If you're single
- Start an emergency fund for a rainy day
- Have a spending plan and stick to it
- Start a separate investment plan to begin building your wealth and assets
- Have appropriate insurances in place
- Look at your superannuation to ensure you're not paying excessive fees.
- Check that your insurance cover is adequate, including your health policy.
If you're married
- The Australian Securities and Investment Commission says there are key issues to discuss about financial health in a relationship including your current financial situation – what are your income and expenses, assets and debts and your credit rating? Will one person be the financial controller, or will you share that responsibility?
- Put both names on utilities so you share responsibility equally and have both names on loans for major assets, like your home.
- If you and your partner both have private health insurance, a couples plan or family plan is often cheaper and insurers also offer discounts if you cover all your insurance needs within one organisation.
- Have all details of accounts, loans, investments and insurances in one place so each of you can access that information when needed, says ASIC.
If you're separated or divorced
- List your assets and debts and close joint accounts and credit cards.
- Change your PIN and online banking password if your ex-partner knows them.
- Collect documents, including your birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate, bank and superannuation statements, insurance policies, tax returns and car registration papers.
- Once you receive a settlement, lock it down – don't spend it. A new holiday may be tempting, but the money will disappear quickly.
- Invest the settlement well so you retain what you are left with and make money with that investment.
- Plan for the future.
- Put protection mechanisms in place in the next relationship, so you don't lose what you have.