Archive for September, 2014

Debt Free

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

We have done it again. After starting a mortgage when we moved from a townhouse to a freestanding house just under three years ago, Claudia and I are once again debt free.

Unlike the other three, paying off this fourth mortgage feels particularly special. Claudia and I have managed to pay this mortgage off while simultaneously having two children, paying for daycare, renovating and with Claudia completing full time study. And for most of that time on one, slightly above average wage.

As this time we own the roof over the heads of the two most precious people we will ever know, the feeling of security and achievement is enhanced. The worry and stress of having a mortgage is gone, allowing us to be able to focus on other much more important things associated with our family.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “How the hell did they do it?” I recommend you read over the course on our website. I first wrote Financial Freedom For Gens X and Y 10 years ago, putting the course online in 2010. I wrote it not as a way to make a few extra bucks (our website is totally free and, unlike others, contains no advertising) but to get the message out about how much easier life is with your finances sorted.

Essentially, I wrote the course for you.

Every now and then you come across something genuine and without an agenda, something that can help you enormously. All it requires is for you to take advantage of the information we have and start experiencing what a debt free life feels like.

How Do You Score?

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

A couple of months back the way credit records are looked at changed. It used to be that only negative information was stored by the credit file companies, that is info which showed when you were late with or defaulted on a payment. The positive stuff, where make your loan repayments on time month after month, was ignored up until March this year. It’s good news for those who have been diligent with their credit.

Another change that’s come about recently is to do with credit scores. Previously these numbers were only really known to banks and other lenders, but now you can find out your own score online. Punch your details into and a minute later you will be given a number between 0 and 1,200. The higher your number is the more creditworthy you are, or so the theory goes.

I scored below 1,000 which is a bit confusing given I’ve never been late with a payment and promptly paid off any debts I’ve had. So, as with anything you get over the net in 60 seconds for free, take it with a grain of salt.

Mining Your Retirement

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

With today’s repeal of the Mining Tax by the federal government comes bad news about your superannuation. How does that work? Well when Labor introduced the Mining Tax they attached a bunch of things to it to spend that tax revenue on, and one of those was attached to super increases.

Currently if you are an employee your boss has to whack 9.5% of what you earn into super on your behalf. That was to increase to 12% by 2019, or at least that was the plan before the 2013 election. Originally, Tony Abbott said there would be a two year delay before the next small increase in super (of just 0.25%). But today it has been announced that the delay in the increase will be pushed out until 2021. As I feared, the Abbott government would not stick to their two year delay and I still suspect that the eventual planned increase will not be honoured by them.

What this means for you is that there is a really strong chance that you will have to give more thought to putting more of your money into super. You’re better off doing that sooner rather than later and not relying on an increase that may never come. If you don’t whack more of your money into super, due to today’s repeal you will be worse off in retirement.