Your mid-year financial health check

Rather than waiting to ‘spring clean’ your finances, mid-year is the perfect time to get a handle on your money.

It’s the end of the financial year, so it makes sense to check in with your financial health and look for ways to improve it before next EOFY rolls around.

Here are our top tips for taking stock of your finances:

Streamline your tax time processes

If tax time often has you feeling frazzled under a mountain of receipts, improve your systems so next year’s return is a breeze.

Download the ATO app to log your expenses throughout the year – simply upload pics of receipts and add in data such as vehicle trips, so that the information is logged and ready for when you need it.

Whether you’re wanting to stay on track with your finances or are desperately in need of an overhaul, consulting a financial advisor is a wise idea.

Ongoing upfront financial fees are usually tax deductible, so it can end up paying for itself.

Plan for an emergency

The future is unpredictable – you may lose your job, the roof starts leaking or the car needs an urgent service.

The unexpected may be joyous, such as a new baby or pet, or the opportunity to go overseas.

“Just like in winter if you don’t deal with sniffles you’ll end up sick and having to have time off, there can be big problems down the track if you haven’t got things set up properly financially,” says financial planner Helen Baker.

“Rather than using the credit card and paying lots of interest, having that money set aside for when these events come up is important, rather than just living pay check to pay check.”

Discuss money matters with your significant other

Money can be a contentious topic for couples, but avoid it at your peril.

Your finances might be in good health, but if your partner hasn’t sorted theirs, you could be their fallback.

“If they get sick or lose their job and haven’t got any income protection or an emergency fund, you’re going to have to carry the load for them,” says Helen.

“Usually in a relationship there is a saver and a spender, so there can be tension around the management of money.

“Putting in strategies, particularly for the spender (that they can have this amount per week and the rest is tucked away), is advisable.”

Consider your retirement needs

Whether retirement is just around the corner or many years away, it is never too early to consider your future needs.

You may need more money than you anticipate, so think beyond superannuation.

“People think superannuation on its own will be enough for their retirement, but often it isn’t,” says Helen.

“You need to be doing other things to build for the long-term, such as investing outside of super and managing debt.”

Written by Samantha Allemann.