8 Important Money Tips for when you land your first full-time job
These are the most important money tips if you want to ensure you’re getting all the right things for you. Like, the right amount of super, paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly (not every quarter), while not paying more in tax than you have to.
I’m yet to hear anyone say they get a thrill from filling out forms or love reading long documents full of financial mumbo jumbo. But there is likely to be a bit of that when you land your first full-time job.
To get you up to speed with some of the important money-related stuff, here are the 8 important money tips. And the good news is, – we’re going to give you in plain English.
Tip 1. Organise your bank account details and tax file number
You’ll need to give your bank account details to your employer if you want to get paid. This’ll no doubt be high on your list of things to do.
On top of that, you’ll need to provide your tax file number as well, because if you don’t, you may end up paying a lot more tax on the income you earn.
If you need a tax file number, contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) about applying for one.
Tip 2. Choose your super fund
Super is money set aside during your working life to support you in retirement.
You’ll generally be able to choose your own super fund but check with your employer or the ATO. If you can choose, you’ll typically have a choice between your employer’s fund or a fund you select.
There are things you’ll want to consider though, such as what fees you might pay, how the fund performs and your investment preferences, which could see you earn more or less money.
In addition, super funds generally offer a few types of insurance cover as well, which you could pay for using your super money, so it’s worth looking into whether this is something you want.
Tip 3. Understand the tax you’re going to pay on the income you earn
You mightn’t be pleased, but you’ll have to pay income tax on every dollar over $18,200 you earn. And, on top of that, many taxpayers are also charged a Medicare levy of 2%.
The amount of tax you pay will depend on how much you earn. If you’re not sure how much you’ll fork out, the below table includes income tax rates for the 2018/19 financial year.
Tax paid on these income levels
0 – $18,200 – No tax
$18,201 – $37,000 – 19c for each $1 over $18,200
$37,001 – $90,000 – $3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000
$90,001 – $180,000 – $20,797 plus 37c for each $1 over $90,000
$180,001 and over – $54,097 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000
Meanwhile, if you’re lucky enough to receive an annual bonus, you’ll also pay tax on this (I hear you, life isn’t fair).
Tip 4. Find out what tax you can claim back when tax time rolls around
If you spend some of your own money on work-related expenses (uniforms, safety equipment, or education), there is some good news. At the end of the financial year, you may be able to claim some of this money back when you do your tax return (which yes, you have to do).
You will however need to have a record of these expenses, such as receipts, but in some instances if the total amount you’re claiming is $300 or less, you may not need receipts.
Meanwhile, if your expenses are for both work and personal use, you’ll only be able to claim a deduction for the work-related portion. Check out the myDeductions tool in the ATO app to save records throughout the year, so you don’t have a bag full of receipts to go through.
Meanwhile, if you’re lodging your own tax return, you have until 31 October each year to lodge it, or maybe longer if you use a tax agent.
Tip 5. Understand your entitlements
An employment contract is an agreement between you and your employer that sets out the terms and conditions of your employment. It’s a good idea to know what’s in your contract should questions ever arise around what you’re actually entitled to.
Regardless of whether you sign something or not, your contract cannot provide for less than the legal minimum, set out in Australia’s National Employment Standards, which covers things such as:
- Annual leave
- Public holidays
- Long service leave
- Community service leave
- Maximum weekly hours of work
- Parental leave and related entitlements
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Requests for flexible working arrangements
- Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave
While National Employment Standards apply to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system, only certain entitlements will apply to casual employees. For more information, check out the Australian Government Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Tip 6. Check your payslip so you’re across potential errors
Payslips have to cover details of your pay for each pay period but don’t just take it for granted that they are correct. It happens all the time that the hours that you worked get entered incorrectly or you’re set up in the system with the wrong job code. It’s not people being dishonest, people just make mistakes, so check your payslip every time you get one.
Below is a list of what a payslip typically includes:
- What amount of money you’ve paid in tax
- Your before-tax pay (also known as gross pay)
- Your after-tax or take-home pay (also known as net pay)
- HELP/HECS debt repayments (if you have an education loan)
- The amount of super your employer has put into your super fund
Meanwhile, mistakes can happen, so if anything doesn’t look right, chat to your employer and if you’ve raised an issue you’re not satisfied with, you can also contact the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Tip 7. Track and manage your superannuation
If you’re earning over $450 (before tax) a month, no less than 9.5% of your before-tax salary should generally be going into your super under the Superannuation Guarantee scheme.
If you’re under 18 and work a minimum of 30 hours per week, you may still be owed super. For this reason, it’s important you check your payslip and if something doesn’t look right, that you speak to your boss as soon as possible, or contact the ATO.
Another thing to note is if you do change jobs, this is when super accounts can start to multiply. It might not sound like a big deal, but multiple accounts can often mean multiple sets of fees, which means less money in your pocket, so you may want to ensure you only have one account, not many.
Tip 8. Create a budget and stick to it!
Budgeting may sound boring as, but jotting down into three categories – what money is coming in, what cash is required for the mandatory stuff and how much cash might be left over for your social life (or saving), could make a massive difference to what you do in life.
If you’re paying off debts, or on a more exciting note, want to buy a car or go on a holiday, getting a grip on your cash habits early on could see you have a lot more fun!
BONUS TIP – make it easy for yourself
We recommend a money managing account that is a whole of wealth view and overall budget creation system. Three linked accounts for easy day-to-day management and automatic, real time re-balancing to help you manage your finances.
PAY – pay goes into this account. Set up all bills to be paid to be allocated automatically when they are due.
SAVE – allocate an amount that you want put aside for the thing you are saving for.
SPEND – spend freely – this is your spend money for this pay period guilt free knowing everything is else is covered!
Once set up, your budgeting and cashflow management will be simplified. Making it easier for you to track your spending and reach your savings goals.
The in-built smarts for bill management have smart functions that rebalance and distribute money between the three accounts based on your bills and savings goals. to accurately work out what’s left over for you to spend however you wish.
If you are ready to Get Started Now — this is your unique link
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