Money & Banking

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Federer and Nadal go above and beyond at Aussie Open's Rally for Relief

<p>The tennis world has dug deep to raise a staggering $4.8 million for bushfire victims in a night of thrilling entertainment at the Rally for Relief which took place at Rod Laver Arena.</p> <p>The man behind the groundbreaking initiative was none other than Aussie’s own Nick Kyrgios, who was completely overcome with emotion after the total figure of $4,826,014 was revealed to him on court.</p> <p>The crowd in Melbourne was thrilled as he went head-to-head with Roger Federer in a one-set finale that was the highlight on the night.</p> <p>“I just got goosebumps when you said that number,” said Kyrgios.</p> <p>“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message, I just had to do it so I wrote the Tweet.</p> <p>“The whole Aussie team got behind it and I woke up the next day and it exploded, it was so emotional.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"It's been an emotional couple of weeks," says <a href="https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NickKyrgios</a>.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rally4Relief?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rally4Relief</a> <br /><br />To contribute: <a href="https://t.co/a3qgsExZQj">https://t.co/a3qgsExZQj</a> <a href="https://t.co/RKvhFLyscU">pic.twitter.com/RKvhFLyscU</a></p> — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1217393053138288640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“Back home at Canberra I couldn’t even go outside (due to the smoke), it was hard and I’m just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa, Novak – some of the greats – to get behind this.”</p> <p>The one-off special event saw some of the biggest names in tennis taking part, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, who donated their time to encourage support for charities helping deal with the bushfire crisis.</p> <p>The night was enjoyed by many, as the atmosphere was lighthearted with 12 players competing in a series of jovial matches and challenges to help raise money for the natural disaster.</p> <p>Spanish favourite Nadal also made a major announcement, revealing that he and Federer had donated a cumulative $250,000 from their own pockets after chatting earlier in the day.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"Talking with Roger, we decided to give $250,000 together." 👏 👏 👏 👏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rally4Relief?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rally4Relief</a><br /><br />To contribute: <a href="https://t.co/9RPgZ7cBoB">https://t.co/9RPgZ7cBoB</a> <a href="https://t.co/ocdiw8D0if">pic.twitter.com/ocdiw8D0if</a></p> — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1217378578188447745?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“Talking with Roger a couple of hours ago we decided to give $250,000 Australian dollars to the bushfire relief together,” he said.</p> <p>“Hopefully that can keep inspiring people to support this terrible disaster that we were going through and helps to recover all the things that we need (sic).”</p> <p>Later in the night, a Victorian firefighter had her dreams come true after she was given the chance to play with Nadal himself for an epic doubles match.</p> <p>Deb, a member of the Stuart Mill fire brigade, revealed on air that for the last few weeks she has been involved in battling fires in the crisis gripping the country.</p> <p>She admitted that it had been a very difficult time, as she witnessed neighbourhoods and wildlife being destroyed due to the fires.</p> <p>"We're there trying to make all the farmers feel safe while they go about their business."</p>

Money & Banking

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How much of your budget should be spent on health and fitness

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For those with a budget, putting a price on health and fitness can be difficult. How much is too much?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Head of Fitness Australia, a not-for-profit industry association, Barrie Elvish says that you shouldn’t use money to avoid exercising all together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The very straightforward answer is that there is no cost to fitness, or there's as much as you want to spend," he says to </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/how-much-of-our-budgets-should-be-allocated-to-fitness/11769830"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ABC Life</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Cost is a consideration, only if you want to make it a consideration."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He also says that if you feel like you must pay for fitness, it could be worth what you pay. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"The cost of not being physically active, to your purse and your wellbeing, is significantly higher," he says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others have found out a way to work out for free, without compromising on the social aspect.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bek Foley, 25, does a free weekly timed 5-kilometre fun run held at parks in her local area.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I just love the community. You see the same faces all the time, with everyone passing you and giving you a high five and cheering you on," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's all run by volunteers, and the fact we have that many people willing to give up their time adds to the atmosphere and keeps me coming back."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, some are willing to prioritise fitness and the cost it comes at as it is important to them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">48 year old Brisbane cyclist Rachel Edwards owns 20 bikes and spends hundreds of dollars a week pedalling after her passion for cycling.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7TxAoepGAT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7TxAoepGAT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">❗️Competition alert 2010 I won my last @uci_cycling WC title in Australia. I am thrilled to go back to Down Under in one week with a new partner that refers to that year. 😎 Any guess? The ones that are right will have the chance to win a very special goodie box! Good luck! #cycling #TeamCancellara #Cancellara #timetrial #roadcycling</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/fabian_cancellara/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Fabian Cancellara</a> (@fabian_cancellara) on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:42am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I like to compete, so my version of fitness is really also my social life," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I'll avoid buying clothes and general stuff that honestly you often don't even need. We are so inundated with 'buy this' messages — I resist those. My retail therapy is usually bike fashion related."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Financial advisor Victoria Devine says that it’s also important to keep in mind just how much fitness is costing you.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It's really important to remember that your values are not the values of other people," she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"If fitness is what drives you, and you get excited about it, and it makes you happy, it's literally down to personal values.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Ask yourself, would you be upset if it was taken away? If the answer is yes, you can figure out how to make it work."</span></p>

Money & Banking

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4 money-saving resolutions you should make this year

<p>Could this be the year you get your finances in order? A savings plan doesn’t need to be overwhelming, try these seven tips that Patty Cathey, financial advisor at Smart Retirement Plan uses with her clients to keep them on track.</p> <p><strong>1. Track your spending</strong></p> <p>Some financial mishaps happen simply because we aren’t paying close enough attention to our spending habits. Once you have taken an inventory of your finances, watch your spending for unnecessary expenses. “Take out the magnifying glass and take notice of the details in your financial picture,” Cathey advises. “Comb through your credit card statements to see if there’s any unnecessary spending or charges. Are you paying for a gym membership or cable channels you don’t use? Is there a charge you didn’t make that could be fraud? Paying attention to the little things can make a big difference in your finances.”</p> <p><strong>2. Start small</strong></p> <p>When the New Year rolls around, the temptation is to make extreme financial resolutions all at once. But don’t get so caught up in your resolutions that you set yourself up for failure. Cathey advises her clients to make small changes to their spending, since they are more maintainable over time. “Taking a baby step in cutting your spending can start you on the path to even bigger savings,” Cathey encourages. “For example, instead of cutting out your morning coffee completely, cut out one cup per week in January. Same thing goes for bringing a lunch to work: try packing a lunch one day. You may find it’s easier than you realise.” By February you may be skipping two lattés and bringing your lunch twice a week.</p> <p><strong>3. Wait before you swipe</strong></p> <p>Make a new habit of waiting before you spend on an unplanned purchase. Did you spot a piece of house decor at Target during a nappy run? Take time to think about the purchase before you swipe your credit card. “Apply the 48-hour rule by giving yourself a mandatory waiting period before making a big purchase,” Cathey says. “Many times, you’ll forget about the item you so desperately wanted when you’re in the store. If you still want or think you need it after 48 hours, talk over the purchase with a spouse or loved one.”</p> <p><strong>4. Pay yourself first</strong></p> <p>Even if you mean well, life can get in the way of prioritising saving for emergencies or getting ready for your retirement. David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, encourages individuals with big financial goals to start by making their savings automatic each time they get paid. “Adding a small amount to your savings is pain free and pays off in the long run” he says. Then, utilise online banking tools to efficiently distribute money into different accounts including: retirement, emergency and mortgage payments, credit card, and other recurring bills.</p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/financial-resolutions/">RD.com</a></em></p> <p><em>Written by Mary Sauer. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/7-money-saving-resolutions-you-should-make-this-new-yea"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p>

Money & Banking

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"Just perfect": Family affected by bushfires surprised by $1 million lotto win

<p>A Queensland mans whose family property was destroyed in bushfire has won $1 million in a lottery win that will allow the family to rebuild.</p> <p>The winner wishes to remain anonymous but lives in Redland, south of Brisbane. His family owned a property in northern New South Wales that was devastated by the bushfires.</p> <p>Lauren Cooney from The Lott notified him of the win and said that the man was overcome with emotion.</p> <p>"He told me his family had just lost their home in the bushfires," she said to the<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-09/bushfire-destroyed-home-then-owner-wins-lottery/11855640?pfmredir=sm&amp;sf227733330=1&amp;fbclid=IwAR3a-7QY21rcqyk7Yq3RD8TzmVCd_cMWIR0dgofE9z6woiYBz8k2dNQ0cB4" target="_blank">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>"The home wasn't insured, so this prize meant that they would be able to rebuild which initially, they thought they wouldn't be able to," she said.</p> <p>The man said to Cooney that the family had returned to the property, which was “very sentimental and special to them”.</p> <p>"They were going through the site looking for any special family mementoes that they could salvage, but all they could find was some teacups,” Cooney explained.</p> <p>However, this win has turned things around. As the man was the only division one winning entry to the draw, he is able to claim the whole $1 million prize.</p> <p>He said that the circumstances were “just perfect”.</p> <p>"He said he couldn't have imagined more impeccable timing which meant that he could use his prize to rebuild their family home," Ms Cooney said.</p>

Money & Banking

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Turia Pitt inspires emotional movement in wake of new bushfire crisis

<p><span>Turia Pitt has penned an inspiring and heartbreaking post on social media which has resulted in an incredible movement in the wake of the bushfire crisis.</span></p> <p><span>The athlete and motivational speaker took to Instagram on Monday to speak about her own distress and desperation due to the harrowing bushfires that has plagued Australia.</span></p> <p><span>Turia’s own home in the New South Wales south coast region is located in a spot heavily impacted by the fires. The effect on Pitt and her husband Michael Hoskin and their two-year-old son Hakavai has been devastating.</span></p> <p><span>The 32-year-old wrote: "I watched, my mouth agape, as two angry plumes from the fires north and south of us joined together over Mollymook Beach. And then, the power went out."</span></p> <p><span>She further explained the grave concern she felt as she witnessed the toll of the bushfire and detailing the experience of seeing and feeling her home become “an apocalyptic quiet”. detailed the "It's been a tough few weeks for me emotionally. I've had to focus on not letting my emotions and own experiences get the better of me."</span></p> <p><span>"I'm exhausted. I feel like I've done 10 marathons. And we can't relax because it's only the start of summer, and it's not over yet. So just like in a marathon, I've realised I have to pace myself."</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B69tZHSA2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B69tZHSA2Ek/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt)</a> on Jan 5, 2020 at 8:07pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>Turia alluded to her own terrifying experience in in 2011, where she was trapped in a Western Australia bushfire while running an ultra marathon -she endured burns to 65 per cent of her body as a result.</span></p> <p><span>"I've had recurring nightmares about running through flames with my son in my arms," she added of the current situation.</span></p> <p><span>"It's been difficult to sleep, eat or think and all I've really wanted to do is tap out, put my head in the sand and pretend that nothing is going on."</span></p> <p><span>Her words seemed to have an impact though, and Turia has decided to take matters into her own hands to begin an inspiring movement. .</span><br /><span></span></p> <p><span>"Once these fires are finally 'over', it won't be over for many of the local businesses in fire-ravaged towns," she explained.</span></p> <p><span>"A lot of these places (like my home in Mollymook, and Mallacoota, Kangaroo Island, Eden etc) rely on the tourist dollar for their very survival."</span></p> <p><span>Pitt mentioned the hashtag: #GoWithEmptyEskies movement, kickstarted by Tegan Webber who is encouraging people to travel to fire ravaged towns to buy their products in bulk, as well as the Buy From the Bush campaign which has encouraged people to buy from drought-affected farmers since October.</span></p> <p><span>Turia said: "So this is what I'm doing. I've created @spendwiththem, a place to feature businesses in fire-affected towns. So, if you want to buy something (now, or in the future), check out @spendwiththem and buy something from one of these places.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B69jz3VgHPb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B69jz3VgHPb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Turia (@turiapitt)</a> on Jan 5, 2020 at 6:43pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"This is a way to put money directly in the pockets of the people and communities who need it the most, and need it NOW."</span></p> <p><span>"Help them rebuild. Make them feel heard. Spend with them."</span></p> <p><span>She also sent an invitation to businesses who have been affected to contact her to be featured - telling them to visit the page, Spend With Them.</span></p> <p><span>Using her influence for good, it seems the country has reacted with elation over Turia’s emotional post.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6_rAkQADWm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6_rAkQADWm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Hey guys! Grace and I are completely amazed by all of you! Thank you for supporting the businesses we’ve featured on @spendwiththem so far! We’ve been totally overwhelmed by your thousands of messages of support. So, if you’ve sent us a DM requesting we feature your business and we haven’t yet responded, please email us at spendwiththem@turiapitt.com with product pics and instructions on what people can buy online or over the phone. We’re struggling to keep track of DMs right now, so email will be best! Please know that as much as we want to support all businesses in fire-affected towns, we can’t yet encourage visitation to these areas. So, online and phone ordering options are all we can promote for now. When it is safe to do so, we’ll absolutely find a way to encourage road trips to your towns! Big love to you all - you absolute legends! ❤️❤️❤️</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/turiapitt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Turia</a> (@turiapitt) on Jan 6, 2020 at 2:25pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>Her new Instagram page has since shot up in the ranks and received 108,000 followers.</span></p> <div class="c-message__content c-message__content--feature_sonic_inputs" data-qa="message_content"> <div class="c-message__message_blocks c-message__message_blocks--rich_text"> <div class="p-block_kit_renderer p-block_kit_renderer--absorb_margin" data-qa="block-kit-renderer"> <div class="p-block_kit_renderer__block_wrapper p-block_kit_renderer__block_wrapper--first"> <div class="p-rich_text_block"> <div class="p-rich_text_section"><em>OverSixty, its parent company and its owners are donating a total of $200,000 to the Vinnie’s Bushfire Appeal. We have also pledged an additional $100,000 of product to help all those affected by the bushfire crisis. We would love you to support too! Head to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw" target="_blank">Vinnie's website to donate!</a></em></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="c-message_actions__container c-message__actions" aria-label="Message actions"></div>

Money & Banking

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4 mindful shopping tips that can save you money and make you happier

<p><span>‘Mindfulness’ is a big buzzword these days. Referring to the practice of consciously observing your body and breath without judgment, mindfulness has gained ground in our culture as a coping mechanism; a way to deal with our feelings. Part of the appeal of mindfulness is that it’s a technique that can be applied to just about any aspect of life. You’ve no doubt heard of mindful eating, and perhaps even mindful moving. Now, mindful shopping is gaining ground in response to our seemingly innate tendency towards impulsive (and compulsive!) shopping.</span></p> <p><span>It has always been easier to spend money than to earn it, but it turns out there’s an even bigger problem now that we don’t tend to see or touch real cash. Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos of University College London, has shown in his research that the brain experiences more discomfort spending cash money as opposed to digital money. In other words, it’s easier to spend recklessly in an economy dominated by credit card transactions.</span></p> <p><span>These mindless shopping habits can have serious repercussions on our daily lives, including buyer’s remorse, skewed financial priorities and increased levels of anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately, it can lead to unnecessary debt, put a strain on relationships and even contribute to hoarding tendencies.</span></p> <p><span>Mindful shopping addresses the emotions at the root of reckless spending, and can serve as a means of regaining control of your bank account balance – and your emotional wellbeing.</span></p> <p><span>Here are four tips to help you regain control of your impulses.</span></p> <p><strong><span>1. Find other ways to treat yourself</span></strong></p> <p><span>We all need a pick-me-up now and again, and for many of us, the quickest fix for a miserable day is to treat yourself to something new. Unfortunately, the pleasure of an impulse purchase is fleeting, while the effect on your bank account lingers. Consider other ways to administer emotional first-aid when needed, whether it’s going for a walk with a close friend or hitting up the library to check out the latest from your favourite author.</span></p> <p><strong><span>2. Make a mindful shopping list</span></strong></p> <p><span>A mindful shopping list is one that serves to separate your daily expenses into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ on an emotional level. A ‘need’ fulfils an essential, practical purpose which may or may not be pleasurable, like buying groceries so that you can feed yourself and your family. A ‘want’, on the other hand, is largely driven by the pleasure sensation of owning or experiencing a product, whether it’s acquiring another Louis Vuitton bag or an autographed cricket ball.</span></p> <p><strong><span>3. Be cynical of ‘sales’</span></strong></p> <p>It’s one thing to stock up on discounted products that you need on a regular basis, but it’s quite another thing to leave a store with a bag full of ‘bargains’ you never intended to buy in the first place. Be mindful that buying anything on sale is still spending – not saving.</p> <p><strong>4. Don’t substitute retail therapy for real therapy</strong></p> <p><span>Sometimes mindful shopping strategies aren’t enough to curb a serious shopping addiction. If you continue to find yourself obsessed with social status, unable to manage anxiety, and depend entirely on shopping for a sense of fulfilment, you could likely benefit from professional counselling. Chances are, there are underlying emotional issues at play that only real therapy can address.</span></p> <p><em>Source: <a href="https://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/money/mindful-shopping/">readersdigest.ca</a></em></p> <p><em>Written by Deepak Kashyap. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/9-mindful-shopping-tips-that-can-save-you-money-and-make-you-happier"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p> </p>

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New study shows men feel stressed if female partners earn more than 40 percent of household income

<p>The best marriages are probably based on teamwork. But it seems individual contributions do matter – specifically, who earns how much of the household income.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167219883611">My research</a> shows that in, heterosexual couples, men are happier when both partners contribute financially – but much prefer to be the main breadwinners.</p> <p>With stress levels high when they are sole breadwinners, men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income.</p> <p>But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners.</p> <p>The findings are based on an <a href="https://psidonline.isr.umich.edu/">analysis</a> of over 6,000 married or cohabiting heterosexual couples over a period of 15 years. Levels of distress are calculated based on feeling sad, nervous, restless, hopeless, worthless, or that day to day life is an effort.</p> <p>Men who are the only earners are relatively unhappy but they were not as stressed as men whose partners are the principal earners. Neither of the extreme scenarios is good for male mental health.</p> <p>The exception is men who knowingly partner with a high-earning woman. These men do not appear to suffer from higher psychological distress when their partners earn more. People do not pick their partners at random, so if the woman was the higher earner before marriage, then the potential income gap was already clear to the man – perhaps even a reason to partner with them.</p> <p><strong>Balance of power</strong></p> <p>There are a variety of reasons which may explain why husbands who are “outearned” by their partners may suffer from psychological distress.</p> <p>When one person in a couple earns a much greater proportion of the joint income, it may create a relationship imbalance. For example, if the relationship deteriorates significantly, the possibility of divorce or separation can make the lower earner feel more vulnerable, financially speaking. These effects are larger among cohabiting couples, possibly due to the <a href="https://ifstudies.org/blog/less-stable-less-important-cohabiting-families-comparative-disadvantage-across-the-globe">higher probability of break up</a>.</p> <p>Even if breaking up is not on the cards, money that comes into the household predominantly through one partner also affects the balance of power. This is important if partners have a different view on what is best for their family, how much to save, what to spend their money on, and various plans and big decisions.</p> <p><strong>Traditional gender identity norms</strong></p> <p>Another theory involves the historic effect of social, psychological and cultural norms when it comes to gender roles. The social construct of a male breadwinner has been highly durable in the past.</p> <p>For generations, in many cultures, there has been an expectation that men will be the primary income provider in the family, and masculinity is highly linked to <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1389781?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">fulfilling this expectation</a>. Faced with a change in this outcome by being outearned by their partners, means men are likely to experience high levels of psychological distress.</p> <p>But the reality is that things are changing. In places like the US, the percentage of wives outearning their husbands <a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/630326/pdf">is growing</a>. In 1980, only 13% of married women earned about as much or more than their husbands. In 2000, that figure almost doubled to 25%, and in 2017 it was 31%. This trend is likely to continue into the future and similar patterns <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1136176">have been observed</a> in other countries.</p> <p><strong>The stress of being a sole bread winner</strong></p> <p>On average, men in my study said they experienced the lowest levels of psychological distress when their partners earned no more than 40 percent of household income.</p> <p>But for men, being the sole breadwinner may also come at a psychological price. For even if social gender norms support this situation, being the only income earner in a household comes with a lot of responsibility and pressure and so may result in significant anxiety and distress.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/302676/original/file-20191120-524-40h5dt.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">How perceived stress levels vary.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Joanna Syrda</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>And while the emerging profile of a female breadwinner and its possible consequences has been <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225702056_The_Female_Breadwinner_Phenomenological_Experience_and_Gendered_Identity_in_WorkFamily_Spaces">widely researched</a>, very little attention has been devoted to the psychological hurdles faced by male primary breadwinners.</p> <p>This lack of research is perhaps symptomatic of the strength of the male bread-winning tradition. Health and wellbeing research is typically devoted to new phenomena, rather than widely accepted norms in society.</p> <p><a href="https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/130/2/571/2330321">Gender identity norms</a> clearly still induce a widely held aversion to a situation where the wife earns more than her husband. And as the number of women outearning their male partners grows, the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner may begin to adjust.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126620/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joanna-syrda-386410">Joanna Syrda</a>, Lecturer in Business Economics, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bath-1325">University of Bath</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/men-feel-stressed-if-their-female-partners-earn-more-than-40-of-household-income-new-research-126620">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Must end soon! The catch with time-limited sales tactics

<p>You may be getting a lot of emails offering you attractive discounts for a short period only. You may see flash sales or special deals that exhort you to “buy now” to avoid missing out.</p> <p>These digital “time-limited” offers, as they are called, are actually an old sales tactic.</p> <p>Those in the game of selling cars, for example, have long used the trick of alluding to that other very interested buyer who’s likely to return and snap up the bargain that’s before you. Telephone salespeople routinely offer deals that must be accepted during the call. Want time to think about it? Too bad.</p> <p>Online time-limited sales work on the same basis, but with technology taking it to a whole new level. Now retailers can bombard you with offers that are highly customised and super-short – a deal, perhaps, for something you might have been searching online for, and now available at a discount only until midnight.</p> <p>But for these tactics to work, our research suggests, requires finding a Goldilocks zone between being too pushy and not all. Time needs to be limited to deter you from searching elsewhere for a better deal. But paradoxically you also need enough time to convince yourself that buying is the best decision.</p> <p><strong>Experimenting with time limits</strong></p> <p>To find out what makes time-limited offers effective, I and my colleagues Robert Sugden and Mengjie Wang from the University of East Anglia <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2019.09.008">ran experiments</a> to see what leads people to accept or reject such offers.</p> <p>What we found is that these offers leverage risk-aversion. That is, the more you dislike risk, the more likely it is you will take the bait and buy now.</p> <p>In our experiments, using university students, we asked participants to complete 30 “price search” tasks. These tasks involved giving participants a “budget” and asking them to buy a product from six different price offers, shown to them sequentially with a few seconds between each. Any unspent money they got to keep.</p> <p>In half of the tasks they could consider all six offers before making their choice. In the other half, one of the first three offers would be time-limited, lapsing after either four or 12 seconds, which they could only accept before the next offer appeared.</p> <p>We also varied, when participants accepted a time-limited offer, between showing them no more offers or showing all remaining offers immediately. This was to test if greater feedback (increasing the possibility of regret) reduced the probability of a time-limited offer being chosen.</p> <p>Participants then did 15 related risk-taking tasks based on their choices in the tasks with time-limited options. This helped us determine what was going on with their choices.</p> <p><strong>A time paradox</strong></p> <p>Overall our results point to choosing time-limited options being linked to risk aversion. People generally prefer to secure a certain cake now over the uncertain possibility of a better cake in the future. We really do believe the old proverb that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.</p> <p>But there was a catch – and a big one. Somewhat paradoxically, people also need to think things through to jump on the time-limited offer. Time-limited offers were accepted more when participants had 12 seconds to decide rather than four seconds.</p> <p>This indicates people need enough time to reflect on the task to decide they are better off going for the “safe” deal.</p> <p>As we <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119302823?via%3Dihub#sec0008">warn in our paper</a>, one should be wary about extrapolating too directly from laboratory behaviour to real markets, but our results suggest time-limited offers do not rely on limits to the consumers’ ability to make a rational decision. When they work it is because they are mechanisms of search deterrence – restricting the consumers’ opportunities to compare available offers – amplified by risk aversion.</p> <p>So businesses may be shooting themselves in the foot when they create offers that are too short, too pushy. If you’re like most people, you need time to reflect on the risk of not buying. If the offer is too fast and furious, you’re likely to just be turned off.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/124897/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/daniel-zizzo-125561">Daniel Zizzo</a>, Professor and Academic Dean of the School of Economics, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/must-end-soon-but-not-too-soon-the-catch-in-time-limited-sales-tactics-124897">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What you should tell your grandchildren about money issues

<p>Being a parent presents us with daily challenges, including decisions about what things to expose our children to. One of the questions I am constantly asked by parents is what should they teach their children about money, and at what age.</p> <p>Talking about money is no different to talking about how to keep healthy or how to keep safe when using the internet. If your child thinks money is something that “mum and dad get from a machine”, then they don’t know how hard their parents work to generate an income for the family and meet all of their expenses.</p> <p>Moving money from an abstract concept to something tangible that is earned and saved before it is spent is an important step for children to understand. Children are more intelligent than we often give them credit for. They are also more understanding and resilient – if there are tough financial situations to explain, what children appreciate most is honesty, consistency and facts.</p> <p>So, if you don’t have enough money to buy something your child has asked for, be honest and put the facts in front of them. Explain the difference between things the family <strong>needs</strong> and the things they <strong>want</strong>.</p> <p>Tell them that all the “need items” must be purchased first, and then you will see if there is enough money left in the budget to buy what they want. And if there isn’t, tell them how the item can be budgeted for – and how you can all work towards saving for it over time.</p> <p><strong>What is the right age to start having these discussions?</strong></p> <p>You should be open with your children about money as soon as they are able to understand. However, what your child needs to know at the age of four or five is very different to what they need to know at the age of 10, 15 or older.</p> <p><a href="http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Business/School%20of%20Economics%20&amp;%20Finance/FinEd/documents/FinanceStudyWEBv2.pdf?7B7DE79F6F2FC1A47A247B28528D8E4C">Research by the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre</a> shows that most young people get their financial information from their parents so it is important that parents provide a good foundation for future financial well-being from an early age.</p> <p>The initial conversation with a four to five-year-old does not have to be about money. Start with the concept of “delayed gratification”. It is a powerful way of teaching children there are benefits in waiting for things. They also need to know that not every demand they make is going to be fulfilled instantly. Every family has a limit to its available resources, even the very rich need to have plans for their money.</p> <p>For children aged 6-10, involve them in preparing a household budget and allocating money to different parts of your budget. Let them help you prepare a shopping/grocery list and then allocate to them an amount as per your agreed budget.</p> <p>Take them grocery shopping with you, hand them the list that they have prepared along with a calculator. Give them the responsibility of staying within the allocated budget and be strict with this. The incentive for the child could be that if they manage to get all the items on the list for less than the allocated amount, they get to decide how to spend the surplus.</p> <p>When you get home, this can become a conversation about money: the benefits of staying within the allocated amount and how to make tough decisions about what items are priority.</p> <p>For children aged 10 – 15, give them the responsibility of setting the household budget under your supervision. Discuss the different components of budgets: expenses that occur weekly/fortnightly/monthly/annually so they can see how important it is to have a better understanding of how and where the money is being spent.</p> <p>They may have a goal of buying something new for themselves – so help them to work out whether it is a need or a want and how they plan to pay for it. Discussions about short, medium and long-term goals can be useful.</p> <p>For those age 15 and over, start having discussions about their goals for their future – beyond high school. Encourage them to start saving for their future, whether that be higher education, travel, or buying a house.</p> <p>At this stage they also need to start learning about their rights as a consumer, signing agreements, the difference between debit cards and credit cards, and saving for things you want instead of borrowing.</p> <p><strong>They need to know they will sometimes go without</strong></p> <p>Children also need to be made aware that they will sometimes have to go without things they want. They need to understand that, as a parent, it is your moral, legal, social and ethical responsibility to look after their needs, but that you are not obliged to pay for all their wants. But explain that you are happy to work with them to help them save for the things they want.</p> <p>Another common question is, how much should you tell your children. Should you tell them how much you earn, how much debt you have and what, if any, savings you have in the bank?</p> <p>There are varied opinions on this. Some parents feel that they should be totally transparent with their children, while others feel that they don’t need to know that level of detail. Either way, children should have a general idea about the household’s income and expenditure.</p> <p>Children need to know from an early age that money is not an endless resource and there are times when you may not have enough money for the things they want to buy. It is a good idea to discuss options in such cases. You will be surprised at some of the creative solutions children come up with.</p> <p>The main thing is to involve children in money discussions; give them some responsibility and an opportunity to manage money from an early age so they understand its value.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/39686/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pushpa-wood-161760">Pushpa Wood</a>, Director, Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/massey-university-806">Massey University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-should-we-tell-our-children-about-money-39686">original article</a>.</em></p>

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What rich people won’t tell you

<p>Most of the world's mega-rich weren't always rolling in it. Here's how to become a money magnet...</p> <p><strong>We’re cheapskates and proud of it</strong></p> <p>“I think about it this way: not spending money is the same as making money. So if I save $2000 by not flying first class, that’s the same as someone paying me $2000. Wouldn’t you sit in an uncomfortable chair for three hours for $2000?” says a successful US plastic surgeon</p> <p>“When you open up the paper and you see those coupons, it looks like dollar bills staring you in the face … It’s how I grew up. Why not?” agrees Hilary Swank to talk show host Kelly Ripa, on clipping coupons</p> <p>“People are always surprised that I don’t have a closetful of suits. I buy three suits every five or so years and own only ten in total. That’s all I need.” T. Boone Pickens, oil billionaire, explains in an interview with Kiplinger’s magazine in 2012</p> <p>“I go to the ATM only once a week and pay for everything with cash. That way, I’m forced to stay on a budget without counting pennies and saving receipts. I can spend only what is in my wallet. I turn it into a game where each week, I reduce my ATM withdrawal amount by $20 to determine how low I can really go,” recommends Alan Corey, author of A Million Bucks by 30</p> <p>“We have neighbours who are billionaires, but you would never know it. The really wealthy are usually not the ones who wear the most expensive clothes, have the latest handbags, or drive flashy cars. In Martha’s Vineyard, you see a lot of people who live in houses that sell for $10 million driving ten-year-old Toyotas,” says a successful US plastic surgeon</p> <p><strong>We’re just like you</strong></p> <p>“Many of the super-wealthy have huge homes with specific rooms dedicated to entertaining. Your home might not have a ballroom, but you can save yourself stress by creating an off-limits area when entertaining. Bonus: you can shove the ‘I don’t know what to do with this stuff’ pile into one of those rooms and shut the door,” a real estate broker from Million Dollar Listing New York on television explained.</p> <p>“Contrary to popular belief, the rich do pay taxes – a lot of taxes. And they don’t all have teams of high-priced lawyers and accountants to do the paperwork. Many of them do their own with [US tax software] TurboTax, just like the rest of the world,” recommends a partner at a prestigious law firm</p> <p>“Millionaires tend to pay about $16– including tip – for a haircut at a traditional barbershop.” Researchers from the University of Georgia Survey Research Institute discovered.</p> <p><strong>We loathe waste</strong></p> <p>“I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from not wasting things. I still collect all the tiny pieces of soap and put them together into one bar. I still squeeze the toothpaste tube dry. And I grow a lot of my own vegetables,” laughs August Turak, founder of two successful software companies and author of Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks</p> <p>“One time my granddaughter was filling out all this paperwork, and there were several paper clips. I told her to take them off so she could reuse them. She said, ‘Grandma, do you know how cheap paper clips are?’ I said, ‘Do you know how far a penny can stretch when you need it to?’” Pat Brennan, co-owner of Brennan Builders, a US building company specialising in custom homes at an average price of $500,000, remembers teaching her daughter.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/25-things-rich-people-wont-tell-you">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p>

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How to pick the right amount to spend on holiday gifts

<p>Gift giving is a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/06/us-christmas-retail-sales-to-surpass-1-trillion-this-year-emarketer.html">big deal</a> this time of year.</p> <p>To find the <a href="https://www.today.com/shop/gift-guide">“perfect” gift</a>, <a href="https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2010/11/americans-spend-42-hours-each-on-holiday-shopping-and-partying/index.htm">Americans will spend about 15 hours</a> shopping. Women will do about twice as much as men. And they’ll <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1112/average-cost-of-an-american-christmas.aspx">shell out about US$1 trillion</a> on gifts.</p> <p>While retailers <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/24/investing/stocks-week-ahead/index.html">relish the holiday shopping season</a> as a time when consumers open their purses or wallets, for many consumers – especially those <a href="https://www.retailwire.com/discussion/study-consumers-dont-enjoy-doing-their-holiday-shopping-online/">who do not like shopping</a> – these days are <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11747-011-0284-z">filled with dread</a>. They mark moments when shoppers clog malls, websites become <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/30/cyber-monday-why-retailers-cant-keep-their-sites-from-crashing.html">overloaded</a> and <a href="https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolineodonovan/amazon-next-day-delivery-deaths">delivery trucks block streets</a>. The entire process generates untold amounts of <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544">stress</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/0148-2963(93)90049-U">anxiety</a>.</p> <p>One source of stress is just how much to spend on gifts. Spending too much can put you in financial distress. Spending too little may make you look cheap.</p> <p>How do you decide what’s the “right” amount to spend on gifts?</p> <p>As an <a href="http://businessmacroeconomics.com/">economist</a>, I study holidays and gift giving because a large fraction of retail shopping is driven by seasonal events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday – also and more appropriately known as <a href="https://www.wkyc.com/article/life/holidays/holiday-season/high-anxiety-theres-a-new-name-for-last-minute-shopping-panic-saturday/95-ab9d1714-01f8-4624-9075-e1d09a15628b">Panic Saturday</a> – which is the last Saturday before Christmas.</p> <p><strong>‘Dead weight loss’</strong></p> <p>Gift giving is stressful because nobody wants to buy what they think is a perfect gift only to discover it is a dud.</p> <p>The long lines of people <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/how-to-navigate-store-holiday-return-policies.html">returning items after the holidays</a> seem evidence enough for that.</p> <p>This has led some economists to argue there’s a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/upshot/an-economist-goes-christmas-shopping.html">“dead weight loss” to Christmas presents</a> that “destroys” <a href="https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/104699/original/christmas.pdf">as much as a third of their actual value</a>. A 2018 study estimated <a href="https://www.finder.com/unwanted-gifts">Americans spend $13 billion a year on unwanted gifts</a>.</p> <p>Other economists, however, have resisted this Scrooge-like view of gift giving and <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2118293">point to evidence that a present can actually have more value</a> to the recipient than the price the giver paid. In other words, a gift, even when technically unwanted, could have more value simply because someone else bought it for you.</p> <p><strong>Setting a budget</strong></p> <p>So if you’re dead set on buying some gifts, how much should you budget for it?</p> <p>Since gifting is a social act, it makes sense to consider how much other people typically spend.</p> <p>There are a number of surveys run each year that ask people during the fall to estimate what they plan on spending for holiday gifts. The National Retail Federation’s <a href="https://nrf.com/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/winter-holidays/winter-holidays-data-center">annual survey of holiday spending</a> estimates the typical American will spend $659 on gifts for family, friends and co-workers in 2019. On the high end, <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/267914/americans-plan-spend-generously-christmas.aspx">Gallup</a> puts the average at $942, with more than a third of respondents expecting to spend over $1,000 on gifts.</p> <p>But these figures aren’t that helpful for an individual since $659 means something different to someone making $40,000 a year versus $200,000.</p> <p>That’s where the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/cex/home.htm">Consumer Expenditure Survey</a> comes in. It’s a large survey run by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks the spending habits of 12,000 to 15,000 families each year. The government uses the survey to determine the cost of living and inflation rates for the typical family.</p> <p>The survey follows gift giving very precisely. It <a href="https://www.bls.gov/cex/tables.htm#annual">has categories for common holiday presents</a> like electronics, books and clothes, as well as gifts that typically aren’t associated with the season such as housing and transportation.</p> <p>After removing these non-holiday gifts, the typical U.S. family spends about 1% of its annual take-home pay on gifts. So whatever you earn, you could multiply it by 1% to get a figure that is in the ballpark of what the average American spends – but won’t break the bank.</p> <p><strong>Making the holidays memorable</strong></p> <p>While calculating a gift budget is one way to take the stress out of how much to spend on gifts, my family has another: Only give gifts to children.</p> <p>Adults get wrapped boxes filled with paper. After the real gifts are opened and the young children are safely moved out of the way, we crumple up the paper and throw it at each other in our annual paper fight.</p> <p>That keeps the cost down while making the kids feel special. It also ensures the kids don’t feel left out when their friends talk about the gifts they received. Other families follow their own methods for <a href="https://www.laurengreutman.com/3-gift-christmas-rule/">controlling expenses</a>, such as <a href="http://www.secretsanta.com">secret Santa gifts</a> or by <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201312/the-5-types-gift-givers">focusing attention more on togetherness</a> than on the stuff received.</p> <p>Whether you have a paper fight or follow another family tradition, my main message is that it doesn’t take very much money to make the winter holidays memorable.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jay-l-zagorsky-152952"><em>Jay L. Zagorsky</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer, Questrom School of Business, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/boston-university-898">Boston University</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-pick-the-right-amount-to-spend-on-holiday-gifts-according-to-an-economist-127767">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Married couple at the centre of bizarre billion-dollar drug bust

<p>A recently married couple from Melbourne alongside an IT worker have been arrested and charged with running a customs importing business which dealt with over $1 billion worth of 1.6 tonnes of ice and heroin.</p> <p>It is the nation’s largest uncovered methamphetamine haul.</p> <p>Rachel Annette Cachia and Donovan Mark Rodrigues, both 37, have been described as “trusted insiders” in the customs industry and advised clients on the logistics of importing and exporting goods through their independently owned business.</p> <p>However, the couple have suffered a violent fall from grace as they may be met with life imprisonment if convicted over the seizure of 1.6 tonnes of ice and heroin found hidden inside speakers being shipped to Melbourne in April 2019.</p> <p>On social media, the couple showed off their lavish lifestyle, including holidays with their two young children and luxury sports cars.</p> <p>Alongside Ms Cachia and Mr Rodrigues is Bayside IT worker Stephen Mizzi, 38, who has also been charged after the Australian Federal Police raided properties in the Melbourne suburbs of Darley, Sunshine West, Brooklyn, Elwood and Murrumbeena.</p> <p>All three individuals are to face numerous charges of importing illicit drugs.</p> <p>Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan alleged the couple were "middle to high up" in the drug operation.</p> <p>"We feel to a certain extent that they’ve been used," he said.</p> <p>"They [allegedly] used their positions of trust to circumvent the border control. It will be alleged that two of the three suspects charged are trusted industry insiders."</p> <p>Australian Border Forces uncovered the drugs after they asked for sea cargo sipped from Bangkok, Thailand to be inspected at a container examination facility, in April.</p> <p>Officers spotted “anomalies” inside the speakers after an X-ray and took them apart in result.</p> <p>They found numerous packages containing methamphetamine and heroin that had been vacuum-packed and stuffed inside the speakers.</p> <p>Court documents allege that Mr Rodrigues and Ms Cachia had begun dealing with proceeds of crime in December 2016.</p> <p>Then, between June 2017 and July this year, the couple allegedly began arranging the movement of goods without authorisation through ports on numerous occasions between West Melbourne and Brooklyn.</p> <p>By December 2018, it’s alleged that Mr Mizzi joined in on the drug operation with the plan to help ship heroin and ice to Australia.</p> <p>Mr Mizzi has also been additionally charged with dishonestly obtaining identification information from a mobile phone in April this year.</p> <p>The trio faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday, where lawyers said it was the first time in custody for both men and that Mr Mizzi had a "blood pressure issue".</p> <p>Liliana Dubroja, the lawyer representing Ms Cachia, requested a nurse assess her client due to kidney and mental health concerns.</p> <p>Commonwealth prosecutor Jamey Ellis said police required extra time to compile their brief of evidence due to the extensive number of phone taps.</p> <p>"There is a significant amount of listening device and telephone material," he said.</p> <p>The trio was remanded in custody to face court again on May 7. They have not applied for bail.</p>

Money & Banking

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Research shows pre-retirees worry about money "almost without exception"

<p>New research from financial advisors has said that nearly every pre-retiree is concerned about whether or not they’ll have enough saved to fund the lifestyle they want.</p> <p>Concerns were also broached to financial advisors about whether the money saved will run out, despite the amount of wealth held by the retiree.</p> <p>Goldsborough Financial Services director Brenton Miegel said that pre-retirees are worried about money “almost without exception”.</p> <p>Having a “really good budget in place” can help ease your mind.</p> <p>“Know what you are going to spend and how you are going to spend it, and allow for unexpected expenses,” he said to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/why-australians-worry-about-their-retirement-even-the-millionaires/news-story/c50f32aeaea499b90dd7e68b595bda72">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“Get good advice. Speak with a professional financial planner who will look at your situation and offer insight and suggestions without necessarily reinventing the wheel.”</p> <p>Miegel also reaffirms that you don’t need a lot of money to have a comfortable lifestyle.</p> <p>“You don’t have to have great wealth in order to have a comfortable lifestyle,” Mr Miegel said.</p> <p>“Don’t be afraid to use some of your capital to do those extra things like an overseas trip or upgrading the kitchen, without getting silly about it, because you can’t take it with you.”</p> <p>MidSec managing partner Nick Loxton said that most retirees were concerned about maintaining their lifestyle.</p> <p>“You don’t get a lot of chances at retirement and if you get it wrong the consequences are high,” he said.</p> <p>“There is so much information on strategies, investments and tax. Everyone’s different so they often wonder which bits apply to them.”</p> <p>Here are three tips that you can follow to ensure that there’s enough saved in your retirement fund.</p> <ul> <li>Have an emergency cash back-up</li> <li>Know where your income will come from for the next five years at all times</li> <li>Budget to have 10 per cent more cash flow than you expect to spend</li> </ul>

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Your retirement nest egg needs to last longer than you think

<p>Although the number you’ve got in your current retirement nest egg is looking pretty solid, new research by the Actuaries Institute suggests that rapidly increasing lifespans means that age 100 should be the new target for retirees.</p> <p>Currently life expectancy tables used by many financial planners use 87 for women, but the Actuaries Institute says that people should consider “how much this will increase between now and the time someone retiring today reaches their 80s or 90s”.</p> <p>“A healthy, well-educated female entering retirement today, who had an affluent career and enjoys a good quality of housing, is just as likely to live beyond age 100 as she is to die before age 80,” it says.</p> <p>Actuary Jim Hennington, author of the research note and a member of the Actuaries Institute Retirement Incomes Working Group, says that there is an uncertainty as to how long today’s retirees would live.</p> <p>“Everyone wants to make sure their savings last,” he said to <em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/heres-how-long-your-retirement-nest-egg-needs-to-last/news-story/ac98be3e3826056ad0cafbbd5f736675">news.com.au</a></em>.</p> <p>“Fifty per cent of us live longer than our life expectancy. Some live all the way to age 105 and beyond.</p> <p>“A couple of average health aged 65 and 62 need a plan that lasts until the male is 100 in order that they can be 80 per cent sure their financial plan meets their potential lifespan.”</p> <p>Planning for Prosperity adviser Bob Budreika agreed with the note.</p> <p>“When you say 100 to people they laugh and say ‘nobody in my family has reached that’,” he said.</p> <p>Ideally, you would have enough cash reserves to last you until 100, but if you don’t have this saved up, there are options available including the pension.</p> <p>“It’s not all doom and gloom,” Mr Budreika said.</p>

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Why Sweden's central bank dumped Australian bonds

<p><strong>What’s happening?</strong></p> <p>Suddenly, at the level of central banks, Australia is regarded as an investment risk.</p> <p>On Wednesday Martin Flodén, the deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank, announced that because Australia and Canada were “<a href="https://www.riksbank.se/globalassets/media/tal/engelska/floden/2019/monetary-policy-in-a-changing-world.pdf">not known for good climate work</a>”.</p> <p>As a result the bank had sold its holdings of bonds issued by the Canadian province of Alberta and by the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/301897/original/file-20191115-47128-1s2eoc3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/301897/original/file-20191115-47128-1s2eoc3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.riksbank.se/globalassets/media/tal/engelska/floden/2019/monetary-policy-in-a-changing-world.pdf" class="source">Martin Flodén, deputy governor Sveriges Riksbank Central Bank of Sweden</a></span></p> <p>Central banks normally make the news when they change their “cash rate” and households pay less (or more) on their mortgages.</p> <p>But central banks such as Australia’s Reserve Bank and the European Central Bank, the People’s Bank of China and the US Federal Reserve have broader responsibilities.</p> <p>They can see climate change affecting their ability to <a href="https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/working-paper/2018/climate-change-and-the-macro-economy-a-critical-review.pdf">manage their economies</a> and deliver <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/fsr/2019/oct/box-c-financial-stability-risks-from-climate-change.html">financial stability</a>.</p> <p><strong>There’s more to central banks than rates</strong></p> <p>As an example, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva warned last month that the necessary transition away from fossil fuels would lead to significant amounts of “<a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/central-banks-tune-in-to-climate-change-20191020-p532ev">stranded assets</a>”.</p> <p>Those assets will be coal mines and oil fields that become worthless, endangering the banks that have lent to develop them. More frequent floods, storms and fires will pose risks for insurance companies. Climate change will make these and other shocks more frequent and more severe.</p> <p>In a speech in March the deputy governor of Australia’s Reserve Bank <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/speeches/2019/sp-dg-2019-03-12.html">Guy Debelle</a> said we needed to stop thinking of extreme events as cyclical.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>We need to think in terms of trend rather than cycles in the weather. Droughts have generally been regarded (at least economically) as cyclical events that recur every so often. In contrast, climate change is a trend change. The impact of a trend is ongoing, whereas a cycle is temporary.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>And he said the changes that will be imposed on us and the changes we will need might be abrupt.</p> <blockquote> <p><em>The transition path to a less carbon-intensive world is clearly quite different depending on whether it is managed as a gradual process or is abrupt. The trend changes aren’t likely to be smooth. There is likely to be volatility around the trend, with the potential for damaging outcomes from spikes above the trend.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Australia’s central bank and others are going further then just responding to the impacts of climate change. They are doing their part to moderate it.</p> <p><strong>No more watching from the sidelines</strong></p> <p>Over thirty central banks (including Australia’s), and a number of financial supervisory agencies, have created a <a href="https://www.ngfs.net/en">Network for Greening the Financial System</a>.</p> <p>Its purpose is to enhance the role of the financial system in mobilising finance to support the transitions that will be needed. The US Federal Reserve has not joined yet but is <a href="https://www.bis.org/review/r191111a.pdf">considering how to participate</a>.</p> <p>One of its credos is that central banks should <a href="https://www.bis.org/review/r191111a.pdf">lead by example</a> in their own investments.</p> <p>They hold and manage over A$17 trillion. That makes them enormously large investors and a huge influence on global markets.</p> <p>As part of their traditional focus on the liquidity, safety and returns from assets, they are taking into account climate change in deciding how to invest.</p> <p>The are increasingly putting their money into “<a href="https://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1909f.pdf">green bonds</a>”, which are securities whose proceeds are used to finance projects that combat climate change or the depletion of biodiversity and natural resources.</p> <p>Over A$300 billion worth of green bonds were issued in 2018, with the total stock now over A$1 trillion.</p> <p><strong>Central banks are investing, and setting standards</strong></p> <p>While large, that is still less than 1% of the stock of conventional securities. It means green bonds are less liquid and have higher buying and selling costs.</p> <p>It also means smaller central banks lack the skills to deal with them.</p> <p>These problems have been addressed by the <a href="https://www.bis.org/">Bank for International Settlements</a>, a bank owned by 60 of the central banks.</p> <p>In September it launched a <a href="https://www.bis.org/press/p190926.htm">green bond fund</a> that will pool investments from 140 (mostly central bank) clients.</p> <p>Its products will initially be denominated in US dollars but will later also be available in euros. It will be supported by an advisory committee of the world’s top central bankers.</p> <p>It is alert to the risk of “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenwashing">greenwashing</a>” and will only buy bonds that comply with the International Capital Market Association’s <a href="https://www.icmagroup.org/green-social-and-sustainability-bonds/green-bond-principles-gbp/">Green Bond Principles</a> or the Climate Bond Initiative’s <a href="https://www.climatebonds.net/standard">Climate Bond Standard</a>.</p> <p>Launching the fund in Basel, Switzerland, the bank’s head of banking Peter Zöllner said he was</p> <blockquote> <p><em>confident that, by aggregating the investment power of central banks, we can influence the behaviour of market participants and have some impact on how green investment standards develop</em></p> </blockquote> <p>It’s an important role. Traditionally focused on keeping the financial system safe, our central banks are increasingly turning to using their stewardship of the financial system to keep us, and our environment, safe.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126766/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-hawkins-746285">John Hawkins</a>, Assistant professor, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-why-swedens-central-bank-dumped-australian-bonds-126766">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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5 ways you can save money by 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, which, in Singapore, is about 25 per cent per annum.</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 Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.</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. Take advantage of 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 most major electronic stores 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>In Singapore, cards from POSB, Citibank, HSBC and others can knock off up to 20 percent from your petrol spending each time you fill up the tank.</p> <p>There are many similar campaigns available in Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>And 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 ’ol rebates or cashback from your spending.</p> <p>In Singapore, 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 </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/5-ways-you-can-save-money-using-credit-cards"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p> </p>

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Landlord charged for truly “underhand” act that cost tenants $3700

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has been charged after listing his ex-girlfriend’s flat to rent, pocketing the cash and heading overseas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Phillip Allman and Lucy Sharp were in a relationship for six years before ending it last December.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pair remained friends and Sharp allowed Allman to move into her apartment temporarily after his last relationship ended.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the 29-year-old man abused that generosity by listing Sharp’s flat as available for rental online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Wales Online, Jolanta Goniuch responded to the advertisement on Gumtree that listed the flat at £400 ($NZD 808) and required a £400 deposit upfront.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Goniuch called Allman to arrange an inspection and was told that the flat would be available from late June.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the phone call, she then transferred £800 ($NZD 1616) into his bank account.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another victim, Natera Morris and her partner Sean Malone, fell for the scam the next day and paid a total of £600 ($NZD 1212).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It wasn’t until later that another victim also paid £600.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In total, Allman pocketed more than £2,000 ($NZD 4040) from the tenants.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On June 10, Allman disappeared and Sharp only became aware of the con when Malone arrived on her doorstep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sharp tried to contact Allman, but was ignored. He was eventually caught by the police and sentenced to one year behind bars.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The offences for which I have to deal with you are really mean and underhand offences of dishonesty,” he said, according to </span><a href="https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/phillip-allman-newport-jailed-court-17217610"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wales Online</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They come from a man who has been committing offences of dishonesty for years and years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You were fortunate enough to have a generous friend. You abused her friendship and trust to cheat people out of money.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Allman admitted to three counts of fraud in breach of a suspended sentence and all the victims were repaid the money they sent Allman via bank transfer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Morris and Lobina paid some funds in cash, which were unable to be recovered.</span></p>

Money & Banking

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4 credit card rules you should never break

<p>According to a study from <span><a href="https://www.finder.com.au/1-6-million-australians-have-3-credit-cards">finder.com.au</a></span>, 40% of Australians own one credit card, 19% own two credit cards and 8% own three or more. Unsurprisingly, cardholders with several cards were more likely to have bigger credit card debts than those with just one credit card. The study found that those with several cards carried on average $6,500 of credit card debt – more than double the national average.</p> <p>However, credit cards are not necessarily a bad thing, says Prudential’s financial wellness advocate Tiffany Aliche. “It’s a myth that credit cards are innately bad,” she says. “Think of them instead like a tool, just like a hammer. You can pick that hammer up and build a house, or you can pick up that same hammer and destroy that same house. It depends entirely on the user.”</p> <p>So, is there a method to the credit-card madness? We ask trusty financial experts for their top credit card dos and don’ts.</p> <p><strong>1. Stick to one or two cards</strong></p> <p>It’s a common belief that to have good credit, you need credit cards. The truth is yes… and no. Financial wellness advocate Felicity Aliche recommends keeping at least one but not more than three cards. “Remember, if you have no credit history, you are a bad borrower,” she says. “It’s just like if my 16-year-old relative said, ‘Look, I’ve never been in an accident,’ yet she’s never driven a car, so therefore she’s a bad driver. Well, the same goes for credit.”</p> <p>However, that doesn’t mean you need to fill your wallet with plastic in order to have good credit, either. “Because the word ‘credit’ is in credit cards, people associate the two, but your credit score is about much more than that,” she says. “Your credit score encompasses many more aspects than cards. It’s about any time you borrow and pay back money, whether it’s a mortgage, car loan, student loan, even your utility bills.”</p> <p><strong>2. Remember the 30 per cent rule</strong></p> <p>You could be paying your monthly credit card bill on time, but if you’re continually carrying a high balance, that will bring your credit score down. “Think of 30% as your new maximum, and realise that anything above that is going to tank your score,” says Aliche. Gearing up for a big purchase, like a home or car? Then aim for 15%, she says.</p> <p><strong>3. Shop around</strong></p> <p>Interest rates may be low for those with a mortgage, but credit card interest rates haven’t moved much. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for a lower rate. Let’s say you bring your interest rate down from 20% to 15%. That means for every $100, $20 is going to interest and fees, versus $15. That’s quite an amount over a period of time. “That’s why I suggest that people regularly negotiate their rate. Pick a date every year that you spend on negotiating your fee, and you may be surprised how easy it can be to lower it,” says Aliche. Better still, try and pay off the whole amount each month so you don’t pay any interest at all.</p> <p><strong>4. Look for cash-back cards</strong></p> <p>Cashback credit cards are fairly new to Australia so it’s crucial to understand your money reward options before choosing that new piece of plastic to sit in your wallet, says <span><a href="https://mozo.com.au/credit-cards/guides/cash-back-credit-cards-unveiled/84">mozo.com.au</a></span>.</p> <p><span><a href="https://mozo.com.au/rewards-credit-cards/cashback">Cash back credit cards</a></span> work in a similar way to reward credit cards like platinum and frequent flyer cards: every time you use your card to buy something you earn reward points which you then redeem for products or flights. However, with cash back cards your points are converted into cash.</p> <p>“I’m a big believer in cash-back cards,” says Foguth. “I put everything – petrol, restaurants, you name it – on one credit card that offers cashback. Even if I get 1% cashback, that’s 1% more than if I used a $100 note in my pocket,” he says.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/12-credit-card-rules-you-should-never-break"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

Money & Banking

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The sneaky shopping centre tactics designed to get you to stay

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’ve ever gotten lost in a shopping centre, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s designed that way to be confusing and to get you to spend more money.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is a whole lot of psychology involved and fundamentally the final shopper is not high on the list of concerns,” University College London architecture professor Alan Penn said to </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/tactics-shopping-centres-use-to-make-us-linger-longer-and-spend-more/news-story/fe6c44a0de8f07d6782b8fd2268495a1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One popular tactic employed by shopping centres is known as the “dog bone” and is embedded into the way that the floor plans are designed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The dog bone design for shopping malls comes from the US and is geared to a culture of car access,” Prof Penn said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The aim is to get people in and then to keep them in as long as possible wandering up and down the length of the bone between anchor stores.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another tactic is not having clocks in the shopping centre so you can’t see how much time you’ve spent in the shopping centre, but with the popularity of smartphones that have clocks on them, this doesn’t impact the shopper as much as it used to.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The food court is another tactic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“One of the only thing centres used to do to get people to stay longer was to have a food court,” said Australian retail consultant Michael Baker.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“But it wasn’t too fancy, just a place to refuel so people could go around again.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The final tactic? Getting you lost on purpose. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">By adding curves and making it confusing to get where you need to go, you’ll spend more money and time in the shopping centre.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prof Penn said this made malls less “intelligible” which was the plan as, “it removes your ability to act with intention”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, due to the sharp decline of department stores in shopping centres, companies are having to reinvent the shopping centre in order to keep customers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the addition of cinemas, childcare centres and the demand from customers for more fancy food options, it’s clear what shopping centres need to do in order to keep customers happy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Food is no longer just fuel, it constitutes a shopping centre anchor in itself,” Mr Barker said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you have al fresco dining then you need a very different design to the shoebox mall. You have to face outward to the streets, so expect more open air centres.”</span></p>

Money & Banking