Get your money on track

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Whatever your stage of life we have the tools and tips to help you get your money on track and point you towards a brighter financial future.

Starting out

If you have just started work and are earning money for the first time you'll want to establish some money habits to set yourself up for life. For people at this life stage we recommend these steps:

Start with a budget

A budget is a reality check on your financial situation that helps you work out what money you have to buy the essentials and how much you have to play with. Our budget planner will help you map out your money for the next year.

Budget planner

Track your spending

Try to avoid money just slipping through your fingers. It can happen too easily with coffees, lunches and everyday small items. You can track all these purchases on your phone, using the Track My Spend app.

TrackMySpend app

Once you work out what you are spending on these items you can include them in your budget to ensure you don't overspend.

Pay off your debts

If you have managed to clock up some credit card debt or have taken out a loan, make sure you are still not paying off these debts in 10 years' time! Get a plan together to pay them off quick smart. Our credit card calculator tells you how much time and money you'll save by making higher repayments.

Credit card calculator

Our personal loan calculator will also crunch the numbers to help you work out how to pay off your loan faster and save on interest.

Personal loan calculator

Get some savings together

Everyone needs a savings plan. Whether you are saving for a car, a holiday, a home deposit or an emergency fund to cover you if things get tough, our savings goal calculator can help you work out how much you'll need to save each week to reach your goal.

Savings goals calculator

Once you work out how much you should try to save each week, you'll need a savings account to put the money in. We explain how to compare different high interest savings accounts.

Start building your super now

Retirement might seem like a hundred years away but the best time to build your super is when you are young. Here are our super tips for young people:

  1. Check - Check how much super your boss should be paying you, using our employer contributions calculator.
  2. Consolidate - If you have a couple of small super accounts, don't let them get eaten up by fees. Put them together. See consolidating super funds.
  3. Invest - Consider putting your super in a growth investment option, as you have time to ride the ups and downs of market cycles. Find out more about super investment options.
  4. Contribute - If you earn less than $49,488 per year (before tax) and put after-tax money into your super, you can get a government co-contribution. Where else can you get up to 50% return on your investment? To find out how much you can get, use our super co-contributions optimiser.

If you are under 25, we have a section of MoneySmart just for you - how to manage your mobile phone bills, your pay and your financial life while you are juggling studying and work. See our under 25s section.

Managing family life

If you have a young family you will be juggling all the costs that come with family life. It's important that you balance your income and expenses and make sure you have coverage for your family in case the worst happens. Here are the MoneySmart tools that can help families.

Take your financial pulse

Work out where you stand with your assets and debts using our net worth calculator. It's a bit like taking your financial pulse so you can clearly see how much you really have.

Your net worth calculator

Put all your expenses and income in one easy to manage budget to get an even sharper picture of your financial situation. Try to find extra savings so you can use them to pay off any debts you have.

Budget planner

If you can find extra savings in your budget, pay more off your mortgage or put those savings into paying off any credit cards or other debts.  Use our credit card calculator to see how long it will take you to pay off your cards.

Credit card calculator

Manage your home loan better

Whether you are saving up for a home or thinking of switching your current mortgage we have tools to help you.

Cover yourself 

If you have a partner and children then you'll want to make sure they'll be OK if you suddenly pass away.

Check if you already have life insurance through your super as it can be a cheaper way to get this cover. We also have information about the different types of life insurance available so you can decide which cover you should get.

Don't forget your super

While you are busy managing your family, don't forget to give your super a little attention. All you need is 15 minutes to put your super figures into our retirement planner. You'll be amazed how a few small changes to your super today can make a world of difference in your retirement.

Retirement planner

Thinking ahead towards retirement

If you are at the stage of life where you have spare money to invest or use to build your future we have tools and tips to help you.

Your super or your mortgage

Our super vs mortgage calculator tells you if you will be better off paying extra into your super or your mortgage.

Super vs mortgage calculator

Choosing investments 

We have information about many different types of investment, from basic managed funds and shares to the pros and cons of more complex products such as hybrid securities and debentures. Here are some of our key investing pages.

Test your knowledge of risk and return, diversification and investment products by taking our investing challenge.

Investing challenge

Getting financial advice

If you are looking for financial advice, our booklet Financial advice and you can help you work out what advice you might need, the best place to get that advice and how to get the most from an adviser.

Struggling financially

If your life suddenly takes a turn for the worse and your circumstances change, we can also help you through the rough patches. Here is some practical advice about managing your money during these tough times to help you get back on your feet:

MoneySmart's range of calculators and tools are a great place to start if you want to work towards a brighter financial future.

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Last updated: 10 Oct 2016