Using willpower and discipline when it comes to saving money can be difficult for many. A boost in your bank balance? Time to live large on leave – or save extra with the next paycheque?
Being able to pay off debts, invest in your future and create a financial buffer for emergency situations will save you a shedload of money and stress.
There are plenty of free on-line calculators and budgeting apps to help you create a successful financial plan.
But, of course, it’s always worth discussing your financial situation with a professional adviser before making significant decisions.
In the mean time, we’ve collected some tools that could help you to define your financial goals and mark your progress towards them.
Online calculators help to better understand your financial position, and there’s one to suit every goal and savings plan.
Here are a few good financial calculators to consider:
Salary Sacrifice Calculator
If you haven’t looked into the benefits of salary sacrifice – you’re missing out!
Salary sacrifice is an arrangement made by ADF members through payroll to receive a combination of income and benefits in a tax-effective manner.
Part of your regular salary is ‘sacrificed’, meaning it’s taken out before tax, often enabling better buying power.
Superannuation, fringe benefits, novated leasing, car parking costs and loans are all examples of payments that can be salary sacrificed.
Salary sacrifice calculators, such as this one by Easisalary, can be used on line to weigh up your yearly salary and compile personal details to determine individual benefits to your situation.
From here, you can compare the affect on your take-home pay and how these figures reflect in superannuation benefits, novated leasing or other advantages linked with salary sacrifice.
Novated Lease Calculator
Novated leasing is a popular option in salary sacrificing.
It can be a cost-effective way for Defence Force members to get a new car, and an on-line novated lease calculator like this one offers a reasonable estimate of the cost of salary-packaging vehicles under novated leases.
Calculators such as this allow you to enter your salary, your desired car and your lease term.
From here, lease payments are calculated, and you can determine how much money you’ll save compared to other car-buying options.
Play around with different cars and lease terms to see how this will affect the money you save in the long run to see which offer is best suited to your individual needs.
Saving Goals Calculator
We all have savings goals in mind – or at least we should have.
For some, it’s to buy or build a house. For others, it’s to pay off that noose-like credit card, book a paradise holiday or build a side-business.
Having goals like these gives us something substantial to work towards and gives the hard slog of the day-to-day a little more purpose.
Using an online savings goals calculator lays out the steps you’ll need to take to put your plan into action.
Plot out a timeline based on the amount of money you’re putting aside, how much you earn and what other financial commitments you have.
From here, you can also find specific calculators to assist with personal loans, retirement plans, credit card loans and mortgage calculators.
Offset Home Loan Calculator
An online offset calculator can help you pay less interest on your home loan and pay it off faster, which, let’s face it, every homeowner wants to achieve!
Almost all home loans have room for saving potential, but many people don’t shop around and consider all the options.
An offset home loan calculator can help compare home loans and interest rates and help you decided if you’re getting the best deal for your financial budget.
These are just a few tools to help you navigate your financial future. There are other great calculators and apps available too – especial here on this government web site.
Budgeting and saving don’t have to be hard or confusing. With the right information, online tools and apps – you can save a significant amount of money and start moving forward to ticking off your financial goals.
Supplied by: Scott Iriks, General Manager and Director at Easifleet, providers of fleet-management and novated-leasing services to a broad range of customers in both government and private sectors.
Professional financial advice is always recommended when making significant financial plans and decisions.