How rich are you — and how rich are you compared to everyone else? These online tools and resources will help you find out.
Jewellery picture from Shutterstock
All wealth is relative. Compared to Gina Rinehart, I look like a pauper. Compared to most people in Papua New Guinea, where 40 per cent of people live in poverty, I’m doing OK. These online tools and resources will help you assess your own wealth levels, and compare yourself to others. You may not want to be Gina Rinehart, but knowing how others are doing can help you set your own goals
Note: we’re looking here at tools that let you put your own wealth in perspective, rather than individual budget tools. In that context, online banking and your preferred spreadsheet remain the obvious place to start.
Firstly, you need a ballpark figure for what your net wealth is. This MoneySmart calculator from the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) will get the job done. You’ll still need to look up some numbers, but it’s a handy checklist for elements you may have forgotten. (Superannuation counts towards your net wealth, for instance, even if there are restrictions on when you can access it.)
As a basic reference point/jealousy generation tool for how much it’s possible to make, BRW’s annual rich list, updated each year around June, remains the definitive accounting of wealthy Australians. The aforementioned Ms Rinehart tops the list with $14 billion estimated wealth (down from $20 billion last year, but hey, what’s a few billion?). #200 on the list is Patrick Grove, with $286 million; still an obscene amount of money, but slightly closer to achievable. Picture: Getty Images/Scott Barbour
To further reinforce the huge gap between the ridiculously wealthy few and the rest of us, this online calculator works out how quickly Gine Rinehart earns your annual salary. If you earn $2000 a week — a relatively generous amount — Gina will outstrip you in under 17 minutes. So don’t make that level of wealth your goal. Be more realistic (and appreciate the fact that no-one has made a controversial TV series about you).
For a closer-to-reality assessment of how much other people earn, check out the Average Weekly Earnings figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The most recent figures are from May 2014; the next, covering November 2014 data, are due out at the end of February 2015. In the most recent set, the average weekly earnings Australia-wide sat at just over $1500; there are loads of spreadsheets on offer if you want to dig deeper into state, gender and other factors and work out what you could be earning and how far ahead of (or behind) the curve you currently are.
Reminder: For specific tax advice relating to your individual situation, consult a registered professional.