Covid 19 Grants for Small Business and Music Industry

This one is specifically designed to answer a question I am currently being asked by clients at least 7-8 times a day.

What are the Covid-19 grants available for Small Business and the Music Industry – and am I eligible?

So here it is – the small business and music industry grant list – pulled together last night over a glass of wine – so I can’t 1000%  guarantee I have listed EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

But I think I’ve done a pretty thorough job – and the grants are listed HERE State by State, with a few extra resources thrown in.

If you haven’t already looked at your grant options then get to it NOW. Look for your State, click the link, read the criteria, and if you are eligible, APPLY.✍️

Some of them close soon (a couple have already closed) so please DON’T delay.

You have probably heard the Federal Government announcement yesterday that it’s starting to plan a roadmap out of this lockdown.

I am feeling optimistic that this may not go on for as long as we were originally led to believe.   Thanks mostly to the majority of Aussies doing the right thing. Keep those fingers and toes crossed.

In the meantime, hang in there.  We will all get through this.

If you are a creative, a live performer, a musician, and you have questions about making your way through the complexity of Covid-19 stimulus, contact us for some assistance.

Grab our JobKeeper Cheat Sheet

Now that the JobKeeper legislation has passed it’s time to seriously get cracking.

If you have eligible employees and if revenue is down 30% on last year, or if that’s looking likely in the coming months, then  YOU MUST REGISTER your interest for JobKeeper NOW.


Failure to register by the deadline means you will miss out on JobKeeper payments for the first two fortnights.

If you’re unsure of your eligibility, just register anyway, it only takes a minute.

All you need is your business name and ABN, and a contact name, number and email address.

Once you have registered, the next steps are:

1. Check your business and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
2. Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per fortnight.
3. Notify your eligible employees that you are claiming JobKeeper on their behalf.
4. Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your eligible employees.

Here is a JOBKEEPER CHEAT SHEET we’ve pulled together which may help  to answer some of the eligibility and other JobKeeper questions you might have.  It also explains these next steps.

To help work through all the issues, and share information as it comes to hand, I’ve also created a Facebook Group (Your Business Matters).

So if you haven’t joined already, please join HERE AND FLAG YOUR QUESTIONS in the group where I will do my best to answer them for the benefit of everyone.

If you are a musician, live performer, or a creative, contact us now  to help get your finances in order and negotiate the Governent Covid-19 stimulus.

JobKeeper OR JobSeeker? Covid-19. Making policy on the run.

I have been getting a lot of similar queries this last week – and I’ll be honest –  it’s difficult keeping on top of all the phone calls and emails, as well as process this behemoth stimulus package.

(AND afterall, I DO have a scarf to knit.🤣)

If I haven’t got back to you yet, I humbly apologise.

As you know, the Government is moving quickly with announcements and there is masses of policy being made ‘on the run’.

Truth is, at the moment I don’t know for sure if you are “JobKeeper” or “JobSeeker”.  Many of you are somewhere in between, OR even a bit of both.

To help work through all the issues, and share information as it comes to hand, as well as answer your many questions, I’ve created a Facebook Group (Your Business Matters) – so please join the group HERE. 

And simply fire away.  Ask me your questions (and I will answer them).  Make comments. Communicate and support each other.  AND if you know of any other creatives, musicians, live performers, who might benefit, please invite them to join.

I also want to remind everyone that the Covid-19 Treasury Factsheets, and many of the announcements, are not yet in legislation.  So while they give a broad overview, in reality, the final legislated details may be quite different.

Once we have legislation, I will interpret it and query the nitty gritty ‘real-life’ bits that aren’t properly explained.  The bits that may help (or hinder) YOU.

Rest assured that I am keeping across ALL official Government updates – and plenty more. (That is also code for ‘no need to email me stuff’.)

And finally, while it’s incredibly hard now, I believe after weeks/months in quarantine, Australians will come out the other end of this with a renewed appreciation for our home-grown musicians, artists and creatives.

I also suspect it will be some time before foreign acts will be performing internationally.  That means there is a captive audience of Aussies just waiting to go to the local pub, have a beer and watch a live performance.

Remember, save up your questions, and submit them to me via the Facebook Group – Your Business Matters. Because it does!

For more of our blog updates on the Australian Covid 19 stimulus packages check out our blog here.  

And remember, join our new Facebook Group Your Business Matters and post your questions and comments!

Covid-19 Business and Personal Checklist

I know it feels something akin to death by a thousand cuts at the moment – with businesses everywhere struggling – and a new ‘rescue’ package announced every few days that feels like it’s simply prolonging the pain.

Yes, that’s definitely how it feels.  And this cartoon above pretty much sums things up for me today.

But with every crisis comes opportunity. And we at Calculated Matters have pulled together a  Covid-19 business and personal CHECKLIST that you may find handy over the coming weeks.

The checklist contains a raft of common sense, practical tips for your personal AND your business finances.

Start ticking off the list. There is no time like the present to cancel that Foxtel subscription you never watch.

In the meantime, be kind. Be informed. And stay connected.  If there is ONE small positive about COVID-19, it’s that we are ALL in this together.

And we all have to find a new ‘normal’. At least for now.  Turns out my new normal bares a strong resemblance to the image above.🥴

For more of our blog updates on the Australian Covid 19 stimulus packages check out our blog here.  

Join our new Facebook Group Your Business Matters and post your questions and comments!

Superannuation for the Live Performance Industry. Are you compliant?

Did you realise that almost one-third of Australian workers are missing out on some or all of their superannuation entitlements?

The ATO has identified a number of industries who are short-changing worker’s super payments including the construction, hospitality and cleaning industries.  And, as you might expect, it’s small and medium-sized businesses who are most likely to be guilty of this practice.

In the live performance industry, there has been some uncertainty over whether independent contractors are entitled to super.  The long and the short of it is this – YES they are.

It doesn’t matter whether live entertainment industry staff are employees OR independent contractors with an ABN, they should be paid super at the rate of 9.5% of their earnings – assuming they are 18 yo or over and earn a minimum of $450/month.

Here’s the nitty gritty.  Section 12(8) of the relevant super legislation extends the requirement to make super contributions for independent contractors working in the Live Entertainment Industry if they are:

  • a person who is paid to perform or present, or to participate in the performance or presentation of, any music, play, dance, entertainment, sport, display or promotional activity or any similar activity involving the exercise of intellectual, artistic, musical, physical or other personal skills is an employee of the person liable to make the payment; or
  • a person who is paid to provide services in connection with an activity referred to above.

So, if this provision applies to you, or a member of your team, there is a legislative entitlement to superannuation.  And there are big fines if you don’t comply.

If you are an employer and have any doubt about whether you are paying the correct amount of super, or you are not sure what to do, please give us a call immediately.

If you are a live entertainment employee/contractor and believe you are not being paid proper super, firstly speak to your employer.  If you have no satisfaction from this approach, call the ATO on 13 10 20 or head to the ATO  website.

So let’s NOT allow the music or live entertainment industry join the industry ‘naughties’ who have been named and shamed by the ATO.

FIVE Ways to get the Most out of Your Accountant

Most people treat a visit or a phone call with their accountant the same way they treat a trip to the dentist – with varying levels of dread, but knowing that it’s important and necessary.

We sure hope you don’t feel that way when you call us – but if you do, you’d better let me know so I can tell the team to take off their white coats and put the drill away before your next visit.

Seriously though, gone are the days where an accountant just manages your books. And sure, come this time of year we help you get the most out of your tax return, but there is so much more we can do to help you build a better business, manage your finances, and plan and build your business goals.

It’s all about getting the most out of your relationship with us. Here are just some of the ways we can offer you more value, or help you work through a sticky problem.

1 Come prepared

Preparation is key.

Think about what you want to get out of your accountant. If you can’t think of anything other than ‘tax stuff’, maybe dig a little deeper. Do your research and don’t be afraid to also ask us what we offer – there may be services we can provide that you didn’t even know existed!

Did you know, for example that we are Cloud accounting experts and were recently awarded a Clouds Best Practice Certification? We also have experience with running a virtual office and outsourcing.

My expertise? Most of you know that I just love a good business strategy session!

Once you’ve sussed out what you want, make a list of questions to ask us – it can be easy to forget things in the heat of the moment, so having a check list will help you maximise your (and our) time.

2 Seek our business advice (before you leap)

Accountants know business. We deal with the nuts and bolts of it every day so we know what works and what doesn’t. Take the time to tap into our knowledge base.

Starting and running your own business can be a daunting process, but you don’t have to do it alone. We can coach you on what form and direction your business should take, assist with business plans and help put in place actions to achieve your goals.

We can assist you with budgeting, bookkeeping strategies, tax planning, auditing and business strategy advice, even legal advice if you need it. We are here to help you establish and achieve goals and take your business in new directions by helping you to determine what might be the best way forward.

3 Tap into our networks

If it’s all about ‘who you know’ in this world then your accountant is a good place to start!

Most accountants are connected with bankers, lawyers and other professionals who might be helpful to you and your business.

There is no harm in asking us for introductions. We may even have other like-minded clients from your industry who could become useful contacts.

4 Help us to help you

Most good accountants have a lot on their plate so every minute counts. The more organised you are, the quicker we can complete your task, leaving more time for expanding and improving your business – not to mention saving you money.

Some simple ways you can help include:

  • Keep your own records and documents neat and organised
  • Have any required documents ready to go
  • Answer our questions quickly and accurately
  • Action any recommendations quickly to save the need for follow-ups
  • Ask us for housekeeping advice.

Basically, if you keep your side of things ticking over it makes life a whole lot easier for us, and we will thank you for it.

5 Remember, we’re on your side!

A good accountant can be one of the greatest partnerships to have in business.

When you are your own boss it can be tough doing it all on your own – creating a relationship with an accountant who has a vested interest in your business and who wants to see you succeed is one of the best things you can do to help you thrive.

So make the most of your accountant and utilise us at every point. Whether you’re thinking of a change in business direction, or you’re well established and just want to know that you’re on the right track, we can help.

And above all, don’t ever be afraid to ask us questions! That is what we are here for. Be clever with your creative industry business and if you have an issue on your mind, give US a call NOW on 02 9564 5885.

Why you can’t ignore Cloud Accounting anymore!

Most of you already know I am a HUGE fan of cloud accounting and if you still need to be sold on the idea, read on while I give you a quick run-down on all the benefits.

First and foremost, cloud accounting is shaping up as the ONLY way forward for the accounting industry.  All of the data you enter and record is hosted online. This differs from older accounting software, which is hosted locally on your own computer’s hard drive.

Cloud accounting software is flexible, faster, more secure and cheaper.

Benefit 1: Flexibility

When using cloud accounting, you can manage your company’s accounts from anywhere you have an internet connection. This makes things way, way, more flexible.

But you can also work offline, and your data will simply sync automatically the next time you connect to the internet. It is a real benefit during an internet outage or when you want to be productive during a flight.

 Benefit 2: Boosted productivity

With desktop accounting, productivity is constantly a challenge. Financial data is added manually, which is time-consuming, tedious, and more likely to contain errors. With cloud accounting, you can automate repetitive bookkeeping tasks and by pulling the data directly from synced bank accounts there are no duplicates, no incorrect transactions, and no missing entries.

Cloud accounting really does makes managing your business easier. You can create invoices and expense claims, send payment reminders to customers instantly, and monitor business projects against budgets in real-time.  Sweet.

Benefit 3: Security

OK, you are wary about online security.

Here’s the thing.  When practicing good online security measures, cloud accounting can be way more secure than locally-hosted software.  Applications like Xero and Quickbooks have advanced security technologies to encrypt your data with every transaction to keep your business’ financial information safe.

If, heaven forbid, your computer is stolen, no one can access the information you have uploaded to the cloud without having your account details.  It’s much like online banking.  And of course, because your info is in the cloud, you can still access and work with your information securely from any other computer or smartphone.

Cloud accounting also allows easy and secure sharing.  You can share the data with as many others as you like, whether it’s us, your business coach or even your bank manager. No longer is it necessary to email reports or a data file or — even less convenient — backing up to a USB stick and delivering it to our office.

Benefit 4: Managed Backups

It’s always a surprise to me how many business owners do not back up their data — or think they have backed up their data but haven’t — only to lose weeks or months’ worth of work.

With the cloud, you’ll never have to back up your data file again. Just think of the time you’ll save not messing around with backing up.

Benefit 5: Real-time accounting

Need an update on your accounts? Using cloud computing software means you’re looking at the latest information, in real time, any time.  This helps you analyse and make better decisions based on financial reports, and dramatically lowers the risk of errors from manual data entry.

Benefit 6: Reduced costs

Instead of paying a large one-off purchasing fee for software, users of cloud accounting pay a monthly subscription fee, depending on the company’s size and specific requirements.

Not only does this spread the cost over the year which is better for cash flow; it often costs less than updates for proprietary software.

There is also no cost incurred for new features, maintenance, or increased user numbers.  Your business can just choose the subscription that best suits your needs.

Finally a word from your Accountant…..

For those of you not already on the cloud, it may seem a little daunting. But trust me, conversion is relatively easy these days and the benefits are way too numerous to ignore.

Give me a call or drop me an email, and I’ll help you find the right cloud solution for your biz needs.

We will even help you set up, or convert, your financials to the new system.

The ATO is watching you!

Its almost tax time again.

Last year I wrote a blog on “7 Handy Tips for the End of Financial Year” so binge here if you want a quick refresher of all those do’s and don’ts.

Just a gentle reminder that the ATO is increasingly strict on a couple of areas:

☑️Self-education expenses – you can’t claim for a course that does not have ‘a sufficient connection to your current employment’.

☑️Work clothes –  this is also a tricky area, because your work clothes need to be distinctive, like a stage costume.  But if it’s a suit that can be worn to any function, it wouldn’t pass the ATO test.

☑️Work related car expenses –  while you don’t need written evidence for claims of up to 5000 kilometres per year, you DO need to be able to show that you were required to use your car for work, and how you calculated your claim. A ‘standard deduction’ for car expenses, using the cents per kilometre method, is definitely NOT an entitlement and the ATO has flagged that they will be closely watching motor vehicle claims this year.

The ATO has new technologies which involve sophisticated data-matching and benchmarking – so never underestimate their ability to recognise dodgy, incorrect or false claims.  Once the ATO sees a red flag , trust me, they WILL investigate.

If you are unsure about any of your claims, please get in contact with us.  Always better to be safe than sorry.

The $20,000 Small Business Tax Write-off

Good news! The instant asset write-off has been a bonus for small businesses across Australia, and in the May Budget it was extended for another 12 months to 30 June 2019.

The law currently allows small businesses to obtain an immediate tax deduction for the whole cost of capital items purchased for use in their business, provided the cost of the asset is less than $20,000.

That could include computer equipment, office furniture, plant and machinery or even a new car.

Only small businesses can claim the deduction. To qualify, your business needs to have an aggregate annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Only assets valued at $20,000 or less qualify for the instant deduction. So if the value of the asset is greater than $20,000, the asset must be depreciated over a number of years.

To claim the full deduction, the asset has to be used in the business. If there is personal use of the asset, such as a computer that you use privately as well as in your business, the deduction needs to be pro-rated to reflect this.

So if your business needs to invest in a large capital asset of some kind (up to $20 grand), you are crazy not to take advantage of this offer while it’s still on the table.

Remember, it is possible to use this $20,000 option multiple times. However, the cost of each item must be under the threshold. It can also include items bought secondhand.

The ATO 2018 Hit List

The ATO has announced its 2018 hit list and one area of increased focus is what they call Unexplained wealth or lifestyle.”

ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan gives the example of a business-owning family which reported parent incomes of $70,000 and $50,000, but has three children at private schools and has taken business class flights on overseas trips three times in the past two years. (I sure hope they won Lotto or they are in BIG trouble!)

The ATO can source information through feeds from the Department of Immigration, and earlier this year, the ATO also announced they would be using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to monitor displays of wealth from individuals that did not match up with what they had reported about their income and affairs.

The ATO also keep a VERY close eye on activities which fall under the guise of the ‘share economy’.  If you have an investment property and rent it out under AirBnB or Stayz, or if you earn an income from Uber, Camplify, Airtasker, or even Ebay, the ATO WILL know about it.  The clever people at the ATO do some nifty data-matching with the cooperation of these company juggernauts.

Pretty sophisticated eh?

Big Brother is definitely watching us.  Be sure to check out any special deductions that are applicable to your circumstances, but DON’T go claiming things that push the envelope.  And definitely DON’T fudge or understate your income.  The risk is simply not worth it.

Give us a call on 02 9564 5885 if this is something that you’d like to discuss.  At Calculated Matters we are business tax experts, so if you have any questions about the content of this newsletter feel free to give us a buzz.

Don’t leave your future to chance

Some of you were a bit surprised to see me reveal a little more of myself then usual in my last blog – but this is part of another commitment I have to ‘keep things real’ so expect to see more of it. Not every month, just sometimes.

If you missed out, then here it is again. A blog about my new year mantra of ‘simplicity, declutter and minimise’ (or otherwise known as the year I threw out my kid’s kindy art projects without feeling guilty.

This month it’s back to a more business-y topic – well sort of.  Succession planning.

I am fresh back from a wonderful short break with family and friends in NZ, and this is a topic that came up during a discussion with a Kiwi friend who has just sold his business.  It got me thinking about my own business, especially as I am currently going through a re-branding process and my business brain has been working in a state of hyperactivity lately.

So, back to succession planning.

A succession plan, in the traditional sense, outlines the things you need do when you close, sell or transfer ownership of your business.  It makes you think hard about who will potentially takeover from you if you were to leave because of retirement, illness, or heaven forbid, something worse.

But this blog is NOT about the traditional succession plan because lets face it, a succession plan doesn’t work when YOU ARE the BUSINESS – you are a band, a musician, or a manager, and you have unique special relationships or creative talents that really can’t be bought or sold or transferred.

Your sister or best friend can’t just walk in, buy your business and continue on – unless they are perhaps your identical twin and also happen to be a very talented musician or industry expert.

For me, when I think about succession planning in the music industry, its about doing what you love – you can never take the love of music out of the person

But where, and how, do you explore the next stage of your career?

Your own personal succession plan should not be a scramble or a reactive exercise in self-preservation – it should be an exercise in building value – your own personal value.

It’s not uncommon, for example, for musicians to develop second careers.

Does a music producer start a second career writing music for others, become a manager, move into a publicist role, host a TV show or a podcast,  become a music journalist, a music teacher, or coach others in the music business?

There is no limit to your imagination once you get started – and there are many ways you can continue to carry your artistry with you.

Ringo Starr was the first narrator for Thomas the Tank Engine back in 1984.  Mick Jagger produced a couple of successful films, and Madonna has written children’s books. Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is a successful fashionista.  Perhaps lesser known is that the late David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell all picked up a paintbrush and splashed it around a canvas.  And of course, our very own Aussie music legend Peter Garret became a politician.

There are some really great skills that musicians and other industry professionals possess, which they often don’t recognise, even in themselves.

Most musicians are incredibly creative, persistent, and confident.  For what its worth, here are some other traits based on my experience from years of working in this industry:

  • Musicians are notorious perfectionists. They often have high levels of self-discipline, determination and self-motivation. Afterall, ‘practice makes perfect’.
  • Musicians often work well with others and they also work hard. Going into music is NOT easy.
  • Musicians have to be flexible. Working at night, traveling (which sometimes requires coping with stress and exhaustion), and performing in a variety of settings where conditions are often less than ideal, forces a musician to adapt.
  • Musicians by virtue of their career, often have good stage presence. They learn to deal with the stress of performing and being judged by others.
  • Many musicians are good with their hands; and naturally they also have a keenly developed ear. These listening skills are imperative when dealing with other people.

And I am going to add one more.  Humility. Well, OK, not everybody has this, but the great ones do. The artists that are humble and not full of themselves are the ones we fall in love with.  No-one loves someone who believes their own hype!

Your future is something you should spend some time thinking seriously about – be forward thinking and have a plan with some goals – of where you’d like to go and when. If you feel inspired, start to pursue those goals, even if you take small baby steps.

There are many ways to use your love for music to establish an ongoing sustainable career. While not all of the possibilities are necessarily lucrative, and it may take a few different revenue streams to make this music-filled lifestyle sustainable, you can at least rest assured knowing that your life is fueled by your love of music and this terrific industry.

These are all qualities most employers value highly.

Remember, this isn’t intended to be the definitive guide on this topic – and your own succession plan can be a continual work in progress.  This article is merely intended to get you thinking about the future…your future.

Give us a call on 02 9564 5885 if this is something that you’d like to talk further about.  At Calculated Matters we are not just creative business tax experts, we are a great sounding board on a whole bunch of things!

And remember, baby steps with this stuff is perfectly OK.


About Jacinta:

Jacinta O’Connell has over two decades of experience in her own successful professional and commercial accounting practice.

Predominantly servicing the music, media and entertainment industries,  Jacinta has a wealth of expertise to share with you as a peer and mentor.

Put simply, Jacinta and her team will support your business growth, development and profitability by providing the best customised practical and technical solutions, and help you work towards business success.

Connect with Jacinta on LinkedIn.

A new year – a fresh start (and 6 new rules to live by)

January is nearly over, we have celebrated to excess and most of us (if you are like me) are well and truly back into the grind and probably have been for a few weeks.

Just before the Christmas break, some of you may know that Kent and I settled on a small cottage in the Blue Mountains that backs onto a lovely nature reserve.  We are in love.

We have spent considerable time ‘fixing it up’ over the holidays ready to launch it on Airbnb.  That project was hard work but also VERY, very rewarding, and despite its small size and utter simplicity, that cottage is our family dream.

Being in the mountains with the fresh air and the kids, got me thinking about the whole minimalist movement, using less, slowing down, being content and appreciating the smaller things.  Declutter.  Simplicity.  Minimalism.

So I thought I’d share my 2018 mantra with you – ‘to live life more simply.

It seems that in our saturated digital world, we are encouraged to believe that the more we have, the happier we will be.

Minimalism and simplicity is about spending less, having less, and needing less, while focusing on living more, experiencing more and doing more of what you love. It is eliminating distractions, clearing away the physical/mental clutter and unnecessary time commitments that keep us from enjoying life, living in the moment, being happy and appreciating life’s simple pleasures.

That sounds bloody good to me.

‘So what?’ I hear you say.  ‘Who cares?’

Well before you judge me, here are some things I am going to try to put into practice in 2018 – it won’t be easy but I am determined – and maybe I can convince some of you to join me.

Rule #1: Spend less money on ‘stuff’

Buying less.  Or at least investing in the fewer high quality items that I really need.

I know it sounds simple but I can already hear that July David Jones Stocktake Sale calling me.

But I figure that the less I spend on random stuff, the less I will also spend on repairing and maintaining things. And generally the less (made in China) ‘stuff’ I’ll have lying around the house.

As a result, I will be left with more of my hard-earned money, so that I can save, pay off debts like our Katoomba dream, and maybe one day, work less. Or at least, work differently.

Rule #2: Practice less guilt

How many times have you bought something that has sat somewhere in the house, still with the price tags attached or still in a box? At the time of purchase, it seemed like that item would fill a need or make you happy.  And maybe it did, for a short while.

I figure that intentionally planning my purchases this year will help me avoid buying things I don’t actually need, and also eliminate that horrible guilty feeling that comes from not using things I’ve bought. That guilt which revolves around waste – mostly of money.

Rule #3: Find more ‘time’ for the important things

Time is so precious. The less time I spend looking at catalogues, Ebay, Gumtree and Facebook, the more time I will have to do the things that are truly important to me.

More time to spend with those I love. More time to do the things I love. More time to look after myself properly.  (More time to practice another new years resolution – Jacinta to spend MORE time being mindful and walking for an hour every morning).

Rule #4: Achieve less mental clutter and stress

Mostly we don’t realise it’s happening, but when we are surrounded by physical clutter, our minds feel busy and cluttered too. It’s like a background noise that we don’t realise is there. With a clearer mind, it is easier to be more focused, productive and relaxed.

When our space is calm, our head feels calm and we feel freed up from all of the busy-ness around. It’s like finishing or off-loading a horrible job – you feel a sense of relief once its done.

Rule #5: Get finances in order

OK, I’m an accountant and if my  finances aren’t in order you should be worried.

Seriously though, if your financial situation is less than ideal, then talking about it or even thinking about it is likely to cause you stress.

But here’s the point – to make it any better, to escape the financial maze, to free yourself from the constant stress and worry – you need to face facts. And if that means having a difficult conversation with your partner, or with your accountant, or both, then do it.

If you are brave enough, I can guarantee you will feel a huge weight off your shoulders.

Eliminate bad debt, pay your bills on time, get your tax up-to-date, and take time to review your super. You won’t find an extra $10,000 hiding somewhere, but you will at least know where you stand.

Once you understand how much money comes in, what your expenses really are and what financial goals you have, you can create a budgeting system that works for you. Which in turn means you can rest easier and feel more calm.

 Rule #6: Enjoy life’s little pleasures

This one is probably my favourite.

I am determined to remember the simple things that bring me joy and happiness.  It could be the smell of freshly cut grass, spending quality time with Kent and the boys, the wind blowing through my hair as I walk in the Blue Mountains, or the volunteer work I do with Australian Working Dog Rescue.

These are all things that bring me great pleasure, and cost me next to NIL.


Introducing simplicity into 2018 does not mean having nothing. It does NOT mean that you give away the things that you love and use.

Rather, it means letting go of the things that we do not need, use, or find to add any value in our life. This will then make room for more of the things that make life better.

My 2018 year of ‘practising simplicity’ is going to start with a declutter of my wardrobe.  I’ve created 3 piles – one for Vinnies, one for the bin, and one for keeping.

My second task is the kitchen cupboards.   And maybe then, I’ll have the conviction to cull the box of the kid’s kindy art projects and old birthday cards.
As for the office, I have a wonderful new VA (Elaine) who is tasked with simplifying my time commitments and my obligations – wish me luck with that one, but so far the results have been insurmountable!

I’d love to hear what you think about my 2018 goals and if any of this blog resonates with you.  Or tell me what your goals are for this year –  I’m open to all ideas and I’d love to hear yours.

And of course if ‘Rule #5’ hits a raw nerve, pick up the phone and call me NOW on 02 9564 5885.

Lets get you sorted sooner then later – I’m here to help you.



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