Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get you or your business financially fitter?

Here’s a simple and easy set of workouts to help you achieve your goal. Just like when you are trying to get physically fit it is a good idea to work on a range of areas. Remember, getting financially fit is a marathon, not a sprint. A financial fitness coach (a financial services firm or adviser) can be a cost effective way to make sure you get financially fit more quickly and stay that way.

Workout 1: Make your Super stronger

It is amazing how many people do not know what category their Super is in or what fees they are paying. They are carrying extra weight being in “cash” when they should be in “growth” or vice versa.

Skip through the changes to Super including the new MySuper rules to stay a jump ahead of your requirements.

If your company has more than 20 employees you may be struggling under the increasing complexity of managing Super. If you can’t afford a full-time superannuation officer think about engaging a service to act as an independent Super manager. Get them to better align your Super arrangements with your business objectives by incorporating Super with salary packaging and other remuneration benefits.

Workout 2: Improve your balance with budgeting and tone up with tax

Is your current accountant spotting well for you as you bench press your business? Or have they taken their eye off the game, leaving you pinned and paying too much tax? Do you have the partner with the muscle of experience or the office junior working for you?

Does your accountant offer to exercise with you at your place? Are they into business maintenance as well as performance?

Having a budget is essential for keeping your business in balance. Set up proper budgets and do one repetition (review) every quarter.

Workout 3: Firm up with financial planning

You need to run your personal finances as a successful business.

Is your financial advisor like a personal finance trainer? They should be helping you set targets, track your progress, benchmark your results and review your strategy to account for changes.

Think about the level of income you require in retirement and check if you are on track to achieve this goal. Adjust your saving levels and lifestyle accordingly.

Check your personal and business wealth is protected. If you lost income could you maintain your lifestyle? You may need to look at business risk insurance, key person insurance and business expense cover.

Exercise 4: Maximise your strength with mortgages and finance

Do you know the interest rate of your mortgage or business finance and do you have the best deal? Switching your mortgage or finance can save you tens of thousands of dollars. You’d be mad not to run the treadmill for a few hours or have someone else look do it for you for that sort of return.

Exercise 5: Shape up your salary packaging

Get your salary running harder, not you. Salary packaging of vehicles is a Tax Office approved benefit which can provide employees and businesses attractive tax concessions and other savings.

Salary packaging doesn’t have to cost employers anything and processing is relatively simple (unlike some gym memberships). There can be one easy regular deduction from people’s pay. Providing the benefit to staff helps you to attract and retain a quality team.
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Andrew Shakespeare

Andrew Shakespeare is Director and Senior Adviser of JSA Financial Group.  Andrew has worked in the financial services industry for over 10 years and has achieved the highest industry qualification of Certified Financial Planner CFP® . He has been recognised with awards including the prestigious AFA Rising Star of the Year Award and has been invited to speak at several major industry conferences.