Scott Morrison has announced the Federal government’s budget for 2016, and so far, it’s been referred to all over the internet and around office water coolers everywhere as ‘dull’, ‘underwhelming’ and ‘oh, it was on at the same time as House Rules. What happened?’
But really, we should all be paying close attention to the budget and what it will mean for our hip pockets. So here’s a quick and dirty rundown of a few of the most important bits:
- Middle income earners caught a break as the tax threshold rose from $80,000 to $87,000, effective from July 1.
- Your morning commute is about to get a bit nicer, with $33 billion pledged to road and rail upgrades.
- A bunch of changes to superannuation rules – the best news is that low-income earners will benefit from a tax offset.
- The ATO will be cracking down on multinationals, big companies and super rich people to make sure they pay their fair share.
- Smokers won’t be happy to hear that the price of cigarettes is edging up around $40 after a 12.5% tax increase.
- Job seekers will bag $200 per fortnight while doing an internship (recent graduates rejoice!) and businesses will snag a cool $1,000 for taking on an intern.
- In the land of hospital waiting rooms, Medicare rebates have been frozen at $37 for six years and prescription meds are set to rise by $5.
Now that the government has outlined their budget plan, it had us thinking, what would our budget look like for 2016/17 financial year? And so we came up with 9 tips for instating a killer personal budget:
- Start by knowing what you’ve got. Head over to our budget calculator to crunch the numbers on your current budget.
- Set a savings goal. The government had a goal with this budget (just what you think it was might depend on your politics) and so should you. Maybe you’re saving for an exotic holiday or a first home, but having a goal will help keep you motivated to save.
- Crack down on credit card debt. Best part of a solid budget is that it takes you one step closer to being debt free. Snag a great 0% balance transfer deal to wipe out any pesky credit card debt.
- Sort out your super. There are plenty of new superannuation rules in the budget to get your head around. Make sure you’re still making the most of your super once the dust settles by consolidating all your super into a single account. That way, it’s easier to keep track of your funds and avoid paying unnecessary fees.
- Give up a vice. Our vice calculator shows that if you’re buying just two $40 packs of cigarettes a week, you might spend around $241,280, on cigarettes over your lifetime. Ouch. So ditch the cigs and give yourself a tax break on that extra 12.5%.
- Review your banking choices. The ATO is cracking down on big companies and rich corporations, so why shouldn’t you? Take a long, hard look at which bank you’re entrusting your savings to and if they don’t measure up, it might be time to make a change.
- Get in on low home loan interest rates. It was kind of a big deal around the Mozo office when the RBA slashed interest rates by 1.75%, and it could be a big deal for your home loan. Check out our naughty or nice table to see which lenders are passing on the cut and snag yourself a low cost mortgage.
- Make your home energy efficient. The Great Barrier Reef is getting an extra $171 million under the new budget. You might not be able to match that, but you can do your part for the environment by making sure you power your home responsibly. Search for a green energy plan with our energy comparison tool, and you could even save yourself a buck while you’re at it!
- Put your technical savvy to use and automate payments. The budget includes streamlined payments for public housing, so tenants can have their rent paid directly to their landlord. Do the same for your bills, by jumping online to set up automatic payments for your credit card, rent, and even mortgage repayments. No fuss, no stress, and you’ll be sure to avoid any late fees.
What does the budget mean for you? Let us know in the comments what budgeting measures you’ll be taking this year to keep your bank balance happy.