Are you confident you’re getting the best deal on your credit card, mortgage or super?
Unfortunately about 50% of Australians aren’t confident they’ve made the best financial decisions and many more aren’t sure where to go to get independent financial guidance.
MoneySmart is a new website to help people make smart choices about money. The website provides free, independent and unbiased information, tools and motivation.
MoneySmart has been created by ASIC and replaces ASIC’s two previous consumer websites, FIDO and Understanding Money.
MoneySmart aims to motivate people of all ages and all walks of life to take action.
The site covers the essentials such as budgeting, saving, credit cards and loans, as well as more complex financial matters such as superannuation, margin loans, reverse mortgages and financial scams.
MoneySmart also has information for people at particular turning points in their lives such as starting work, buying a home, losing a job, having a baby or retiring.
The website includes 26 interactive calculators and tools so you can see exactly what is happening with your finances and take some simple steps that can really make a difference. There are even 5 mobile calculators for you to use on the go.
The savings goal calculator lets you set a goal to save a fixed amount regularly or save as much as possible within a certain time. The retirement planner shows you whether your super is likely to give you the level of income you want for your retirement, and what you can do to improve the situation. The super vs mortgage calculator compares the benefits of putting any spare money into super, versus making extra mortgage repayments.
For example, Warren is 24 and is planning on getting a loan to buy his first car. He visited MoneySmart and realised there are a lot of costs involved in buying a car, including insurance, registration, maintenance and fuel. Warren was relieved to read the information on MoneySmart before he bought his car because he had no idea car yard loans were so much more expensive than other loans. He decided to take more time to shop around and find the best deal on the car and the loan, so he wouldn’t be stuck in a long-term loan with a high interest rate and hefty fees.
If you or someone you know is saving for a holiday, considering a mortgage, struggling with debt or making plans for retirement, go to moneysmart.gov.au. MoneySmart has something for everyone – it’s simple guidance you can trust.
Keep in touch by signing up to MoneySmart’s free enewsletter, MoneySmart Tips and joining in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
E-mail ASIC with topics that interest you at ADFcolumn@asic.gov.au.
Tony D’Aloisio BA LLB (Hons)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission