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Money Matters

If a business owner said to you that they run their business without a budget, what would you think? You'd think they were incompetent. Or perhaps lazy? Or both?

But what do most families do?

When you think about it, a family is actually a mini business. There is income, there are expenses and there is, hopefully, something left over to invest and to enjoy.

So why don't most families operate to a budget?

After all, a personal budget helps you to see your financial direction and helps you stay (or get back!) on track. It's a great comfort.

One reason some people don't put together a budget is a feeling of overwhelm, of being too busy, of feeling like modern life is too complex to keep track of all that.

Well the good news is we can handhold you through the process, recommend some time-saving tools and make it easy for you.

But before we look at the 'how' aspects, let's consider 3 more reasons why a personal budget is such an important tool to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams.

1. Most of your money is already spoken for long before you get it

The money you earn has already been promised to keep the electricity on, make the loan repayments and pay for the insurance. Most of what many people think of as budgeting is really honouring the commitments you have already have.

Now since we are all honest people and plan to pay these bills, the first step is to track these bills and see what is left over for your day-to-day living.

2. Your day-to-day living money is spread all over the place...

Some of your day-to-day living money is in the bank. Some is in your purse or wallet. Some is with your partner or children if you have them.

You need a simple system that allows you to track day-to-day expenses such as fuel for your car, shopping and your discretionary spending expenses.

We suggest you don't attempt to keep track of every cent of your day-to-day living money. It's not worth the effort for the benefit you'd get out of that level of detail.

Instead, you need to identify your main day-to-day expenses and make allowance for all other minor day-to-day expenses as a total expense.

Here's a key: You need a system that is so easy to use that you keep using it.

You can track these day-to-day expenses by entering them into a spreadsheet, or better yet, use a tool like Xero Cashbook, that can automatically pull in bank account and credit card feeds to save you a lot of data entry.

These automation tools are brilliant. It makes sense to make use of them.

3. The Number 1 reason people give up on their budgets is that they don't have the right attitude

It's ALL in the attitude!

Have you ever attempted to budget and given up in frustration? What is the reason your budgeting attempt failed? What will make you stick to it?

Think about this…

One of the top reasons-if not the top reason-so many people give up at budgeting is attitude. If you think of it as a penny-pinching sacrifice instead of a means for achieving your financial goals and dreams, how long are you likely to stick with it?

It's like the difference between going on a diet and eating healthily. One is negative and restrictive; the other is positive and allows you to indulge every now and then and yet still achieve your goals.

To increase your chances of success, work on your attitude first.

Many people refuse to budget because of budgeting's negative connotation. If you're one of them, try thinking of it as a 'spending plan' instead of a 'budget'. Once you've attempted to budget and failed, the bad feelings associated with any type of failure can keep you from trying again. Don't give up!

The cold hard reality 

Let's face it. Money is a tool that enables you to reach your goals in life. But the cold hard reality is that until you know where your money goes, you can't make conscious decisions about how to use this tool effectively.

A budget (or spending plan!) shows you exactly where your money goes and provides a clear plan that lets you save for the things that are important to you: a new house, a new car, a comfortable retirement, a tertiary education, high quality health care, travel, or whatever your particular goals and dreams happen to be.

And that's exciting.

Whatever YOU decide you want to save for and achieve, you can. With the right attitude, a focus and a (spending!) plan.

Avoid This Pitfall 

There are several universal budgeting concepts that every successful budget will include, but one of the most important features of a successful budget is for it to be easy to use and suitable for your needs.

Don't try to use a generic, complex, one-size-fits-all budget. A simpler approach makes it easier to stay committed. If you stick with a realistic, effective budget long enough, the rewards will keep you motivated. In the meantime, do whatever it takes to keep yourself going.

The 3 steps for effective personal budgeting (spending planning!) are:

1.   Build a Budget,

2.   Track Income and Spending, and

3.   Compare Budget to Actual.

Once you start budgeting with a positive attitude, you will see the difference a budget or spending plan can make in your life.

And by using the right tools, you can track your spending and stay on track much more easily these days, thanks to modern technology.

If you'd like to discuss how to get a budget and tracking system in place, get in touch and we'll make a time for our budgeting expert Michael Crowe to sit down with you and step you through the process. All you need to is call us on 9725 2533 or email support@hendrie.com.au and we'd love to help!

Short window to save tax

Don't pay more tax than you have to!

There's five key things that all business owners MUST consider RIGHT NOW. Please read on! 

30 June is only 13 weeks after the beginning of April. It's not a long time at all. This year let's try and use all of them.

Too often, we end up suffering because we have procrastinated and not made a positive decision to do something. If we all leave your tax planning until the end of May and early June, quite frankly there may not be enough time to do anything significant to legally reduce your tax.

So for 2015, our invitation to you is to START NOW with your tax planning.

Key Tax Planning Strategies

Over the next few weeks, we'll send you emails covering three of our key tax planning strategies. These are:

1.         General tax planning strategies - Key items that mean $ in your pocket.

2.         Trust Distribution Resolutions needed BEFORE 30 June 2015 - or pay up to 49% tax on trust profits.

3.         Establish a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) - How to make it your family's wealth VAULT and legally pay NIL tax at retirement.

So keep an eye out for our emails, and we'll outline in detail for you how to save $ and at the same time grow your family's wealth.

How our Tax Planning Process works

First of all, you need to post, email or drop in the following information for the current financial year ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO LATER THAN MONDAY 25 MAY:

  • estimate of business profits (computer record keeping file);
  • personal income;
  • salary and wage income;
  • interest;
  • dividends;
  • capital gains;
  • rental income.

Based on this information, we estimate your taxable income and your tax payable BEFORE any tax planning strategies.

We'll then have a preliminary review of your position and identify any potential tax planning opportunities.

If tax planning is appropriate for you, we'd like to meet with you as soon as possible to allow enough time to implement any tax planning strategies we jointly decide upon. 

Please note that there's no charge for the meeting, and we won't even call you in for a meeting unless we can guarantee that your tax savings will be more than our fee for implementing your tax planning strategy.

We'll provide you with a report that explains in plain English the tax planning strategies we recommend and exactly how much tax you will save.

And finally, we provide you with an easy-to-follow Action Plan to ensure that both you and we can do everything that needs to be actioned before 30 June.

Contact us TODAY to get started!

Don't wait until June. Contact our office TODAY to start your tax planning for 2015.

And look out for our special emails where we'll explain in detail how you can benefit from tax planning strategies!

The Hendrie Group

23 Lacey Street Croydon (Po Box 489) | P: 03 97252533

Email: support@hendrie.com.au


How an English Lit major got it really wrong… 

By the time I decided I wanted to try my hand at the family business, I'd spent 6 years at university studying History and English Literature. That's 6 years of having various experts constantly critiquing my work and correcting my grammar. So by the time I left, I had a pretty good grasp of the English language.

When I started practicing as a Financial Adviser, I wrote the most grammatically correct financial plans you could possibly imagine. I also - very kindly – corrected the content and grammar of my colleagues' work. 

But is writing "correctly" all it's cracked up to be when it comes to business? 

Well no... 

In fact, a few years back I asked a business coach and friend of mine to audit our marketing material. Now I'd written most of it so I was expecting him to come back and say it was pretty well spot on, with perhaps a few suggestions to make it even better. I was anticipating some strategic advice, but no way was I expecting him to criticise my grammar or writing style. After all it was me! 

Imagine my surprise when he came back and the ONLY criticism he had of ALL our marketing material was the way it was written. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! 

The importance of being you 

After I'd stopped hyperventilating, he gently told me that whilst the text itself was almost word perfect, it wasn't representative of our business. 

He explained that the way I wrote was precise and formal, whereas The Hendrie Group team are fun and friendly. The marketing was giving a false impression of who we were. The same went for many of our letters and emails. 

More importantly, the way I was writing wasn't appealing to our existing clients or the type of clients we were trying to attract. Because the types of clients we were, and still are, trying to attract, are like us – fun and friendly. Family oriented rather than formal. 

Which brings me to an old cliché about writing from the heart… 

What I learned from this valuable insight was the importance of making sure my writing was appropriate to my target audience.

My usual style of writing had been okay at uni, because my audience were English and History Professors, but when writing to clients or potential clients about finance and business, the LAST thing this audience wants is stiff and formal language because we all know what that is – jargon! 

Like Frankie says – relax

As you can probably tell, I've relaxed a lot since I was given that valuable piece of advice. And subsequently, my advice when talking to business owners about writing is quite simply to relax! Your clients and customers are much more interested in what you have to say than how you say it, and they want to hear it from you – the person they like and trust. 

You need to really consider your target market and write accordingly. A great rule of thumb is to write to your target market in the same way as you would speak to them. Look at some examples of language that's commonly used in emails and letters every day: 

"…attached please find our brochure for your perusal"
"…assuring you of our best attention at all times"
"…we refer to your letter of the 6th and wish to advise that…"
"…trusting that our action meets with your approval"
"…we've sent, under separate cover…"
"…enclosed herewith…" 

Who actually speaks like that????

Can you imagine going up to someone in the street and saying, "Herewith is our brochure for your perusal!" Furthermore, imagine your shock if you got the reply, "Well, thank you, sir. I remain your trusted servant." 

It wouldn't happen! 

So unless you're writing to a target market who expect and relate to that type of language - and most of them aren't - then we need review some of the supposed "rules" of writing and break free of them. 

Breaking the rules (and loving it!)

The Old Rules-
Actually "Myths

The New Rules

Always be grammatically correct. For example: Never use a preposition with which to end a sentence.

Tell it like it is. For example: Sir Winston Churchill is attributed as saying, "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put."

Never begin a sentence with "and" or "but."

Begin sentences with "and" or "but" if it carries the reader along. And not only that, you need to recognise that it can add impact to a point…can't it?

A sentence must have a subject, object, and verb.

Nonsense. Enough said? Short, one-word "sentences" really are very powerful. You can change to this new style today. Right now. And be amazed with the results.

Breaking through the clutter

We're not just breaking the rules for the sake of it, we're doing it to be the one that gets through to our clients or customers. The test of a good letter, email, or article is simply the answer to this question:

Did it achieve the result you wanted? And increasingly that means: Did you break through the clutter?

Remember… the average person is confronted with over 7,000 sales and marketing images every single day! Which begs the questions:

Did you break through the clutter caused by all the other emails, letters, or adverts your reader received today?

Did he/she receive 6 letters (that's another "rule" I've broken about numbers, isn't it?) demanding money, and so was yours put on the bottom of the stack?

Did he/she he receive 3 emails today asking him to invest time and/or money in some new product or idea? And yours happened to be the fourth one opened and was discarded with the comment, "All this annoying junk mail."

Clearly, one way to stand out in that clutter is to be different.

Now that doesn't mean you should break the rules just to be different.

What I'm really suggesting is this. You'll be different just by being yourself-the normal "you" who talks with people one-on-one.

This may mean un-learning some restricting ideas so that you can make way for the new ones, but it'll be worth it.

With that in mind, here's a list of some words to avoid and some possible words to use in their place 

Avoid These

Use These


You'll see I've attached your...


Get underway, start


Discover, find out, you'll see


When you use, when you own, get


Will, try




Make it easier for you

In the event of


In order to

So, so that you'll

With regard to


Prior to


Due to the fact that


In the amount of



Investment, budget


Paperwork, agreement

The words and phrases in the "use" list are much less formal. You'll notice, too, that they can form the basis of more powerful, easy-to-read phrases.

Using them (and many more phrases you'll discover soon) will give your marketing that "me-to-you," or personal, touch. And that's a touch that will make it so much more effective.

And finally

Always remember that the language of sales is all about the WIIFM. What's in it for me?!

Write to your audience using language they can understand.

Write in language that's representive of you and your business.

Most importantly, write about what's valuable to them.

AND you'll be an expert business writer in no time!


Talk soon,








How to teach your kids about money

It's not always easy to talk to our kids about money, and when teaching our kids about money we don't always get it right. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's often easier to get it wrong than right.

But it's so important, because one thing we can be sure of is that our kids are going to need to manage money every day of their adult lives. And the way they manage that money will determine their lifestyle.

So my question to you is this - who sat you down and taught you step by step how to manage money?

Who taught you in specific detail about issues such as:

  • Budgeting
  • Shopping
  • Credit cards
  • Getting a loan
  • Living out of home
  • Earning income
  • Investing

In most cases the answer is "no one". If you were very lucky then you may have had a parent help you; or maybe they just taught you their bad habits….

You see managing household finances is not a compulsory subject in schools, so it's up to us as parents. BUT who teaches the parents??

Have you ever found managing money complicated, challenging, or frustrating? 

Have you ever argued over money?

Have you ever cried over money?

Well therein lies the problem – it's up to us as parents to teach our kids about managing money, and we've already established we didn't learn this in school, so we teach by experience, and that may not always be good.

A child's attitude towards money shaped by their parents' attitude and experience.

Ok, let's go back to my question about whether you ever find money management complicated, challenging or frustrating.  You probably answered yes to at least one of those scenarios. Let's think about this – if our own attitude towards money is often negative, what are we teaching our kids? 

Even if our words are positive, our attitude may betray us.

So if you're educating your kids about money, you need to start with the curriculum right? And like any subject, there's a lot involved and it takes years! Let me help you fast-track it a little with - in no particular order (gratuitous reality TV show reference) - "16 things to teach your kids to ensure terrific long term money habits" PLUS an action plan at the end.


1.            To make decisions.

As parents we can see around corners our children can't, but sometimes it's important to step back and let them make their own decisions. This gives them the chance to consider consequences AND make mistakes at a time in their life when it won't cause long-term financial hardship.

2.            To count change

Sounds simple, but this is not a skill that comes easily to everyone and in most cases it needs to be taught. This will save your kids being ripped off, and I think we'd agree this is fairly important.

3.            That earning money is a lot harder than saving it.

So pay yourself first!

4.            The rule of 70/20/10.

Allocate 70% of what you earn to fund your lifestyle, 20% to savings (short-term and long-term), and 10% to purchase insurance policies to protect your lifestyle.

5.            Accept "no" for an answer.

I once heard someone advise parents to go to the toilet if their child kept nagging, because it was the one place they couldn't follow you. I changed the TV station at that point because that so-called expert clearly did not have kids.

Children will nag you absolutely anywhere, and they can be relentless. So I prefer Lynn Lott's recommendation in her book Positive Discipline.

She suggests a dialogue that goes along the lines of:

Mum: "Have you ever heard of 'Asked and Answered'?"

Little Johnny: "No."

Mum: "Did you ask me a question about digging?"

Little Johnny: "Yes"

Mum: "Did I answer it?"

Little Johnny: "Yes, but…."

Mum: "So do you think I will change my mind if you ask me the same thing over and over?"

Little Johnny: "No but…"

Mum: "Asked and Answered

Consistency is key! Once you decide to use "Asked and Answered" with your nagging child, Lott says you need to be sure to stick to it.

6.            How to make choices. 

Of course, you don't always want to say no, or it may not be appropriate. So what about teaching your kids about the need to choose?

For example if you're shopping together for a new pair of jeans, and your child chooses a pair of $100 jeans, take the opportunity to explain they have a choice. They can either have one pair of $100 jeans, or if they're happy to try a different brand or another store, they can have two pairs of jeans for the same amount.

7.            That sometimes you need to come to the party.

If your child requests something expensive and you're not prepared to spend that amount on the item, you could compromise by asking them to come to the party.

For example if your child wants a pair of runners that cost $200, explain that your budget doesn't allow for that. And then tell them what your budget does allow for. So, for example it might be $100 in which case they can either accept a pair of runners for $100, alternatively you will put $100 towards the shoes they really want and they can make up the difference.

Not only is this a good way to teach them the value of money but when they outgrow them in six months it may also help to think a little bit differently …

8.            Don't expect instant gratification

Our kids need to learn that planning is essential when it comes to money. One of the key problems with our modern society is the quest for instant gratification. And unfortunately instant gratification is pretty easy to get with mediums such as credit cards, store credit etc. Start teaching them this as early as possible by making them plan and save for their purchases and expenses.

9.            That you need to be in control of your expenses rather than the other way around.

It's sooooooooooo easy to let things get out of control when it comes to money. The number 1 reason people get into financial difficulty is spending impulsively. Encourage your children to carefully evaluate every expense.

10.          Don't confuse needs with wants.

11.          A credit card is possibly the most expensive loan you will ever take out.


12.          Don't loan money to friends or family.

Any loans to family or friends should be formal; with set repayments, an end date, and interest.

13.          Learn about money.

In this day and age we have great access to information. And when it comes to money, information is definitely power. Money as an abstract concept can be scary, confusing, and complicated, so make sure your kids take the time to learn about money and how it works. This will help them make sensible and well informed decisions which is really all any of us can do!

14.          They should get advice from experts.

…and that may not always be you. Be honest about that, after all our job isn't to always be right, it's to steer them in the right direction and help them make the important decisions in their life.

15.          See a Financial Adviser early.

If you have older children encourage them to find a Financial Adviser they can trust and who can help get them on track financially from the start. A good financial planner doesn't just advise on investment products, but can also help young people recognise priorities, set goals, understand financial concepts, and budget. This is also helpful when they do have money to invest in the future, they will already have a relationship with someone who "gets" them.

16.          Investing versus saving.

Again, this is one for older children. Saving is great, but at some stage they need to use some of those savings to invest for their future. It's important for your kids to learn about income and growth, so that their money doesn't end up going backwards with inflation…

One way to do this is to lead by example. My partner Mick and I set up small share investments in our children's names and then each time a statement comes in, we sit down and explain what's happened to the balance depending on sharemarket movements.

The Pantene™ Principle

It's really important to understand that your children won't necessarily get it straight away they won't become perfect money managers just because you're teaching them well.

Education is about repetition and also about learning from mistakes. What you're doing is teaching them good habits early. And over time this will become natural for them.

It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

Your Action Plan

Look at the list of 16 money habits and see which ones might be appropriate to start teaching your children depending on their age. Then make a plan for the best way to help them learn, and what resources you might be able to use.

If you have older children, and you would like to introduce them to a financial planner to get them started on the right track, I can highly recommend our Senior Adviser, Michael Crowe, as this is one of his specialty areas. Michael Crowe offers a free "financial fitness" meeting to anyone in their 20s or 30s. All you need to do is call us on 9725 2533 to make a time, or email Michael directly at m.crowe@hendrie.com.au

Of course if you'd like to hear more of what I have to say on the matter, click here for a recording of my most recent "You & Your Money" radio segment on 98.1FM Radio Eastern.

Talk soon,








As a business owner, you're an expert, a specialist in your field.  But you have become so experienced that you're almost complacent when it comes to the sales process?

Are you too competent?

You've probably heard of the 4 stages of competence:

  1. Unconscious incompetence
  2. Conscious incompetence
  3. Conscious competence
  4. Unconscious competence

Well it's this 4th one that can actually become your undoing at times.  It's where you've had so much experience and practice in your skill, that it's become "second nature" and you can just about do it "in your sleep".

It sounds like a great place to be, and for the most part it is, except when it comes to attracting your target market.  And let's face it, that's fairly important!!

What can happen is that you become so unconscious of doing what you do, that you forget to articulate the value of what you do to your prospects.

Think about it for a moment, how can potential clients or customers make that crucial decision to choose your business rather than your competitors, if you haven't given them a specific reason to do so?

Choosing you over your competitors

These days uniqueness is so important.  No matter how good you are at what you do, or how experienced, if you don't stand out from the crowd you'll simply be overlooked.  In fact, just about the most powerful thing that you can do in your business is to develop a truly unique model  for doing what you do.

And then once you have your model, you need to turn it into a process that you can perform over and over to achieve massive, scalable, results in your business.

Now before you make a start on developing that process, it's really important to remember the language of sales.  Remember the WIIFM?  WIIFM being "what's in it for me".  Our prospective clients or customers don't care about us or our businesses, they only care about what we can do for them.

Those 3 key questions your prospects want answered

When it comes to the sales process, there are three key questions your prospects want answered:

  1. Do you understand my problem?
  2. Can you solve my problem?
  3. And how are you going to solve it?  They're not looking for specific answers here, but wanting to understand the process you're going to use to get them from where they are now to where they want to be.

Prospect, problem, solution, process

So first and foremost, you need to know who your prospects - your target market - are.  Because remember if you're talking to everyone you're talking to no one.

And once you've identified your target market, you can then determine what their big problem is.

What's your job then?  Pretty easy yeah?  Your job is to offer a solution to their big problem...But of course you can't do that unless you know who they are and what their problem is - see how this stuff all fits together?  And what's the solution?  Well that's pretty easy too!  It's what you're already doing in your business!!  And most likely you're doing it unconsciously competently.  So what you need to do to really make your sales process rock, is bring it back into the conscious competence so that you can build a process that enables your prospects to easily identify the value you offer them.

Bringing it all together

And then you can go out to your target market and say - hey I know you have this problem, and not only do I understand it, but I can solve it for you as well.  And this is how I'm going to do that for you...

When you think about it, that's a really simple strategy.  And as a sales model, well it's pretty close to unbeatable!

Oh, one last thing - you need to be really sure you understand the real value that your prospects are looking for when they work with your type of business...Is it peace of mind?  Comfort? Success?  Saving money?  Status?  Convenience?  Because at the end of the day, that's what they're really buying.

Your Action Plan

So in summary, developing a signature process gives you a compelling story as to the value that you can offer your target market.

From a sales perspective it's really powerful because it answers those all important three questions your target market wants answered:

  1. Do you understand my problem?;
  2. Can you solve my problem?;
  3. And "how are you going to solve it?  What's the process you're going to use to get me from where I am now to where I want to be?

And again, that process is simply the stuff you do every day but you don't necessarily articulate it as value.

So your action plan is to bring that value out of your unconscious competence into conscious competence.  Determine your ideal prospect, get clear on their problems and your solution, then develop a process to make it work that you can articulate and promote to your potential clients or customers.

?And if you'd like some help, then let me know or call us on 9725 2533 and we can chat about building a process for your business in just two hours!!

Finally, if you'd like to hear more of what I have to say on the matter, click here for a recording of my most recent "You & Your Business" radio segment on 98.1FM Radio Eastern.

Talk soon,



Each year one of my favourite Australian economists (yep, I am that nerdy) Dr Shane Oliver puts out a great report reviewing the economy and sharemarket over the previous year, and gives his outlook for the coming year.

Here is a sneak preview of his "insights":

  • 2014 has been a reasonable but somewhat messy year for investors as the global economy remained in a cyclical "sweet spot" despite various threats, but Australian shares underperformed.
  • 2015 is likely to see okay but uneven global growth, low inflation and easy monetary conditions.  While the US is likely to start gradually raising rates, other countries including Australia are likely to ease monetary policy.
  • Against this backdrop the bull market in shares and most growth assets is likely to continue.  However, with shares dependent on rising earnings, volatility is likely to be a bit higher and returns okay but constrained.
  • The main things to keep an eye on are: when/if the Fed starts to raise rates, Europe, the Chinese property slump, and growth outside of mining in Australia.

Click here for a FULL copy of his most recent report, which is as always, full of great information and a fairly entertaining read given his profession tee hee.

And if you'd like to hear more of what I have to say on the matter, click here for a recording of my most recent "You & Your Money" radio segment on 98.1FM Radio Eastern.






As business owners, we're all about looking forward.

At the end of the day, that's how you get ahead – when everyone else is looking back you need to look forward. So what better time than NOW to make a wealth plan to complement your business plan. 

And why is this important? Well frankly because what are we doing this all for – taking the risks, working the long hours, missing time with our family... if it's not to build a successful personal financial future for ourselves and our family?

This fact sheet focuses on ideas for what you should be considering for your personal financial wealth plan.

Forget New Year Resolutions

Resolutions inherently feel like they're going to be broken – what we need is a plan. So why wait until January 1's hangover to get the ball rolling? No matter what your situation is we have some advice to get you started.


The Plan – If you're under 40

Time is on your side, but the BIGGEST problem with youth is the inability to identify with your 'future self'. This means you spend up BIG now and leave the bare minimum for later. Do not fall into this trap.

Compound interest is a young person's best friend. You can turn modest savings into mega wealth just by being consistent.

Maybe consider salary sacrificing some extra money into your super, even $20-$50 a week can make a HUGE difference down the track, and check your investments to ensure you're happy with the risk levels of your investments.

Make sure your insurance is all in order. Do you have the correct levels of cover? Are you insured twice for the same thing? Figuring this out can be done in conjunction with a superannuation audit. Tidy up your super – many young people have several super accounts and are paying fees and sometimes insurance out of all of them. Don't forget that this is your hard-earned money you're burning.


The Plan – 40-60 years

The BUILD years. Let's start to look at your debt levels. Set yourself a goal to be out of bad debt as soon as possible to secure your future.

It is critical to have your insurance in order and your super fund building nicely. Consider additional contributions, but make sure you don't exceed the maximum allowed annually.

Consider how to maximize your earning potential inside and outside of work, this may involve doing some additional training to up-skill or looking to maximise your investments.

Keep an eye on your super. Your risk/growth profile will need to be constantly monitored – is it time to look at an SMSF? How much money will you need to retire? Are you on track?


The Plan – Getting ready to retire and beyond

Let's take a good look at your situation, how long will your money last? How is your super performing? Remember, your super keeps working long after you stop. Make sure your happy with the returns you're getting and are likely to get in the years to come. Where is your estate planning up to? Are your assets protected?

Most importantly – make sure you have money to ENJOY your life, you've worked hard for it – you deserve it.


The Plan – Everybody

While everyone else is reflecting – take some time out to analyse your financial situation by following these steps:

1.       Figure out your net worth, Include all of your assets including cash and super then subtract your liabilities. Write
          down your NET worth.

2.       Write down your goal net worth – how much will you be worth this time next year? What percentage growth is that?

3.       Analyse your super, do you know where all your super is? Do you need to roll them into one account? Are you
          happy with the risk/growth profile?

4.       Figure out how much money you want to retire with – are you on track?

5.       Book a meeting with one of our expert advisers to see how you're tracking against our 8 steps to family
          financial freedom.

If you'd like to have an informal chat about how we might be able to help you make a wealth plan, please don't hesitate to call us on 9725 2533 or email support@hendrie.com.au


Caren Hendrie

Financial & Small Business Adviser

Authorised Representative 232694

Madison Financial Group Pty Ltd AFSL no. 246679

The Hendrie Group

1st Floor
23 Lacey Street
Croydon, VIC 3136

T: (03) 9725-2533 E: support@hendrie.com.au


Madison Financial Planning Practice of the Year; WINNER Grosvenor Securities Adviser of the Year;
WINNER Count Financial Planning Practice of the Year;
7th Place IFA National Best Practice (of more than 300 firms).







I have 11 people living in my house at the moment ranging from aged 2 to… well… aged "me". So when I'm planning my dinners I need to consider three things:

  1. They need to be nutritious;
  2. They need to fill up lots of hungry tummys;
  3. They have to be inexpensive!!!

They say necessity is the mother of invention, so here are some cheeky tips I've learned while I've been trying to achieve all three of my family food goals.


Post-roast pie

Have you ever wondered what to do with roast leftovers? A few years back I made a family roast and found myself with a little meat and a heap of vegetables left over. I can't bear wasting food and thought – what can I do with this??? So I chopped everything up and mixed it all in one large dish (meat, veggies, gravy, cauliflower and white sauce etc) and then the following night I used it as a pie filling.

Well it was such a hit that my family now expects it, and is disappointed when there aren't enough leftovers for me to make one. Just serve with a salad, or even on it's own because it's packed with veggies already.




Spaghetti Bolognese

When my "guests" all moved in, I remember standing in front of the supermarket meat section for ages trying to decide what mince to buy to make spaghetti bolognese. On the one hand, I

naturally wanted to use the lean meat, but on the other hand the regular mince was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more affordable given the quantities I needed. 

I quickly learned how to "bulk" up my bolognese sauce without anyone (especially the kids) even knowing. I now use half the amount of lean mince, and then throw every vegetable at my disposal in the food processor – zucchini, mushroom, carrot, capsicum, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach leaves… And here's the real trick – red kidney beans! Once they've been mashed or put through the processor, they have the consistency of mince!! I just add it all to the traditional sauce and it's delicious. 

The kids wolf it down and ask for more, totally oblivious to the fact they've had 7 serves of vegetables and a serve of legumes. Not to mention I've saved a tonne on meat. 


The power of macaroni

For a long time I found it hard to convince my family that soup was a meal. For me, it's a great dinner because it's quick, inexpensive, and again, I can get loads of sneaky veggies into it. 

So what I started doing was throwing a handful of macaroni into all my soups (ok, maybe not all of them – but most) and hey presto, it's now considered a satisfying meal in the Moschendrie household.


Take it slow

For $65 I bought a massive slow cooker a while back (check Kmart, Target, Coles, Woolworths, online…) and it's been fabulous. Not only is it the perfect working mum's kitchen aide, but when it comes to saving money, it can be amazing. 

But you don't need a separate appliance, you can slow cook in the oven, or even on the stove top as you'll see below.

With slow cooking you can use all the cheaper cuts of meat because they won't dry out. Remember "chuck steak", this is ideal in the slow cooker and you have the family reacting as if they're eating expensive meat. 

My favourite is a Beef & Chorizo Ragout that I based on a recipe I found in a Good Taste magazine from 2011:

  • 2kg chuck steak (excess fat removed) and cut into 4cm pieces
  • 60ml (¼ cup olive oil)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 300g mushrooms chopped
  • 1 chorizo sausage sliced diagonally (would still be yummy without the chorizo or with a little bacon instead):
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed (from the jar is fine)
  • 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 800g tin of diced tomatoes
  • 375ml (1½ cups) beef stock
  • 125ml (½ cup) red wine
  • 90g (1/3 cup) tomato paste
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme (would work with dried thyme leaves)
  • 6 spring onions trimmed and sliced


Step 1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy based saucepan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches and place in a bowl.

Step 2. Heat the remaining oil and cook chorizo for 2-3 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for one minute or until aromatic. Stir in the beef, tomato, stock, wine, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme.

Step 3. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook (stirring occasionally) for 2 hours. 

Step 4. Add spring onion, uncover and cook (stirring occasionally) for 30-45 minutes until beef is tender and liquid thickens. Serve with potatoes (the way you like them) and greens, or with a garden salad.






Christmas is too cheap, said no one ever

Oooooooooooooh I cut it fine this year, I didn't finish my Christmas shopping until after November.  Certainly not as good as last year when I was all done a full month earlier...

Why am I so super-organised when it comes to Christmas?  Well one of the reasons is that it's my absolute favourite time of the year, but mostly it's because when it comes to money, I prefer not to be stressed!  And let's face it, Christmas can often be pretty stressful instead of the fun and happy time that it should be.

Remember the story about my brother Dean ringing me in a total panic about 10 years ago because he hadn't bought a present for his then girlfriend (now wife) Jenny?  The reason he was panicking was that it was 7pm on Christmas Eve and he'd mistakenly thought the shops were open until midnight.

YIKES! Nah, that type of stress level is not for me!

Just click here for my easy and practical tips for Christmas spending.  It may be a little too late this year for some of the tips, so feel free to make us of them in 2015!

Talk soon,






Hey business-owner, are you a stinky fish?

You've heard the proverb right?  A fish rots from the head down...It's a pretty stinky way of saying that the leader is responsible for the behaviour of the people he or she leads.  Whilst I'm not sure it's scientifically accurate, I do know that in business it's pretty true when it comes to leading our team.

Click here for your copy of The Small Business Owner's Guide to Leading a Kick%$$ Team, which is choc-a-block full of tips, ideas, not to mention powerful "dos and don'ts" when it comes to leading your team.

And if you're short on time, click here for 24 "quick tips" for developing a Kick%$$ Team!

Finally, if you'd like to hear more of what I have to say on the matter, click here for a recording of my most recent "You & Your Business" radio segment on 98.1FM Radio Eastern.

Talk soon,





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