View Post

How does Family Tax Benefit really work?

In Tax by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

It has been a long time coming, but this week I finally made the time to reacquaint myself with how the Family Tax Benefit really works. Having spent a good couple of days looking at government and other websites, it is no surprise to me that many parents have found themselves in the unenviable position of having to pay back excess payments. In recent years there have been so many minor tweaks to the Family Tax Benefit payments and calculations that it is hard to know which numbers and formulae to use. To confuse matters further, there are even discrepancies between government sites on what the numbers are and how they work. Most of the confusion is simply due to the fact that websites and pages simply haven’t been updated, but sometimes it is hard to tell. So, what I want share with you in this article are the bare bones facts that are relevant as at today (March 2018). There may be extra supplements and twists to the calculations that provide you with a better outcome, but what I will discuss here are the core payments. I will break the article into 4 parts What is Family Tax Benefit? …

View Post

Is Pet Insurance worth the money?

In Insurance by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

If you have owned a pet for any length of time, you will know that getting treatment for a sick or injured animal can get very expensive very quickly. According to Animal Medicines Australia, Australians spend $12.2 Billion / year on their pets. When you take purchase costs, food, grooming, toys, vaccination and vet’s bills into account, your average dog would cost roughly $13,000 over the course of its lifetime. From a budget coach perspective, my average client and budget app user allocates approximately $78/ month to their pet jar. This typically covers the annual check-up, food, medication and grooming – in other words the known costs. Not surprisingly, more and more people are starting to question if Pet Insurance is worth considering. In fact, I was shocked to discover that over 350,000 Australians already have Pet Insurance. Given the obvious interest, I thought I should take a look at Pet Insurance and if it makes sense from a financial perspective. So, in this article I will cover the following topics: 1) What is Pet Insurance? 2) What to consider when looking for a Pet Insurance policy 3) When is Pet Insurance financially worthwhile? 4) When isn’t Pet Insurance worthwhile? …

View Post

Is private health insurance worth it?

In Uncategorized by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

One of the most common questions I get as a budget coach is, “Is private health insurance really worth it?” Burdened with big mortgages, rising child care costs and low wage growth, it is only natural that young Australians question if the growing cost of health insurance is really worth it. The problem is there are so many variables, not to mention misinformation, to consider that it is almost impossible to make an objective decision. So in this article I will walk you through the key factors to consider when considering if private health insurance is worthwhile for you.   We have a good public health care system Let me just start by stating that despite the fact we all whinge about waiting times in hospitals – whether that be sitting in A&E in the middle of the night with a sick child or waiting 2 years for a hip replacement – our Public Health system is world class. The long waiting lists are typically for conditions like hip and knee replacements or cataract surgery. If you turn up at a public hospital with a serious injury or illness you will get the treatment and care you need in a …

View Post

Changes to the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate– how will they affect you?

In General Budgeting by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

If ridiculous house prices and huge mortgages weren’t enough child care costs have also sky rocketed in recent years. With many day care centres now charging upwards of $100/day it is no surprise that young parents get particularly twitchy when the government starts tinkering with the Child Care Subsidies. Over the past couple of weeks, I have had no fewer than a dozen discussions with coaching clients regarding what impact (if any) the proposed new Child Care Subsidies will have on their cash flow. With close to a million families receiving Child Care subsidies this is a big topic, so in this blog I thought I would provide an overview of the key components of the new subsidy system. But before we look at the new system let’s quickly review the Childcare subsidies that are currently in place – these will end as June 30, 2018. Current government childcare subsidies There are currently there are two Childcare Subsidies in place. 1. The Child Care Benefit (CCB) The Childcare Benefit is an income tested payment that can be made either as a lump sum to you or paid directly to your child care provider to offset the cost of child care. …

View Post

Parents your kids need you to teach them about money

In Teaching Children About Money by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

Mum and Dad, your kids need you to teach them about money Why does no one teach this stuff? This is the comment I hear from every second coaching client I have ever worked with. The principles of smart money management are so simple, yet here in Australia, 1 in 2 people aged 18- 35 experience financial stress of some kind on a weekly basis…. Yes, you heard it right – 1 in 2 people experience financial stress on a weekly basis. We live in one of the wealthiest countries on earth, yet our younger generations are failing to thrive, financially weighed down by unrealistic lifestyle expectations and consumer debt. But the biggest problem is lack of practical education… As of this month, my 3 beautiful kids are now all teenagers! And yes, I am going both bald and grey – but that’s another story! Both my girls have had lessons on basic budgeting in year 9 maths and commerce but to them it was just another topic to be learned, like calculus or trigonometry. Without any practical real-life application, these lessons were useless. Money management skills need to be ‘lived’ not simply taught in a classroom. So, parents, like …

View Post

Save hundreds of dollars every month with this 5-step meal plan

In Meal Planning by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

Is your grocery spending killing your household budget? Is food eating all your income!! In this blog, I want to share with you the simple 5 step strategy I give to all my clients to help them significantly reduce the monthly grocery spending. Groceries are typically the biggest are of over expenditure When it comes to the household budget, groceries are easily one of the biggest expenses. Typically, the only thing bigger than our grocery spending is our rent or mortgage repayments. But without a purposeful plan what we spend on groceries can easily get out of hand. As a Budget Coach, I am in no doubt that grocery spending is the most common area of over-expenditure. Lack or routine, bad habits and laziness can cost your household budget hundreds of dollars every single month. A simple plan to take control of your grocery spending and your budget So one of the first things I get all of my clients to do when looking for ways to save money is to implement a weekly meal planning process following this simple 5 step process:   Step # 1 – Identify 20-30 meals you routinely eat as a family Start by sitting …

View Post

How to meal plan to save time and money

In Meal Planning by Fernanda PadiernaLeave a Comment

If you are a little like me, then it is most likely that you find pleasure in enjoying a good meal. If I had to describe some of my favorite daily habits, it would be eating. I genuinely enjoy eating a well prepared delicious dish any given day. I don’t hold back when it comes to ordering food at a restaurant or getting my grocery shopping done. The setback however, is that I enjoy eating and preparing meals so much that most of the time I tend to overspend paying for expensive dinners at restaurants, or going out of my budget buying ingredients that end up rotting in the pantry.

View Post

Buying a house – start by understanding your cash flow

In Buying a House by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

Buying a house – working out what you can afford So, you want to buy a house but have no idea what you can afford? In this article I will take you step by step through the exact process I use with all my clients to help them work out work out what they can truly afford to spend when buying a house. The great thing about this process is that my goal is not to give advice, but rather to let the numbers speak for themselves.   Meet Colin and Kate: Colin and Kate are a young couple in their late 20’s; they have been renting for 5 years and over that time have managed to save $135,000. The owner of the house they have been living in is unfortunately moving back to Australia in 3 months’ time and they will have to move out. They came to me to help them work out if they could afford to buy their own home, and if so what could they afford to pay. So here is the process I took them through:   Step # 1 – What do you really want your life to look like? The first step …

View Post

So you want to save money and get out of debt, have you considered a budget coach?

In General Budgeting, Grandma's Jars by Phil McGilvrayLeave a Comment

You want to save money, get rid of the credit card debt and hopefully one day buy a house but you have no idea how to make it happen. You have tried budgeting but weren’t sure you were doing it right and every time you felt like you were starting to save money some unexpected expense would blow your budget out of the water. Oh yeah and then there is the whole ‘will power’ and ‘discipline’ thing, you want to save money, you want to eliminate your debt but it is so hard to resist the temptation to spend. If this is you, then perhaps you should consider taking on a budget coach.   What’s the point in spending money on a budget coach, if I am trying to save money? Yes, I know it seems counter intuitive to spend money to save money but let’s be honest, how much money did you save last year? How much debt did you pay off last year……   Hmmm For most people the honest answer is a big fat zero and for others it’s “not as much as I should have”. So if this is you it’s time to invest in your future and get …