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Keeping financially fit in 2015

Maria Papa – HOME MORTGAGE – I am currently reading Tony Robbins book “Money Master the Game”.  The book defines 7 simple steps to financial freedom.  Reading as many finance books and articles as I can is one of my financial goals to keep myself financially fit in 2015.

Let us not forget that we will all grow old someday and when the time comes that we cannot work anymore, it is important that we have enough savings and investments to support us in our old age.  Adopt the simple financial habits below and you will be rewarded with a brighter financial future.

Spend less than what you are earning

I have said this time and again, track down your spending and make sure your spending is less than what you are earning.  Work out how much money you need to go about your daily life and understand needs versus wants.

Save little, save often

Start with a goal of saving $20 every week but be consistent.  Saving $20 per week into your savers account at 3.5% interest means $1,059 in a year’s time.  Save at least 10% of your income.

Pay out your credit card bills every month

Credit card is convenient but it is a debt if you don’t pay out the outstanding balance every month.  Don’t pay the minimum amount required, pay it all so as not to get yourself into debt.

Pay your debts on time to avoid paying l ate fees

Nothing irritates me than being fined a fee for late payments simply because I forgot.  We need a way to organise how we pay our bills.  I always set up a direct debit from my savings account to pay for my utilities and phone bills.  I keep my deadline for credit card payments in mind and make sure I pay by required date.

Write it down

List down your financial goals.  It can be as simple as opening a Savers account which can attract an interest rate of 3.50%.  How about setting aside $100 of your pay check to the Savers account every fortnight and not touching the savings.  Alternatively, you can put your savings into a term deposit account and let the magic of compounding interest work in your favour.

Protect your future

By this time, you would have received your superannuation statement.  Review the statement and carefully go over each word and figure.  Find out how your superannuation fund is performing and how much you are paying in management fees. Looking after your superannuation is looking after your future.  Increase your superannuation contribution or consolidate your super and best to seek the advice of a financial planner.  Your superannuation provider should have in-house planners who will be able to assist you with this.  First consultations are always free.

Protect your assets

Ask yourself what is your greatest asset.  It’s not your house.  It’s not your car.  It is YOU and your ability to generate an income.  If you stop working today, how will you pay for your house and feed your family.  Seek out financial advice on what risk protection is available for you.  Some options are income protection, disability and life insurance and critical illness.

Understand investments

Set aside an hour every week to read about finance and investments.  Grow your finance vocabulary.  Understand the difference between debit and credit, assets and liabilities, income and expenses.  Review your net worth at least once a year.

This article is for general information only and should not be considered personal financial advice.   Before making a financial decision, you should seek independent advice from a mortgage broker, financial planner or an accountant.

Maria Papa is a finance expert specialising in home loans, investment loans, SMSF loans, superannuation and risk protection.  She conducts workshops for First Home Buyers and Investors.  You can email her at or call her at 0430 144 008.  For finance updates, please visit my website at and my Facebook page at