6 Steps to Superannuation Success for On-Demand Workers
How can you build the ultimate super as an on-demand worker in just six steps.
1. Determine how much you can put aside each period (quarterly, monthly, fortnightly, weekly) right now.
2. Choose a fund – compare fees, investment options, performance. ASIC’s Money Smart offers some excellent tips on choosing the right super fund for you.
3. Set up automatic payments such as a direct deposit from your bank into your fund.
4. Claim your tax deduction for concessional contributions when you lodge your tax.
5. If you are eligible, make a non-concessional contribution in order to receive the government co-contribution.
6. Check in with your tax accountant to make sure you are making the most of the tax benefits available to you. Your tax professional can also help you with claiming your tax deduction.
Saving Strategies to Help You Reach Your Goals for Super and Beyond
The idea of saving a percentage of your on-demand income specifically to fund your retirement makes perfect sense. But, in practice, it is easier said than done. Depending on your income, current lifestyle, and future financial goals, the last thing you may be thinking about is setting aside $400 a month to go towards superannuation.
If you aren’t saving anything right now, it can be an even bigger challenge to reach a goal of
matching what an employer would contribute if you were a traditional worker – 9.5% of your income.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t think you have to magically turn into a super saver by sun down. Start small if you need to. As long as you are forming healthy savings habits, you are moving in the right direction.
As you get into the habit of saving, you can put away more or less as your income goes up and down. When you’re doing well with your small business, contract work or freelance career, save more. When times are lean or other expenses pop up, you may have to save less. Your contributions can be reflective of your income.
- To get started, write out your budget. It can be helpful, especially as an on-demand worker with a flexible income, to use one of the many personal finance or budgeting apps to help you keep track of where your money is going like MoneySmart’s Track MySPEND and Pocketbook.
- Determine how much you can start saving right now, whether it is a dollar amount of a percentage and then set up automatic deductions into your super.
- Next, decide what your goal is. Do you want to put away 10% of your income? $10,000 a year? It doesn’t matter how far away from your goal you are right now. The idea is to have a goal and to take incremental steps to get there.
- Finally, start brainstorming solutions to help you save more and spend less. Where can you change your lifestyle to reduce your spending each month? You’d be surprised how much you can save simply by going through your routine expenses, cancelling subscriptions, reducing the service plans you aren’t really using, eating at home more often, buying a cup of coffee instead of a double almond latte.
- Be very careful with debt. If you look at your budget and find you are overspending, determine what changes you can make to live within your means. You should aim to have an emergency fund set up to cover surprise expenses so you don't have to put that tyre repair or desperately needed weekend getaway on your credit card.
Also, as an on-demand worker, you have more flexibility to earn more. You aren’t in a position where you earn a set salary and have to wait for a promotion or bonus for an income boost. You can work more, seek better-paying jobs, and continually work towards increasing your own skills and experience in order to offer a more valuable service, which can bring in a higher income.
How can you work towards increasing your income over time in order to meet your savings goals, as well as your other financial objectives? Create a strategy. Write it down. You are free to change it over time but having a plan in place is a powerful step towards making your work goals a reality.