. If you are price conscious and try and look for the best deal then they will eventually pick up the same habit. If you are whipping out the credit card every time you want something they’ll eventually notice. The habits that you have in regards to money will influence your children’s habits so try and lead by setting a good example. • Let them know that things actually cost money: One of the sweetest thing about small children is their innocence and in terms of money many small children think that the toys in the shops or the lollies in the supermarket are actually FREE. It is our job to teach them that things actually cost money. To do this you have to do more than just say, “That doll costs $20”. You have to actually physically show them the notes and coins and how many you need to make a purchase and perhaps take the notes and coins out of their savings jar and show them just how many it actually takes to buy the doll.
7-13 years of age
• Teach them about opportunity cost: By the time your child is this age they are old enough to understand (or they should be) that they simply cant have everything. Teaching them about Money Matters
opportunity cost is basically saying to them “If you want to buy this board game then you wont have enough money to buy that jumper”. It is about teaching kids to weigh up the value of things and choose the outcomes. • Refrain from impulse purchases: Most of us are guilty of the odd impulse purchase but children are notorious for it and often simply just keep badgering their poor parent until they finally crumble and submit for the sake of peace. Be strong and encourage your kids to walk away and think about if they really need yet another squishy. Chances are that by the next day your child has forgotten about the pink bouncy ball that they “couldn’t live without.” • Have structure to allowances: Do not fall into the trap of simply giving your child money. If you are going to give your child an allowance make sure that they know that it works the same way as a job. They don’t simply get paid for breathing they actually need to earn their allowance by doing simple jobs, chores and tasks around the house. Reward charts are a good way to track this and to provide financial incentives to get simple jobs like putting out the rubbish or cleaning their room done. • Instil the desire to give back: This is the perfect age to start teaching your child the importance of giving back to others. Encourage your child to pick a cause or a charity that they feel passionately about and to give some of their savings or their allowance to that cause. You will find that the benefits will not only be given to the organisation but to your child as well. Nothing feels better than giving back. 8 Money Matters
13 years onwards
• Set up a bank account and a debit card: By the time your child is a teenager they should be responsible enough to have a simple bank account with a debit card attached. There are many debit cards available that allow children (and parents) to access their accounts via apps, which allow them to easily and conveniently track their savings and spending. Starting with a simple account and debit card will start preparing your child to be able to manage larger accounts, as they get older. • Teach them to avoid comparisons and be happy with what they have: In the world of social media our children are getting inundated with images of not only people that they know but also celebrities and influences flaunting the latest designer gear, attending lavish parties and driving flash cars. Teach your children that they do need to aspire to the world that they see online and that in reality people do not get a new dress for every occasion and it is not normal to have celebrities at 16th birthday parties. • Get them on a budget: The earlier your teenager learns to budget the better. Teenagers are virtually inseparable from their phones so get that device working for you and install a simple budgeting app. This will help them to manage their money (regardless of how little it is) and get them into the habit of budgeting their income.
“The earlier your teenager learns to budget, the better”
• Get them saving for the future: Whether it is a car when they get their licence, a trip away when they finish school or the latest I-Phone, every teenager has a wish list of something that they are desperate for and simply “can’t live without”. So get your child to start putting a proportion of their income away in preparation for when the time comes that they want to purchase their first car or go away with friends. It is never too early to start teaching the value of saving. • Educate them about the danger of credit cards: There is a time and a place for credit cards but many 18 year olds have been lured into the credit card debt cycle by being uneducated. Don’t take this risk with your kids and get in early and teach
your child about interest, credit card risks, debt and help them avoid being yet another credit card victim. • Help them to learn how to MAKE money: One of the best life lessons you can teach your teenager is the value of working hard and earning an income. Encourage your teenager to look at ways that they can earn money from anything from doing tutoring, babysitting, working in the local supermarket to offering IT advice to older family and friends. There are plenty of ways that teenagers can make money so help your child discover their hidden inner entrepreneur.
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TAX DEDUCTIONS FORGOTTEN
12 Money Matters
ife’s busy. It’s easy to forget about tax deductions from time to time, but it’s important to remember that even small amounts add up over the year, and can make a difference in your tax return. Think of it as an enforced savings plan that will help you mid next year! You might be aware of some obvious tax deductions, especially if you are in business, but there are many possible tax deductions in a personal tax return that often get forgotten. With credit and debit card payments the norm, it’s easy to forget what we spend money on, and you’re more likely to have receipts sitting in your email inbox than in the proverbial shoe box ready for the accountant. Here are some tax deductions you may have missed out on, and some tips on making sure you don’t! EDUCATING YOURSELF If you enrol in eligible education courses and your study is work-related, you may be able to claim a deduction. WORK RELATED CAR EXPENSES If you are required to use your personal car for work-related reasons, you can usually claim fuel and maintenance costs as a tax deduction. To be eligible, you must be the owner of the car and your travel must be part of your working day – e.g driving between offices, trips to the post office or bank or moving from one job site to another. You cannot claim trips between work and home unless you’re carrying heavy equipment or tools for work. You will need to keep a record of all kilometres travelled for work.
Note if your employer already reimburses you a kilometre rate for work travel, you canâ€™t claim a deduction! HOME OFFICE EXPENSES If you ever work from home, or even check and respond to work emails out of work hours, you may be able to claim the cost of using your personal computer and internet costs as a tax deduction. If you work entirely from home you can typically claim costs of running a home office as a tax deduction. These expenses can include software, equipment, furniture and a percentage of your rent and utilities. Be careful claiming mortgage interest on your own home, as this could trigger a capital gain in the future. If you use your personal mobile phone for work, you can also claim a proportion of your phone bill, usually based on the percentage of calls made for work use. UNION/MEMBERSHIP FEES Are you part of a union? How about a membership body related to your profession? If you pay work-related union or membership fees you can claim the total cost of these fees. CLOTHING, LAUNDRY AND DRY-CLEANING Specific or protective clothing and uniforms you purchase for your occupation may be claimable, as well as the costs of cleaning those clothes. If you work outdoors, you may also be able to claim for sunglasses and other sun protection. CHARITY DONATIONS Any amount you donate above $2 can be claimed back so long as the charity has the deductible gift recipient status. You
14 Money Matters
must have given the gifts voluntarily without receiving material benefit or advantage. You can’t claim items such as raffle tickets or fundraising dinners. Before claiming deductions be sure to check the ATO’s website for guidance – there are some great examples. Talk to your accountant if in doubt you ensure you get full advantage of available deductions, without overclaiming.
having to rely on memory a year later. A good way to do this is to download your bank transactions each month, save as an excel file, and highlight/ note any items you believe are deductible. Set up a receipts folder in your emails, and any time you are emailed receipts and invoices for online purchases, file them away for tax time.
As a general rule, you are likely to be eligible for a deduction if: • The money spent was a workrelated expense • You spent the money and weren’t reimbursed by your employer • You have an official record of the expense e.g. receipt, bank statement or diary To avoid an overwhelming task at year end, try to review your spending once a month to identify allowable expenses. This will make sure you are not
“If you pay work-related union or membership fees, you can claim the total cost of these fees.”
HOW TO SPOT
Customer Scams 16 Money Matters
echnology is our friend when it comes to managing our personal and business finances, but it’s also the friend of the scammer. You may have your finger on the pulse managing your bank accounts, investments, budget and spending from one small password-protected device, but that doesn’t make you immune to devious scammers and their increasingly sophisticated methods of accessing your hardearned cash. According to the national consumer protection agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), scams cost Australians, businesses and the economy millions of dollars every year. While thieves just break in and take what they find, scammers infiltrate your information systems to manipulate you into handing over your money willingly. This makes them a more menacing threat – harder to track down, and harder to recover your losses. Over time, scams are exposed (such as the infamous emails from the Nigerian prince) and consumers are forewarned. But each time the jig is up, the scammers move on to their next method, expertly deceiving even the savviest of money managers. Here are three current scams hitting consumers, and how best to avoid being the next scam victims. COMPUTER HACKING A concept that didn’t even exist a generation or two ago, computer hacking is a huge inroad for scammers. Phishing emails, often appearing to come from a trusted source, are commonly used to trick you into giving scammers access to your computer. They ‘fish’ for your personal details by encouraging you to click on a link or attachment, installing malicious software to access your information, such as account details and passwords. Also, beware of scammers who call you at home and claim that your computer is infected with a virus or experiencing technical issues. They may also take advantage of internet issues in your area and pose as internet providers or the NBN. Granting remote access to your computer allows the scammer to install Money Matters
malware and spyware to collect your personal details. To avoid these scams, keep your computer security up-to-date with anti-virus and antispyware software, and a good firewall. Be cautious of calls or emails offering help that you haven’t asked for and never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender. ONLINE SHOPPING Scammers know that time-poor people love to shop online, and are ready to take advantage. It’s an environment where you typically pay upfront for goods to be
“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” received in the future, requiring a leap of faith that the goods will arrive. It’s not hard for scammers to set up a legitimate looking online store to take money, giving a faulty or inferior quality item, or nothing at all in return. They may also pretend to sell a product just to gather your credit card or bank account details. These scams are exposed over time and the websites shut down, but they have a window of opportunity to fleece a lot of people. Another method is posting fake ads on legitimate classifieds websites, such as Facebook marketplace. These may be for rental properties, pets, used cars and will often be cheaply priced. If you show interest in the item, the scammer may claim 18 Money Matters
that they are travelling or have moved overseas and that an agent will deliver the goods following receipt of payment. Following payment you will not receive the goods or be able to contact the seller. Some websites offer ridiculously cheap products and can be legitimate, or we take the risk thinking if the product doesn’t arrive, we’ve only lost $10. But remember that the vendor may now have your credit card details. To avoid this, ensure you make payments only through a website’s secure payment method— look for a web address starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol. JOB AND EMPLOYMENT SCAMS Job and employment scams involve offers to work from home or set up and invest in a ‘business opportunity’. These scams are often promoted through spam email or online advertisements. Some may offer a high salary or large investment return following initial upfront payments, purportedly to cover a ‘business plan’, training course, software or similar. Be very wary if you receive an offer to participate in a scheme that requires you to recruit people—it could be a pyramid scheme, illegal in Australia.
These schemes trick even the savviest of people into paying large upfront joining or membership fees to participate in the promise of significant money-making ventures. These schemes work by recruiting people for their joining fees rather than selling a legitimate product or service. Some offers may be a cover for illegal money laundering activities, where you are asked to receive payments into your bank account for a commission and then pass the money on to a foreign company. This is money laundering and is illegal. If you receive an offer to make money that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a stranger knew a secret to making money, why would they share it? Ask questions and do some research - ask around, search online and check ASIC’s Australian Financial Services licensees register. Trust your gut – if you are not getting answers to your questions, it’s likely a scam. If you have been unlucky enough to fall victim to a scammer, be sure to report it to the ACCC to help protect others.
BENEFITS OF BEING
20 Money Matters
ever underestimate the benefits of being organised. The list of positives that goes with streamlining your life, is long and bountiful. Getting organised will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and give you a new lease on life. Here are just a few of the many benefits that come with getting organised: REDUCED STRESS Being organised can have a plethora of benefits, but without a doubt the main one is that it helps reduce STRESS. When your life is organised, you know where things are, you have a plan and a timeframe to work within. When you are disorganised, the brain perceives the tasks at hand to require more energy than you have capacity and this triggers a stress response and a feeling of being overwhelmed. By getting organised you can eliminate things that trigger a stress response and who does not need less stress in their lives? THE UNMANAGEABLE BECOMES MANAGEABLE When you are not organised things seem like they are out of control and the smallest thing might just feel like a mountain. On the flip side, when you are organised things seem more doable because you are not chasing your tail. You actually have time to breathe, space to think and even the impossible becomes possible.
IMPROVED HEALTH Clutter is not only a stress trigger to the brain but it can also have a direct impact on your health. When you are disorganised you may find yourself sleeping less, eating less or eating poorly, missing exercising all because you simply cant stay on top of things at home or at work or at both. Being organised reduces stress; anxiety and depression all that have a direct positive knock on affect on your health. GREATER PRODUCTIVITY When you know where things are, what your goals are, how things are going to happen and when you have taken care of all the little jobs, room becomes available in your mind and in your life for the big stuff! BETTER FINANCES The more organised you are, the more on top of your bills and finances you are, which means you will avoid paying unnecessary late fees and interest payments. MORE TIME TO RELAX Being organised at home and at work equals more time to relax. You will be able to finish your jobs on time and avoid any last minute chaos, leaving you feeling rest assured that you could find anything when you need it because everything will be in its place!
POSITIVE ROLE MODELLING We have all heard it but there is much truth to the old adage of â€œto lead by exampleâ€?. By being organised in your life you will be setting a positive role model for your children and others around you and will help encourage them to be organised in their own lives helping to create a more harmonious lifestyle for them. ABILITY TO CATCH THE CURVE BALL Life has a way of throwing a kink in the works that can interrupt your life at any point. When you are prepared and organised, the impact will be less severe and you will be ready to catch that curveball! An organised life is not easy and requires dedication and even the most organised person in the world slips up from time to time. But, the benefits are really worth the effort, so its well worth trying to become a little bit more organised both at home and at work.
22 Money Matters
HACKS FOR 2020
It’s great to splurge a little at your favourite coffee shop or plan that vacation you’ve always wanted to take. You’ve earned it, and your hard work should be rewarded. But, it’s always a good thing to plan for a rainy day. Plus the more you can save today, the earlier you can reach financial freedom! Here are a few ways to end up with less outgoings for 2020. It all adds up! Money Matters
STOP UPGRADING YOUR PHONE Are you still paying for your mobile phone in your contract? You might think you are getting a great deal, but you are pretty much renting your phone for a much higher price. You should simply buy your phone, keep it for a few good years and switch to a much cheaper plan. You can find prepaid plans for as low as $10 a month.
BREW YOUR OWN COFFEE Can’t kick your coffee habit? Instead of spending $5 per cup (that’s $100 a month if you’re buying one every work day!) at your fancy coffee shop, try brewing coffee at home. Doing so will save you thousands of dollars per year— home brewing cuts your cost to about $0.25 per cup.
EAT LESS MEAT Planning a few meatless meals a week is not only good for your bank balance, it’s great for your body too. Meat is expensive, and by making a few meals plantbased, you’ll not only see a saving in your grocery bill, but you’ll also be contributing to your future health. Get creative and see what your new vegetarian dinner is!
24 Money Matters
CARRY LARGE BILLS If you pay in cash rather than credit card, you will likely spend less. The reason? You can actually see what you’re spending when you use cash. And to take it a step further, if you only carry $50 dollar bills you are less likely to break it, which saves you from making impulse buys.
COMPARE, COMPARE, COMPARE
This one often goes over many people’s heads, but how long have you had your insurance policy for? If it’s over a year and your driving record hasn’t changed, chances are they’ll offer you a cheaper rate. The current rate you’re paying was established on your driving record however many years ago it was that you signed up. If you’ve been accident-free for a while, it can make a big difference to your premiums to make the call. The same is true for your utility companies. There are often competing providers all with adjusted rates for new customers. Call and compare and you could start seeing substantial savings for the items you have to pay for. Set a calendar reminder every year to let you know when your contracts are up, and to shop around again for the best deal.
SHOP FOR FOOD ONLINE When I started shopping for food online, I wasn’t sure I would be making much in terms of savings. But the reality is that by shopping online, you’ll be less tempted to buy food that you don’t need! You can save quite a lot, especially if you know what you need to buy (see above – write a list and stick to it!)
BRING YOUR LUNCH TO WORK
We all start the year with good intentions, going out with co-workers only on Fridays. But before we know it, we end up going out every day! With an average work lunch costing up to $15-a-day in a big city, you can end up spending over $3000 a year on work lunches alone! I am not asking you to pack your lunch every day, but if you prepare your lunch at home 2-3 times a week, you can easily save more than $1,500 a year!
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS.............
Shell Bake INGREDIENTS • • • • • • • • •
200g dried giant pasta shells 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic finely chopped 250g frozen spinach thawed 500g fresh ricotta 2 cups three cheese mix 1 cup tomato pasta sauce 300ml thickened cream 1 pinch salt and pepper *to taste
METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions or until tender. Drain well. 2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, for 5 mins or until water evaporated. Set aside to cool. 3. Combine the spinach mixture, ricotta and three-cheese mix. Season. 4. Pour the pasta sauce and 2/3 cup off the cream over base of a 12-cup baking dish. Stir to combine. Carefully spoon 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture into each pasta shell. Arrange shells, filling-side up, on top of the sauce. Drizzle with remaining cream and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins or until golden. 26 Money Matters
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