Friday, October 2, 2015

20 PF Life Hacks From Melissa Browne

Melissa Browne is an accountant and author who writes really simple stuff in the paper. I would like to see her writing more gritty articles for us to read. When she writes about the meatier subjects, I do enjoy reading her work. 

She wrote about personal finance life hacks that I thought readers might find to be of interest:

1. Remove the credit cards from the wallet
2. Annually review your loan rates for the best competitive offer
3. Pay yourself first, automate it if you have weak will power
4. Put all excess funds and savings in your offset account
5. Pay for deductible expenses on your credit card so that lost receipts can be backed up with credit card statements as proof of expenditure
6. If you have credit card debts incurring interest charge, setup zero interest credit cards and roll the balances over, pay them off completely before the interest free period ends
7. Buy property in an SMSF (I think this is more applicable for the over 50s. The under 50s have uncontrollable and unpredictable expenses such as kids/education, single income households, unknown health issues etc and super is a long way off being accessible for emergencies. My friend's aunties had cancer and even when very sick and couldn't work, super was not accessible under the hardship provisions)
8. Unsubscribe from online shopping sites and remove your credit card information which reduces impulse buys
9. Try going through 30 days of no spending, coined as 'financial detox'
10. Pay down bad debts which are non-deductible
11. Cook, "more time in the kitchen means less time at the doctors, dentists and therapists"
12. Shop with a grocery list
13. Share and rent items that are not going to appreciate in value over time
14. Teach your kids about money and say no to them
15. Use the cloud for free and cheap software and applications
16. Renegotiate monthly payments and if not necessary,cancel them
17. Buy a quantity surveyor report for your investment property
18. Travel in the off season
19. Build multiple streams of income such as through shares, properties, online businesses, consulting, blogging, importing, exporting and selling products
20. Manage electricity costs such as switching off unused appliances, energy efficient light bulbs, air dry clothes (For us we use blinds, curtains, drapes to keep the room warm in Winter and block sunlight in Summer, door snakes to stop winter drafts and rugs for warmth)

Other life hacks that I can think of to add to her comprehensive list is:

1. Mulch your garden to reduce moisture evaporation and watering needs
2. Switch all your loans to interest only with offset accounts attached. Divert all rental income, dividends, salary, savings and funds into your PPOR's(main residence) offset account to minimise your non-deductible loan interest
3. Stock staples in your pantry such as tinned tomatoes, corn, beans, rice, tuna, flour etc so that you can knock up something to eat when you are ravenously hungry or tired without having to resort to take away and junk food
4. Before you buy more 'stuff', stop and think, is that just ultimately contributing to landfill and will the item contribute benefits to your life
5. Grow plants and herbs, it will inspire you to cook more often
6. Compost, it makes free fertiliser and reduces land fill
7. During council clean up collection, go for  a walk and see if you can salvage anything of use from going to landfill(do not hoard by any means =) )
8. Get income, trauma and TPD insurance, you are the asset so protect your income earning abilities!
8. Read all my other blog posts =) 

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