Planning for the future

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Consider the following:

  • Where do you want to be in five years?
  • What do you want to be doing?
  • Where do you want to live?
  • What kind of experiences do you want to have?

Taking each day as it comes is a good philosophy for life in general but you need to get smart if you want to achieve your goals. That's where good planning comes in.

In today's world of credit cards and quick loans it can be tempting to fast-track your desires but bear in mind that this is also a fast-track to debt. And if you don't plan before hand your debts can quickly get out of hand.

Avoiding debt

Getting set up to be independent can be an expensive business. Cars, mobile phones, rent, bills, study fees and living expenses all add up. It can be tempting to sign up for personal loans and use credit cards to give you what you want straight away. But watch out. Being stuck with a significant debt is no fun and you should consider how you are going to pay off your debt carefully before signing up for anything. For example, instead of buying something with a credit card, consider using lay-by instead.

For information on how to avoid getting locked into a range of expensive debts for items including mobile phones, household costs, credit cards, personal loans, rent, cars and car insurance see our page on 'Managing debt'.

Superannuation

A little smart planning early can help make sure that you're rocking chair days are spent comfortable and financially stress-free. Your employer is required by law to pay a certain amount of your salary into a superannuation fund, a pool of money that you are able to access once you retire.

You can choose which superannuation fund (new window) the money is paid into so it's worth taking some time to check out the fund that suits you best. There's lots of jargon when it comes to superannuation so it's worth visiting the Australian Taxation's Office for a step-by-step explanation (new window) of what is involved.

Links for planning for the future

MoneySmart 
Financial tips for young people on topics including budgeting, investing in shares, superannuation, saving money, credit cards, dealing with money troubles and more.

Lawstuff, Know Your Rights - Mobile Phones
Information from non-profit organisation The National Children's and Youth Law Centre about what to consider before agreeing to mobile phone contracts, terms and conditions, what to do if you find yourself in debt and more.

Money Stuff
Handy tips on topics including buying cars, computers, mobile phones, using credit cards and renting property.

Australian Taxation Office - Tax Returns
Provides information and contacts for free help and advice about filling out tax returns.