Since posting my previous blog, make ‘friends with money’, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my personal finances and about ways to get ahead.
Admittedly, and probably like many of us, I find the topic of money and personal finances a little tricky to discuss.
Memes that go a little something like …
*About to check bank account*
Me: I’m guessing I should probably have about $200 left.
Bank account: $3.62.
… aren’t too far from the truth.
But with the start of the new financial year, I’m determined to make some changes!
Hallelujah! I’m in my late 30s, and I finally realise that getting your personal finances in order is important. *Insert facepalm emoji here*
What I’ve learnt so far
So far, as part of my quest towards greater personal finance success, and in conversations with J, I’ve discovered a few things.
And yes, I probably should have known these things already, but here we are. Better late than never, right?
First up: when you look at your annual salary, there’s a difference between your base salary and your total salary package.
Light. Bulb. Moment.
So, be wary when you are negotiating salaries, especially if you move from public sector to private as employers will negotiate based on base salary (public) or package (private).
Because this means you might be actually taking home less each week than what you thought you signed up for originally, after all the deductions (super, tax etc.) are factored in.
Here’s a handy little tool to help you figure it all out: paycalculator.com.au/
Next up: Lost Super.
Superannuation or ‘super’, is the money that is deducted by your employer each month and put into your super fund, for you to live on when you retire from work.
The more super you have saved at the end of your career, the more money you have to live off when you retire.
According to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office), your super is basically “a long-term investment, which grows over time” and is managed by your super fund “until you retire”.
Having “lost super” – meaning, my super is not in the one account – means that I’m probably paying more fees and interest than I should be.
And these extra costs are eating away at my retirement fund.
Definitely time to sort this because I don’t plan to retire on zero!
If you’re in the same boat, a handy little tool to find your lost super is: findmysuper.com.au/
You won’t know unless you take a look
Having said all of the above, this morning, an article in The Sydney Morning Herald by Senior Economics Writer Jessica Irvine caught my attention: ‘I tracked every dollar I spent in 2020-21 and this is where it went’.
I’m always curious to know how others are doing ‘life and finances’, so I had a quick read.
Irvine goes into quite a bit of detail about how she tracked her spending over a 12-month period, which provides some useful insights for those of us wanting to know how to go about tracking our spending.
This is another financial goal I have: to track my spending and learn exactly where my money is going. Although, having said that, I think I can guess where it goes … food!
For those, like me, who might be curious to see how a financial expert tracks her cash, click here to read the article.
Irvine also has an Instagram account: @moneywithjess, where she provides tips and tricks on getting your personal finances sorted – really useful.
So, there it is, my quest towards getting my personal finances sorted.
Happy New Financial Year, everyone!