Archive for 'money'
Ethical investing is gaining traction, with more and more investors selecting where their money will go based on their personal principles. This style of socially conscious investment holds companies accountable for their negative impacts and is driving many investors to select their investments dependent on their mutual shared values.
Ethical investing can align with moral, social, political, religious and environmental values, and takes them into account prior to making investment decisions. The primary objective of ethical investments is to create a positive impact by investing in companies that take environmental, social governance (ESG) and ethical issues into consideration and make an effort to address or prevent the business from contributing to the issues.
Rather than only receive a financial return on their investment, investors also receive a social conscious return that has an overall impact on them and the planet.
There are two ways that ethical investing can be done.
An investor chooses to invest in industries/sectors/companies whose values align with their own values. As an example, they may look towards companies who are environmentally and socially conscious, who treat their workers fairly, have high governance standards and carry out environmentally sustainable practices.
This is when an investor avoids industries whose values directly differ from their value – those involved in fossil fuels, gambling, military ammunition and tobacco are automatically crossed out from ethical investors’ choices. Treatment of workers can also determine to an ethical investor whether or not a company is worth investing in.
Ethical investing, while praiseworthy, needs to consider the soundness of their investments as well as their values. To examine whether the investment is sound and has the potential to reap significant returns, a review of a company’s history and finances is necessary. It is also important to confirm the firm’s commitment to its declared ethical practices and measures.
If something unexpected or untoward happens to you or your loved ones, life insurance is financial protection that you don’t want to skimp on. It’s crucial to find the right insurance to suit your needs, as the cost of life insurance can become a costly amount in your budget.
Different life insurance products are designed to protect you and your loved ones from various events that can occur. Some of the products that may be covered under life insurance (depending on the provider) include:
- Life Cover pays out a lump sum if you die.
- Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance pays a lump sum to help you with rehabilitation and living costs.
- Trauma insurance covers you if you’re diagnosed with a major illness.
- Income protection insurance pays some of your income if you can’t work due to illness or injury.
Before making a purchase, you should read the life insurance provider’s product disclosure statement (which legally must be provided to you before purchase). Check the product disclosure statement for:
- What’s covered and excluded under the policy
- What information you will need to give to an insurer
- Information on premiums and how they change over time
- Waiting periods before you make a claim
- How to make a claim
- How to make a complaint about the claims process or decision
As it is a significant financial decision, shop around before making the final decision to ensure that you are getting the product that best suits your needs.
You should also check whether or not you already have life insurance through your super to make sure that you are not paying for your insurance twice. If you’re not sure about whether or not your super provider already covers your life insurance, it’s best to speak with them directly to be certain.
It is also important to know that only licensed financial advisers can give you advice about what life insurance you should hold.
A financial adviser can assist you with making financial decisions and planning for your future. Advice from a financial adviser may include advising on budgeting, investing, super, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and taxation.
Finding and choosing a financial adviser to suit you is made simpler by keeping these essential tips in mind.
Decide What You Want From Financial Advice
It’s crucial to know precisely what you’re looking to get out of a financial advisor if you want financial advice. Depending on your stage of life, how much money you have available and what you’re trying to achieve, your needs must be accommodated appropriately to ensure that you’re receiving the right kind of advice. Think carefully about what you are aiming to get out financial advice.
Choose The Right Financial Advice For You
A financial adviser can give two types of advice. Financial advisers can provide general financial advice that doesn’t consider personal situations or goals or how you may be affected personally. Essentially, it’s not advice that may take into account your best interests.
However, personal advice must be based on a careful review of your financial situation and goals and align with your best interests. It can include:
- Simple, single-issue advice – Assistance with one financial issue (e.g. how much should you contribute to your super)
- Comprehensive financial advice – Assistance in developing a financial plan to reach your financial goals
- Ongoing advice – Regular monitoring and review of your financial plan and affairs
Find A Financial Adviser
Once you have a clear financial goal in mind, it’s time to look into finding someone who can help you achieve it. You can find a licensed financial adviser through:
- A financial advice professional association
- Your super fund
- Your lender or financial institution
- Recommendations from people you know
- Speaking with us.
A good adviser will get to know you, keep you informed, and help you achieve your goals. They’ll also discuss how much risk you’re comfortable with. Going on this journey with your financial adviser can assist you in setting up your financial future comfortably. Begin a conversation with us to see if we can assist you on this journey.
If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.
Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.
Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.
Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts.
Before you sign up, keep in mind:
- It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
- You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
- Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
- It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
- Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
- Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider
If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:
- Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later.
- Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
- Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and
- Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.
If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.
Sometimes there are a few unexpected expenses that can impact on our financial situations, and make things just a little more difficult to deal with. The refrigerator breaking down the same week that the car registration is due could be too much of a financial burden for many individuals. With many credit-providing schemes and dubious loans advertised to the public, there is a simpler way to solve your financial issue if you are applicable.
The No Interest Loan Scheme is provided by the Australian government for individuals and families to have access to safe, affordable credit.
No interest loans are designed to assist people in getting back on a more stable footing financially, allowing them to borrow up to $1,500 to pay for essentials. The term for this loan is between 12 and 18 months, with no credit checks, interest, fees or charges. Repayments for no interest loans are affordable as you are only paying for what is borrowed.
To receive a no interest loan, you must:
- Have a Health Care Card, a Pensioner Concession Card or an income less than $45,000
- Have lived at your current address for more than 3 months
- Show that you can repay the loan.
There are only a couple of steps that need to be completed to apply for a no interest loan under the scheme. A meeting must be arranged with a NILS provider through a telephone or website enquiry, in which you will be interviewed and helped through the application process. Then they will assess your eligibility and present you with an outcome. Loan assessments generally take between 45 and 90 minute, with the loans being approved within 2 days. If all paperwork is provided on the day, it can sometimes be same-day approval.
No interest loans can only be used for essentials. These can include:
- Household items, like a fridge, washing machine, computer or furniture
- Educational materials e.g. tablet or textbooks
- Some medical and dental services
- Car repairs and tyres
There are a lot of options when it comes to investing, but often people are daunted by the prospect. A lack of accessible information, misconceptions about investment opportunities and fear of losing money are often reasons people opt out of investing.
Investing can be as easy as a savings account separate from the account that is used for spending, in which a percentage of monthly income can go into. If there are adequate funds, consider investing in real estate for passive income. With real estate values growing over time, on top of earning rental income during ownership, there will be an opportunity to sell later on at a higher price.
Diversifying investment portfolios can seem overwhelming, but all that it takes is putting money into multiple investment avenues. This can be in shares or managed funds with a financial advisor, investments with different rates of return, or in startups or cryptocurrency.
These avenues of investment can still be a lot to take in for individuals, so financial advisors are always a good option for those looking for a little more of an expert opinion on the issue.
When checking through your transactions, you might come across a transaction that doesn’t look right. If this is the case, you should get into contact with your bank as soon as possible.
An unauthorised transaction: Money transferred from your account without your permission
A mistaken transaction: Paying the wrong person by using the wrong details
Here are the signs to look out for to identify unauthorised or mistaken transactions:
- Persons or companies whose names you do not know
- Cash withdrawal from a place you have never been
- Transaction date you don’t recognise
- Payment that has doubled up
But keep in mind:
- Transactions can take days to show up – they are not always immediate
- Name of a shop or restaurant might not match the bank statement (they may have a different trading name which you can verify online)
Your credit score can affect loans and credit you apply for. You are able to have errors on your credit report fixed for free.
The following are typical errors in credit reports, that you are able to get fixed for free.
Errors by the credit reporting agency – there may be instances where the agency that reports your information has done so incorrectly. This can lead to errors about:
- Your name, date of birth or address
- Debt listed twice
- Amount of debt
This type of error can be fixed by contacting the agency directly.
Errors by the credit providers – there may be instances where the credit provider incorrectly reports information. This can lead to errors about:
- How long your credit is overdue
- Whether you were notified about an unpaid debt
- If your debt was defaulted as overdue when it is in dispute
- Changes in your payment plan that were not appropriately represented
- Accounts that were created as a result of credit fraud
These types of errors can be corrected by contacting the credit providers. If they agree that there has been a mistake, then the agency will adjust the details. If there is disagreement, then contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to file a complaint and receive a resolution.
The following are some tips which will make it easier for you to stay on top of your credit card payments so that you can worry less and save more.
Pay on time
Check when your credit card due date is and plan your spending so that you can always pay before the date. By paying before the due date, you will avoid paying interest or late payment fees but also keep your credit card score healthy.
When you have so much going on in life, it can be difficult to remember a date. To ensure that you’re always paying on the due date set a monthly reminder on your phone.
Pay as much as you can each month
Pay the most amount of money you can for each repayment so that you pay the debt faster and save money on interest and late fees – this means paying more than the minimum amount. If you are struggling to pay the minimum amount, contact your bank or credit provider to see if you can renegotiate. You should also consider talking to a financial counsellor.
Taking action earlier rather than later will save you money and prevent your debt from growing.
Cut back on your credit cards
Multiple credit cards can get overwhelming and result in you paying a lot more than you actually need to. Aim to reduce the number of cards you have one at a time. You might choose to prioritise by:
- Smallest debt: Pay off the card with the least debt first and then move onto the next smallest debt.
- Highest interest rate: Pay off the card that charges the highest interest and then the one after.
Regardless of which option you choose, continue to pay minimum amounts for all cards and only continue using one card. Once you pay off each card, remember to cancel it!
Reduce your credit card limit
The easiest way to avoid the temptation of overspending is by placing a limit on your credit card. You can do this by contacting the branch remotely or visiting in person and it takes at most, 2 business days.
Remember that you don’t have to settle on a bad credit card deal. If you realise that your bank is being unfair, or charging too much compared to other banks, make sure you get in touch with them to try and get the best deal for you.
It can be tempting to treat yourself on payday, but in the long run, planning your spending will be more rewarding. Creating a payday routine will help you pay your bills on time and save more money to put aside.
The very first step needs to be completed the night before payday. Transfer any funds you have leftover from the previous payday to your savings account. This will allow you to spend less money you consider ‘extra’ and save it for your long-term goals.
The second thing you need to do is pay as many bills as possible, rather than wait till the ‘due date’. As it is, once money comes into the account, a lot of it is earmarked for bills and payments that need to be made, so rather than holding off on them, you should pay them immediately. This will also give you a clear indication of how much money you have.
Finally, creating a to-do list on the day of your payday is an effective method of viewing or planning your expenses. This will give a clear indication of small and large expenses that need to be paid before your next payday. They will also help identify unnecessary expenses or when extra money is being spent when it shouldn’t be.
These are simple techniques that anyone can apply to get ahead of over-spending on payday.