Tag Archives: Budget

What happens if you need to become a carer?

You’ve made plans, set a budget and financial goals; you’re ready for anything, right? But what happens if a loved one is in an accident or your ageing parent starts needing dedicated care? How do you juggle career and the role of carer?

Registered Nurse, Rachel James, had packed her bags and was five days away from a big new move to Singapore when she got the call; her 22-year-old daughter, Emily, had suffered a fall while snowboarding in America, breaking her neck and rendering her quadriplegic. In an instant, their worlds turned upside down.

Rachel’s first reaction was one of shock and disbelief. “There’s sadness and a degree of panic about how you’re going to do this. There was also some grief about losing an imagined future. Then it settles into a heightened level of stress where you think, ‘How am I going to manage this?’”

In Australia, there are 2,698,700 carers – 12% of the population, and one in 8 Australian employees are carers.

Know your rights at work

Juggling work and caring can be difficult and, without adequate support, carers report greater strain on their work and life – a struggle that can impact their health as well as their productivity at work.

After the initial chaos and confusion had subsided, Rachel approached her previous employer to discuss re-entering her role as a practice nurse.

“Carers come into a distinct group within HR, and there are policies and entitlements so you can work optimally including paid and unpaid carers’ leave,” she says.

“You also have the right under the Fair Work Act to request flexible working arrangements. I started with just one Saturday a week, took on another day when things had settled down more and ultimately transitioned to more days later down the track.”

Tips for negotiating?

“Be assertive, be honest, endeavour to be flexible, have a realistic attitude in your ability to manage dual roles, and be a realist,” she says. “When I was honest with myself and my manager, there was really productive dialogue. She doesn’t ask me to perform tasks that are impractical for me. That’s really positive.”

Rachel also recommends setting a date to re-evaluate the arrangement to address any issues. “You may not get it right the first time and it’s helpful to have a date when you can revisit it”

Rachel strongly recommends aiming for a genuine balance.

Outsourcing tasks

Outsourcing part of the carer role is central to enjoying work, says Rachel. “You’re rarely alone in caring; there are usually family and friends who are happy to take over while you do your shopping, for instance.”

She also recommends having a ‘pyramid of communication’. “So you have five people you email if you need to get a message out there, and those people disseminate the information to the wider friends and family.”

Financial assistance

Rachel recommends investigating National Disability Insurnace Scheme (NDIS) funding to see if you’re entitled to receive the help of a paid carer in the home or special equipment, like a hoist or commode. “Get going as soon as possible to get things rolling. You have to be prepared for the long haul and just keep filling in the paperwork and jumping through the hoops.”

She also suggests contacting Centrelink to ask about a carer allowance. “Also, visit Carer Gateway (carergateway.com.au) or contact your local council to see if there are nearby carers’ support groups with resources on offer.”

Look after yourself

“For me, post-traumatic recovery and resilience is about your mental health. Look after yourself because the person you care for doesn’t want you to be lost. I genuinely think that balance is achievable. You can have a career and care but you have to give yourself a break. Having a good work/life balance is the bottom line.”


In Australia, there are 2,698,700 carers – 12% of the population, and one in 8 Australian employees are carers.

If you or a friend needs assistance, the below resources are a good start.

  • Carers Australia: 1800 242 636
  • Carer Gateway: 1800 422 737

Sometimes life deals us unexpected eventualities. Becoming a carer, whether it’s part-time or full-time, can not only affect your income and lifestyle today but also your future income and lifestyle. If you are confronted with a decision like this then you will need someone to ‘hold your hand’; reach out to the JBS Team to discuss how as trusted advisers we can help!

Source: Colonial First State

Changing money habits for good

Is sticking to a budget the money magic wand that can sort out your finances, once and for all? Discover what budgeting can and can’t do for you and how to turn new budget habits into positive lifestyle changes.

What’s a budget for?

Knowing how to budget is one thing. But what is the real point of a budget and how can it actually help you change your behaviour and get a fresh financial outlook on life? In the simplest possible terms, the purpose of a budget is to move money from one spending category to another. Instead of shelling out $50 for lunch at work every week, you put the money towards a weekly date night with your partner. Or you cut back on your grocery bill to give yourself more to save towards a deposit for your first home.

What a budget isn’t is an overnight transformation from money worries to wealth and peace of mind, particularly if you have debts to pay off. It’s more a ‘fake it until you make it’ way of redefining how you naturally behave with money.

Learn along the way

At first glance, a budget can seem too transactional to be a tool for behavioural change. You set yourself some targets for spending less here, saving more there and do your level best to stick to them. To many of us, this can feel like a test we’re never going to pass with flying colours. There’s always going to be some reason to blow up the best budget intentions. It could be a surprise bill for car or home repairs, or a moment of weakness when your favourite label has a sale. Before you know it, spending in the household or clothes category has gone way over and you feel like a failure.

But before you throw in the towel, it’s really important to realise that learning from your budget failures is the key to actually changing your lifestyle and finances in some very important ways. Missing a budget category target gives you the perfect opportunity to consider what got you off track. Was it buying something on sale for your wardrobe that you really could have done without? If this is the case, you can acknowledge that opportunistic spending is a problem for you and come up with ways to resist temptation or avoid it altogether. If it’s the unexpected bill that threw you off, this is a great reminder of the reason for having an emergency fund to dip into. With a decent savings buffer up your sleeve, you can deal with the occasional surprise in your budget without it having an impact on other spending.

Positive pay-offs

Without those budget targets in front of you, these moments come and go. Your debts grow or your savings shrink but nothing really changes in how you think or behave about money. When you have a budget to follow, on the other hand, spending more than you planned to can trigger thoughts and conversations about the positive priorities in your life. What are you working towards? What will help you sleep better at night and reduce your stress? Is it worth doing things differently next time so you can meet your targets and get a step closer to your goal – whether that’s to be debt-free, travel the world, buy a home or pay for your kids’ education.

From rigid to routine

This really highlights how your commitment to a budget is something you need to keep making, week after week, month after month. When you feel like you’ve failed, it’s definitely not a reason to give up on yourself and your journey towards better money management. Instead, see it as a prompt to change your financial behaviour, one routine at a time.

This is the goal of a good budget – to push you to change spending habits a little at a time.  When you overshoot your target, you make adjustments to your normal routine so you can hit the bulls eye next time. And although it won’t make you rich overnight, it will make you question and change behaviour that has you spending your entire income each month.  Before you know it, having money leftover each month will become your new normal. As well as giving you more choice in how you spend that extra money in the future, you’re also getting peace of mind and less stress about money, here and now.

If you need help getting your good habits in place then it could be time for a meeting with the JBS Financial team.

Source: FPA Money and Life, May 2019


Boost your savings for spring

In the cooler months we spend a lot more time getting cosy inside. Now that spring is officially with us it’s time to give your finances and future plans a little love?

Dust off your budget

Has your budget been gathering cobwebs? Or maybe you haven’t made one in a while, if at all? There’s no doubt that making a budget is easier than sticking to one, so it’s easy to lose sight of our best laid plans. Block out some time to review your budget and see where you’re killing it or where there’s room for improvement. Bucket budgeting, which involves setting up multiple personalised accounts for different types of spending and saving, is a popular tool that many Aussies are using to keep their budgeting on track.

Weed out bad spending habits

Now that you’ve busted out your budget and know where your trouble spots lie, it’s time to have a look over your credit and debit card statements to work out exactly where you’re overspending. A lot of overspending habits come down to convenience and being on autopilot. Sometimes, it’s easier to grab takeaways on a Friday night than cook or you’re just in the habit of picking up that daily latte on your way into the office. Once you’re aware of the things that trip you up, you can focus on building new behaviours that set you up for success, such as doing a weekly meal plan and shop.

Toss out old debts

If you don’t already have a debt payment plan in place, now’s the time to get on top of it. There’s nothing like defeating debt to give you newfound financial freedom. Some people make a list of all of their debts and what they cost, and then prioritise based on how much they can afford to pay off. If you are not sure, you should consider getting independent financial advice.

Polish your savings plan

Okay, now it’s time to get creative about how you can boost your savings. Side hustles are all the rage these days. Besides being a nifty way to make extra cash they can also allow you to explore a passion or hobby on the side. Whether it’s making and selling jewellery on Etsy or taking on jobs for extra cash via sites such as Airtasker, there are a host of ways to make extra income outside of your day job (just remember a second income stream could impact your taxes, so always check with an accountant to be sure). It could be as simple as doing a big clear out and selling the excess on eBay or Gumtree.

Gather your game plan

It’s much easier to stay on track when you have a clear view of your financial plan to keep you motivated. Sit down and really have a think about which financial goals are the most meaningful to you and why. Perhaps there are some you set previously that actually don’t hold as much weight for you anymore and can be de-prioritised? A solid financial plan will encompass all of your goals from the short term (saving for your next holiday) to the long term (thinking about your super) with milestones along the way to help keep you on track.

If you need help weeding out the bad habits and getting your game plan together, chat to the JBS Financial team so we can help you get started. Get started here…


Source: ING, 2019

Live for the moment vs save for the future

Want to boost your financial wellbeing without giving up completely on being spontaneous?  Get on top of your finances and enjoy life more at the same time with our five step guide to living in the moment while saving for the future.

Don’t be a slave to your savings

Mastering money starts with a budget and there’s no doubt that feeling in control of your money is linked to your overall wellbeing. But you might be reluctant to set a budget when it makes you feel like all your money is spoken for. Life can seem very limited if you’ve already decided on the exact destination for each and every dollar.

So instead of becoming a slave to saving for the future, here’s a five-step approach that keeps your options open for doing some spontaneous spending once in a while, without losing out on your future financial stability as a result.

  1. Get cash flow savvy

Figuring out just where your money is going right now night seem like a hassle. But it’s absolutely necessary if you’re going to achieve your goal of saving and also spending a little just for the sake of it. Understanding your spending habits and patterns can shed some light on where you’re spending more than you need to, so you can start to make better choices with your dollars in step 2.

Doing this weekly makes it much easier to take control of cash flow. A week of overspending can be balanced out quickly in the following week simply by making a few small sacrifices.

  1. Budget based on what matters

Now it’s crunch time for making good on those cash flow lessons you’ve been learning. By looking at where your money has been going, you’ve got the knowledge you need to stop spending on things that are less important. This frees up more dollars for your savings and what you really value.

Let’s take dining out for example. If you have your heart set on an overseas holiday once a year, ask yourself if weekly restaurant meals are as important?  By cooking at home for three out of every four Saturdays and saving that money towards travel instead, you’re directing your budget towards what matters to you.

  1. Limit fixed commitments

Having more to spend in the present also depends on limiting how much of your income is already spoken for. Mortgage and loan repayments, utility bills, insurance premiums, memberships and subscriptions are all regular payments that can add up to a big chunk of your outgoings. While some of these are essential, avoiding buying things on credit or using a loan can reduce your ongoing costs and free up money to save towards your goals or spend spontaneously.

  1. Automate your savings

Whether it’s saving for a new car – so you won’t have that long-term commitment to paying off a loan plus interest – a holiday, or just a rainy day, setting up separate accounts for these goals helps you see that you’re making progress. And making automatic deposits from your income into these accounts is the ideal way to ensure you’re making regular contributions towards your goals.

  1. Plan to spend spontaneously

As these savings balances start to grow, it can bring a sense of freedom in your current and future spending choices. Knowing your goals are getting closer allows you to spend money freely and still be financially responsible for your future. And if you want to look forward to a guilt-free splurge, think about dedicating one of your savings accounts to spontaneity.

With a pot of cash on hand to spend at will, you can enjoy ‘live in the moment’ experiences now and again without your future goals or cash flow taking a hit.

How can you get to a stage where you can live your dream today and tomorrow? Speak with the JBS Financial team to help you get started…

Source: Money & Life January 2019 



Borrowing for Holidays

As we head towards the silly season after a long year of hard work, a holiday is something we all desire. However what can provide us with a few weeks of absolute bliss, can also end up costing a fortune over the long term if we don’t fund it right.


The best way to fund a holiday is of course through your savings. It’s what happens when you don’t have any savings and you decide to borrow to fund your holiday is where things can get messy.


The worst way to fund a holiday would be through a credit card as it has the highest amount of interest payable.


Based on a borrowed amount of $5,000 and an interest rate of 14.99%, if you paid the minimum amount each month, it would take you over 23 years and 10 months to pay it back with a total cost of the holiday of $12,018. More than twice what the actual holiday cost!









Source: MoneySmart.gov.au


By making increased payments of $200 per month, the amount would be paid off in 2 and a half years and would cost you $5,942. Keep in mind however that yes, you’ve saved $6,077 over the long term by paying off more than the minimum required, however even still the holiday is costing you nearly 20% more than the actual cost of the holiday.


With larger overseas holidays the numbers are even worse as the more you borrow, the more likely you are to be making the minimum monthly repayments as that is most likely all you can afford. That $20,000 holiday can quickly become a $40,000 holiday. You’ve effectively paid for 2 holidays but only received 1.


Another tempting option is to redraw on the home loan for your holiday as the interest rates are a lot cheaper. The below analysis shows the cost of borrowing $20,000 at 5.50% over 20 years.











Source: MoneySmart.gov.au


While the minimum payment will take you 19 ½ years to pay off, by paying approximately twice the minimum amount, you reduce the term of the loan by nearly 13 years and save approximately $9,500 but even then it will take you nearly 7 years to pay off your holiday, long after most of the memories have faded.


We all enjoy holidays and while it can be tempting to borrow money to fund them, a much better alternative is to plan ahead and save money before you go on holiday. If you haven’t yet saved up enough to fund your holiday, why not try some alternatives such as staying home and doing some day trips over summer, a cheap camping trip, delaying your holiday until less peak (and therefore cheaper) times of the year or even skipping this year and going on holiday next year when you can afford it.


Over the long term, using your savings rather than borrowing will enable you to go on holidays more frequently. At JBS it’s not only about saving for retirement, we also help you save for your holidays.


– Liam Rutty –


Saving on a Tight Budget

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start to consider how you will fund your holidays / shopping / all-round fun. After all, the summer months are a great time and you definitely want to show your loved ones how much you care, but breaking the bank isn’t an option.


Saving on a tight budget can be quite difficult. To ensure you reach your holiday saving goals it is important to start saving early on. Another key to success is to set a concrete and achievable goal for yourself, and decide how exactly you will achieve that goal.


Perhaps your goal is to purchase gifts for all of your children, or fund a nice holiday away. Whatever it is, firstly determine the total cost. Break the total down by how many weeks you have left to save, and figure out where you can trim your budget to set that amount aside each week.


Some of the best areas to cut your budget include:


No more buying coffee or eating out — You’ll be surprised how much you can save by doing this.


Foxtel – Replace TV-watching with reading, cooking, games with your family, or other fun-yet-free activities. Take advantage of the warmer weather outside (when it decides to arrive).


High Interest Bank Account – Put any savings / loose change etc into a high interest bank account and save regularly. Having a separate bank account makes it more difficult to touch until you really need it (like for holidays).


And just as important, find ways to motivate yourself to keep saving.


It’s easy to become discouraged when your savings aren’t growing as fast as you would like, so it’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to keep saving.


I personally like to think about what it is exactly I am saving for and what I am achieving every time I deposit some money into the savings account. For example, if we are saving for a trip to Thailand and our travel budget is $100 a day, then every time I save $100 I know that’s one day of our holiday I have just paid for. Simple, but very effective.


Saving money and being thrifty isn’t fun but remember the end product will be! When you are lazing on the beach at your desired location, visiting Disneyland, or camping at your favourite spot, there is no doubt that you will be glad you saved every cent!


Make a commitment now to plan ahead, and it is very likely those savings will lead to a fun-filled time over summer.

Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring is a great time to give your finances a once over to see how those goals you set back in January are tracking. Reviewing your financial situation, starting afresh this spring and making sure you aren’t spending more money than you need to.


Below are a few tips to help organise and freshen up your finances:


Start with a Budget: if you haven’t tracked your spending for a while, it is likely that your income and expenses have changed. There is potential for you to save money by simply making a few small adjustments.


Automatic payments: everyone has been guilty of not paying a bill on time and this often incurs additional fees. Automatic payments could be extremely beneficial and scheduling a direct debit is one way to avoid these extra fees especially for regular payments like utilities.


Check your bank statements: running your eyes over your monthly bank statements for mystery charges. By doing this you may come across charges that are not yours or old subscriptions that you may have forgotten about.


Eliminate non-essential items: small inexpensive items add up over a month. If you didn’t purchase that morning coffee or afternoon snack every day you could save yourself over $1,000 a year. Look for cheaper alternatives – if you can’t leave the house in the morning without your coffee, purchase an eco-coffee cup and start making your coffee at home to take to work.


Protect what you can’t afford to lose: If something is important and you can’t afford to lose it – it needs to be protected. Your income is imperative to your financial freedom, you need to ensure it’s adequately protected.


You work hard for your money, so make it work for you. Creating a budget and monitoring your expenses doesn’t mean you miss out on all the fun stuff. It’s about knowing where your money is going so you stay in control.


If you struggle to stick to your budget or your financial situation is becoming a bit overwhelming, JBS has a program that can help give your finances that spring clean feeling. Contact us today to discuss how Cash Coach can help you.


Keeping momentum with your savings

We’ve just passed the first quarter of the year and it’s also this time of the year that you may begin to see some of your New Year’s resolutions start to lose momentum. More specifically we’ll look at your savings goal and tips on how to ensure you maintain the momentum and consistently save throughout the year. Often the beginning of the year is when you look to commence a New Year’s resolution. One common New Year’s resolution is to come up with a savings goal. The issue however is that the momentum starts to slow down after a couple of months into the year. Here are some tips, which may assist you in ensuring you maintain the momentum and consistently save each month.


Use technology as it’s readily available now
One of the most common factors that prevent consistent savings is the tedious process of having to keep track of all the income and expenses from day to day. Having to remember what that $50 you withdrew the other week was for, or remembering to retain all the receipts from last month, so you can register the amounts can become very tiresome, very quickly. Luckily we now have technology to assist us in keeping track of all your income and expenses and programs which are able to link all your bank accounts and credits cards.  This means after the initial set up of the accounts, all you have to do is spend between 5 – 10 minutes each week checking your income and expenses online. You can even download an app to your phone, so you could categorise your expense and review your cash flow anywhere. Having a simple method of tracking your income and expenses will assist you in consistently reaching your savings goals.


Simplify expenses and income details
Another common mistake we see is having too many categories in your budget. In your expenses section you may have a category for fruit and veg, then another category for groceries and perhaps even another category for meat. Ultimately you could just bundle all these expenses together into groceries and reduce the amount of categories under expenses. Furthermore, consistently recording certain expenses the same each month / week is also crucial. This means do not record the costs of your fruit and veg as groceries one week and then the next week record it as shopping.  The same applies to your income. If you have income derived from several jobs, you could simply categorize all the income as salary, instead of recording each income individually. Having fewer categories will make it easier for you to analyse and compare your income and expenses from time to time.


Turn your savings goal into your lifestyle
One of the most important reasons why you should stick to your savings goal is that once you’ve consistently saved for a period of time, you will automatically change your daily spending habits. When you initially start to review your expenditure, it will feel very daunting and painful knowing you can’t buy that new phone that’s been released as it means you won’t reach your savings goal for the month. However over time you’ll find it becomes easier and easier to manage all your spending. This means that eventually you won’t even think of the savings plan as a painful task but rather something you just do naturally. The trick is to stay consistent each month.


Never lose sight of your original goal (Have a Cash Coach on your side)
Whether it’s to purchase a new car, your first home, or save for the next family holiday, we generally start a savings plan with a specific goal in mind. The issue arises when motivation starts to lack and our vision of the original goal starts to blur. There is also the issue of temptation, knowing that there’s now a certain amount saved up, it’s very tempting to make impulse purchases on things we don’t need. The important tip to remember is to never lose sight of your original goal and keep yourself disciplined and accountable in order to reach that goal. This may mean you get your partner, family member or friend to keep you accountable. Even better is to have a financial adviser in your corner. Similar to having a personal trainer at the gym, having a financial adviser on your side means you receive that additional support in order to achieve your savings goals.


Here at JBS we have a Cash Coach program, which assist clients in tracking their income and spending every day. More importantly JBS acts as a coach and will evaluate your performance each month, to ensure you’re still on track to meet your goal. If you’re thinking about starting a savings plan or just need someone in your corner to help you save, JBS can assist.


– Andy Lay –



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