We’re well into spring now. Perhaps you’ve already done some cleaning in your home. But it’s a good time to make sure your finances are in order too.
Here are some things you should be looking at:
Do your tax return
FY19 finished a few months ago now, so nearly everyone should have the ability to complete their tax return at this stage. Most of the ATO pre-fill data should be there too.
It’s a good idea to do your tax return earlier rather than later this year because of the government’s new tax offset. There will be some who don’t qualify for the new offset, but I imagine a lot of people reading this will be entitled to the new $1,080 low and middle income tax offset. For a couple it could be worth $2,160 between them.
Would you want to leave that money waiting longer than necessary when it could be working in the share market or used for a good life experience?
Is your savings in the best savings account?
Interest rates have dropped heavily over the past 12 months because of the RBA’s interest rate cuts.
Every dollar helps. There are still some savings accounts offering rates above 2%, so you don’t want to be missing out on potential interest savings. There are plenty of options to compare all of the savings accounts out there such as Canstar.
You don’t need to put your money in a savings account, it would be even better in an offset account because you’d be saving interest at a higher interest rate and it’s tax-free.
Have you negotiated your mortgage as low as it can go?
The RBA interest rate cuts haven’t just been affecting savings accounts but they also affect the interest rate on mortgages too.
It doesn’t matter whether your loan is with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ), National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN), Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ), MyState Ltd (ASX: MYS) or Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN) – you should ring them up and try to get a lower rate.
Sometimes loyalty does not pay. A lower interest rate could save you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
It’s definitely worth doing these three things this weekend, you could improve your financial position significantly.
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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Macquarie Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of MyState Limited and National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.