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Financial planning for the festive season

Leading up to Christmas it is easy to veer off budget, what with the seemingly endless gift lists, planning for parties and splurging on big ticket sale items.

In order to avoid the post festive credit card blues, planning and creating a budget well in advance will mean less debt stress in the New Year.

A few key things to remember:

  1. Try making it an all-cash Christmas. It is surprising what a difference a few $20 or $50 notes tucked away here and there can make when it comes to buying Christmas presents.
  2. Look through credit card statements to see how much is left to repay. While keeping this in mind, create a spending budget which also includes the potential interest, in order to be better prepared for the repayments.
  3. Implement a few tried and tested money saving tips such as doing a secret Santa with a cap on the amount spent, and asking those coming to the Christmas party to bring in a plate of food.

It will also help to squeeze in a few extra repayments to the credit card bill, mortgage or loan before Christmas, so that there will be less to pay off in the New Year, even if the Christmas budget goes off track.

Posted on 30 November '12 by , under General News.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

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Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
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Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

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  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
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Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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