Joe and Tony said it was going to be a tough Federal Budget and boy have they delivered. It’s the toughest budget Australia has seen in two decades and we are all left wondering what the damage is going to be for us.
We know you don’t have time (or the inclination) to filter through the endless Budget docs, so we’ve highlighted some of the key areas that are likely to hit your hip pocket…
Thought the cost of filling up at the bowser was steep? Think again. Petrol prices will rise when the government reintroduces the twice annual indexation of fuel excise from August 2014, which will make $2.2 billion over four years. The silverlining is $11.6 billion will be pumped back into Aussie roads to help improve highways and reduce the number of black spots.
Ways to cut costs: Public transport is your friend! Make the school drop off a family morning walk or ride a bike to work. You’ll get healthy, help the environment and reduce your epic petrol bill.
Whether you’re a single parent or couple with kids the budget is likely to affect you in some way. The sniffles will now cost you $7 per doctor’s visit and will only be free for children under 16 after the first 10 visits. The dependent spouse tax offset will be slashed and from July 2015, eligibility for Benefit B will be reduced from $150,000 to $100,000. However, low income single parents will gain the new supplement of $750 pa for children between 6-12.
Ways to cut costs: Break down the burden by looking at your household expenditure! Switching to more competitive mobile, broadband and utility plans could save you big time. And don’t forget your banking products, is there a better rate credit card or home loan that could put more money in your pocket each month?
Mums to be
Planning on having a bub? The good news is if you can wait until July 2015 the controversial Paid Parental leave scheme will be introduced offering a max salary of up to $50,000 over a 6 month period.
Ways to save: Even with the government chipping in, an extra person to care for means added expenses. Turn to sites like eBay and Gumtree for baby equipment and clothing and sign up for new parents clubs with major supermarkets and retailers for discount coupons on baby wipes, nappies and other new-born essentials!
Earn over $180,000 a year? For the next 3 years from 1 July 2014, high earning singles and couples will be slapped with the Temporary Budget Repair Levy (coined the debt tax). An additional 2% rate will be added to your taxable income. So if you earn $200,000 pa, $400 pa ($7.69 week) will go to the debt tax. You may be pleased to hear all federal government members will be opening their wallets too as Pollie salaries are above the $180,000 mark.
Ways to cut costs: Slash the amount of tax you pay by claiming tax deductions or tax offsets – work expenses, investment properties…You may discover you drop under the $180,000 mark!
Seniors to be…
Were you born after 1965? If the answer is yes, from 2035 you won’t be able to claim the pension until you’re 70. Industry Super Australia’s Director of Public Affairs Matt Linden said, “it simply asks too much of workers in manual occupations who have been earning and paying taxes since their teens to continue working to 70.”
Ways to cut costs: Every little bit counts, so if you can put more money into your super and make sure you’re signed up with the best high interest savings account and low rate home loan out there. Search Mozo’s busy market place here.
Dust off the resume. To encourage employers to hire Aussies over 50, a payment of up to $10,000 will be made when hiring anyone over 50 who is on the unemployment benefit or the Disability Support Pension for six months.
Ways to cut costs: Take advantage of pensioner or seniors benefits, such as a fee free bank account and discounted travel with your pensioner or seniors concession card.
HECS debt is going to kick in earlier (around $50K) and the interest rate on HECS debt will increase from the current consumer price index based rate and could reach as high as 6%. From January 2016 the government will reduce contributions to course fees, meaning universities will set their own fees, which could also push up the cost of your education.
Ways to cut costs: Pay off your HECS as soon as you can to avoid paying the impending interest! And flash your unipass to get cheap movie passes and travel rates. And if you’re paying any kind of bank account fee, don’t. Check out the top fee free student bank accounts on Mozo.
Unemployed young people
New jobseekers under 30 will no longer be able to receive Newstart or Youth Allowance for the first 6 months of unemployment and support will only be provided over the next six months as long as 25 hours of Work for the Dole are completed.
Ways to cut costs: Create a savvy expense budget while you’re on the job hunt! Before heading to the grocery store make a meal plan and only buy what you need for the week.
The Federal Government tightening the belt unfortunately means a tightening of our budgets as well. Savings can still be made by selecting top notch banking products, so head to Mozo’s bustling savings hub here.