27 September 2023

Five steps to get on top of your money before EOFY

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The end of the financial year is closer than it seems and Jasmine Wallis* has some tips to help people avoid stress and make the most of it.

We may only be in the first quarter of 2022 but let’s be real, it’ll be June 30 before we know it, marking the End of Financial Year (EOFY) period.

In Australia, the financial year runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

EOFY is a fresh start for individuals and businesses to take control of their money, sort out their tax returns and regroup for the next fiscal year.

However, getting on top of your finances at any point of the year can be tough, not to mention emotional.

If you need a little motivation to get on top of your bank balance before June 30 rolls around, then read on.

When we first decide to take control of our money, it can feel motivating to make big commitments and goals.

But is it realistic for your bank account (and lifestyle) to aim to save $1,000 every month? Will you just end up taking money out of your savings, resulting in feelings of guilt?

It’s a good idea to start by mapping out what you want the next financial year to look like.

Perhaps you want to invest a certain amount during the first quarter, or save up for a new car by the end of next financial year.

Whatever your goals may be, by having a plan, you can figure out what your next fiscal year will look like.

Apps like Money by Afterpay can also help you to allocate money to certain areas and keep track of any savings goals.

Get your paperwork in order.

Is your computer screen as cluttered as the junk drawer in your desk? Do you have files spread across various folders and software? EOFY is a great opportunity to get your physical and virtual paperwork (and your life) in order.

Splitting any files to do with superannuation, tax, business expenses, and invoices into organised folders can do wonders for both your financial and mental health.

Keeping paper receipts? Take pictures of them as you go and upload them to a quarterly folder.

That way they’ll all be kept safely in the one place and you won’t spend 45 minutes staring at a faded docket, trying to work out what you spent $70 on three months ago.

Check your superannuation account.

Do you know how much money you have in your superannuation account right now? Do you know how much you should have? Before June 30, have a look at where your super account balance is at.

It can seem like one of those boring life chores (especially when you can’t touch it for years) but future you will thank you for keeping tabs on it when you’re living out those retirement goals.

This is also the time you can decide if you want to make a salary sacrifice next financial year.

This is an arrangement where an employee asks their employer to withhold more of their before-tax pay to put towards their superannuation balance — or you just can make additional after-tax personal contributions to boost your nest egg.

Something to think about, particularly if you’re in a higher tax bracket.

Side hustler? Figure out what you need to know.

While it seems that everyone has some sort of side hustle these days, it’s important to make sure you’re contributing the right amount of tax and staying on top of the business side of things.

If you’re a sole trader like a content creator, artist, or writer, make sure that your files (such as business expenses) are together and ready for you to declare to the ATO.

While many of us want to be our own boss, it’s important to do the not-so-fun admin tasks as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Finances can be confusing! Honestly, we’re not taught enough about money in school and there’s a reason why there’s a whole industry dedicated to it.

Avoid the stress, confusion and guesstimating and head straight to an accountant.

They can help you figure out what you need to know, what you’re owed (if anything) and even break down some tricky jargon.

You’ll be ready and refreshed for a brand new financial year.

*Jasmine Wallis is a journalist, podcast host, word-crafting copywriter, editor, producer and all-round media-slashie.

This article first appeared at refinery29.com.

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