Generation X seems to have the most to juggle. Balancing child care, school expenses, household costs, mortgages and careers, it’s no wonder you need to plan your finances.
Although there are now compulsory superannuation payments made throughout your working life, it is important to remember that this money is not available just yet. So how can you get your finances in order so you can enjoy your hard earned money when retirement eventually comes?
Prioritise Debt Repayments
It may feel like you have debt coming out of your ears and feel like you are getting nowhere with repayments. This may be the time to start prioritising. Write down all of your financial commitments (such as credit cards or personal loans) and note the amount owing as well as the interest rate. It is a good idea to prioritise your repayments based on the interest rate. The debt with the highest interest rate is costing you the most and should be your highest priority to pay off quickly.Although you will need to maintain the minimum repayments on all of your debts, make an effort to put any extra cash towards your first priority.
It is also possible to consolidate all of your debt into your home loan. This way, you are only making one repayment and potentially saving on interest on higher interest debts. If you do this, ensure that you keep your repayments the same so that you take advantage of the lower interest rate to pay you other debts off quicker.If you only make the minimum repayments you may end up paying them off over the remaining term of your home loan and this would cost you more in interest over the long term. If you would like to discuss consolidating your debt with one of our credit managers, please give us a call on 13 72 62.
Planning for a Family
Many Gen Xers either already have children or are planning to have them. It’s no secret that having kids isn’t cheap; however, many couples do not spend enough time saving.
If you are planning to have children, it would be a good idea to spend at least a year saving, particularly if you will be living off one income when the baby comes. Budgeting plays a big part during this time. Money spent on expensive dinners, holidays and even clothing may need to be cut down significantly.
Even if you already have children, it is not too late to organise your finances. Separate high interest savings accounts are a great idea for saving money for your children’s education. There are also Government incentives you may be eligible which may also provide some relief for ongoing costs.
Insurance is even more important for Gen Xers as they often have dependants as well as more debt compared to other generations. Although income protection and life insurance are another ongoing expense, you can shop around and find a plan to suit your needs. You and your family’s life could change in an instant and insurance will help provide peace and mind if you were unable to work due to sickness or injury.
Property investments are a great option for Gen Xers if you are able to make the financial commitment. By purchasing an investment property now, you can use the rental income to help pay off the mortgage, so with good planning, by the time retirement comes around, you could have almost, if not completely, paid off the home loan. You can then enjoy the ongoing passive income or sell the property to fund your retirement.
However, not everyone may be in the right financial situation to be able to handle an extra mortgage for an investment property. If you are relying on the rental income to fund a large chunk of the for your mortgage repayments, there is no certainty that your property will be tenanted 100% of the time. There are also other fees expenses involved such as repairs and maintenance, council rates and strata fees. Although an investment property may sound attractive, it is not worth putting yourself in further debt if you don’t have spare income to pay for the costs that the rent doesn’t cover.