Expert Resources

7 Easy Steps to Simplify Your Household Finances – Part 1 – Easy to Use Finance Filing

“The first step is the scariest, but there comes a point where you just have to get out there and do it” Kim Kiyosaki Is your financial household in order? I mean really in order? Do you file all your statements for your mortgage? Do you know where to find your original mortgage documents, your […]

Carol Yang

“The first step is the scariest, but there comes a point where you just have to get out there and do it” Kim Kiyosaki

Is your financial household in order? I mean really in order?

Do you file all your statements for your mortgage? Do you know where to find your original mortgage documents, your birth certificates, even marriage certificates, your superannuation statements and any additional important documents?

Do you have a filing system?

Numerous times I have landed on the floor of client’s homes, going through years – and I mean years – of piles of statements and unopened mail to be able to tell them what they do and don’t have, what insurance policies they do or no longer have – or which have lapsed because they were not keeping on top of them. If you cannot keep your home in financial order or at the least establish an easy to use filing system – it’s time to see a financial adviser!

Here are some steps you can take to get sorted – once and for all!

Create an easy filing system – an A 4 folder with the following tabs for each year:

Home Loans – This is a great place for those large documents that are imperative to your home loan. I remember asking my parents for their loan documents and home title deeds, only for them to stare me blankly in the face!….. “Oh gee they are somewhere” … Well because over time you may need to recall your Title Deeds or mortgage documents, it’s handy to have them in one easy to find place. This is mostly important when you need to buy someone out, go through a divorce, sell a house and access plans for renovations purposes too.

Your loan documents need to be saved because they will have information like;

  • What your stamp duty and loan set up payments were
  • Your original loan amount (so you can track how much you’ve been paying off)
  • Your fees and charges and especially how long your loan is for – because if you want to pay this out in 10 years (nice and early) you could be hit with high early pay out penalties.
  • Bank statements- although many of us view these online, the annual statement is the one to keep, and it’s only going to need to be filed once a year so I would make a habit of doing this.
  • These statements will show interest rates, changes to interest rates, your spending habits and provide quite a looking glass into your finances. So for an accountant or financial planner, these statements help us to understand you better as a client (your spending habits, your preferences and what’s important to you)

Income/Payslips – these are useful to keep as I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up errors on payslips and payments to superannuation by employers. Don’t forget its still a processor that runs payroll and human error can occur. Keeping them means you can track these, ensure the right tax is being paid on your behalf and ensure super is going into your fund. Also a great way to tell how much holiday and sick leave you have remaining. One thing that I found recently was that a large (one of the largest resource companies in Australia was taking out too little tax for the year for all their employees, which caused every employee to have to pay in at the end of the year, when few of them expected it. I was more surprised to learn that not many employees had picked up on this error sooner!

These errors are very rarely in YOUR favour too! So keep an eye on it.

Superannuation – Even yesterday I sat with clients who brought out around 5 super funds which were still in their sealed envelopes? IS this YOU?

Haha, it’s so common that clients have NO idea how much super they have, if employers are paying, what insurance they are paying and how their money is being invested.

YES, YOUR MONEY IS BEING INVESTED FOR YOU… IN THE SHAREMARKET… MAKING INTEREST… You are being charged for this privilege!!!! You may not even be making any interest as I discovered the other day with a client who had all his super in a cash account, making ZERO interest and he didn’t know this!

Check your fees too, if you don’t know how to do all this buy my book and look at chapter 7 – step by step guide to help you.

Insurances – When you get a mortgage most banks will stitch you up with all kinds of insurance. I use the term “stitch” because I have seen some rotten things! They will charge you mortgage insurance to cover the loan in case you have an accident etc, however they ensure this is owned by the bank so the bank pays the loan off first. Then there may be some left over for you to use. Then it’s likely you will be sent to the Financial Planner who will make you take out all kinds of other personal insurances, often without checking what you already have in your super, or discounting the fact you have any other insurances. They will sell you life, tpd, trauma and income protection and charge it to your bank account. You may need all this insurance if you don’t have anything already however it could all be structured in a way where you don’t neeed to pay all the premiums from your bank account, some or most of it can get paid from super. The idea here is to ensure then that the premiums you are paying in super you are salary sacrificing (saving tax) and sending to your super to cover the costs.

Tax Returns/Receipts – Place all your receipts for purchases you think are deductible in a folder and pass them to your accountant. Then don’t forget to file your Tax returns, notice of assessments and a copy of any cheques you get with tax back. This makes it easy to see how you are growing and saving each year.

Investments – Any investments – even small school funds, high interest accounts, managed funds, insurance bonds, investment property documents etc

Identity – Always important to keep your ID, drivers licence copies, passport copies, birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates and all your kids certificates and immunization records handy.

Health Insurance – Private health and Medicare statements and receipts to claim and copies of any online claims as well

Estate – Wills and Power of Attorneys. These documents are really important however they do get filed with your solicitor so can be accessed. Its also worthy making a note to say who the beneficiaries of your superannuation fund are as well. These may not need to be your spouse or kids. It’s up to you (just seek advice when it comes to all this)

Financial Plan/Roadmap/Goals – Once you have a financial plan (or Statement of Advice) created for you by a financial adviser then you can file these as a record of your goals and what you are achieving each year as a review point. This makes up the essential tools for your future financial SUCCESS plan.

You can further expand on this if there are investment properties too, by creating an additional folder for each property and having tabs for loan documents, rental statements, insurances, maintenance, depreciation schedules, Tenant info and additional documents.

But that’s another Blog for another Day!!

Wishing you Success,

L

Latest Posts

Connect

Spring Forward
PO Box 95
Eltham VIC 3095
Australia

Phone: +61 405 538 288

info@springforward.com.au

Copyright © 2024 SpringForward, All rights reserved. Website by Buzz Web Media