Money & Banking

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Inside Duchess Kate’s $3.6 million home before she became a royal

<p>The home Kate shared with her sister Pippa before she became the Duchess of Cambridge has been put up for sale for a cool $3.6 million.</p> <p>The three-bedroom apartment located in Chelsea, London, belongs to the Duchess’ parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, and according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/" target="_blank">The Sunday Times</a></em>, they are expected to make a cool $2.2 million profit from the sale.</p> <p>The home was purchased by the Middleton’s for $1.6 million in 2002, and now with the Duchess residing in Kensington Palace and Pippa living in a $31 million luxury townhouse in London with her husband James Matthews and their baby boy, the home is no longer needed.</p> <p>After the birth of Prince George in 2013, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge moved into Apartment 1A. The beautiful home consists of 20 bedrooms and has a view of Hyde Park.</p> <p>Pippa Middleton isn’t doing too bad either, as her and her multi-millionaire husband James recently completed the renovations on their five-story London mansion, which had already featured a gym, an underground cinema, a lift, a “staff room” and six bedrooms.</p> <p>The renovations cost a total of $2.2 million.</p> <p>The Middleton family's apartment sits on a quaint street in Chelsea with the home consisting of three floors with a number of rooms, along with the three bedrooms.</p> <p>Also shown in photos is a small kitchen and a large dining area decorated with classic furniture and patterned curtains.</p> <p>Kensington Palace did not provide a comment on the home being put up for sale.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see all the photos of Kate’s home before she became the Duchess of Cambridge. </p>

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Prince Harry’s $35 million fortune under threat

<p>It has come to light that Prince Harry’s $35 million trust fund, set up for him by his late mother Princess Diana and the Queen Mother, could be targeted for tax reasons thanks to a US legal loophole.</p> <p>Despite Harry and Meghan marrying in May this year, the new Duchess of Sussex is still technically a US citizen. While it’s believed she has officially applied to become a British citizen, apparently – even though she is a royal now – her application process doesn’t receive any special treatment and could take several years before she is granted UK citizenship.</p> <p>Which means, in the meantime, the former actress is legally required to pay US income tax on any earnings or allowances she receives whilst residing in Britain. But now that she is married to Prince Harry, it could mean his own earnings could be affected too.</p> <p>Royal aides speaking to the <em>Sunday Express</em> in the UK, stated, “We’re looking at a level of financial exposure the royal family has never had to face before.”</p> <p>They added, “It’s the royal household’s worst nightmare … Everything has to be declared.”</p> <p>Along with Meghan’s own $7 million fortune she amassed during her acting career, British media has reported that the US taxman could also have his eye on her designer clothes, jewellery, homes and gifts the new Duchess has received as royal proceeds.</p> <p>The Duke of Sussex lives off his $35 million trust fund inheritance, earning an annual salary of around $525,000 a year. But the US government could potentially count that towards Meghan’s income in the UK too.</p> <p>Do you think Harry and Meghan should have to pay US tax on their royal earnings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.</p> <p> </p>

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Father-of-four opens letterbox to find random act of kindness

<p>A father-of-four from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast was very surprised after opening his mailbox to find a kind anonymous note.</p> <p>Sharing his discovery on discussion website Reddit, he revealed upon opening the note he also noticed $20 was attached.</p> <p>The heartwarming message on the note read, “Hello, this is a random act of kindness."</p> <p>“I think this $20 would be of more benefit to you than it is to me. All I ask is that maybe one day you do an act of kindness for someone else.”</p> <p>The man told <span><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/father-four-opens-letterbox-find-random-act-kindness-023106840.html">Yahoo7</a></span> that he believes the letter was hand-delivered and he spent some time trying “to think if it was someone I know”.</p> <p>Revealing how he spent the money, he shared, “I used it on activity books and pencils for the kids. They had been asking all week for some.”</p> <p>Following his feel-good post, the Queensland father received his fair share of scepticism on the internet, with the picture he posted attracting an abundance of comments as well as various reactions.</p> <p><img style="width: 345px; height: 368px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821984/1-letter-money.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fa595084b67c4c81b96f3f60034fea01" /></p> <p>One user wrote, “Far out, your house must look pretty rough to elicit random donations.”</p> <p>While another asked if he needed the money to which he replied, “Nope but the kids enjoyed it.”</p> <p>A third person commented, “So apparently you look like the kind of guy who needs $20. How do you feel about that?”</p> <p>And the criticisms didn’t stop there. Another user responded, “I can’t be the only one who thinks this is a little weird and creepy? Why not just hand it to a bum on the street?” while another directly stated the note is “clearly fake”.</p> <p>However, the dad-of-four clapped back at the dubious non-believers, writing, “It’s most definitely not a fake. I posted because it’s great people do this. Some people still have time in their lives to think of others.”</p> <p>The Queenslander added that he hoped they will someday “receive something like this that will change their mind”.</p> <p>Some Reddit users were hopeful and optimistic, with one person commenting, “Awesome. Hope you pay it forward one day”, to which the father responded, “I most definitely will.”</p> <p>Do you believe in small acts of kindness like this one? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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5 ways you can save money using credit cards

<p>Credit cards sometimes get a bad rap, and that’s mostly because they can lead you to temptation to spend beyond your means.</p> <p>Used responsibly, however, these little pieces of plastic can actually save you money as banks are constantly running promotions that offer discounts for spending.</p> <p>The key is to pay your bills in full every month, so you don’t incur the astronomical interest rate charged on top of your purchases.</p> <p>Check out these 5 ways that using credit cards can help save you money.</p> <p><strong>1. Dining deals</strong></p> <p>Credit cards that offer dining deals are a foodie’s best friend and the good news is, there are plenty of such cards in Australia.</p> <p>Be sure to subscribe to receive promotional emails and mailers from your banks to find out about current dining deals such as 1-for-1 offers, cashback or complimentary treats at selected eateries.</p> <p><strong>2. Discounts on hotels and flights</strong></p> <p>Keep an eye out for special flight or hotel deals from your credit card of choice.</p> <p>You can also get discounts when you book through hotel booking sites such as Agoda or Expedia.</p> <p>Some cards are specially designed for frequent travellers as you get complimentary use of airport lounges a number of times a year, and free travel insurance if you purchase your ticket using the card.</p> <p>Be aware, though, that some airlines charge a fee when you pay for your tickets online using a credit card, so do some calculations to see if it still works out cheaper.</p> <p><strong>3. Interest-free instalment plans</strong></p> <p>If you need to buy expensive electronic or electrical goods, such as a new TV or laptop, the 0 per cent interest instalment offered by most major credit cards at many major homewares and electrical retailers can come in very handy.</p> <p>It helps spread the payments out over your chosen six or 12 months without the high interest rates you would otherwise incur if you were to pay for it upfront using your credit card.</p> <p>This allows you to better manage your monthly expenses and avoid overspending.</p> <p>Credit card companies make profits on a simple fact of human nature: we buy today and worry about how to pay for it tomorrow.</p> <p><strong>4. Discounts on everyday items</strong></p> <p>Credit cards aren’t just useful for big ticket or luxury goods, they can help you save on everyday items too, such as groceries and petrol.</p> <p>Do your research and work out what the best rewards programs are available in Australia that suits your lifestyle and needs.</p> <p>With the high cost of car ownership, every single dollar counts.</p> <p><strong>5. Collect rebates and cashback</strong></p> <p>If you’re not after dining deals and you don’t like going for holidays, you may want to keep it simple and just collect good old rebates or cashback from your spending.</p> <p>Most cashback cards require you to have a minimum spend per month, such as $500, in order to qualify for rebates.</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/5-ways-you-can-save-money-using-credit-cards?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="https://www.isubscribe.com.au/Readers-Digest-Magazine-Subscription.cfm">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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7 ways to take the financial stress out of your relationship

<p>Let’s face it – money issues can be a real relationship killer. Even relatively minor disagreements over money can get blown out of proportion and drive a wedge between you and your partner. Follow these simple rules to keep things in harmony.</p> <p><strong>1. Talk about it</strong><br /> It sounds obvious, but many couples simply don’t talk openly with each other about money issues, and make assumptions that can simmer below the surface, causing frustration and conflict in other areas of the relationship.</p> <p>This makes it vital to allocate specific time to sit down and frankly discuss your finances with your partner to ensure you are on the same page.</p> <p><strong>2. Set rules around spending</strong><br /> Day-to-day spending decisions can be a major point of contention if you and your partner have different attitudes toward money. While it may not be practical for either of you to radically change ingrained behaviours, you can limit potential conflict by setting some simple rules and expectations around spending.</p> <p>One idea is to perhaps set a dollar limit on spending decisions that you can make independently. Anything over that limit will then require a joint decision. This provides a degree of independence and prevents you looking over each other’s shoulders about every cent that is spent.</p> <p><strong>3. Decide on how things are split</strong><br /> Defining what is “mine”, “yours”, and “ours” in a relationship is vital, especially if you come together later in life when you already have some assets. You may have unquestioned trust of each other when it comes to most relationship issues, but it pays to be deliberate about how you bring your finances together and what level of independence or sharing you should commit to.</p> <p>One example might be to keep certain assets and savings in separate accounts and use a joint account to take care of regular bills and living expenses. The important thing is to give it deliberate consideration and not just leave things in limbo, waiting for a crisis to expose disagreements.</p> <p><strong>4. Be careful with joint accounts</strong><br /> A word of warning about putting both your names on any financial arrangements: while it can often be more convenient to do so, there can be hidden risks. A loan in joint names, for example, means you are both responsible for the debt. If you were to split down the track, even if one of you is benefitting more from whatever was purchased by the loan, the other is still equally liable for the debt.</p> <p>Your credit rating is also worth considering. If you open a joint account or joint loan together, you may end up sharing your spouse’s credit rating, which may not be as good as yours.</p> <p><strong>5. Divide financial roles but share responsibility</strong><br /> We all have different personalities, and some of us are more interested and adept in handling finances than others, so it stands to reason that each partner in a relationship may not share the same “money-sense”. This will often lead to one partner taking more of a lead in dealing with the finances, but this should not mean that the other partner remains totally passive.</p> <p>The answer is to make an effort to at least understand how your financial decisions are being made and know where you stand in terms of net worth, debt and budgeting. Even if one partner takes the lead day-to-day, it is important that you both assume responsibility for your financial life. If something ever happens to one of you, the other party can take over without too much trauma.</p> <p><strong>6. Know each other’s “money personality”</strong><br /> If you and your partner generally have different personalities and temperaments, chances are any disagreements over money will be amplified by those differences. The key is to be aware of each other’s money personality. What attitude to money did your parents teach you growing up? Does spending make you feel guilty or satisfied? How sensitive are you to financial risk-taking? Is saving and insuring against disaster important to you?</p> <p>How you answer these questions will reveal a lot about how money issues may affect your relationship.</p> <p><strong>7. Seek some independent counsel</strong><br /> While most of your financial decisions can be agreed upon between the two of you, it may be beneficial to have an independent, objective voice to guide you on certain major financial decisions. A professional financial planner can help you clarify your thoughts, goals, fears and ambitions about money as individuals and as a couple.</p> <p>This can be vitally important when it comes to big-ticket issues such as superannuation, insurance and investment.</p> <p>What are your tips for successfully negotiating finances together? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/7-ways-to-take-the-financial-stress-out-of-your-relationship.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></p>

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The Barefoot Investor Scott Pape's 3-minute money hack

<p>Barefoot Investor Scott Pape is on a mission to create a generation of kids who know how to handle their money and make smart financial decisions.</p> <p>“There’s a lot of people out there who are highly-educated but they are still stupid with money,” says Pape, who has thousands of people following his advice after becoming a financial phenomenon.</p> <p>And according to Pape, learning how to deal with cash starts at a young age and in the home – with basic rules a lot of fun.</p> <p>In his new book, <em>The Barefoot Investor for Families: The Only kids’ Money Guide You’ll Ever Need</em>, the farmer and stockbroker writes about a simple approach that every Australian family should follow.</p> <p>His game plan includes three things: Three jam jars, three jobs and three minutes.</p> <p>He says that’s all it takes for kids to become successful money managers.</p> <p>The jars are responsible for separating money into three categories: Splurge, smile and give.</p> <p>“Three jam jars, three jobs that can be done on a Sunday afternoon and three minutes for the parents to check it all off,” Pape said.</p> <p>How money jars really work</p> <p>Mother-of-three Teira Jansen says she taught her children from a young age that “money doesn’t grow on trees".</p> <p>Mrs Jansen’s children each have a spend, save and give jar, and they must do small tasks to earn money.</p> <p>“We are fortunate in our situation that we have a reasonable amount of money and I don’t want my children to take advantage of that,” Mrs Jansen, of Forestville in NSW, said.</p> <p>“If they want to earn money, they need to do jobs and work for it.”</p> <p>Jobs include emptying out the dishwasher and taking out the rubbish.</p> <p>Each time Chloe, 3, Alana, 6, or Lachlan, 8, completes a job they earn one marble – this is converted into 10 cents at the end of the week.</p> <p>“We also give them interest on their save jar, so they get rewarded for that,” said Mrs Jansen.</p> <p>“It’s simple, and it does take a bit of discipline but it’s important to talk about money.”</p> <p>And Mrs Jansen isn’t the only parent finding the hack successful as mother-of-two Niamh Gantley says the activity has helped her sons learn about money.</p> <p>Drew, 7, and Sean, 4, have three jam jars each – a spend, save and give jar – and each time the boys complete a task they are then rewarded with coins to add to their relevant jars.</p> <p>“They do jobs like emptying the dishwasher, feeding the dogs and simple things,” she said.</p> <p>“They might only get 15 cents – five cents for each job – and they drop it into each of the jars.”</p> <p>Mrs Gantley believes it’s important to teach children to be financially smart from a young age.</p> <p>“They have a comprehension that they have to do something to earn money,” she said.</p> <p>“They know they have to work even at age four to earn money.”</p> <p>Mrs Gantley and her husband Andrew Inglis have both picked up tips and tricks after reading the Barefoot Investor's book, saying it has helped them become better money managers.</p> <p>Will you be trying out the 3-minute money hack with your grandchildren? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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How to teach your adult children to be money smart

<p>Now more than ever it is vital that our children gain solid skills when it comes to managing money. As we watch them move into adult life, we see the increasing financial challenges that they face with the cost of housing, the growing pressures of a consumer society and the ease of obtaining credit.</p> <p>Much of this is a far cry from what we faced in our younger days – when things seemed a lot simpler. This makes it more vital than ever to pass on some of the wisdom we have gained over the years through our own financial successes and failures. Here are some tips that may help.</p> <p><strong>A word of warning</strong><br />The first rule when discussing money with adult children is to recognise that it can be a highly charged subject. For a variety of reasons money can be an emotive and tense subject, so it pays to be sensitive and measured in how discussions are raised.</p> <p>It doesn’t matter how much we think we know and understand about financial management, if our approach to our children comes across as interfering, patronising or demeaning, then the message will meet resistance. Make it a priority to gain their agreement about even starting the discussion before pouring out your wisdom. Respecting their independence and intelligence will gain a lot more cooperation.</p> <p><strong>Controlling the bank of mum and dad</strong><br />If we have adequate financial resources of our own we may feel obligated to help out with some cash from time to time. While this may be reasonable in some circumstances, it should never be done at the expense of letting our children take financial responsibility for themselves. Rather than giving open-ended cash handouts, be specific in asking how the money will be used. To use an extreme example, handing over $10k for them to blow on a holiday is very different from them using the money toward a home deposit, so guide them to use financial gifts responsibly.</p> <p><strong>Pay yourself first</strong><br />One of the most fundamental principles you can pass on is the concept of “paying yourself first”. In other words; save BEFORE you spend and set aside a percentage of every dollar of income toward the goal of financial independence.</p> <p>More specifically, some of these savings dollars need to be set aside purely for the purpose of investment and financial growth. It is all too easy to lump all savings together, but saving for an expensive handbag is very different than saving for investment, so try to guide your offspring into being specific and goal driven about the purpose and allocation of their savings.</p> <p><strong>Pay down high interest debt</strong><br />The lure of easy credit and the convenience of “plastic money” can easily get our kids into debt very quickly, which can stifle any long-term financial development. The key lesson to pass on regarding debt is to focus attention on high interest debt, (such as credit card debt), first, even if it is to the exclusion of savings goals for a short period.</p> <p>For example, a $10,000 credit card debt at 18 per cent interest will cost $1800 in interest in a year, if no repayments are made. If they were investing $10,000 they would be doing extremely well if they were able to get an $1800 annual return, so treat high interest debt as if it was a high interest investment and go all out to pay it down quickly to get back into balance.</p> <p><strong>Protect against disaster</strong><br />Sometimes the most productive dollar your kids will ever invest will be the dollar paid on insurance premiums. They have probably already learned at an early age that you simply don’t drive a car around uninsured. A vehicle worth thousands of dollars can be suddenly worthless in an instant if it is not insured.</p> <p>While most parents do well in teaching the kids the value of insuring possessions such as cars, many will often overlook the far more critical importance of income protection and life insurance. A car might be valued in the tens of thousands, but their income over their lifetime will be valued in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, so leaving it unprotected is simply financial folly.</p> <p>Make sure they are in contact with a reputable financial planner who can help them create a comprehensive contingency plan for their insurance protection as a foundation for all their other financial planning.</p> <p><strong>Budgets are boring, but...</strong><br />In a highly disposable consumer society and in an age of high career mobility and income expectations, the simple common sense of a household budget may seem a bit dull and archaic. Too often our kids will think the solution to a cashflow problem is simply to get a better job with a higher income. This mindset is the root of the problem. If they are earning more, chances are they will just spend more if they don’t have sound budgeting skills.</p> <p>Encourage your kids to get their income and expenses budgeted. It doesn’t matter if it is with pen and paper or a smart phone app, the important thing is to have a concrete system that allows them to track spending and allocate income purposefully, so that they can build some financial momentum and keep lifestyle spending in perspective.</p> <p>A good place to start can be the ASIC personal financial planning site, known as MoneySmart. To take a look at the MoneySmart budgeting tool <span><a href="https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/calculators-and-apps/budget-planner">click here</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>Time in the market, not timing the market</strong><br />Once your kids are in a position to build an investment portfolio, the most valuable lesson you can pass on is that investing in growth markets, such as shares and property, is all about being in it for the long haul and not just a quick killing. “Timing the market” by trying to pick short-term winners is more akin to gambling than it is to investing. “Time in the market” is a much more important principle, which will enable them to ride out fluctuations and build real wealth.</p> <p>A financial planner can offer expert advice when it comes to all these financial habits and practices, so encourage your kids to find one they can relate to and build a long-term relationship with.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Wyza.com.au. </span></strong></a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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21 tricks to drastically slash your grocery bill

<p>A thrifty food blogger has shared her easy tips and tricks to drastically slash your grocery bills.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/amysheppardfood/">Amy Sheppard</a></span></strong>, author of <em>The Savvy Shopper's Cookbook</em>, of Cornwall, UK, shared with <strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-6113623/Blogger-Amy-Sheppard-reveals-slash-food-grocery-bills-21-easy-steps.html">Daily Mail</a></span></em></strong> her 21 top tips for reducing your food bills.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Meal planning</strong> – The best way to save money on your grocery bill is to plan out a week’s worth of meals before putting together your shopping list.</li> <li><strong>Shop weekly</strong> – It’s difficult to plan further ahead than a week as specials change and fruit and veg go off. Stick to a seven-day roster to avoid doing “top up” shops during the week, which will cost you more over time.</li> <li><strong>Buy frozen</strong> – Frozen veg, chicken and fish are just as good for you as fresh – and it’s cheaper, too.</li> <li><strong>Make your own lunch</strong> – Leftovers make great lunches so it's worth cooking up extra at dinner time.</li> <li><strong>Grow your own food</strong> – If you can try to grow your own fruit and veg. Even if it’s a little herb garden, it will save you money on expensive packets of fresh herbs.</li> <li><strong>Reduce food waste</strong> – Make a note of what foods you’re throwing away and stop buying it!</li> <li><strong>Eat vegetarian</strong> – Vegetarian meals are cheaper, healthier and usually quicker to cook than meat.</li> <li><strong>Look at your bank account</strong> – Do you have a realistic picture of just how much you’re spending on food? Make sure you know exactly how much you're spending on food. </li> <li><strong>Cook extra portions of food</strong> – Make extra portions of foods like mashed potato, rice, pasta, and chicken to use for lunches or other dinners later in the week.</li> <li><strong>Pay attention to prices</strong> – Remember, supermarkets change their prices daily so keep an eye for changes in prices, even your staple foods.</li> <li><strong>Check out markets</strong> – Visit your local fruit and veg market for cheaper groceries.</li> <li><strong>Go tinned</strong> – Tinned foods last for months and costs a fraction of the price of their fresh counterparts.</li> <li><strong>Avoid offers</strong> – Unless you usually buy the products, don’t get sucked into buying “specials”, which are often expensive branded products.</li> <li><strong>Set a maximum budget</strong> – And stick to it.</li> <li><strong>Switch brands</strong> – Try switching a few products every week to see if it makes a dent on your budget.</li> <li><strong>Stick to your shopping list</strong> – Only buy things on your shopping list (which is based on your meal plan).</li> <li><strong>Change your supermarket</strong> – Compare the cost of your trolley with an online store to see if you could be saving money if you shopped elsewhere.</li> <li><strong>Compare price per kilo</strong> – Look for the price per kilo to compare products so you know what represents the best value for money.</li> <li><strong>Buy loose veg</strong> – Loose fruit and vegetables is often cheaper than wrapped products. You can also buy the actual quantity you need and use less plastic. </li> <li><strong>Freeze your food</strong> – Cooking in batches is a great way to save time and money. Freeze fresh meat like chicken breast and mince and defrost when you need them.</li> <li><strong>Buy cheaper cuts of meat</strong> – A slow cooker is a great investment to make tougher cuts of meat, usually the cheaper ones, into delicious dishes.</li> </ol> <p>Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

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Princess Eugenie won’t get a prenup for the same reason Prince Harry and Meghan didn’t

<p>Nothing is more of a romance killer than meeting the love of your life – who happens to be very wealthy and then being forced to sign a prenup. So, while Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan may have the fairy tale romance sorted, the question remains as to whether the Duchess was forced to sign on the dotted line before walking down the aisle.</p> <p>With an estimated fortune of $135 billion in the bank, it comes as no surprise that the Royals are one of the richest families in Britain, with Prince Harry having a personal fortune of $58 million.</p> <p>But while these are enormous figures, it is alleged that the Prince and his grandmother, the Queen did not insist on the Duchess of Sussex to sign a prenup.</p> <p>The same is expected to apply to Princess Eugenie’s marriage to Jack Brooksbank in October, despite Eugenie having a personal fortune of $9.3 million.</p> <p>While this seems like a concept many cannot get their head around – especially with the number of failed marriages in the family, according to royal expert Katie Nicholl, it all comes down to the fact that the royal money and property belongs to the sovereign she told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a22775404/princess-eugenie-jack-brooksbank-prenuptial-agreement/" target="_blank">Town &amp; Country</a></em>.</p> <p>So, despite their family history with Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew all going through a failed marriage, none of these events has had any impact on their wealth.</p> <p>“I don’t think members of the royal family sign prenuptial agreements,” Nicholl said.</p> <p>“It’s commonplace with celebrity marriage, but this is not a celebrity marriage, it’s a royal marriage.”</p> <p>Also, under UK law, prenups cannot be legally enforced but judges can take them into consideration during divorce proceedings, according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/why-prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-wont-have-a-prenup/" target="_blank">People Magazine</a>.</em></p>

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Why Prince Harry inherited more of the Queen Mother’s $24m fortune than Prince William

<p>When the Queen Mother passed away on March 30 in 2002, aged 101, she left behind an AUD$24 million fortune.</p> <p>Great-grandson Prince Harry inherited a large “bulk” of her inheritance, substantially more than his older brother Prince William, but there’s a good reason why.</p> <p>It turns out the Queen Mother, knowing Prince William was second in line to the throne, wanted to ensure Prince Harry’s financial future was secure.</p> <p>When Prince Charles becomes King, Prince William will in turn takeover the title of Prince of Wales – which means inheriting the Duchy of Cornwall and its private estate.</p> <p>However, Prince Harry – who is currently sixth in line to the throne after Prince William’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – will not receive anything.</p> <p>A BBC report the same year the Queen Mother died stated the “bulk” of her $24 million estate will go to Prince Harry “since William will benefit financially becoming King”.</p> <p>While it is unknown the exact amount the Duke of Sussex inherited, his great-grandmother certainly rewarded the royal in financial terms, to compensate for his line of succession to the throne.</p> <p>The rest of the Queen Mother’s estate (the items in her homes) was left to her eldest daughter Queen Elizabeth II. Her youngest daughter Princess Margaret passed away one month earlier on February 9, 2002, aged 71.</p> <p>When Prince William and Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana passed away in 1997, her sons received an equal split of her fortune.</p> <p> </p>

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Kmart fans meltdown as cult favourite disappears from shelves

<p>Kmart fans have expressed their dismay after one of the discount retailer's most sought after kitchen appliances has disappeared from shelves. </p> <p>The $29 pie maker, that even has its own Facebook page with over 16,000 members, is currently unavailable in stores because of its sheer popularity. </p> <p>The affordable and versatile pie maker can be used to create pies, scones, quiches and even doughnuts all under 10 minutes.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="500" height="300" src="/media/7819833/kmart-pie-maker_500x300.jpg" alt="Kmart -pie -maker"/></p> <p> "When your 3 Kmarts in the area are sold out of pie makers and they don't know when the next delivery is -- why?!" one shopper wrote on the Kmart Pie Maker Recipes Australia Facebook page. </p> <p>"The pie maker continues to be sold out. Kmart has even removed it from their website now!" another added. </p> <p>"Kmart have them for $29 but most stores are sold out and I believe from comments today online they have disappeared?" one fan wrote. </p> <p>According to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.news.com.au" target="_blank"><strong>news.com.au</strong></a></span>, Kmart has confirmed that the pie maker has sold out but the retailer hopes to have them back on shelves in September. </p> <p>"Due to popular demand the Kmart pie maker is currently sold out," the spokesman said. </p> <p>"Deliveries of stock will arrive in stores across the next six weeks with a larger shipment due in September. We thank our customer for their patience."</p> <p>Last month, one Kmart shopper revealed how she used her pie maker to create Nutella filled doughnuts only using eight ingredients. </p> <p>Others have shared their creative recipes using the pie maker, which include making cupcakes, muffins and quiche. </p> <p>Do you own the Kmart pie maker? If so, share how you use it in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

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The $19 Target product that beats Dyson

<p>A reviewer has praised a $19 hair dryer from Target for delivering the same results as a $499 Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.</p> <p>Dyson spent $96 million developing the Supersonic hair dryers, reportedly using 1600km of human hair to test 600 prototype dryers.</p> <p>Writing on <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/inventions/does-the-499-dyson-supersonic-live-up-to-the-hype/news-story/53ea24cf108e67c768c026e068c8608d"><strong>news.com.au</strong></a><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/inventions/does-the-499-dyson-supersonic-live-up-to-the-hype/news-story/53ea24cf108e67c768c026e068c8608d">,</a></span> Erin Webley decided to test the new Dyson Supersonic to see if it lived up to hype.</p> <p>“I do have a $19 Target hair dryer that does the one job I needed it to do and haven’t felt the need to upgrade,” she writes.</p> <p>But she wanted to see if the “super gadget could tame my frizzy, thin hair and deliver me the silky locks I’ve always wanted”.</p> <p><img width="353" height="353" src="https://www.pontofrio-imagens.com.br/BelezaSaude/cuidadosfemininos/secadoresdecabelo/11799007/871602512/secador-de-cabelos-silencioso-dyson-supersonic-motor-digital-cor-fuchsia-11799007.jpg" alt="Related image" class="irc_mi" style="margin-top: 0px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>Webley notes the Dyson Supersonic is “six times smaller and three times lighter than your average hair dryer” and you also receive three styling attachments as well as a storage hanger and a non-slip mat.</p> <p>She points out the Dyson has “1600 watts of power and an airflow of 85 cubic feet per minute” which immediately blasts with the full force of air. There are three speed settings and four heat settings and a cool shot function that provides cool air to help style your hairstyle.</p> <p>The Dyson also features a “glass bead thermistor” which measures air temperature 20 times a second to regulate the heat output. Apparently, this helps retain the hair’s natural shine and prevent heat damage in the first place.</p> <p><strong>The verdict?</strong></p> <p>Webley writes: “The Supersonic had some impressive technology which the geek in me was excited about, but unfortunately… the Dyson didn’t deliver on the level of perfect hair you’d expect for the investment.</p> <p>“My frizzy and thin hair was not tamed, although I was impressed by the dryer’s efficiency.</p> <p>“In the end, I didn’t quite experience anything more than my $19 Target dryer offered.”</p> <p>And if you're wordering, Webley uses the <span>Remington Aero 2000 hair dryer. </span></p> <p><img width="430" height="242" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f9118d69eef32848f58e3d25318e99e3" alt="The $19 Remington Aero 2000 hair dryer does the trick for me." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Can you spot the 2 glaring mistakes on this bank's credit card?

<p>One of Singapore’s top banks has released an exclusive gold-plated credit card for its high-rolling millionaire customers.</p> <p>However, the unveiling of the credit card issued by United Overseas Bank (UOB) was overshadowed by two glaring mistakes on the plaque it was displayed on.</p> <p>Can you spot the two mistakes on the diamond-studded plaque?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="498" height="645" src="/media/7819322/1_498x645.jpg" alt="1 (157)"/></p> <p>The plaque reads: “For those who value exclusivity in it’s most extinguished form.”</p> <p>“They should have employed a better copywriter to 'extinguish' themselves from the competition!” noted one social media user who posted a photo of the plaque.</p> <p>Commentators also speculated whether the word was meant to be written as ‘distinguished’ or ‘exquisite’, while others pointed out that there was an unnecessary apostrophe in ‘it’s’.</p> <p>The UOB exclusive Reserve Card is offered only to UOB Privilege Reserve wealth management service clients who keep above a minimum balance of $2 million in assets with the bank.</p> <p>Social media users quickly criticised the copywriting on the plaque, with one saying: “I’m just glad there is a card that is designed for firefighters finally.”</p> <p>“When you have 1 million to spend, I guess you would need to extinguish the heat from swiping the card,” another wrote.</p> <p>The bank has since said that the plaque was a display for a promotional event earlier this week and it is not the final copy.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“The promotional text that was printed only for a table display at a private event last night had been overlooked during our clearance process,” Ms Choo Wan Sim, head of Cards and Payments Singapore at UOB, told <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/diamond-embellished-uob-reserve-metal-card-10451802" target="_blank">Chanel NewsAsia</a></strong></em></span>. </p>

Money & Banking

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5 tricks to choose fastest line at supermarket

<p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39179" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>It’s a truth universally acknowledged that the queue you choose at the supermarket is <em>always</em> the slowest. Whether you’re queuing at the checkout, sitting in traffic or just waiting in line at the post office, it feels like the queues around us always seem to move faster. Well, that’s all about to end.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39194" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>David Andrews, author of the new book <em>Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster? The Myths and Misery, Secrets and Psychology of Waiting in Line</em>, reveals some of the top secrets to picking the fast lane.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39199" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>“The slowest lane will always be the one you are personally in,” Andrews writes in his new book. Why? That’s because when you’re in the fast lane, you don’t even realise you’re moving more than those in the line next to you.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39205" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>According to Andrews, it’s largely psychological. If someone cuts in front of you, it exacerbates your state of frustration and adds to your perceived wait time.</span></p> <p class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>There are ways to choose a winning queue though. Follow these five line commandments and never wait again.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39217" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><strong>Rule 1: Choose the line with more men</strong></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39214" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>Researchers from the University of Surrey have found that men hate waiting more than women. Pick a queue with more men in it, as they’ll likely be in a rush too.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39209" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><strong>Rule 2: Think twice about the express line</strong></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39222" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>The allure of the express line might be strong, but studies show it isn’t necessarily the best option. Mathematician Dan Meyer reviewed check out data from his local supermarket and discovered that the fastest queues have fewer people, not fewer items.</span></p> <p class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>He found that each person in line adds 48 seconds to the wait, while an individual item only adds 2.8 seconds to your time in the line. When you consider the time it takes to process payment, swipe rewards cards and finish a transaction, it makes sense to opt for a line with fewer people.</span></p> <p class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><strong>Rule 3: Withdraw cash before you shop</strong></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39229" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>Paying with cards may seem like the easiest option but Meyer found that cash-only lines are much quicker. Withdrawing money before you shop has also been shown to help with budgeting and preventing unnecessary purchases, so it’s a win-win.</span></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39235" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><strong>Rule 4: When in doubt, choose the left line</strong></p> <p id="yui_3_16_0_1_1447797063305_39226" class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>Fact: Lines to the left are often shorter, because the majority of people are right-handed, and studies show right-handed people naturally gravitate to the right.</span></p> <p class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><strong>Rule 5: Master your mind</strong></p> <p class="yiv0712069821MsoNormal"><span>A lot of this frustration that comes from waiting in a slow queue is psychological, so Andrews recommends having a distraction on hand. Grab a magazine or bring your headphones and tune into your favourite radio station to make passing time that little bit more pleasant. </span></p> <p><span><strong>Related links: </strong><br /></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/gardening/2015/04/how-to-grow-cucumbers/">Top tips for growing cucumbers</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/gardening/2015/04/guide-to-vertical-gardens/">Your guide to vertical gardens</a></strong></em></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong><a href="/lifestyle/gardening/2015/04/fast-growing-vegetables/">10 great fast-growing veggies</a></strong></em></span></p>

Money & Banking

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Parents slapped with $177,000 bill after son knocks over sculpture

<p>The parents of a five-year-old boy have been slapped with a US$132,000 (AU$177,000) bill after their son knocked over the art sculpture on display at a local community centre.</p> <p>Security footage of the room shows a boy approaching the expensive sculpture, “Aphrodite di Kansas City” on display in the lobby of the Tomahawk Ridge Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, when it toppled over.</p> <p>A few days later, the family received a $132,000 claim from the city of Overland Park’s insurance company, saying that the piece had been damaged beyond repair.</p> <p>“You’re responsible for the supervision of a minor child… your failure to monitor could be considered negligent,” the insurance letter read in part.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FWorldNewsTonight%2Fvideos%2F10156066491749818%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>The boy’s mother Sarah Goodman told the Kansas City Star she didn’t see the artwork hit the ground, but her son suffered minor injuries when it fell.</p> <p>“I was surprised, absolutely, more so offended to be called negligent,” Mrs Goodman said. “They were treating this like a crime scene.”</p> <p>She disputes the city’s claim that her child wasn’t being supervised and she said that she and her husband were out of frame of the surveillance camera saying their goodbyes during a wedding reception, when the incident occurred.</p> <p>“No one would ever to expect that to come into a place that kids are invited and have to worry about a $132,000 dollar piece of art falling on their child,” NRs Goodman said. “Because he didn’t maliciously break that. It fell on him. It was not secure, it was not safe -- at all.”</p> <p>She added that the artwork was not protected in any way.</p> <p>“It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down,” she told KSHB.</p> <p>“There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”</p> <p>City spokesman Sean Reilly said the work was on loan to the city and that it was obligated to file a claim with its insurance company for the damage.</p>

Money & Banking

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How DIY skills will save you money in retirement

<p>Patrick Harris is a dab hand at home DIY.</p> <p>But the man steers clear of house cleaning duties, instead opting to pay someone to come in once a fortnight to tidy up. </p> <p>"It's a bit of a luxury," Harris said.</p> <p>If things need repairing around the house Harris will give it a go. He recently replaced some weather boards on his house and strengthened the foundations.</p> <p>It saved him a small fortune.</p> <p>He attempted to replace the guttering but the job proved too difficult so he paid someone to fix it.</p> <p>"It was something a bit too specialised for me."</p> <p>When his vacuum cleaner stopped working he found a video on Youtube showing how to pull the machine apart and replace the motor.</p> <p>"I was certainly motivated to do it."</p> <p>But when it turned out a new motor would cost a few hundred dollars he decided to bite the bullet and buy a new one.</p> <p>Harris' roll-up-your-sleeves and do it yourself attitude is typical of men his age.</p> <p>Harris said his generation grew up tinkering in their dad's sheds, mucking around with tools, timber and machinery.</p> <p>It's this upbringing that helped people his age develop hands-on skills that will serve them well in retirement.</p> <p>If the lawn mower breaks - they fix it. If the house needs a paint - they pick up a paint brush.</p> <p>AMP managing director Blair Vernon said as the cost of labour increased DIY skills would become increasingly valuable in retirement.</p> <p>Those who did not have the skills to do things themselves and needed to pay for services would fare worst in retirement, he said.</p> <p>Younger New Zealanders were falling behind when it came to learning practical skills, he said.</p> <p>Not only that, they were paying for services which did not require much skills such as cleaning and lawn mowing.</p> <p>"If you don't acquire those skills then you are exposed to purchasing those services and they're quite expensive," Vernon said.</p> <p>There was nothing wrong with that when you're young and could afford it, he said.</p> <p>But when those people hit retirement there was a good chance they would need to alter their lifestyle and cut out luxury expenses.</p> <p>While that sounded easy in principle, changing was no easy feat, he said.</p> <p>"That feels like a radical altering of your lifestyle."</p> <p>He recommended people made changes early on.</p> <p>Not only that but they needed to get a handle on what their money was going towards.</p> <p>"It's really surprising how many people aren't broadly across the amount of money they're spending."</p> <p>Acquiring DIY skills is easier said than done. Traditionally, skills were handed down from father to son, but younger people lacking that parental guidance wanting to build up theirs can do courses, workshops at their local hardware stores, tap into the wisdom of Youtube videos, or join a DIY club.</p> <p>Harris is a trustee of the Auckland Central Community Shed (ACCS) - a non-profit community facility where people can pay an annual fee to use tools and pick up skills from some of the more experienced members.</p> <p>But its primary role was a place for people to socialise and make friends, Harris said.</p> <p>Many of the young people who joined lacked even the most basic skills, he said.</p> <p>"They pretty much need hands on teaching."</p> <p>Younger people maybe lacked the skills of older generations because they were more focused on technology and computers rather than "mucking around with bits of wood and making go carts", Harris said.</p> <p>Those who did come into the ACCS to learn new skills were doing it to create rather than save money, he said.</p> <p>"It's just the joy of making something."</p> <p>Have you used DIY skills in retirement?</p> <p><em>Written by John Anthony. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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The big problem with self-serve checkouts

<p><em><strong>Gary Mortimer is an Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology and Paula Dootson is a Research Fellow in the PwC Chair in Digital Economy at Queensland University of Technology.</strong></em></p> <p>Self-checkouts in supermarkets <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/self-services-technologies-market" target="_blank">are increasing</a></strong></span> as businesses battle to reduce costs and increase service efficiency. But looking at the numbers, it <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/9593/Andrews_umd_0117E_10632.pdf?sequence=1&amp;isAllowed=y" target="_blank">isn’t clear</a></strong></span> that self-service is an easy win for businesses.</p> <p>Self-checkouts <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://whitman.syr.edu/faculty-and-research/research/pdfs/BQ_Rev2_MS_May5.pdf" target="_blank">aren’t necessarily faster</a></strong></span> than other checkouts and don’t result in lower staff numbers. And there are indirect costs such as theft, reduced customer satisfaction and loyalty.</p> <p>Worldwide, self-checkout terminals are <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.ncr.com/sites/default/files/white_papers/RET_SCO_wp.pdf" target="_blank">projected to increase</a></strong></span> from 191,000 in 2013 to 325,000 by 2019. A <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.ncr.com/sites/default/files/white_papers/RET_SCO_wp.pdf" target="_blank">survey of multiple countries</a></strong></span> found 90% of respondents had used self-checkouts, with Australia and Italy leading the way.</p> <p>Employment in the Australian supermarket and grocery industry <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://clients1.ibisworld.com.au/reports/au/industry/keystatistics.aspx?entid=1834" target="_blank">went down for the first time in 2015-16</a></strong></span> and is projected to remain flat for a few years. But staff numbers are <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://clients1.ibisworld.com.au/reports/au/industry/industryoutlook.aspx?entid=1834" target="_blank">projected to rebound again</a></strong></span>, in part due to the need to curtail growing theft at self-checkouts.</p> <p><strong>Social trends pushing self-checkout</strong></p> <p>A couple of intertwining trends explain the rise of self-checkouts.</p> <p>We visit our supermarkets more frequently than ever before, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://markettrack.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Driving-Shopper-Behavior-in-Grocery.pdf" target="_blank">two to three times per week in fact</a></strong></span>. This means our basket contains fewer items and being able to wander up to a self-checkout, with little to no wait time, has been an expedient way to shop.</p> <p>Most shoppers <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/are-self-service-checkouts-easy-to-use/" target="_blank">consider</a></strong></span> self-checkouts fast and easy to use. This varies, though, with age – 90% of shoppers aged 18-39 found self-service checkouts easy to use, but only 50% of those over 60 said the same.</p> <p>Shoppers also <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://cat10492.pbworks.com/w/file/fetch/65317090/205.full.pdf" target="_blank">gain value from taking control of the transaction</a></strong></span> – being able to ring up their own goods and pack them the way they want. A sense of control over their own shopping can lead to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://repositorio-aberto.up.pt/bitstream/10216/82349/2/108365.pdf" target="_blank">greater customer satisfaction</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJRDM-08-2015-0122" target="_blank">intent to use and re-use</a></strong></span> self-serve technology.</p> <p><strong>The numbers behind self-checkouts</strong></p> <p>Wages <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/retail-trade/report/retail-trade.pdf" target="_blank">represent around 9.5% of supermarket revenue</a></strong></span> in Australia, and reducing wages is <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/handle/1903/9593/Andrews_umd_0117E_10632.pdf?sequence=1&amp;isAllowed=y" target="_blank">one of the reasons proposed</a></strong></span> for the uptake of self-checkout.</p> <p>But from a business perspective, moving from “staffed” checkouts to self-serve machines isn’t cheap. A typical setup <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://web.mit.edu/2.744/www/Project/Assignments/humanUse/lynette/2-About%20the%20machine.html" target="_blank">costs around US$125,000</a></strong></span>. On top of that there are the costs of integrating the machines with the technology already in place – the software and other systems used to track inventory and sales – and the ongoing costs of breakdowns and maintenance.</p> <p>But the biggest direct cost to retailers of adopting self-service checkouts is theft. Retail crime in Australia costs the industry over <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.retailcouncil.com.au/_literature_52092/25082009_sydney_institute_speech" target="_blank">A$4.5 billion</a></strong></span> each year.</p> <p>There is reason to believe that rates of theft are higher on self-service machines than at regular checkouts. A <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.alphagalileo.org/AssetViewer.aspx?AssetId=114179&amp;CultureCode=en" target="_blank">study of 1 million transactions in the United Kingdom</a></strong></span> found losses incurred through self-service technology payment systems totalled 3.97% of stock, compared to just 1.47% otherwise. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJRDM-05-2015-0065" target="_blank">Research shows</a></strong></span> that one of the drivers of this discrepancy is that everyday customers – those who would not normally steal by any other means – disproportionately steal at self-checkouts.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/IJRDM-05-2015-0065" target="_blank">Studies also show</a></strong></span> that having a human presence around – in this case employees in the self-checkout area – increases the perceived risk of being caught, which reduces “consumer deviance”. This is why retailers have been adding staff to monitor customers, absorbing the additional losses, or passing them on to customers in an “<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/from-fare-evasion-to-illegal-downloads-the-cost-of-defiance-27978" target="_blank">honesty tax</a></strong></span>”.</p> <p><strong>Making self-checkouts work</strong></p> <p>Dootson suggests people are less likely to steal from a human employee than an inanimate object. This is not only because they are more likely to get caught, but because they feel bad about it.</p> <p>On the other hand, consumers have plenty of justifications to excuse self-checkout theft, which is leading to its <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/supermarket-selfservice-checkouts-risk-nomalising-theft-says-criminologist-20160719-gq98y1.html" target="_blank">normalisation</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>To combat this, Paula Dootson is trying to use design to combat deviance. One of the ways is through <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.chairdigitaleconomy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Retail-5.0-Check-out-the-future.pdf" target="_blank">extreme personalisation of service</a></strong></span> to reduce customer anonymity. Anonymity is an undesirable outcome of removing employees and replacing them with technology.</p> <p>Other ideas are to include <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/109/38/15197.abstract" target="_blank">moral reminders</a></strong></span> prior to the opportunity to lie or steal (such as simply <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://insights.ethisphere.com/moral-reminders-bad-apples-and-the-power-of-positive-examples/" target="_blank">reminding people to be honest</a></strong></span>), and to humanise the machines by encoding human characteristics to trigger empathy.</p> <p>While businesses will <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.ncr.com/sites/default/files/white_papers/RET_SCO_wp.pdf" target="_blank">continue to broadly adopt self-service technologies</a></strong></span>, particularly within the retail sector, it will be important for retailers to take a holistic approach to implementation and loss prevention.</p> <p>Self-service technology reduces front-line staffing costs and increases efficiency by redistributing displaced staff into other service-dominant areas of the business, but it creates unintended costs. These business costs can be direct, in the form of theft, but also indirect costs, such as reduced customer satisfaction and loyalty. This is something that some supermarkets are <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/the-supermarket-chain-that-said-no-to-selfserve-checkouts/news-story/536325c349116574bef19c6209aed94b" target="_blank">focusing on today</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>Do you like to use self-serve checkouts?</p> <p><em>Written by Gary Mortimer and Paula Dootson. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Conversation</span></strong></a>.</em><img width="1" height="1" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/78593/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation"/></p>

Money & Banking

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Warning after $15 Kmart product explodes

<p>A woman has taken to social media to warn others not to purchase scales from Kmart as her product exploded before her, sending pieces of glass flying across her bathroom.</p> <p>Louise from Western Australia, who did not wish to be identified, posted on the Kmart Mums Australia Facebook page, detailing how she “lightly nudged” the $15 product before it exploded in to pieces.</p> <p>“Glass went everywhere,” she wrote alongside the image of the shattered scales.</p> <p><img width="420" height="647" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/bcbbe04b38bd32c8710b75319625607d" alt="A Facebook user posted an image of her shattered scales to a Kmart Facebook group." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>“As I was cleaning up, the shards shattered into smaller and smaller pieces. Kmart has been notified.”</p> <p>She added: “It [glass] went pretty far and was definitely sharp. Thankfully my son wasn’t too close. I understand that tempered glass is temperature sensitive (they told me this on the phone) if it’s that sensitive, it should be recalled. Bathrooms are subject to a lot of temperature fluctuation so it was surprising.”</p> <p><img width="416" height="312" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/de1ccb35a5f09e7a592557c47fd17189" alt="Another woman posted an image of her shattered scales." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>Her post quickly racked up comments of other users sharing their similar experience with the product.</p> <p>“Same thing happen to me and you could still here (sic) them [glass pieces] crackling after,” one user posted.</p> <p>“I’ve seen so many posts about these scales exploding,” another user said. “Surprised Kmart still hasn’t done anything about them.”</p> <p><img width="385" height="592" src="https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/581b1cef2a019234a965cc5b3ff03153" alt="Sydney man Jean Franco Vilaro said his $15 Kmart scales exploded in 2017." style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>In a statement to <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/interiors/kmart-users-claim-15-scales-explode-after-single-nudge/news-story/80d834a016855ccb99ef1e441dcc073b">news.com.au</a></span></strong>, a spokesperson apologised for Louise’s experience.</p> <p>“Kmart Australia is committed to the quality and safety of all our products for our customers and the community,” the statement read.</p> <p>“We are sorry to hear of this experience and have spoken directly to the customer. Our quality team are reviewing the product as a priority and we encourage any customers to <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.kmart.com.au/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ContentDisplay?pageDisplay=Contact+Us&amp;c=ContactUsPageCenter_Content&amp;t=footerContent&amp;catalogId=10102&amp;linkURL=contactUs&amp;urlLangId=-1&amp;langId=-1&amp;pageName=staticPages&amp;storeId=10701">contact our customer service team</a></strong></span> if they have any questions around our products.”</p>

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