small loans

2017 EOFY Tax Tips: Getting Your Finances in Order

As June 30th draws closer and the end of financial year looms on the calendar, now is once again the time to prepare for that annual meeting with your trusty accountant. Whilst you might think that tax deductions are the exclusive domain of high flyers and big business honchos, anyone who works for a living (i.e. salaried employees) is entitled to claim them. Whether it’s been a particularly busy or expensive year for you with work-related expenses galore, or just the regular course of events, it never hurts to collect those receipts you’ve been diligently stuffing away in a shoebox and get something back from the taxman. To help you get tax fit for FY 2017-18, we’ve put together two simple steps anyone can follow.

1. Collect Receipts & Track Your Expenses 

The first step for getting a handsome tax return at the end of financial year is to collect all relevant receipts and track all expenses relating to your work or source(s) of income. Since Australian tax law allows the deduction of any expenses incurred in generating an income, including taking your 9-5 work home with you, this is by far your best way to bring home the bacon after June 30! Thanks to the power of smartphones, collecting receipts and tracking your expenses has been made super-easy with these nifty apps:

  •  Concur (Desktop & Smartphone) – A handy tool allowing you to automate your travel and work-related expenses in addition to managing invoices. The ability to take a photo of a receipt to store for later is our favourite feature.
  •  Pocketbook (Smartphone)Pocketbook is a powerful personal budgeting app that allows you to track and categorise all of your spending.
  •  TrackMySpend (Smartphone) – Developed by ASIC, TrackMySpend does just that, helping you keep tabs on where your money goes for tax time.

2. Minimise Your Tax Liability (Legally of Course)! 

Having sorted out your shoebox of receipts, the next step is to book an appointment with a qualified tax accountant after June 30 so you can make the most out of any tax deductions you’re eligible for, whilst minimising the risk of landing on the wrong side of the ATO! In the meantime, here’s a few more things you can do before the end of financial year:

  • Bring forward any big work-related expenses before June 30

Big expenses like buying new work uniforms, laptops or equipment are all legitimate tax deductions, which can be instantly written-off up to the value of $20,000. Even enrolling into work-related courses or seminars can be tax deductible, meaning the possibility of extra cash in the bank!

  •  Claim all relevant tax deductions

Another thing to keep in mind is the large list of legitimate tax deductions available to all Australian employees, which the ATO details here. Many of these deductible expenses are generated during day-to-day employment and can include the following items:

  • Education expenses (attending industry conferences, seminars, enrollment fees etc)
  • Internet and mobile phone connections (a portion reflecting work-related usage)
  • Home office equipment costs (computers, printers, telephones etc)
  • Home office running expenses (heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning, carpet wear & tear etc)
  • Vehicle expenses (fuel, work-related travel etc) (a portion reflecting work-related usage)

Need a little extra help paying for that new laptop or seminar before EOFY 2017? Or how about bringing forward some of your other work-related expenses to keep your hard earned cash in your back pocket instead of handing it over to the taxman (and no, Jimmy Choo doesn’t make steel capped boots!)? Check out our smart little cash loans from Nimble!

 

You should read this bit: The above post contains links to a variety of application software (“App, Apps”) that is not affiliated or associated with Nimble. We do not have any control or responsibility over the content of the Apps. Use of the Apps may be subject to further terms and conditions imposed by the App provider, the owner of the mobile operating system and/or other related parties. The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post. The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. For tax advice relating to your specific financial situation, Nimble recommends seeking the services of a qualified Australian tax accountant. The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.

Hot Tech Trends Changing Our Daily Life

Remember the good old days of dial-up internet in the 1990’s and the amazement we felt at being able to send emails to people anywhere in the world at any time? The excited “you’ve got mail!” we heard as a reply landed in our inbox? Or for that matter, the launch of the revolutionary Apple iPhone just under 10 years ago, which gave us the novelty of browsing the internet on the train to work, when sitting at the dinner table with friends and pretty much everywhere else? There’s little doubt we’ve all been swept up in these rapid digital technology changes that have occurred in a very short space of time. So if you’re keen to keep two steps ahead of the changing technological guard next time, we’ve put together a handy and up-to-date list of three hot tech trends set to change how we live our daily lives in years to come.

 

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

Ever wondered what your smartphone would say if it could talk? The tales it would tell about you! Or how much easier life would be if your fridge had a mind of its own and could send you a handy text to pick up a carton of milk on your way home from work? The Internet of Things (also known as IoT) is making all this and more a possibility, by connecting common devices or “things” via Wi-Fi.

 

  • Wearable Devices

Perhaps the most obvious example of the Internet of Things are wearable devices that have risen to fame in recent years, thanks to the launch of high tech gadgets like the Apple Watch and Fitbit to name a few examples. Able to track our daily movements and much more, these handy add-ons are helping make us more sci-fi by the day!

 

  • Voice Search

As well as being able to connect common digital devices into one big happy family, another quirk of IoT is the ability it gives us to talk directly to those devices to ask questions (hello Google!) or simply give commands (Alexa, turn off the lights)! Chief amongst voice search technologies worth keeping an eye on are Google Home and Amazon Alexa, coming to a home near you…

 

2. Fintech 

Gone are the days when taking out a personal loan, or any money for that matter involved finding time to line up in a stuffy branch of an established big bank. Thanks to the advent of Fintech (or financial technology), a range of nimble startups (no pun intended) have emerged to offer us alternative ways of getting our hands on cold hard cash.

 

  • Bitcoin 

The poster boy for fintech is Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency developed by a bunch of hardcore computer programmers who kindly released their invention onto the online world in 2009. Unlike traditional currency (i.e. the Aussie Dollar), Bitcoin works by allowing holders to conduct transactions online directly, without any meddling intermediary (such as the Reserve Bank or ATO). Transactions are instead verified by a blockchain, a fancy database that lives deep in cyberspace!

 

  • Nimble Algorithm 

Another innovation out of the fintech revolution is Nimble ourselves, with our top secret algorithm using machine-learning technology and behavioural data to assess every loan application against a broad range of various data sources, with potentially thousands of data points, all within minutes. This allows us to quickly assess borrowers’ applications and get our small cash loans transferred into approved borrowers bank accounts within an hour of borrowers confirming their loan, giving them access to their money faster, so they can get on with their life.*

 

3. Health & Fitness Apps

Keeping fit and fab has never been more important than in today’s image-obsessed world! Instagram and #fitspo workout selfies aside, there are some seriously cool gadgets and health & fitness apps on the market to help you get the most out of exercise and get rewarded for doing it.

 

  • Exercise Tracking 

As mentioned under the Internet of Things, wearable devices like the Apple Watch and Fitbit have entered the mainstream in recent years, allowing us to track our daily steps, monitor our heart rate, measure our walking or running speed and tell us how we’re doing on the calorie burning front amongst many more features. Don’t want to invest in the above? No problem, there’s plenty of stand-alone apps that work a treat on any smartphone, including Endomondo, Google Fit, Pocket Yoga and RunKeeper.

 

  • Lowering Health Premiums

Last but not least, thanks to the ability to measure our physical activity comes the opportunity to also be rewarded for that gruelling early morning workout session or even for just maintaining a regular gym routine. Qantas has got in on the act with their Qantas Assure program where you can earn frequent flyer points for being active, whilst insurance providers like AIA Vitality and Asteron Life are offering customers lower premiums.

 

Keen to get your hands on some of this cutting edge new technology? Check out Nimble‘s smart little cash loans to help you pay for that all-important pre-order or to impress your favourite tech-head with an unexpected gift.**   

 

You should read this bit: The above post contains links to a variety of application software (“App, Apps”) that is not affiliated or associated with Nimble. We do not have any control or responsibility over the content of the Apps. Use of the Apps may be subject to further terms and conditions imposed by the App provider, the owner of the mobile operating system and/or other related parties.  The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post.

The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.

*Once your Nimble loan is approved, it’ll be transferred to your bank account within 60 minutes of confirming your loan, if confirmed by 4:30pm AEST during banking days. Otherwise, the payment will be processed on the next business day. Clearance time is subject to your bank. Depending on your bank, you may be paid within minutes of confirming your loan 7 days a week, including public holidays.

**This is not a loan offer. Loans are subject to meeting Nimble’s lending criteria and suitability checks.

6 Top Travel Trends

Regardless of whether you’re an adventurous traveller or prefer to keep the pace slow, there’s an abundance of travel trends you can get on board with.

We’ve compiled a list with 6 of the hottest travel trends right now, with a little help from some of our digital friends Kayla Manoe, founder of Kelana by Kayla; Stephen and Jess; Co-Founders of Flying the Nest; Scott Purcell, Co-founder of Man of Many and James Banham, editor at The-F.

    1. Go where the good food is

“If the millions of travellers around the world have told us one thing through their pictures and stories, it’s this; food is where it’s at,” says Co-Founder of Man of Many, Scott Purcell.

There are countless anecdotes, guide listings and tasty memories from travellers about the food markets in Hong Kong and Singapore, the raging brunch trend in Australia, the hearty and meaty dishes of southern America and the cultural explosion that is European cuisine. All put food right at the top of the pile when it comes to ‘reason to travel’.

“Search ‘#food’ on Instagram and be bombarded with millions of images of some seriously sumptuous sights that are as good enough a reason to book a ticket to essentially anywhere as soon as you can muster!” Scott says. We couldn’t agree more.

    2. Active retreats   

Health, wellness and fitness retreats are the new beach holiday! There are loads of options out there, aimed at getting you moving, unwinding from the stresses of everyday life and nurturing your mind and body. These might include hikes and boot camp style breaks or something more gentle (but no less challenging in their own right) such as yoga and meditation retreats.

    3. Working holidays

Travelling for work? Make the most of your work-expensed flights by extending your stay for a few extra days or using the trip as a launching pad for a longer break. If you’re short on time and don’t have flexible flights, make the most of your spare hours (however limited) and discover the sights and sounds of your destination after you switch off for the day. Explore the streets with your camera in hand, grab a bite at a notable restaurant or maybe, just maybe, squeeze in a visit to one of the landmarks if you can get in before closing time.

    4. Live as the locals do

Getting off the beaten path is an experience that more and more explorers seek out on their travels abroad. Do your research to find local events and hangout spots, ask friends and family who may have been to the destination before for their hot tips or just wing it and see what you can find. Need a helping hand? Airbnb have recently launched an ‘Experiences’ tab which allows you to get a sneak peek into the lives of a local, as your host guides you around town or takes you through a workshop with a local flair to it.

    5. Volunteering and sustainable travel

Travel is a rewarding experience in itself, but you can take it to the next level by giving back to the community you’re visiting by volunteering and engaging in sustainable travel practices. Stephen and Jess, Co-Founders of Flying the Nest say “Volunteering abroad is quickly growing to be a popular alternative to someone’s gap year and it’s not just for the new explorers, we see plenty of families and people having a mid-life or mid-job crisis.”

There are many credible organisations out there that specialise in coordinating volunteer holidays. Think anything from conservation projects working with native animals and wildlife preservation to building and infrastructure development or teaching a language or specialist skill.

While volunteering abroad and being a sustainable traveller isn’t always the cheapest way to go, your actions certainly go a long way! Kayla Manoe, Founder of Kelana by Kayla shares a few ideas for incorporating responsible practices into your trip:

  • Opting for train and bus travel
  • Boycotting cruel animal attractions
  • Reducing waste
  • Shopping fair trade

These activities “are all incredibly important in sustaining the environment and providing a more positive and rewarding experience for all involved” she says.

    6. Staycations

Sometimes you don’t need to go far to have a good time. “One of the most popular travel trends on the rise is the oft-underrated staycation,” says James Banham, Editor at The-F.

“Instead of spending time and money on expensive flights, stick close to home and spend the extra dollars on wine, cheese, an award-winning restaurant or a zippy convertible for the weekend.

It’s also a great opportunity to discover more about your own backyard, and by supporting local businesses you’ll be putting the dollars back into your local economy. We’re spoilt for choice in Australia – there’s no excuse not to see it all.”

Feeling inspired but don’t have quite enough in the piggy bank just yet? Nimble offer small and medium loans and you can borrow money fast with our cash loans online. Happy holiday planning!

Quick heads up: The above links belong to a variety of websites and not Nimble, so clicking on, and using them, will take you away from Nimble’s website meaning we’ve got no control or responsibility over the content. Nimble does not endorse and is not affiliated or associated in any way whatsoever to the businesses named in this blog post.

The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.

Great Weekend Activities for the Kids on a Budget

Finding activities to do with the kids on the weekend doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – or your sanity!  Here are some of our favourite indoor and outdoor activities that will keep the kids busy and be a whole lot of fun too, even if you’re on a budget.

INDOOR ACTIVITIES

Whip up a kitchen masterpiece

Teach the kids a thing or two about food, nutrition and cooking by spending a few hours in the kitchen together. If you often find yourself short for time during the week, you might even like to get a head start on meal prep for your dinner ideas for the week or lunchbox snacks that the kids can enjoy later. Get busy mixing and stirring, pouring and chopping – and don’t forget the good old lick of the spoon (for quality control of course)! As a reward, sit down and enjoy the tasty treats you’ve created.

Take it to the next level: Book the kids into some cooking classes. They will help to refine their cooking skills, allow them to learn more about nutrition and produce, mingle with other kids their age and express themselves creatively.

Release the artist within

Allow the children to let their imaginations run wild with some DIY arts and crafts. Not sure where to start? We recommend storing recyclable packaging in the lead up to the weekend such as egg cartons, milk bottles, cereal boxes and newspapers. Grab some masking tape, stickers, crayons, glitter (if you’re game) and more and see what masterpieces the kids can come up with. If you have some larger moving boxes handy you might even like to work on building a car, spaceship or any other mode of transportation you like for future playtime – the sky’s the limit! This is a great one for rainy days.

Take it to the next level: Enrol in a term of art classes. Not only will the kids be guided by an experienced teacher but they will have access to more materials and be able to get the messy bits out of the way while they’re out of the house!

Rally the troops for games night

A fantastic way to bring the family together without spending a fortune is to hold a games night. Classics such as Monopoly, Battleship, Guess Who and Uno are good ones to start with, and can be purchased without draining the savings too much on a visit to your local Big W, Kmart or Target. So what are you waiting for? Dust off your favourite board games and set of cards and get playing!

Take it to the next level:  Purchase a game console such as Xbox, or Playstation and some family friendly games. The big and little kids in your house will love this one, especially when the weather keeps you indoors.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Take a walk on the wild side

Put on your walking shoes and explore the great outdoors by going for a hike together. National parks are a great place to start, typically offering a few trails of varying lengths, conditions (i.e. pram friendly) and difficulties so you can find one that suits your needs. Refuel after the journey with a pre-packed picnic or bringing along ingredients and utensils for a barbecue if there are facilities you can use there.

Take it to the next level: Set yourself up with all the camping essentials such as a new tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and more and go for a long weekend away.

On your marks, get set – GO!

Revive the classic races from your primary school sports days such as the egg and spoon race or the three-legged race by holding your very own mini sports carnival. Use your own backyard if you’ve got the space or head down to your local park. This one is a great way to get the kids out of the house, especially for birthday parties or when they have friends over to play. Medals and certificates for each participant will make everyone feel like little champions for taking part in the festivities.

Take it to the next level:  Play a few rounds of mini golf or bowling, discover Go Karting or chase each other around at Laser Tag! There’s loads of different activity centres out there for children of all ages to enjoy.

Ride on two (or four) wheels

Get a good dose of vitamin D and fresh air by pulling out your favourite set of wheels and going for a ride on your local bike path.  Bring the bike, scooter, rollerblade or skateboard and necessary protective gear. Packing some snacks for pit stops along the way isn’t such a terrible idea either for treating hungry bellies.

Take it to the next level: Spoil your little ones with a new set of wheels. Not only is it great for getting them outside but it’s a fantastic way to get moving and spend time together as a family.

Wondering how to get money fast? Nimble loans could be a good option for you and your sanity with keeping the kids busy! Offering small loans for your short-term entertainment needs. Still looking for more ideas? Check out this blog post for some great holiday activities for kids.  

Quick heads up: 

The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.

Are You Rego-Ready?

What do all Australian car owners have in common?

Well, that’s easy. It’s that pesky car rego bill that finds itself in our mailbox every six to twelve months.

Here at Nimble, we see a lot of our customers get caught short each time their rego payment rolls around. It seems like the last one was only just paid, right?

So, let’s talk about it. What are we actually paying all this money for and is there a way to make sure we’re not caught off guard when it’s rego time?

What does ‘rego’ even mean?

In Australia, every vehicle that drives on the roads is required by law to be registered. Getting your car registered proves it’s roadworthy, that it belongs to you and allows the car to be identified quickly.

Another requirement by law is that your vehicle must be covered by Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance.

In most states and territories there is only one approved provider of CTP insurance, however NSW and QLD give car owners a choice in this department. Premiums depend on the type of vehicle and who will be driving it.

The exact fees that cover the above differ pretty substantially from state to state, but generally it is broken down into:

  • A standard registration fee (this is your contribution to helping keep the road maintenance underway),
  • A fee for your CTP insurance,
  • An admin fee.
  • Extra charges can depend on if you have a specialised number plate or if you have a heavy or specialised vehicle.

Check out the info provided by your State or Territory Government for more facts and figures.

Our Top Tips for being Rego-Time-Ready

1. Does your bank offer sub-accounts?money in a money box, notes and coins, Australian

Create a sub-account that is called “Rego Savings”. Or “Sneaky Rego Bill”. Or “Unexpected, annoying. pain-in-the-butt car rego”. (You probably can’t use that many words.)

Seriously though, most banks allow you to open a sub-account to your main account. It’s not a whole new account with a whole new set of fees – it’s just an area where you can set aside money for things like, you know, your rego.

Give your bank a call and organise that sub-account today.

2. A ‘Piggy Bank’ called Reg.

Now that you’ve opened a new sub-account, make it your virtual piggy bank. Aussies are increasingly going cashless so the good old fashioned jar in the cupboard is becoming trickier to fill.

It’s about time we took the piggy bank online. Log on to your internet banking once a day and transfer any “change” into your sub ‘piggy bank’ account rounding your balance to dollar figure. Do this everyday and watch those leftover cents turn into dollars, and in a years time most of your rego could be sorted.pizza_square

3. Rego due this month? Time to say no to eating out.

It’s OK to say ‘no’ sometimes. Especially when it’s saying ‘no’ to going out for dinner every night when your rego is due this month. Suggest that your friend cooks you dinner instead? And promise that you’ll do the same for them when it’s their rego month. What are friends for, anyway?

4.What costly things are you subscribed to?

Music subscription? TV? Magazines? Maybe you don’t really need that subscription? Maybe you’ve forgotten that you even had that $13.00 coming out of your account each month. Well, hate to point out the obvious – but there’s a good chunk of your rego right there.

5. Put your wheels to work!

For the many of us who commute to work on a daily basis, rego can be a right little pain especially since our car spends more time in the garage than on the road. Why not put your wheels to work and pay its rego for itself?

How on earth you might ask… well today thanks to the innovative startups in the sharing economy, you can rent your car out while you’re at work or away. Check out DriveMyCar where you can earn $800 per month or more. They calculate the amount you earn from renting your car according to its market value and estimate a return of 42% if rented for a year!

We’ve blogged about the sharing economy before and how you can make some extra money.

Check it out here for even more creative ways to save for your rego.

6. Do you even need a car??

Live in the city? Or work from home? Or close to public transport? Have you ever thought about ditching the car all together?

Imagine having no car and none of the costs that come with it ie. never worrying about the dreaded rego again! Just you, a bicycle and the wind in your hair.

 

Did you find this info about rego helpful? We’d love to hear your feedback –  just comment below.

 

Information current as at July 2015.
The information in this blog post is not intended to imply any recommendation, endorsement or opinion by Nimble about any financial or non-financial product. Nimble does not recommend or advise on the suitability of a product or suggest or imply a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular product. This blog post is for information purposes only.

How to Earn Extra Cash with the Sharing Economy

Ever feel like your 9-5 job isn’t bringing home enough bacon?

Good news is that today, thanks to the rise of the sharing economy, the tools to make some extra cash are already at your fingertips.

Collaborative consumption, the trust economy or peer-to-peer economy – whatever you decide to call it, the sharing economy is all about community, trust and using the resources right under our noses.

Whether it be our cars, clothes, spare rooms, backyards or our brains, people around the world are sharing their stuff to pocket a few extra pennies.

And there are loads of cool startups springing up to help you make it happen.

Here are 5 ways you can start tapping into the sharing economy today:

 

AirbnbAirBnB

Planning a trip somewhere? Airbnb is a trusted online community built by two guys in San Francisco to give you an alternative to the standard hotel that you would usually seek out in your travels. Through the Airbnb marketplace, you can book accommodation in other people’s homes – the whole place or even just a room. It’s like having a home away from home.

To earn some extra cash, why not list your spare room? Or even your whole home while your away?

Currently, there are over 35 million people using Airbnb around the world. They’re staying in over 34,000 cities in over 190 countries and have the option of staying in over 600 castles. Jump on board now.

 

PetHomeStayPetHomeStay

Do you love puppies but can’t commit to a full time dog? Why not sign up to be a pet sitter in your local area? Get the best of both worlds – the fun, cuddles and love of a pet, but you still get to go on holidays without a worry. All this while earning a few extra bucks at the same time.

 

AirtaskerAirTasker

Fancy yourself a handyman? Bit more tech savvy than the average Joe? Or have you got a vehicle that doubles as a delivery van? Well, it’s your lucky day. With Airtasker, you can earn extra cash just by helping others with things you’re already doing.

 

DriveMyCarDriveMyCar

Do you have a car that spends more time in the garage than on the road? DriveMyCar is a marketplace for those just like you! Keep the dust off your wheels while putting some extra cash in your pocket by renting your car through DriveMyCar.

You can earn $800 per month or more. They calculate the amount you earn from renting your car according to its market value. They estimate a return of 42% if rented for a year! Head here to check out their awesome Rental Calculator tool and find out how much you could earn today.

 

Expert360Expert360

Consider yourself an expert at something? Ever hoped for the opportunity to rent those skills of yours out? Well, look no further. It’s real easy, just create a profile and apply for projects in your own time, then get paid and get credit. Head over to sign up as one of Expert360’s consultants.