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You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Country


Growing up in Swan Hill must have made somewhat of an impression on me as now I have made the trek back. My name is Georgia McEwan and I'm the most recent addition to the team at GMG Financial Group. I have spent the past five years in the amazing city of Melbourne studying, working and meeting lots of fabulous people. I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at La Trobe University in 2010. After working in Management Accounting for a year at a company in Melbourne, I decided I wanted to get a stronger foundation in tax. In addition to this, my CPA studies are next on the list and I'm keen to get into the first subject in a few weeks time. 

As soon as I walked through the GMG door I felt a welcoming, friendly vibe and was excited about my new prospects and opportunities here. Put straight into the 'A team' (of course) alongside Rick, Shaun, Andrew and Beth I have found my first month to be great. The Christmas Party was a perfect opportunity to get to know everyone on a more personal level and proved to be quite a night.

One of the biggest perks about coming back to Swan Hill has been moving in with Mum and Dad. With minimal expenses, food on the table and a housecleaner who knocks over the chores - life is a breeze! The sole problem I'm faced with now is deciding what car I'm going to buy myself!

I'm looking forward to being back in the community and furthering my career with GMG Financial Group.  

Merry Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Less than 3 weeks to Christmas and 4 weeks to 2013!

For kids waiting for Santa the time can't go quick enough for everyone else it may go too quick.

Christmas is a great time to catch up with family and friends, stay home and relax or go away for a well deserved holiday.  This year I am staying home after going to Melbourne for Christmas last year and then tackling the Boxing Day sales.

It is also a time of religion, decorating, parties, shopping, gifts, drinking/eating too much and backyard cricket!

As part of GMG's Christmas celebrations we have a staff Kris Kringle each year.  This involves everyone picking an envelope with a persons name inside and (anonymously) purchasing this person a gift to put under our Christmas tree.  On our last working day for the year we have a lunch together and the gifts are given out and opened.  We are then continuing our celebrations at our Christmas party.

I have passed on my wish list and hopefully there will be lots of presents under the tree – especially since I have spoilt a particular someone!!

For anyone that is working over the holiday period, especially the farmers, hopefully you can have at least Christmas day off to relax and enjoy the day.

 GMG will be closing on Friday 21st of December and reopening on Wednesday 2nd January.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year.

Who Are You?

We recently had a management retreat . One of the surveys we did amongst ourselves, prior to it , was to answer whether we thought as an individual ,the glass was half full               (optimist) or half empty (pessimist) . We then had to classify the other attendees . The results were very interesting and illuminating . Some quotes below were used in discussions


If you want a interesting time or a quiet time, do this exercise with your spouse or partner ( good luck )


Optimist --- sees opportunity in every difficulty

Pessimist -- sees difficulty in every opportunity

Winston Churchill


Quotes from the Lewis Carroll " Through the looking Glass "

Who are you ?

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there."

I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. "


Wouldn't It Be Nice!

It is good to break the routine of a working day.  Being one of the OLDER members of the firm, no longer having my life revolve around children, I now have the freedom to do my own thing.

What a wonderful way to start the day, being part of a crowd of people watching the Adelaide steam paddle boat go under the bridge.

Then a walk along the river and through the wetlands, it is very peaceful with the birds singing and the shrubs out in flower.

Try something different at the start or end of the day to enjoy life and break the day to day routine.

Centrelink & Child Payments

Centrelink provides several payments to families to help support their income and reduce or subsidise child care costs. However, the eligibility requirements and what the payments actually provide a family can become very confusing.

As a young mother I encountered this when I decided to return to work. Many people gave me their opinion that child care was so expensive that it wasn't worth returning to work. However, I found this not to be the case, but understood how people may come to this conclusion.

Centrelink provides two main payments when it comes to child care. They are Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

The Child Care Benefit (or CCB) is entirely dependent on your family income, whether you are single or partnered. It is calculated as a percentage based on your annual income and is given to you in the form of a weekly reduction in your child care fees.
As an example, if the weekly cost of child care is $400 and Centrelink assesses you to receive 50% of CCB, your weekly child care costs are reduced by $200, so that you only pay $200 per week.

The Child Care Rebate (or CCR) is 50% of all your out of pocket child care costs up to $7,500 per year per child, and you can receive it weekly, quarterly  or annually.
Carrying on from the previous example, if after CCB you pay $200 in child care costs for the week CCR then reduces this to only $100 per week.

Child care costs do look expensive if you think that you are going to be paying $400 for the week. However, depending on your individual circumstances, Centrelink does provide some worthwhile benefits to reduce these costs and you may be surprised by how little you actually end up paying.

If you are confused by the child care benefits provided by Centrelink, or you are considering returning to the workforce and would like some further information, please contact us, we would be happy to help.

Health & Fitness. It benefits everyone

Are you struggling to get out of bed with these cold mornings?  
Do you sit for most of the time while you're at work?
Is the option of a hot pie more appealing than a cold salad?
 And is it just too much effort to go to the gym or do physical activity after work?
You find most your excuses include, It's to cold.
It's easier to cook bad foods.
I don't want to get sick and get a cold.
I don't have the time. It's too dark.
It's raining.
I can't be bothered.

It's time to wipe those excuses because there is an answer for all of them. Hate it when your kids back chat you? Now it's time to back chat your excuses.

With these cold winter months it is easy to fall off the track as far as your health is concerned. As the saying goes many grow that extra winter coat. Then by the time summer approaches many freak out and go on a strict diet to get that summer body, which many don't end up sticking to.

It doesn't have to be like that. It is much easier and fun to stay healthy and active the whole year through. By making small changes and encouraging yourself and people around you, you will find it's not that hard. It will be rewarding not only to yourself but to your workplace as well because you will be more productive.


Does your work have a weekly morning tea? Encourage people to bring in healthy food or healthier options. Some ideas could be a fruit platter, yogurt dip, carrot, celery and capsicum sticks, zucchini slice, fruit sewers and veggie muffins.

Prepare! Prepare! Prepare! Write a healthy weekly meal plan. Know all the ingredients you need and go shopping in preparation for the week ahead. Know everyday what you're going to have and prepare it that morning or the night before. If it's not in the cupboard, fridge or freezer you can't eat/cook it. And after all you don't have time to go shopping during the week.

Take snacks and your lunch to work with you. If you have food at work with you to eat you won't have the temptations of other foods. Keep a bag of unsalted mixed nuts in your handbag/esky/lunchbox as they are easy to snack on wherever you are.


 Have your workplace encourage you do physical activity. Go for a walk around the block for 10 minutes during morning and afternoon breaks. Eat your lunch outside if possible and go for a walk during your lunch break, this can include window shopping!

Take your sports clothes to work with you and get changed at work if possible. That way you can go straight to the gym or for a walk from work. You don't have to go home and won't be distracted by something at home.

The best time to do physical activity is in the morning before breakfast. It will get your metabolism going and give you a positive attitude for the day. Rug up when walking outside during winter, wear a beanie, scarf, gloves. Maybe invest in some thermal wear or skin's, these will prevent injures and keep you warm.

If you struggle to commit to doing exercise then do it with a friend. Plan to meet up and go for a walk or go to the gym together. This way you have to go otherwise you're letting your friend down. It's also a great chance to catch up on all each other's gossip. Another idea is to go to a gym class. Most classes are for 1 hour and when you're having fun that hour will go really quick. It is always a great way to meet new people and have everyone encouraging you.

When you're healthy you're happy. When you're happy you're productive. Everybody benefits! 

Banking On Your Smartphone

 With the constant developments in today's technological environment, it is estimated that approximately 60 per cent of Australia's population will be using smartphones by the end of the year. If you're yet to jump on the iPhone or Android bandwagon, the benefits of the banking apps that are now available may have you convinced. If you're a fan of internet banking, the banking apps take the concept one step further, enabling customers to check their balances, make transfers and pay bills when they don't have access to their computers. The big four banks all have apps on the market, however CBA and ANZ have taken the notion one step further for those who are willing:

ANZ Mobile Payments - need to transfer money but not sure of the recipients bank account details? No worries. So long as they have an Australian bank account, you can simply type in their mobile number and send them through the money. Or, if you're feeling particularly brave.

Commbank Kaching -  With CBA's new app, they boast that you can 'leave your wallet at home'; there is no longer a need for cash or cards, only your smartphone. Kaching offers the same mobile payment feature as ANZ, but the real highlight is having the ability to pay for purchases under $100 by simply waving your phone over a PayPass terminal at participating stores. This requires the purchase of an iCarte case to fit to your smartphone, but otherwise it really is as simple as it sounds. CBA ensures that this feature is completely safe, but as to whether it will take over the use of cash and cards, is yet to be seen.

While these features are available to all customers, they do not necessarily have to be utilised; simply having the ability to transfer money from your savings to your cheque account while in line at the supermarket may be benefit enough for most. All of the bank apps are free to download, simple to use, and could be of benefit to your business or personal banking for those prepared to take the next step. If you'd like to find out more about smartphones, apps and all they have to offer, please give us a call.


Are you frustrated by the returns that your Superannuation has been getting in recent years?? 

Have you ever wondered who make the decisions on how your retirement fund is invested?? 

Read more…

To build or to buy??

Most people at some point in their lives will be faced with the decision of becoming a homeowner.

For most of us, it comes when we realise we are paying someone else's home loan by renting their house, when we could be paying off our own. 

I decided 18 months ago to take the plunge and become a homeowner, but I was soon faced with a bigger decision to make: To build my home, or to buy an existing home? 

Everyone has their own opinion on this dilemma, it maybe from their own experiences or someone else's that has formed their opinion. There are many things that everyone should consider before making the final decision and here some of the ones that helped me: 

Read more…

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