Getting deployed can be a busy time, so it pays to consider, in advance, how you will manage your finances while you’re away.
No one wants to return home to unpaid bills, disconnected services, or late loan repayments. Apart from the obvious, these can negatively impact your credit score, and put undue stress on your family.
To pay regular bills like mobile, monthly insurance premiums, or bills of the same amount, set up a direct debit or credit to pay each account on or before the due date. This will ensure you don’t miss a payment.
It’s a good idea to establish a separate account for bills. Simply maintain a minimum balance in your bills account then keeping an eye on your balance. This way you can do a ‘top up’ if when a large payment is due.
Quarterly or annual bills.
Don’t forget about non-monthly bills like utility bills, car registration, council rates, and annual insurance. Tally them up, then make a regular contribution every pay day to your separate account for bills. That means you and your funds will be ready when they’re due.
Hit pause on services you don’t need and save money.
Think about temporarily suspending services that you can’t really use while you’re away. Things like streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Foxtel, etc), or gym memberships. No use forking out money for things you won’t be using. Small as they might be, they all add up.
To ensure you continue to meet your repayments while you are away, make sure any loan repayments have been automated. If your car, personal or home loan is with Defence Bank, you set this up by calling 1800 033 139.
If you pay for things on a credit card, don’t forget to make a payment on your credit card each month. If you pay the balance in full each month, on the due date, you will avoid interest and late payment fees.
TIPS: If you use your credit card or debit card overseas:
- Notify your card issuer where you are travelling before you leave home. For your Defence Bank cards, you can register your travel plans in the Defence Bank app, or via Online Banking under Overseas Travel. This will help us monitor your card, so you can avoid it being unnecessarily blocked while you’re away.
- Be aware, you will usually be charged for currency conversion fee of between 2-3% when you pay for something in a foreign currency.
- Be sure to review your eStatement each month to check for any payments you don’t recognise or are potentially fraudulent.
If your home is unoccupied for a continuous period of 60 days or more, you must always tell your home and contents insurer who may charge an additional premium, change the cover of your policy, or impose special conditions.
Things you can do to protect your property while it is unoccupied:
- Have a family member or trusted friend regularly visit the property to conduct an internal and external inspection.
- Ensure the property and grounds/gardens are well maintained.
- Ensure your letterbox is regularly cleared and that mail does not build up.
Making the most of your deployment income.
When you deploy, you will likely receive additional significant deployment allowances. These could be used to improve your financial circumstances. Depending on your situation you could pay down loans or set up a savings nest egg.
- If you have a have a home loan with an offset account or redraw, think about putting the funds there, helping to reduce the interest you’ll pay on your loan.
- As an ADF member going on deployment, you could be eligible for our Salute account - a savings account offering a bonus high-interest rate for 12 months. It’s simply our way of saying ‘thank you’ for your service.
Make arrangements for your tax return to be lodged by 31 October, or get an extension through a registered tax agent/accountant.
There are many other things to consider like establishing a Will and setting up a Power of Attorney when deploying. For more useful information, visit the ADF Consumer Centre.
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Important note: This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be relied on by you as advice in any particular matter. You should contact us at Defence Bank to discuss how this information may apply to your circumstances.