June 30 is looming and that means a fresh new financial year—which also means we’re slap bang in in the middle of 2021. How...just how? Pandemic-induced time haze aside, a new financial year is a great time to reset your finances and put systems in place to help you keep on top of your income, expenses and tax obligations for the coming year. Ready to get organised? Here are six handy tips to kickstart the new financial year!
#1 Be Smart With Your Tax Refund
If you’re getting a tax refund this year, set a plan of action to use it wisely. We’re not saying you can’t use it to treat yo’self (we strongly encourage it!), but be sure to do so mindfully, and consider allocating some of it to your future self, too. Whether you pay off some debt, whack some into savings or even invest some in shares, splitting your refund between living in the now and setting yourself up for the future is a super savvy way to have your cake and eat it too.
#2 Keep On Top Of Your Tax Obligations In Real Time
Is tax time always a scramble? If you’re always spending EOFY scratching around for receipts, Googling whether your donations are deductible and flicking through old payslips and group certificates, set a plan to keep on top of things in real time. You can do this by setting up folders in your email inbox for receipts, pay slips and donations if you make any so that when tax time rolls around, everything you need is already organised. Downloading the ATO MyDeductions app is also helpful in snapping photos of hard copy receipts and inputting your deductions as they happen.
#3 Forecast Your Quarterly Savings Plans
A new financial year means a clean slate for your financial habits. Sit down and do a complete review of your financial position, and forecast where you could be in three, six, nine and 12 months with varying levels of savings aggression. Looking at what can change in the coming months can give you that motivation to keep on track with your positive habits.
#4 Check In With Your Super
...and do so regularly! Each month or each pay cycle, check your Super balance and make sure all your employer contributions are matching up. Just because it’s on your pay slip doesn’t mean it’s made it to your fund. If you’ve got some surplus income to play with, consider whether making additional contributions could help maximise your financial progress. The ASIC MoneySmart Super Contributions Optimiser can help you work out the impact of different contribution levels and help you find ways to send your balance soaring.
#5 Set Some Goals
New (financial) year, new goals, right? No matter big or small, setting a new goal is a sure-fire way to start off on the right foot. Want to hit a savings milestone before the end of the year? Want to start the countdown to buying your first home? Or maybe you’re stashing cash for an epic post-pandemic travel adventure. Whatever you’re working towards, make it official with a new financial year goal. Write it down and stick it somewhere you can see it. Eyes on the prize, baby.
#6 Diarise A Monthly Money Review
Regular reviews of your financial position and progress are a really important way to build the momentum you need for the long haul. Checking in with where you’ve overspent and why, where you’ve missed opportunities, and of course, everything you’ve done right gives you a really great level of awareness of your own behaviour, biases and habits. And as they say, knowledge is power.
Want more ways to keep on top of your finances in the next financial year? Try having a money date with yourself, and get down to business with your bank accounts!
Image Credit: Sharon Garcia/Unsplash
Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.