Decisions in March

The end of March is the end of the tax year. A number of years ago I set up an account on the IRD website and have never regretted doing so. It makes it simple to work out whether you will be getting a refund or have to pay back to Inland Revenue and even records your Kiwisaver transactions and balance if you are in the scheme. If you have a refund you simply send away a request for IRD to confirm your calculation and pay to your bank account or begin saving to pay for your tax bill due by 7 February 2019. I know I am simplifying this but the use of my IRD online account really is straight forward and certainly not rocket science. It is also free to set up.

Easter will be upon us again at the end of March as will the end of Term 1 of the school year and the kids will be home for a few weeks. March is a time for making decisions that we will have to live with over the next few months if not for most of the coming year. Do we set up that supermarket Christmas club account? Do we plan to go away for the Easter long weekend? How do we make sure the kids will be safe and enjoy their end of term holidays? These and other decisions will affect our household incomes and spending and I strongly suggest you come in to the budget service to talk with a budget adviser and see what the effects will be on your budget plan. It will only cost you some time.

In 2009, one of our senior budget advisers, Runa Morrison-Huitema, wrote some advice in a Daily Post article that is still true today as it was then and I repeat it here for your knowledge…”now may be a good time to go back to the old ways. It may be more practical to operate joint bank accounts and limit the use of eftpos cards, this helps to control finances. Only go shopping with a list, and stick to it. Become familiar with your power account, and make sure that all possible savings can be made in this area. Don’t use your bank card as an avenue for cash. Look outside the square; your trash may be someone else’s treasure, take a boarder (and) put in a vegetable garden.”
Her advice will stand the test of time because it is founded on common sense. Happy Easter everyone!

Pakanui Tuhura (Manager – Rotorua Budget Advisory Service Inc)

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