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Entering the workforce

Jan 18, 2011

My son has just completed high school this week.  Do you have any money advice as he embarks on entering the "real world"?

Loris, Brisbane

Money is an important topic for everyone. If you're young and just starting out in the world of work, then here are some of the basics.

Get a TFN

I he doesn't have one yet, your son will need to apply for a tax file number from the Australian Taxation Office.  Without one and he will be taxed 46.5% on his income.

Hold onto paperwork

Get him into the good habit of keeping all of his paperwork that relates to money.  Things like bank account statements, contracts, policies and receipts for tax deductions should be kept in special files.  Don't throw them away.

Don't get a credit card

It may be very tempting for to apply for a credit card but it is the devil with the national credit card debt currently sitting at $48 billion.

Don't spend more than you earn.

Don't be pressured into signing - if your son doesn't understand what he is signing then make it a rule that he doesn't sign until he understands the implications.

Super co-contribution

It is never too early to start putting money into super and whilst your son is on a low income encourage him to put $1,000 per year into super and the Government will match it. 

Risk v return

If the recent GFC taught us anything it was that the higher the investment return then the higher the risk associated with losing your money.  Watch out for scams.

Cars cost money

Don't be tempted into getting a flash car just to impress the girls.  Cars are expensive to run and they are a depreciating asset.  A new car today is worthless in ten years' time.

Keep a track of super accounts

Did you know that there is $13 billion in lost super in Australia today?  And it is simply because people don't update their super funds when they change jobs or move address. 

Lodging a tax return

Every taxpayer is required to lodge a tax return by 31 October each year.  Get a qualified accountant to help him with the first few returns so he gets an understanding of what he can claim.

My son has just completed high school this week.  Do you have any money advice as he embarks on entering the “real world”?
Loris, Brisbane

Tags: ChildrenFamily

Author: Mr Taxman

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