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COVID-19 Lockdown Support for Victorians

Lockdown Support For Victorians

The Victorian Government understands the impact the current lockdown has had and will continue to have on all Victorians.  The Government has announced numerous payments that are available not only for businesses but also for individuals that have been affected.

To help you understand what payments are available we have provided a breakdown of each payment below.


Support For Businesses

Cash grants will be paid directly to businesses that have previously received grants from the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021. This does include Regional businesses.

Businesses whom have previously received the grant from the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a top-up amount of $3,000 and business that have received the grant from the Business Costs Assistance Program will receive a top-up amount of $2,000.

If a Business has not received any of the grants listed above they will not be eligible to receive a top-up amount.


Support For Individuals

COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Individuals whom are unable to attend work, lost income and/or are unable to access paid leave entitlements may be eligible to receive the Disaster Payment.  If you and your partner have both been affected by the lockdown you can both claim for the Disaster Payment.

Sole traders may also be eligible for the Disaster payments if they are unable to operate from their home and if they have not received the state business grant.

The Disaster payment will not be accessible until the 23rd July 2021.

Depending on how many hours the individual has lost per week and if the payment if on or after the third period of lockdown will decide how much the disaster payment amount is. If the individual has lost between 8 and 20 hours per week they will receive $375.  If the individual has lost 20 or more hours they will receive $600.

The disaster payment is available for individuals if they:

  • Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
  • Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of New South Wales or interstate.

And you:

  • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
  • Are aged 17 years or over, and
  • Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions - losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
  • Don't have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave), and
  • Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Individuals that have been advised by health authorities to self-isolate or quarantine may be eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment due to:

  • Testing positive for COVID-19;
  • Been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
  • Care for a child, 16 years or under that has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Care for a child, 16 years or under that has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Care for a person who has tested positive to COVID-19

If you are eligible you will receive $1,500 for each 14 day period they are required to self-isolate or quarantine.  If you and your partner have both been affected by the lockdown you can both claim for the Disaster Payment. 

The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available for individuals that:

  • Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
  • Are aged 17 years or over; and
  • Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
  • Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
  • Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information.  If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

Superannuation Guarantee Obligations

This blog will focus on the Superannuation Guarantee Obligations - something every employer should understand.

The Super Guarantee is money you pay to a complying super fund for your workers to provide for their retirement. Generally, if you pay an employee $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, you have to pay super, on top of their wages. The minimum you must pay is called Super Guarantee (SG).

Did you know…

  • ONLY if you pay your super obligation on time can it be claimed as a tax deduction.
  • The Super Guarantee is currently 9.5% of an employee's ordinary time earnings.
  • Generally, you have to pay super for our employees if they
    • are paid $450 or more, before tax in a calendar month
    • are aged 18 or over or, if under the age of 18, are working more than 30 hours per week.
  • Employers MUST pay super at least four times a year, by the quarterly due dates (28 days after the end of the quarter).
  • Employers MUST pay and report the SG electronically in a standard format, ensuring you meet SuperStream requirements.
  • Employees are entitled to select the (compliant) super fund of their choice into which the employer must make their contributions.
  • All businesses employing staff, must set up a default super fund.
  • If your employee's super fund of choice is not compliant, or they have not advised you of their choice, you are still required to remit their superannuation contributions by the due date. These payments should be made into your default super fund.
  • If you don't pay the super on time, you must complete and lodge a Superannuation guarantee charge statement and pay the super guarantee charge (SGC).

Default Superannuation Fund

Before you offer your employees the option to choose a super fund, you must have a fund that you will pay their super into if they can't or don't choose their own fund. This fund is referred to as your default fund.

Your Default Fund must:

  • Be a complying super fund
  • Be registered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to offer a MySuper product.

To nominate a super default fund simply contact the fund and complete an application form (this is available to complete online with most funds).

Employers MUST provide employees with a super fund Standard Choice Form (available from West Currie Consultants or the Tax Office) unless they give you the details of their chosen super fund first.

When providing the employee with the Standard Choice form you must complete Section B with your default fund details.

You need to keep a copy of the completed Standard choice form for your own records for five years. You don't need to send a copy to the ATO or your employee's chosen super fund.


If you require any assistance or advice don't hesitate to contact one of our team members at West Currie Consultants.

Economic Response to Coronavirus



Well what an ever-changing time we live in. Regulations, laws, business lives and stimulus packages all changing daily that complicate and confuse information in relation to the impact of Coronavirus (COVID19)

Business shutdowns

From midday on Monday 23 March, 2020, Stage 1 restrictions are in place for places of social gathering. Please note: Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and access other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.

The following facilities will be restricted from opening:

·         Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)

·         Gyms and indoor sporting venues

·         Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs

·         Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery

·         Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).

Victoria announcements

Business Support Fund

A $500 million Business Support Fund will be set up to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the Covid-19 virus.

Federal Government Announcements

Tax-Free Cashflow

Between the March 2020 and June 2020 BAS/IAS lodgements, employers will receive a minimum of $20,000 and up to a maximum of $100,000 towards their BAS payments where they had employees. Payment will only be available to employers active before 12th March 2020.

There will be a further round of refunds in the July 2020 to October 2020 period for an additional minimum of $20,000 and maximum of $100,000.

The ATO will take the additional payment into account when lodging your return for you. In the event the additional payment puts the BAS/IASs into a refund position this will be refunded back to the business.

Please see this factsheet FACT SHEET (please note this will download as a PDF) for more information or contact us for any queries

IMPORTANT – No change to employee superannuation guarantee payment due date

Please note, there is no change to the due date for payment of employee superannuation guarantee. The March quarter payment will still be due to employee funds by 28 April 2020. No concessions are available for this.

Apprentice & Trainees

No changes have been made to this initiative which provides employers a 50% reimbursement of employee apprentice/trainee wages for nine months, to a maximum of $21,000 per apprentice/trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

This can be applied after undertaking an eligibility assessment provided by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).

For more information refer to or

FACT SHEET (please note this will download as a PDF)

Asset Write-Off

The government is increasing the instant asset write-off (IAWO) threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

This proposal applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used, or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

Accelerated Depreciation

The government is introducing a time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short-term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. A deduction of 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation will apply, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost.

Eligible businesses are businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million.

Eligible assets are new assets that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (that is, plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents). This does not apply to second-hand Division 40 assets, or buildings and other capital works depreciable under Division 43.

This applies to assets acquired after announcement and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

Other Federal Government Measures

Early Release of Superannuation

The government is allowing individuals affected by the coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

From mid-April 2020, eligible individuals will be able to apply online through MyGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months. The exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation.

Eligibility for early release of Superannuation

To apply for early release, you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

·         You are unemployed.

·         You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance.

·         On or after 1 January 2020, either

·         you were made redundant

·         your working hours were reduced by 20% or more

·         if you are a sole trader, your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

ATO Help

If you are experiencing financial difficulties with your tax and super obligations because of COVID-19 the ATO will be assisting employers with deferral of payments and extensions for lodgements. Please contact us for any assistance on these matters.

West Currie Consultants Assistance

If you have friends, family or neighbours that you think could use this information please feel free to pass these articles on.

We are here to help, if you any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us on 03 55851522 or via email.


The Federal Budget - budget or election promise?

 The 2019 Federal budget was rolled out last night with the Treasurer handing down the first budget surplus in 12 years. The budget is once again overshadowed by the Federal Election looming in May. If Bill Shorten and the labour party are to take the seat in government, many of these budget announcements may not be implemented. It is important to remember that the budget is merely a proposal put forth by the government of the day, it is not actually law until these policies get passed by the newly elected party

However, with that being said we now have a look at the budget measures that affect us as individual or business tax payers:

1.       Personal Income Tax – new rates are proposed, but not to take effect until 1 July 2022. So as it stands at the moment tax rates are seeing no change.


2.       Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO)– will mean a reduction in tax for taxpayers.


·         Taxable income of $37,000 or less – LMITO of up to $255,

·         Taxable incomes between $37,000-$48,000 – LMITO set will increase at a rate of 7.5c per dollar with maximum offset of $1,080

·         Taxable incomes between $48,001-$90,000 - LMITO of $1,080 is proposed

·         Taxable income of $90,000-$126,000 – LMITO will phase out at a rate of 3c per dollar

A small amount, but we will take whatever we can get, every little bit counts.

3.       Increase in the Medicare levy low-income thresholds – this means a small reduction in the Medicare levy payable.


4.       Small Business – the immediate write-off for small business has increased to $30,000 from 7.30pm 2 April 2019 this has increased from the $20,000 in previous years. A proposal of an increase to $25,000 enacted on 29 January 2019, if legislated the measures will be as follows in the table below. The $30,000 instant asset write off also now applies to medium businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million, it has not in the past.

Proposed changes to the instant write-off thresholds

Asset first used or installed ready for use between

Small business (turnover less than $10 Million)

Medium Business (turnover less than $50 Million)

1 July 2018 to 28 January 2019

< $20,000


29 January 2019 to Budget Night



Budget night to 30 June 2020












·         Please note:  If you are looking to purchase an asset and take advantage of these measures please contact the office so we can clarify the timing and the write off amount available.


·         Reminder of accelerated depreciation rules:

                                                               i.       Immediate deduction for Water Facilities – dams, tanks ,bores, irrigation channels, pumps, water towers and windmills

                                                             ii.      Immediate deduction for Fencing Assets – a repair of a capital nature, addition or extension

                                                            iii.       Immediate deduction for Fodder Storage Assets  – silos and tanks used to store grain and other animal feed first used or installed ready for own use on or after 19 August 2018


5.       Luxury car tax refunds – for vehicles acquired on or after 1 July 2019, eligible primary producers will be able to apply for a refund of any luxury car tax paid, up to $10000, was previously $3000.


6.       Superannuation

·         Removal of Work Test - from 1 July 2020 people aged 65 and 66 years of age can make voluntary contributions without meeting the work test. Currently people aged 65-74 can voluntarily contribute to super without meeting this test.  Removal of the work test for people aged 65 and 66 enables these taxpayer's to contribute to super and get the concessional tax deduction, which for the 2018 – 19 financial year is $25,000. This is a great initiative for the super space!

·         Bring forward rule – it will allow those aged 65 and 66 to make up three years of non-concessional contributions under the bring forward rule, currently those aged 65 and over cannot access these arrangements

·         Spouse Contributions – currently those aged 70 and over cannot receive spouse contributions. The proposal is that individuals up and including the age of 74 will be able to receive spouse contributions.


7.       Rural areas – there is a commitment to major spending in rural areas to expand water infrastructure and provide drought relief.

As always given our rapid changing governments, 'watch this space', the budget proposals can change with a change of government.


Some links to some good articles summarising the 2019 Federal Budget -


Grant Thornton -

CPA Australia -


NTAA - Budget 2019.pdf



It's never too late to start a good record keeping system for your business. It's an important part of being a small business owner, keeping good records of your transactions and tax invoices will help you monitor the performance of your business as well as comply with your tax obligations.

 Benefits of record keeping

While it can be tedious, there are many benefits to keeping good records.

It can help you to:

  • keep track of your business' health, so you're able to make sound business decisions
  • prepare your financial statements and tax returns more easily
  • manage your cash flow
  • demonstrate your financial position to banks or other lenders.

 The legal requirements for keeping business records

By law your records must:

  • explain all transactions
  • be in writing (electronic or paper)
  • be kept for a minimum of five years or longer after the record is created, updated or the transaction is completed (whichever occurs last)
  • be in English or in a form the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) can understand.

You can incur penalties if you do not keep the right tax records.

 Storing records electronically

You're able to store your records electronically, but you must make sure they are:

  • a true and clear copy of the original
  • kept for five years
  • able to be reviewed by the ATO at any time.

The records must also be on a computer or device that:

  • you have access to (including all passwords)
  • is backed up in case of computer failure
  • allows you to control the information that is processed, entered and sent.

 The tax records you have to keep

You will need to keep records to help you prepare your business activity statement (BAS), and annual income tax return. Depending on your tax obligations you may need to keep other records as well.  If you have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact our office for more information.

Here's a list of some of the tax records that small business owners have to keep:

 Income and sales records

Records of all income and sales transactions, including tax invoices, receipts books, cash register tapes and records of cash sales

 Expenses or purchase records

Records of all business expenses, including cash purchases.  Records could include receipts, tax invoices, cheque book receipts, credit card vouchers and diaries to record small cash expenses.  If you bought something for your business, but sometimes use it for private use, you also need to keep records showing how you worked out how much of its use is private.

 Year-end records

These may include lists of creditors (people you owe money to) or debtors (people that owe you money). It also includes expenses you incur buying, maintaining, repairing and selling business assets or stock. You should keep worksheets to calculate the decreasing value of your assets (also called 'depreciating assets'), stocktake sheets and capital gains tax records.

 Bank records

Your banking records can include things like deposit slips, cheque butts or payment records, bank and credit card statements, and loan or lease agreements.

Your business and personal expenses should be kept separate. Separate business bank accounts are mandatory for partnerships, companies and trusts. If you're a sole trader, a separate business bank account can also make your records easier to manage.

 Goods and services tax (GST) records

If you are registered for GST, keep all tax invoices from your suppliers, which will help you claim GST credits. You must keep any other document that records adjustments, or a calculation made for GST purposes. You report GST amounts and claim GST credits for purchases on your business activity statements (BAS).

 Fuel tax records

To claim fuel tax credits for your business, your records must show you:

  • acquired the fuel
  • used the fuel in your business
  • applied the correct rate when calculating how much you could claim
  • are carrying on business activities that are eligible for fuel tax credits.

 Employee and contractor records

If you have workers, you will need to keep records of any:

  • tax file number (TFN) declarations and withholding declaration forms
  • wages, allowances and other payments you make to them
  • tax you withhold from payments you make to them
  • contributions to their superannuation
  • fringe benefits you provided
  • contracts

Your tax and super obligations will change depending on whether your worker is an employee or a contractor, so it's important you determine what your worker is.

If you would like to know more information in relation to record keeping and substantiation, call us today on 03 55851 522 or call into one of our offices.













As part of good business management and governance it is important to plan and minimise, where possible, taxation liabilities.

The compliance requirements of quarterly BAS preparation means that business owners are usually in a position to look at actual figures for 9 months and then make predictions for the remaining section of the financial period.

The estimates can be based on historical data or could be based on what the business owners anticipates will happen. That is for both income and expenses.

Armed with all this information, tax liabilities are able to be calculated for the individuals or the business depending on where the taxing point is.

After the tax liabilities have been calculated, it is necessary to examine potential strategies to minimise this tax liability.

Deferring income to a later year or accelerating planned expenditure, assist in reducing your current year's tax.

However, it is important that a tax minimisation strategy is examined with the overall tax savings and also the cash available.

For example
When considering putting money into a FMD with borrowed money you need to look at the best usage of your money:
                         Overdraft interest rate 8%
                         FMD Interest Rate 2%
                         Primary Production Average Tax Rate 12%

Under these circumstances there is no advantage in tying money up in an FMD for 12 months to save 12 cents in the dollar tax and only receive 2% on the money that is invested.
Likewise to put money into superannuation in these circumstances would also not be a wise use of money unless you are closer to retirement. Any superannuation contribution that you claim as a tax deduction attracts 15 cents contributions tax.

As you can see tax planning is not just spending all the available funds that you have, rather it is looking critically at you position and then planning a strategy which utilises available resources in the best possible way and to limit cents in the $ tax obligations.

If you would like to know more information in relation to your current position and potential strategies, call us today on 55 851 522 or call into one of our offices.

Immediate Superannuation Reporting Changes


If you currently use the Small Business Superannuation Clearing House (SBSCH) to lodge your employee's superannuation guarantee amounts please note they will join ATO online services on 26 February 2018 and will no longer be accessible with the current user ID and password authentication after 19th February 2018.

To enable the ATO to effectively transfer your data across to the new system payments via BPAY or EFT must be completed prior to 3pm AEDT on 19 February 2018. You can still review and update other information within the system. If you pay employer superannuation contributions monthly, we suggest you complete your payments prior to this time.

There will be no access to the SBSCH from Tuesday 20 February to Sunday 25 February inclusive.

As a result of integrating with online services, the new SBSCH will have functionality including the ability to sort employee listings and payment by credit card.

If West Currie Consultants currently lodge superannuation on your behalf, we will continue to manage your super obligations through our online channel.

However, if you lodge your own super online via SBSCH you can contact us at West Currie Consultants for assistance in the transition or alternatively you can go to  and search SBSCH joining ATO for all your transition information.

What is Cloud Accounting?


It's simply using the internet to access software, data and storage.  Cloud accounting uses the internet, via a web browser, as the means of accessing the accounting software. Accounting packages can be purely internet based like Xero, or the software is able to be accessed in the cloud and at a desktop level, like Reckon and MYOB Account Right. Cloud-based accounting software does rely on good home or business internet connection speeds and unfortunately using a satellite internet connection doesn't quite "cut the mustard", constant improvements are being made to improve the internet access and reliability daily.

Cloud-based accounting software offers a number of benefits for businesses including:

·         Ease of access is the biggest advance.  Online accounting means just that – it is online!  You can access your businesses financial data from anywhere worldwide and at any time, from any compatible device.

·         Price is always important.  A monthly access fee is generally paid which usually works out less than the cost of buying the software and paying your annual subscriptions.

·         The ability for business owners to interact with West Currie Consultants in real time instead of having to send the data file to us.

·         The software is automatically kept up-to-date by the software provider.  This stops you continually having to update software as previous version become obsolete.

·         Backups are made frequently and automatic in online accounting packages, and in case of a hard drive crash, data recovery can be done easily.  Therefore, less chance of losing data.


Nothing is perfect, so what are the disadvantages of online accounting?

·         If your internet is down, you lose the ability to access your data.

·         Customer Support can sometimes be restricted to emails only – no human contact.

·         You have to depend on third-party services to keep your data secure.

·         Antivirus software and firewall protection must be kept up to date

·         You will have to keep your subscription current to maintain access to your online data,

If you're thinking of moving to a cloud based accounting software package like Xero, Reckon, Intuit or Myob, here at West Currie Consultants we invest considerable resources into ongoing staff training to ensure we can recommend the best accounting solutions for your business.  Choosing the right package for your business can be difficult, as there are over sixty accounting packages available in Australia. 

If you enjoyed this post, I'd be very grateful if you'd help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.  Thank you! - Kerry Pretlove


Super Changes 1 July 2017




Review your plans and stay on track

As the 1 July 2017 is fast approaching and there have been numerous changes to superannuation.  These changes will have an impact on your retirement strategy and possibly the contributions that you make. Care needs to be taken to avoid contributing in excess to the levels – which will result in tax penalties.

West Currie Consultants has set aside a day for Robert Goudie – Financial Adviser to attend our Edenhope Office. 

As you have expressed concerns or raised issues regarding superannuation in the past, I thought it was an opportune time for you to attend a no obligation free service to review your situation and ask any questions or concerns regarding your superannuation, your retirement or transition to retirement.

See above, a flyer outlining when he is attending  - Please contact the Office as soon as possible to secure your appointment.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact this Office.

Financial Wellness in 30 Days



As New Year's Eve has come and gone but the beginning of the financial year is fast approaching, I thought it might be a good opportunity to introduce a Financial Wellness Program over the next couple of months.


Similar to when making a News Years resolution, we all should aim to do an annual financial health check to see whether there are fundamental improvements to be made which would assist with achieving your goals. Like all resolutions this program requires commitment, if you are to jump out anywhere along the way the end financial goal or reward may not be as great.


Over the next couple of months, I am going to provide you with a 30 day program which requires you to examine one financial aspect of your life each day.  Remember that some of the days may not be applicable to you at this stage, however, remember that is it always good to have knowledge and/or the positives or negatives about a financial product prior to jumping in head first.


The following ten dot points correspond with the first ten days of the Financial Health check -


1.     Before getting too far into the wellness check it is important to have an idea of the big picture. When you are working towards an ultimate goal it makes the day to day decisions easier.  Set yourself a goal of where you would like to be in 12 months, 2 years, 5 years and even 15 years. We are all at different stages of the life cycle – for me at the moment I am wanting to save for overseas travel and need to plan my retirement.  Your goals also need to be measurable, being measurable means they can be managed. For example, my goal is to travel overseas, put more specifically - I want to go to China in July 2018 and I want to have $12,000 available for tickets, tours and spending money.


2.     Do a mini audit on your wallet - you need to know where you spend your money.  Before setting up a budget to achieve your long term goals you need to work out where you are spending your money  at the moment.  To be able to achieve goals and save some money you need to spend less than you earn.


3.     Planning and setting a budget - there is no point setting a budget which is just not workable or is not based on reality but is a figment of your imagination?  If you buy a coffee daily as part of your normal routine - then there is no point depriving yourself of that .  If you make the budget too hard and difficult to achieve – then  you want stick to it and therefore it will be like that News Year resolution that you make at 12 midnight and you have broken it by 12 midday on the 1st of January.


4.     Change of attitude to finances - being financially fit needs to be considered as important as physically fit and healthy.  Our attitude to money, savings credit and finances is learnt behaviour mainly form our parents and sometimes our grand parents. Sometimes this can be good or really bad. It may be that you need to modify your attitude to finances in order to feel confident that you are able to achieve your financial goals. 


5.     Talk - feel confident to talk about money with partner, family, friends and work colleagues. Talk about your goals and where you see yourself in the future.  Remember always be open and honest and always ask for opinions especially from your partner.  Remember that you are both in this together and you need to have a level of understanding and agreement on financial goals and future directions.


6.     Insurance – This is a topic that people are either comfortable talking about or they hate the topic and think that the whole concept is silly.  However, you need to re-assess you and your families insurance needs - Assess whether you and your family can continue to pay your accounts if something untoward was to happen.  Look at your Life insurance, total and permanent disabilities, income protection insurance and perhaps mortgage protection insurance.  Insurance is a means of reducing risks associated with life – compensating for the bad things that can happen – but it will not stop the bad from happening.


7.     Be a better saver - Easier said than done! However, sometimes the setting up a direct debit so that money is less available is the easiest way to compulsory save, especially if you are an impulsive purchaser of items that you really want without questioning whether you actually need the item. From your salaries you should budget on allocating at least 20% to savings, 50% on essentials in life, and 30% to lifestyle.  Sometimes the amounts allocated to lifestyle can be trimmed and a greater amount put to savings. Compare the amount that you are spending on lifestyle choices into the amount that you earn on an hourly basis. For example, if you earn $25 per hour after tax in your employment and then you go and buy takeaway food one night -  pay $60 for all your friends to eat.  You need to stand back and think wow I just worked 2.4 hours to shout tea.  This puts earnings and lifestyle choices into perspective.


8.     Understand the difference between good and bad debt - Bad debt is getting a loan for a depreciating asset like a private car, a boat, a gadget, a toy or a credit card that you are unable to clear at the end of the month.  Good debt is when we borrow for an asset that is going to increase in value like property or shares. Used wisely good debt increases your wealth.  You should have a look at your bad debt to see whether there is a better financing choice that will enable a better use of your money or try to clear that bad debt as soon as possible.


9.     Make sure that you always maintain good records - A fundamental aspect of financial wellbeing is knowing what money comes in and where that money is going.  You cannot do this unless you have good records.  Take the time weekly to check what is leaving your account in line with the receipts that you have in your wallets.  Your need to make sure that your partner is also involved in this process so that you can really assess where money is going and what it is being used for.


10.   Know your credit rating - this will be the first thing that a bank or financial institution will look at when you apply for a loan, making sure that you pay accounts on time and when they are due will help your credit rating. You can review your credit rating at the ASIC Money Smart Website, follow the link below -



This is a starting list of things to do over the next 10 days.  I want you to analyse these areas before I introduce the next steps.  If you have any concerns, want to discuss any of these measures or want help with working out a spending and savings budget – just call, email or drop into to West Currie Consultants and the team will assist you in achieving financial wellness and your financial goals.


Keep your eye out for the next 10 steps to financial wellness in the coming weeks.


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