Productivity

5 Money Problems You Need to Stop Avoiding

This post is brought to you by Veda
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ne of the the worst things about being a grown up is having to deal with all the crap that comes with being a money earner. It’s not enough to just rock up to work, take your salary, pop 10% in the bank and hope for the best. The money climate in Australia is constantly changing and it’s getting more and more time consuming dealing with all the different facets of being a functional, bill paying Aussie. It’s really annoying and I know I’d much rather spend my time on the couch crocheting with a cup of tea but I’m not getting any younger and it’s important to stay on top of money issues that are super easy to avoid. I’ve teamed up with Veda this month for their #KnowYourVedaScore campaign to discuss our money problems – we all have them, it’s just a matter of admitting what they are and putting steps in place to fix them.

As tempting as it can be to go and hide under a rock and cry until it all goes away, it’s much better to get yourself sorted out as soon as possible so you’re making the most of your money and (here’s that phrase that everyone dreads…) planning for your future. Here are 5 money problems you need to stop avoiding.

Your Superannuation

Even though Australian employers are required by law to pay superannuation for their employees, you can’t rely on your employer to prioritise your super – they’ll do the bare minimum they’re required to do, which is fine because your super is not their problem. Most money experts recommend topping up your super, especially if you’re self employed or a business owner. It doesn’t take long to to roll your super in to one account and add 5% of your pay to it each month. It’s the smallest thing you can do now to set yourself up for your future but the hard part is getting it all set up. It will only take a few hours so book a time to do it this week and just get it done. 70 year old you will thank you for it.

Your HECS Debt

If you have a HECS debt, don’t delay in paying it off. The sooner you get it paid off, the less interest you’ll pay. HECS debts don’t disappear – you’ll have to pay them eventually and it might as well be sooner rather than later. Note: Depending on your HECS debt and credit history, if you have a credit card debt, pay that off first. Banks usually charge a lot more interest than the Government on loans so make sure you pay off the highest interest loan first.

Your credit score

According to Veda, 92% of Australians know they have a credit score but they don’t know how they can access it. Most people find out they have a bad credit score when they’re sitting at the bank applying for a loan and it gets denied because the bank has checked their credit history and discovered they have a terrible rating. We all want a good credit deal and awareness is the key in getting more bang for your buck from lenders. If you know your credit score, it puts you in a far better position to be able to seek out better deals and apply for loans without fear of getting rejected. It also gives you the power to improve your credit score and get on top of your finances.

Your credit card debt

Australia’s credit card bill is sitting at about $45 billion dollars at the moment which is an enormous amount for our comparatively small population. If you have a credit card debt, it will never get smaller if you only ever pay the minimum on your credit card every month. You have to make serious, regular payments to put a dent in your credit card debt. It’s much better to live off baked beans for a year and nail that debt, than constantly pay off the minimum each month and never get anywhere with paying it off.

Your terrible spending habits

Write down everything you buy for an entire month. Everything – coffees, clothing, lunches out, entertainment and essentials. Then at the end of the month, go through your report and see where you’re wasting money. If you want to focus on depleting a debt and improving your credit score you might need to do without a few things. For example being blonde is incredibly expensive – it can cost several hundred dollars a month. If you switch back to your natural hair colour for a few years you could save yourself a few thousand dollars. The same thing applies with unnecessary technology updates. If your current phone works and does everything you need it to do, maybe hold off on upgrading it until you’re in a more stable financial position.

While we’re on the topic of finances, the awesome people at Veda are offering a $200 EFTPOS gift card (that you can use pretty much anywhere) to one lucky Smaggle reader. All you have to do to win is…

  1. Visit https://www.veda.com.au
  2. Leave a comment on this post telling me which money problems you need to stop avoiding

I’ll start… I need to implement a plan to for my superannuation. I have all my super rolled I just need to be a grown up and start putting more money in the account. I might have to back off on the fancy wine for a while.

What’s your number 1 money problem you’ve been avoiding? How can you get it sorted?

P.P.S Research has shown that people who subscribe to the Smaggle newsletter and like Smags on Facebook are more likely to be rich… and hot. Why take the risk? Subscribe and like now. Your wealth and hotness are at stake.

40 Comments

  1. Jen 4 years ago

    Thanks Smags. I need to keep on top of insurance renewals, making sure we are still getting the best deals from the best people. 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh my god that’s a brilliant one! I’m always so lazy with that – I’m like meh I’ll just pay the bill they sent me.

  2. hailz 4 years ago

    I need to do my super! Fiance is constantly reminding me.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I’m in the process of sorting all that shit out. I’ve made an actual appointment and everything. My goal is to have my finances sorted by January.

  3. feenk 4 years ago

    I need to stop avoiding checking my bank account balance so I can actually get on top of questionable spending habits.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh that’s a big one! I check mine most weeks and religiously pay off my credit card but if I think I’ve spent a bit too much I’m pretty good at avoiding looking at it. 🙂

  4. Leigh 4 years ago

    I definitely need to sort out some of my ingrained dodgy spending habits – the daily coffees, dinner out at least once a week, forgetting to pack my lunch for work. (Interesting that they’re all food-related!)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      That’s so true! Food is one of my biggest issues. It’s just so easy to grab something on the go. I’ve just started a 14 day overhaul where I eat veggies 5 times a day – no more excuses now!

  5. Lizzie 4 years ago

    I need to get on top of my credit card debt 🙁 it’s like a hungry dog that’s never satisfied!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Credit card debts are the worst aren’t they? I’m so scared of credit cards that I’ve never let it get out of control but I have to stay really vigilant about it!

  6. Kayla 4 years ago

    I REALLY need to take your advice about writing everything down. it keeps on adding up and i don’t know where the heck my money went that month!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      It makes such a huge difference – I do it by looking through my credit card statement because I buy everything on my credit card for points and I just scan through each month to see where I’m wasting money. I do a lot of unsubscribing every month! 🙂

  7. Lisa 4 years ago

    I need to get on top of my super. And I should probably be a grown up and get a will made too

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh lord I hadn’t even thought of a will! I definitely need to do that because my partner and I aren’t married. Add that to the list!

  8. Maria 4 years ago

    It’s all about planning for me. I have to plan to make my coffee in the morning and set up by one. I have to plan to make and take my lunch instead of buying one. Dinner is usually not the issue because I come home and then cook. But then again if I don’t have dinners planned out it’s easy to grab something quicker.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Yes definitely! It’s all that incidental food purchasing that really adds up. I used to be much better at it but I’ve been really busy this month and buying a lot of stuff instead of cooking.

  9. potentialpsych 4 years ago

    I was just updating my transactions in my nifty money management app (Daily Budget) before your post popped up in my newsfeed. Timing huh? In 2016 I WILL manage my consulting income better. For years I have tracked my income but haven’t matched it against my business expenses. My actual profit is most likely dismal but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never managed it properly. This will change! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      It’s such a game changer when you actually start focussing on what your bringing in and how much time you’re spending bringing that money in. I’m going to get all set up with Xero these holidays – it looks complicated and awful but I just have to be brave and wrap my head around it.

  10. Hayley Simpson 4 years ago

    I need to look into paying off my HECS debt sooner rather than later, like you mentioned. Cos that interest is accruing!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Exactly! A lot of people don’t realise they can pay it off earlier. I went to uni with a girl who paid of her fees each term but working at a hotel through the night. She was such a gun.

  11. I have set myself some pretty simple financial goals for the new year, which involve finally acknowledging that bit of credit card debt and paying it off and building up my savings safety net again as it had to be used last year and life kept going and it didn’t regenerate on its own…weird

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Yeah it’s funny how things get out of control isn’t it? I have to really stay on top of things otherwise I end up going to pay my tax and I don’t have any money to do it!

  12. Carmel Corry 4 years ago

    I guess my Credit Score is zero as I’ve never owned a credit card….ever. I love my debit card though. So handy zapping it and not have to touch or carry around germy notes and coins

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I got my first credit card only last year! I needed to get a credit rating if we want to buy a house and plus I love earning points as well! It’s pretty easy once you get used to managing it. I never spend money I don’t have though.

  13. Miss N Corner 4 years ago

    My number one money problem? When bills or envelopes with windows arrive in the mailbox, I hide them in the freezer. This is called avoidance and is generally frowned upon, however I firmly believe it is a SKILL. However, I am now at the pointy end of the year and to be honest, I need to get my shit sorted. Time to be a grown up.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      You hide them in the freezer? That’s hilarious. I love this. I tend to chuck out most of it almost straight away. It’s all super annuation stuff from people I’m not even with any more!

  14. cheney 4 years ago

    I rolled over my super from various teenage retail jobs into my main account last year – good thing I kind of like filling out forms (I’m sick, I know). It took ages! But now it’s done, I really need to start contributing to it.

    With HECS debt, I weighed up paying it off vs. putting the money into a high-interest savings account. If you get a good savings account, it’ll accrue interest at a higher rate than your HECS debt, even accounting for the amount you’ll be taxed on the interest. It’s worth looking into before making more than the mandated HECS repayment.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      That’s true – finances are so bloody complicated and they change all the time so it’s always worth looking in to what works best for you. I always want to get rid of debt as quickly as possible for my mental health. I have an appointment with my super people next week to start a contribution plan. Fun times! 🙂

  15. hayleyj 4 years ago

    This is a great summary of small things we can all do. I’ve just started working for myself and exploring my super options has not been at the top of my list, but it needs to be. So now I’m going to set aside some time specifically to organise how to manage my super while I’m working for myself, thanks for the reminder!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh excellent! I’m really getting in control of my finances and records this year. Just have to find the time! 🙂

  16. Kathryn 4 years ago

    I’ve been putting off rolling my super into one account for ages then my friend told me you can now do it all with one button push on the MyGov site. I’ve set it up but must go check what’s happening with it.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh! I’ll look into that – I think one of the reasons why people don’t do it is because it seems so complicated. Which is understandable. Honestly sometimes I think I need a degree just to function as an adult!

  17. Mine is definitely the credit card debt. Once in a lifetime holiday earlier in the year meant we had a lot of fun, but came back with having spent more than we should’ve. 2016 goal is get the credit card wiped.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh that’s a great goal! I have a few mates who have travelled like that and they definitely don’t regret it! Good luck with your 2016 goal! x

  18. I need to stop avoiding money in general. Money and I need to have the tough conversation. I am the boss and it needs to recognise and start being more present in my life and bank account.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Yes! That is such excellent language! I’ve started changing my money mindset this year too and being in charge of it. I used to kind of let it all happen but I’m putting my big kid pants on now and dominating my finances!

  19. Kathryn C 4 years ago

    Credit cards are a pain, especially because you never gain. Interest fees are so high, I need to start asking myself why? Pay it off on time and only spend what I have got, that way I won’t get myself in this money knot! ??

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh my lord. Rhyming queen and a half. Love this.

  20. kathrynmarks 4 years ago

    Thank you so much. After being married to a bank manager for nearly 30 years and now being on my own, I really need to think about so many money issues. Perfect timing.

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