Another year is here and there’s no better time to be prepared and make a plan for the months ahead. Here are some important financial deadlines that you should note.
January is a great month for reviewing finances and setting goals. Gather together all your bank statements, credit card bills, investment return notices, super statements, etc., and input all the details into an excel spreadsheet, where you can easily manipulate the data and perform simple calculations. This will give you a clear idea of where you stand financially and what areas need your urgent attention. You can also use our downloadable financial checklist.
This is the first month of the year that the Reserve Bank of Australia meets, so watch out for a reduction (or less likely an increase) in interest rates. This could be good news if you have a home loan, but not so great if your savings are largely held in bank accounts. If you find your savings dwindling, you may want to look at other investments that deliver greater returns
Anyone on the Age Pension will be waiting to see how much more they will receive once indexation is applied. It may only be a few dollars, but it’s better in your pocket than not.
Private health insurance premiums have their annual increase applied this month, so if your policy is due for renewal, you may wish to shop around for a better deal.
April is the end of the UK’s financial year, so if you’re a UK expat, you will receive updates on any pensions and investments held there. You may also have to file a tax return in the UK depending on your circumstances.
It’s Federal Budget month and we wait with bated breath to find out what new budget measures will impact our finances. Delivered on the second Tuesday of the month, YourLifeChoices will be at the budget lock-up to ensure we get the news first.
It’s the end of the financial year, so now is the time to consider making additional superannuation contributions to ensure you maximise any benefits or co-contributions you may be due. It’s also a good time to start getting your paperwork in order for filing your tax return.
Indexation is applied to Age Pension income and assets thresholds from 1 July, so if you’ve previously missed out on this important benefit, you may wish to consider another claim. Income thresholds for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are also indexed on this date, so even if you don’t qualify for an Age Pension, you may still be able to access concessions through this card.
Each year in August (and February), Human Services may review your income streams if they are:
- an account-based pension, also known as an allocated pension
- an account-based annuity, also known as an allocated annuity
- a market-linked pension, also known as a term-allocated pension.
If your income stream is an asset test exempt lifetime or life expectancy income stream sourced from a self-managed superannuation fund or small APRA fund, this may also be reviewed. You will receive a letter from Human Services asking for any information required. This can be provided online using its document-lodging service.
The second indexation of pension payments for the year takes place on 20 September.
If you’re lodging your own tax return – i.e. you’re not going through an accountant or agent – then it will need to be completed and submitted by 31 October. If you’re unsure whether or not you need to lodge a return, you can take a simple questionnaire at ATO.gov.au
The Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) is delivered this month, offering an update on how the economy is travelling against predictions and projections.
If you have a long list of Christmas present to give, then you may want to start making a dent now. Use store layby services, keep an eye out for deals and specials and save money by making your own gifts.
With Christmas just around the corner, this is possibly the most expensive month of the year. Before you rush out and spend all your hard-earned money, keep your eyes on your inbox for YourLifeChoices enewsletters, which are full of useful tips to enjoy a more frugal festive period.