Money

More to finances than the markets

Noel Whittaker
Noel Whittaker

AS we move into the new year  with all its hope and uncertainty, remember that there is much more to taking care of your finances than merely watching the markets. 

A good metaphor is an injured leg due to a sporting mishap - naturally you would pay particular attention to that leg, but you would be foolish if you became so focussed on it that you neglected all the other aspects of life.

Start off on the right foot by getting your debts in order. List your loans, enter the interest rate and the monthly payment next to each one, and then separate them into those where the interest is non-tax deductible (for example your home loan and personal loans) and investment loans where the interest is tax deductible.

Tax-deductible interest costs much less than non-deductible interest so check that your deductible loans are on an interest-only basis to maximise the funds you can plough into your non-deductible debt. 

The optimum payment for your home loan is $12 a month per $1000 (for example $2400 a month on a $200,000 loan) which will have it paid off in less than 10 years with minimal interest.

If you're stuck with personal loans and credit card loans, attack these first as they carry a much higher rate of interest.  Use all your spare money to pay off the smallest loan quickly and, when that is out of the way, use the repayments no longer needed for it to speed up repayments on the second smallest non-deductible one. Do this and you will be amazed how quickly you will start pulling yourself out of debt.

Finally never forget that becoming wealthy is not a matter of how much you earn but how well you use the money you do earn. 

Despite the challenges of the last year your new year's resolution should be to make 2012 a year when you structure your finances to make the most out of every dollar you earn.

Noel Whittaker is a director of Whittaker Macnaught Pty Ltd. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. His email is noel.whittaker@whittakermacnaught.com.au.

Topics:  finance, noel whittaker


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Calls for action after six Tweed/Byron police assaulted

Tweed MP Geoff Provest says "no more"

North Coast beaches cleared as sharks spotted

Noosa Main Beach.

Swimmers were forced from the water after a spate of sightings

Nats promise to restore Bangalow Weir if re-elected

An artists impression of the restored Bangalow Weir.

$250,000 for the Bangalow Weir to be restored promised

Latest deals and offers

Call to stop violent attacks on our cops

MP pushes for tougher penalties and mandatory sentences for emergency service assaults

Calls for action after six Tweed/Byron police assaulted

Tweed MP Geoff Provest says "no more"

North Coast beaches cleared as sharks spotted

Noosa Main Beach.

Swimmers were forced from the water after a spate of sightings

Nats promise to restore Bangalow Weir if re-elected

An artists impression of the restored Bangalow Weir.

$250,000 for the Bangalow Weir to be restored promised

Vale Barb Pinter- community champion

BARB PINTER: Co-ordinator of the Byron Breast Cancer Support Group.

VALE Barb Pinter who passed away last weekend.

Coffee Tardis helps local women reconnect with work

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Shane Hogan, Paul Spooner, Celeste Harris, Anne Goslett, Trevor Sleep, Helen Hamilton, Rod McKelvey and Rodney Contojohon.

Pay it forward at the Coffee BOX opening in Byron bay next week.

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest