The Best Financial Advice You’ve Never Heard Of

Ever wonder where the money goes?

90% of Australian’s are stressed about money. What most don’t realize is that the quickest route to having more money is to simply be smarter with the money they have.

The key is financial planning. Sadly, this subject doesn’t get much coverage in schools.

Many of us don’t learn about money until it’s too late. But, don’t worry! Here’s some of the best financial planning advice you’ve been missing out on.

That’s why we’re here to share some thoughts you might never have considered.

Start Now

This could be the single biggest tip you should take to heart, and it’s the easiest.

The best saving plans always start now. The theory is simple: the sooner you save, the more you’ll have at the end of it.

Many of us put off researching savings. There’s always something more important to do. But days soon turn into weeks. By that time, you’ve lost out on hundreds of dollars in savings. Now think what a huge difference that will make on longer timescales.

To add to that, you need to think about compound interest. The sooner your savings start to offer interest returns, the more you’ll benefit from compound interest. Once your savings have been slowly building for a few decades, you’ll be making huge returns – essentially free money.

It sounds simple. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking saving is a problem for tomorrow. So learn how to do it now.

Track Your Spend

How much do you spend a month?

Can’t answer? Not confident in even a ballpark figure? Then it’s time to start tracking your spend.

Tracking your monthly expenditure gives you control. You can see exactly where your money is going. Often, you’ll realize it’s being drained by things you hadn’t even considered. Even a few too many coffees can make a surprising dent in your funds.

You can use anything from an Excel sheet to an app to keep track of your monthly outgoings. Thanks to automated tools, it’s actually easier than ever to make this part of your financial planning. Some tools can even integrate directly with your bank to track money without you having to lift a finger.

Knowing exactly how much your spending shows you how you can cut back. But it also has another psychological advantage. When you’re in the habit of tracking your money, you become more aware when you’re spending it in the first place.

Soon, you’ll find you keep a close watch on the little spends that add up. It’s key to turning money from an abstract concept into a finite resource.

Take Your Pension Seriously

Nothing seems as far away as a pension when you’re young.

But that line of thinking is a trap. Your elderly self is the person who should benefit from the pension, not the one who should have to worry about it. So it should be a cornerstone of your financial planning.

Does your career offer a pension? If so, are you part of the scheme? Many employers even offer pension incentives, such as matched payments. That’s a great way to maximize your money in the long term. And don’t worry if you change employers because you can usually transfer or freeze your old pension – you won’t lose anything!

If you can’t get a pension through your employer, it’s time to look at private pensions. These work in much the same way, so there’s no excuse for not having a pension underway. You don’t even have to worry too much about a pension once it’s set-up.

Pensions represent a ticking time-bomb for modern developed countries. If you don’t want to get caught up in increasing retirement ages and threadbare state pensions, then you need to get serious about it.

Get What You’re Worth

Too many people don’t have an accurate assessment of what they’re worth.

If you’ve spent years studying a subject or gaining experience in your field, then you deserve to be paid for it.

If you don’t feel you’re getting paid your worth, then it’s time to start negotiating. Look up tips on how to negotiate pay rises effectively. Look at the wider industry to get an idea of the going rate for your skills. Particularly if you’ve been in a job for a long time, it’s easy to settle with what you’ve always had.

But wage discrepancies favor those who can make some fuss about it. Don’t rely on your company to take the initiative!

Even if it’s only a hundred dollars extra a year, the difference can be huge over time. What’s more, you can use this higher wage as a benchmark if you go elsewhere. You need to push yourself so you’re always moving up the pay scale. The more you make, the more you can save.

Don’t Let Debt Add Up

You can think of debt as the dark side of compound interest.

The more debt you have, the more it’ll start to add up. The interest on repayments can sneak up on you and bleed you dry if you’re not careful.

That’s not to say you should never borrow. If you need to use a credit card or buy something in finance, that’s fine. But what you need to do is carefully read the small print and seek advice if you don’t understand anything. Never enter into an agreement without a clear idea of what you’re signing up for.

If you do create any debt, be sure to clear it as soon as possible. It’s a sad reality that many people pour money away due to poor debt management. And yet it’s easily avoided with good financial planning.

You should always prioritize clearing debt over investing your money. Why? Investment returns can be relatively small compared to high repayment fees on credit and loans. By handling debt early, you can keep hold of money you would’ve lost – and often more than you’d make by investing.

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Financial Planning is Future Planning

Money can be too abstract sometimes. But the thing to keep in mind is taking care of your money means investing in your future. If you want a future free of money woes, then you need to maximize your money today. So keep our tips in mind and make it happen!

Be sure to follow our blog for more financial tips and tricks!

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice –

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat