How do I know it's really the ATO calling me?

We have had a few phone calls regarding some scam phone calls from some very dodgy people claiming to be the ATO. It's important that you know what to do, and you don't fall into their trap. So, someone is calling you claiming to be the…
Long Service Leave changes in Victoria

Changes to Long Service Leave from 1 November 2018

From 1 November 2018 the new Long Service Leave legislation will come in to effect in Victoria. The fundamental that Long Service Leave starts accruing after 7 years of continuous service still remains, however much more flexibility has…

Do I need Private Health Insurance?

This is a question that we get a lot – particularly around June when the insurance companies have lots of ads on TV telling everyone that they will be severely penalised if they don't! But do you really need it? No, not necessarily for…

Offset vs Redraw

Shaun Farrugia recently created this video to explain a question that was on a few of our clients lips. Watch below to hear the difference between an offset and a redraw account on your home loan. This is a question we do get very often,…

Life Insurance explained, minus the sombre tones

*Cue foreboding music and melodramatic voiceover.* “What would happen to your loved ones if you were unable to look after them?” Though the ads are often overly dramatic, life insurance can play an important role for some families. You…

What is debt recycling?

We all know that recycling is great for the environment. But debt recycling? Well, if done right, that could be great for your own little patch of planet earth. There are three things that many Aussie property owners wish they could do:…

How to perform a credit health check

Significant changes have been made to Australia’s credit reporting rules after a new Comprehensive Credit Reporting regime (CCR) came into effect in the new financial year. This means now is as good a time as ever to perform a credit check. The…
Credit card traps

5 Common Credit Card Traps

Credit card providers love to use all kinds of incentives to get you to put that shiny piece of plastic into your wallet, ripe for usage at your weaker moments. Here’s how to avoid getting snared in credit card debt. Most humans love…

Are you flushing money down the drain by putting off refinancing?

Every year thousands of Aussie families flush their hard earned dollars down the gurgler because they put off the simple act of refinancing their mortgage. If you’re overdue, rest assured that it’s much easier than you may think! While…

The importance of a will and a power of attorney

It’s a morbid thought that many of us tend to shy away from, but end-of-life financial planning is a crucial stage in any successful financial management plan. One day down the track you’ll no longer be around to use or take care…

The top five advantages of using a mortgage broker

Shopping, watching a movie, catching up on the news – there are many things that are cheaper and easier to do online these days. But obtaining a quality home loan? Well, the only time you’ll want to use the internet for that is connecting…

Don’t blow it. Make the most of your tax refund

Most Australians receive a tax refund, but not all spend it wisely. Here’s how to make the most of your tax windfall – and not blow it all in Bali. It's now October, and we have already lodged most of our clients individual tax returns.…
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What to do if you and your partner aren’t on the same page with your finances

Things start out so rosy. You both like the same movies, sports teams and pistachio-flavoured gelato. Then one day you realise you manage your finances in completely different ways. Well, here’s how to get on the same page. Relationships,…

What makes your debt tax deductible?

There are two kinds of debt in this world: the kind that is tax deductible and the kind that isn’t. Knowing the difference, and planning your purchases accordingly, can significantly improve your cashflow, opportunities and overall…

Putting the property price dip into perspective

Sure, the value of the average Australian home may have fallen for nine consecutive months, but it’s far from doom and gloom. Let’s put it all in a bit of perspective. It’s easy to see a headline such as “Australian dwelling…
Salary sacrificing Australian tax

Could you benefit from salary sacrificing?

Keen for a new laptop, car, or even an airport lounge membership? Sick of putting your hand in your pocket for school fees, the rent or your mortgage? All of these things could be paid for through a salary sacrifice arrangement. With…

Don't blow the budget on your next property purchase

You know how it goes. You see that dream property you’ve just got to have, and then next minute, the budget is in smithereens. Well, at least that’s what happens to almost a quarter of home buyers. Here’s how to keep a lid on your…

How to save for a first home deposit

So you’ve decided to finally take the plunge and start saving for a deposit to buy your first home? Here’s a few handy tips to get you started. Saved for a holiday before? Or a car? What about TV or computer? The good news is that…

The truth about 0% car finance offers

Seen an offer along the lines of: ‘Drive away, 0% finance to pay’? Well, like most things in life, when it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Finance offers like 0% (or other low interest rates) for new cars exist for a reason:…

Using your super fund to save for your first home

For most first home buyers, the property market can seem like a tough nut to crack. But today we’ll look at a new super scheme that makes it a whole lot easier to save for a deposit. Heard of the First Home Super Saver (FHSS) scheme? No?…
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Calculators online

We have put together some online calculators to help you research prior to coming in and seeing us work out the knitty gritty. We know that knowledge is power, and we want you to have the most information possible. Head on over to our calculators…
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Budget wrap-up 2018

Tuesday night Scott Morrisson handed down what can be best described as an pre-election Budget and in our opinion a very tax centric budget. No major announcements of increases or decreases in service spend and It is still expected that…

You're married! Now what about your finances?

The hangover has worn off, the (frightening) wedding bills have been paid, and you finally have time to relax and look forward to a long life of marital bliss ahead. Or do you? You and your partner probably had a number of money-related…

Redundancy equals opportunity

Redundancy – not something most of us like to contemplate.  Yet it is a reality for many of us in our working life.  So rather than redundancy being seen as something negative, let’s flip it around - your redundancy could be the best thing…

What you need to know before buying your second property

Whether it’s as an investment asset or a holiday home, buying your second property poses a unique set of challenges. Here’s what you should consider.  Australians love property, and it’s not difficult to see why. Property is seen…

Do you know what you can and can't claim?

Taxpayers are being put on notice by the ATO, which will be paying close attention to claims for ‘other work-related expenses’ this year. Ensuring you have appropriate records, and sound advice, will be more important than ever for…

How triathlons are like Financial Planning – guest post by Paul Benson

Over the years I’ve found that the best way for me to stay fit and engage in some regular exercise is to set myself a goal.  Last year I set myself a goal of completing a triathlon.  I’ve done quite a bit of running over recent years,…

Going guarantor on a family member's loan?

Saying no to family is always difficult. But if a family member or friend asks you to become a loan guarantor, it always pays to think carefully before signing on the dotted line. Being a co-borrower or guarantor on a loan certainly has…
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The sharemarket – a beginners guide by Paul Benson

If you catch a snippet of the radio in the morning on your way to work, you’re likely to hear what happened to the Dow Jones overnight.   If you read your news on-line or watch the news on TV it’s likely you’ll hear about the All Ords…
Mortgage Broking

We've got your back

It’s no secret that the banking royal commission has shone a light on serious misconduct and poor lending standards by some of Australia’s biggest banks. So we thought it was a good time to address the proverbial elephant in the room…

Four business hurdles that trip up first timers

Whether you’re keen to start monetizing a passion project, or want to finally escape office politics and run your own show, here are four issues that regularly trip up new business owners. Starting your own business is an exciting time.…
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Seven reasons why you shouldn't hit the panic button

Sure, the first half of this week has seen the Australian share market described as a “bloodbath”. But now’s not a good time to panic. Here’s why. The US Dow Jones might have suffered its biggest dive in history, and the Australian…

Lending restrictions could soon ease

Financing options for homebuyers could open up once more with the federal government suggesting that lending restrictions could be eased if property prices fall sharper than expected. Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison says the government…

Floating the idea of refinancing your home loan?

When it comes to refinancing your home loan, it’s a case of reward vs risk. Let us step you through some of the most common questions and concerns. Refinancing your home loan is the process of either extending or replacing an existing…

Procrastination – 9 tips to combat this number one killer of Financial dreams

How hard is it to get started?  I’m sure we’ve all had things that either need to be done, or that we’d like to do, but we put them off – shift them to the bottom of the pile or check out our Facebook feed instead. When it comes…
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Improve your finances one month at a time with this 2018 to-do list

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a long list of tasks, so we’ve simplified things for you. Just tackle one job on this list each month and you’ll make a huge difference to your finances in 2018. January: Create a monthly family budget…

Shaun talks about Trusts: Podcast

Shaun Farrugia (Optimised's founder), recently sat down with Paul Benson from Financial Autonomy (who is also our resident Financial Planner). They talked about all things Trusts, including: The dummies guide to what exactly a Trust…

Make sure your New Years resolution includes a home loan health check

Whenever we think of New Year’s resolutions, we always seem to commit to improving our physical wellbeing rather than our financial wellbeing. Whether that involves signing up to the gym, getting a personal trainer, or subscribing to…

Bitcoin: Boom or bubble?

Ask 10 different financial experts about the future of Bitcoin, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Here’s the good, the bad and the outright ugly. The price of a single Bitcoin has skyrocketed more than 1700% since the beginning…

Why it might be time to consider a principal-and-interest home loan

Australians have gravitated towards the benefits of interest-only home loans in high numbers in years gone by. But a raft of changes mean it might be a good time to start looking into the principal-and-interest option instead. In Australia, four…

Regulator to crack down on home loan lending standards

It could soon become harder for Aussie families to secure a loan directly from lenders, with the prudential regulator warning people to prepare for a crackdown on lending standards. APRA’s main concern is that banks and other lenders…
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Dissecting the PM's Tax cut teaser

You may have heard the PM drop a big hint earlier this week that tax cuts are coming for middle-income Aussie families. However it was all very light on detail, so here’s what to make of it. In case you missed it, here’s the tidbit…

The big interest rate news you probably missed this week

You may have heard that the RBA is once again holding its horses when it comes to the official cash rate. But you probably missed the much bigger interest rate news one day earlier. Every year, on the first Tuesday of November, Australians…

Create a business budget in seven simple steps

You’ve got clients, you’re making money and you’re paying the bills. But if you don’t have a budget, how do you know your business is on track? Many businesses make the mistake of not creating a budget, either because they don’t…
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Blockchain, Bitcoin & other Cryptocurrencies: What you need to know

Blockchain. Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies. You’ve probably heard these words popping up more and more often around your office water-cooler, but what do they mean? Let us explain. Blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are some…

WHY A CASH FLOW FORECAST MIGHT JUST SAVE YOUR BUSINESS

Poor cash flow is the cause of up to 80 percent of small business failures. Make sure your business doesn’t become another statistic. Seizing an opportunity for growth, responding to threats quick-smart and keeping stakeholders happy…

Introducing Finance

We'd like to announce our recent launch of our Mortgage Broking service. While doing our clients tax planning sessions, and helping out with documents for pre-approvals we have often found that our clients needs could be better met. You…

List of possible deductions

Can you believe it's tax time again already? As our appointment bookings flood in, we wanted to share with you a list of possible deductions and what to bring with you on the day. We don't want you to miss out on any of those precious deductions…
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2017 Budget wrap-up

We have put together a summary of the key tax and financial changes that were announced in last night’s federal budget. This was Scott Morrison's 2nd budget and is focused on increased transport infrastructure spending which will support…
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Your 2 minute guide to the tax and super changes that affect you and your business.

Below is a summary of the key tax and superannuation changes that were announced in this years federal budget. There are some wins for business – aimed to stimulate ‘Jobs & Growth’ which was this year's slogan. There are…