Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Bank programmer jailed after stealing $1.5 million from ATMs

<p>A bank programmer in China has been jailed after stealing $1.4 million in cash.</p> <p>The theft was due to Qin Qisheng noticing a loophole in Huaxi Bank’s system back in 2016.</p> <p>As the 43-year-old worked as a senior programmer at the bank, he came to realise that withdrawals that were completed close to midnight weren’t being recorded properly.</p> <p>After realising this, Qisheng inserted scripts into the system so he was able to “test” the issue without alerting staff.</p> <p>He then made test withdrawals of 20,000 Yuan (NZD$4324) to a dummy account for almost a year before being caught. By January 2018, he had withdrawn almost 7 million Yuan (NZD$1.5 million) without notifying anyone what he was up to.</p> <p>He was caught after depositing the funds into his own bank account, as well as investing some funds in the stock market.</p> <p>Hauxi Bank accepted the claims that Qisheng was investigating the glitch and dropped the case after he returned the funds.</p> <p>“Qin Qisheng said that the matter was complicated and involved lots of work … he believed the bank would not pay attention even if he reported it,” the <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2184883/chinese-banks-software-chief-jailed-after-finding-way-withdraw"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a> reported a bank representative as saying during the trial.</p> <p>“We think this reason for not reporting is legitimate.”</p> <p>However, even though the company dropped the charges, this was not enough to save Qisheng from 10-and-a-half years of jail time, as well as a fine of 11,000 Yuan (AUD$2378).</p> <p>“On the one hand, (the bank) said that the accused’s behaviour was in violation of the rules. On the other hand, he said that he could conduct relevant tests. This is self-contradictory,” the judge said.</p> <p>The flaw that caused Qisheng to be able to withdraw the funds has now been fixed.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The 50+ financial checklist

<p>Hitting the half-century mark can be a significant milestone for many of us. It often sees the advent of a new stage of life, where the nest may be emptying, the mortgage may be shrinking, and thoughts of newfound recreational time and retirement may be stirring the imagination.</p> <p>It is also an age at which some key financial planning decisions take on more significance, so that unwanted consequences can be avoided.</p> <p>Damon Smith, wealth adviser from Macquarie Wealth Management, stresses the importance of getting organised once you reach your 50s.</p> <p>“Longevity risk is a major issue for clients in their 50s. It’s the risk that you live longer than your money can last. I find many clients in their 50s have been concentrating on putting kids through school or paying off their home. Of course these are important goals, but once you get to 50 it is also a critical time to turn your attention to your superannuation.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">The “big ticket” question</strong><span> </span></p> <p>The number one question for anyone’s retirement is “how much is enough”? To break this down, you need a clear picture of:</p> <ul> <li>what age you want to retire</li> <li>what sort of income you want in retirement to support your desired lifestyle</li> <li>what other major spending intentions you have once retired (travel, boat, motorhome)</li> <li>how much retirement capital you will need to fund it all.</li> </ul> <p>If you can’t answer these questions definitively by the time you are in your 50s, then you really need to act right away.</p> <p>“The answer to the question, ‘Do I have enough for retirement?’ is different for every client,” explains Smith. “[It is] based on not only how much they have saved, but also what they intend to spend. Even if you feel unprepared for retirement, there’s still time, but acting quickly is essential.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Will you retire gradually or suddenly?</strong><span> </span></p> <p>While many of us look forward to leaving work behind permanently, there are some who will prefer to continue part-time work for financial, social, or mental health reasons. Fortunately, it may well be possible to access your super and qualify for the age pension while earning income. However, understanding the rules, age limits, and exemptions is critical to making the most of your situation.</p> <p>If you want to continue part-time work, a financial adviser can help you analyse your position, and structure your finances to maximise your outcomes and entitlements.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Will you downsize your home?</strong><span> </span></p> <p>A large family home often becomes less practical and less affordable once you close in on retirement. Because of this, many are attracted to the idea of selling up to move into something more manageable, or even into a retirement village.</p> <p>While this is a perfectly reasonable and practical step to take, you need to be careful about how it may affect your taxation, social security, and investment situation. Getting some savvy advice on this now may save a lot of stress later.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Helping your kids get established</strong><span> </span></p> <p>The upheavals in home affordability and employment opportunities in recent years have seen an increased emphasis in parents helping their adult children to financially establish an independent life. This can add a new dimension to your retirement plan, as you wrestle with questions such as:</p> <ul> <li>what are the ramifications of giving your kids a loan or a cash handout to help them with a home deposit?</li> <li>what are the pros and cons of being a guarantor for their mortgage?</li> <li>is buying a property jointly with them a good idea and what are the risks?</li> </ul> <p>Smith emphasises the importance of factoring in such issues into your own planning:</p> <p>“Many clients want to give their kids a financial helping hand, but don’t always know the impact it can have on their own situation. It’s fine to give your offspring the help they need, but you need to be careful that you don’t put your own future security at risk. Using a financial adviser can help you weigh up the pros and cons and make balanced decisions.”</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Passing things on to the next generation</strong><span> </span></p> <p>Hitting your 50s can often give you a keener sense of your own mortality. In turn, this may provoke thoughts of how your estate will be passed on to your beneficiaries.</p> <p>As you delve into this issue, it can quickly reveal a whole range of issues that need attention where prompt action is required. For example:</p> <ul> <li>who will make legal and medical decisions for you and your spouse if either or both of you one day become unable to make them for yourself?</li> <li>is a will alone enough to ensure that what you pass on will actually get to the beneficiaries you intend?</li> <li>do you have legal vehicles, such as testamentary trusts, set up to ensure your estate is not squandered after you have gone?</li> <li>who will your superannuation benefits be paid to, given that they are generally not covered by your will?</li> </ul> <p>As Smith counsels: “A well-thought out estate plan is not just about making sure your assets are directed where you want them to go, but also about managing some major tax impacts and taking full advantage of the opportunities for planning.”</p> <p>Have you thought about these questions? Let us know in the comments.</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/the-50-plus-financial-checklist.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

This misconception surrounding wealth just won’t die

<p>Many of us have preconceived ideas about what it means to be wealthy. Whether you drive a nice car, live in a house that has as many rooms as it does bathrooms, everyone has a vision of what wealth means to them.</p> <p>However, there seems to be one idea that just won’t die out: the idea that income equals wealth.</p> <p>Sarah Stanley Fallaw, director of research for the Affluent Market Institute, has interviewed 600 millionaires in America.</p> <p>“It continues to be the assumption of those who increase consumption as their income increases that they are the same,” she explained in her book <em>The Next Millionaire Next Door: Enduring Strategies for Building Wealth</em>.</p> <p>“Believing this myth gives the false perception that those who appear to be rich (neighbours driving luxury cars or friends in $US200-plus jeans) are wealthy when in fact it only means they spent more than real millionaires on these purchases.”</p> <p>It seems like many people are getting their wires crossed when it comes to understanding income and wealth.</p> <p>Wealth refers to the net worth of a household, which is all of the household’s assets minus all of its liabilities.</p> <p>Income is what is reported on your tax return.</p> <p>A self-made millionaire, Chris Reining, <span><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/self-made-millionaire-early-retirement-defines-rich-2018-7">previously told <em>Business Insider</em></a></span> that people are more attracted to spending like a rich person.</p> <p>“When people say they want to be rich, what they’re saying is they want to spend like a rich person. They’re focusing on earning a big pay cheque.</p> <p>“But that’s not the definition of being rich,” Reining said. “The definition of being rich is having assets generating income that exceed your standard of living.”</p> <p>Did you know what the difference between wealth and income was? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

“It gave people fodder”: The impact of Jamie Oliver's fall from grace

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Within the past few years, Jamie Oliver has faced some of the biggest challenges of his career.</p> <p>Since his first appearance on <em>The Naked Chef</em> in 1999, the celebrity chef had gone on to achieve success through numerous hit television shows, cookbooks, charities and health campaigns. However, the 43-year-old is now dealing with a troubled business empire and a series of controversies that has reportedly turned fans away.</p> <p>Public relations expert Catriona Pollard said Oliver’s downfall was caused by blunders such as overexposure, actions that do not match his personal brand, and failure to address public criticisms.</p> <p>Oliver’s image as a healthy everyday cook does not hold up with his actions, Pollard told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/expert-reveals-where-it-all-went-wrong-for-celebrity-chef-jamie-oliver/news-story/34ba7db90c12c01fbe704f820f432591"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>Oliver was well-known for his easy, budget-friendly recipes, as shown in the television show <em>Jamie’s Money Saving Meals</em>. However, his eateries are priced on a premium.</p> <p>Last year, Oliver said the chain had “run out of cash” and closed 12 of the restaurants in Britain.</p> <p>“You can buy one of his books for $20, or watch his TV show for free,” said Pollard. “But a lot of his restaurants sold expensive meals … which didn’t really stack up for people.”</p> <p>Pollard said linking his name to the restaurants was a mistake, as their failures would be connected to his personal reputation.</p> <p>Oliver is also a proud advocate of healthy foods and sustainability as the UN Environment’s environmental champion. The public was quick to accuse Oliver of hypocrisy after the chef signed a £5 million (NZ$9.5 million) deal with petrol giant Shell, which is one of the top 10 greenhouse gas-producing companies in the world.</p> <p>“Jamie Oliver has a very distinct personal brand linked to very distinctive values,” said Pollard.</p> <p>“He’s so outspoken when it comes to things like healthy eating and the environmental impacts of climate change, which is great, but … the deal with Shell was seen as negatively straying from that very distinct brand.</p> <p>“It gave people fodder and they started to change their opinions of him. That backlash was caused because people thought he wasn’t behaving the way they thought he should.”</p> <p>On Monday, the chef was also revealed to have been an informal advisor to McDonald’s for years, despite having dubbed their burgers as “not fit for human consumption” in 2011.</p> <p>Pollard also noted Oliver’s media gaffes as one of the reasons the public is turning away from the Brit. While Oliver said nothing on the Shell deal, he revealed the royal family’s rejection to his offer to cater for Prince Harry’s wedding.</p> <p>“He absolutely should have kept quiet at a time when people were already questioning his reputation — it was not a very sensible thing to do, to say he was snubbed by one of the most watched marriages in recent history,” she said.</p> <p>“It made people think [the royals] didn’t want to be associated with him, which was a misstep.”</p> <p>Pollard said it is not too late for Oliver to address these problems. “He’s absolutely not down and out — but he needs to think twice before saying something in future … and look back at what made him great in the first place, and make sure he stays aligned to those values people were attracted to.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

6 surprising ways you are wasting money

<p class="p1">You wouldn’t let a leaky bathroom tap keep dripping water, right?<br /><br />So why would you let these money-wasting habits go on without plugging the leak?<br /><br />Check out these 6 common expenses that may be costing you more money than you realise.</p> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>1. Using an old mobile phone plan</strong></div> <div class="field-item even"> <p>You may not have upgraded your phone in a few years because it works just fine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a look at your phone plan to make sure that it still suits your needs.</p> <p>Every time your contract ends, you should be shopping around for better deals.</p> <p>Your phone plan should come with a certain amount of free data and call minutes, but if you keep busting your limit every month and paying extra, then it’s not the most cost-effective plan for you.</p> <p>Speak to your service provider to check your average monthly usage and change to a plan that works for you.</p> <p>For example, you may use more data than call minutes so look for a plan that provides more data.</p> <p>With several companies vying for business, you should be able to find a plan that will suit your budget and your needs better. </p> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>2. Using an old broadband plan</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <p>The same goes with broadband plans for your home surfing.</p> <p>If you’re on an old contract, you could be paying more for a slower speed, so always check that you’ve got the best deal once your contract ends.</p> <p>You can even approach your current provider to ask for better deals in order to retain you as a customer.</p> <p>Some providers offer cheaper packages if you bundle your broadband and mobile phone services together so do some research to see if that works for you.</p> <p><strong>3. Paying credit card annual fees</strong></p> <p>Banks will often charge you annual fees if you want to keep using their credit cards but you can easily get this waived simply by calling in and requesting a fee waiver.</p> <p>If the bank refuses to waive the fees, this might be a good opportunity to cancel the card and look for a new one with a different bank.</p> <p>New credit cards often come with promotional gifts that you can enjoy such as rebates or free luggage.</p> <p>Just remember to cancel this card too if the bank doesn’t waive the fees.</p> <p><strong>4. Paying for services you don't use</strong></p> <p>The biggest culprit is arguably the gym.</p> <p>Many people sign up at the start of the year when their resolve to get healthy is at its strongest.</p> <p>Then March comes along and all that resolve disappears, along with the fees that you’ve paid.</p> <p>Do an audit of all the monthly membership fees you’re paying for and be honest to yourself about what you really need and what you’re not fully utilising.</p> <p>For example, you may really use Spotify every day but you’re not home long enough to enjoy your cable TV services.</p> <p><strong>5. Buying food you don't eat</strong></p> <p>Roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world, or 1.3 billion tonnes, get lost or wasted annually.</p> <p>We’re guilty of wasting food when we buy more than we consume, either by buying big portions that can’t finish, or going overboard with groceries that end up going bad and getting thrown away.</p> <p>So, it’s a good habit to buy only what you need and then using up everything you’ve bought.</p> <p><strong>6. Buying a cup of expensive coffee daily</strong></p> <p>Sure, you need your caffeine in the morning just to function.</p> <p>However, instead of forking over $5 daily at the latest hipster cafe, you might want to cut down to just two or three coffee runs a week, and make a cup in the office pantry the rest of the time.</p> <p>That savings of just $10 a week can add up to over $500 a year!</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/6-surprising-ways-you-are-wasting-money">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=WRN87V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The Queen's staff go on strike: Outraged over "inferior" pension payments

<p>Some of the Queen’s staff have gone on a strike over a pension dispute.</p> <p>Staff who work for Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), a charity managed on behalf of the Queen, gathered to picket outside the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday, in a row over their pensions package.</p> <p>The GMB union’s regional organiser Michael Ainsley said workers are furious after HRP commissioned expensive cakes for a royal campaign while pensions for the staff are getting replaced by an “inferior” model.</p> <p>Discussions between the union and the charity reached a stalemate as the GMB said HRP’s offer for the affected 120 employees was “not good enough”.</p> <p>However, the row continued following HRP’s cake campaign.</p> <p>“Our members’ disappointment turned to fury however when they were made aware that HRP had commissioned several elaborate and very expensive cakes from Choccywoccydoodah, to launch a new campaign,” said Ainsley.</p> <p>“The crass insensitivity shown by HRP in squandering money in this way while telling employees that their pensions are unsustainable is incredible. Perhaps HRP consider it better to ‘let them eat cake’ in their retirement instead of them being able to buy groceries or pay rent and utilities bills.”</p> <p>Staff voted to support strike action, with 91 per cent in favour after a turnout of 88 per cent.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.49609375px;" src="/media/7823005/gettyimages-1078742616.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cb5c65712d0a46aca0313ae167d79f05" /></p> <p>HRP’s chief executive John Barnes said the Tuesday strike would not impact the running of the sites.</p> <p>“The strike follows a negotiation with the trade unions in January, where we improved upon our already generous offer to scheme members,” said Barnes.</p> <p>“We have already offered substantial compensation and transition arrangements to the 11 per cent of our staff who are affected.</p> <p>“We believe our last offer to be a generous one, and while we respect the rights of trade union members to take industrial action, we will not be changing our decision to close the Defined Benefit scheme.”</p> <p>The pension scheme, which includes an employer’s contribution of 33 per cent, is set to be closed and replaced by April.</p> <p>“[The scheme] is financially unsustainable, and closing it will enable us to increase employer contributions to pensions for everyone by two per cent – an offer that is fundamentally fairer to our entire workforce,” said Barnes.</p> <p>Three more strike actions have been planned for February 6, 16 and 21. </p> <p>“GMB remains committed to achieving a negotiated settlement but HRP need to get real with what they’re offering our members,” said Ainsley.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

The $9 cleaning hack people are going crazy for

<p>This $5 cleaning hack is bound to help you out when you’re tackling your household chores.</p> <p>A Facebook group called Mums Who Clean have discovered a fast and easy hack to getting dirt out of lounges, tiles and bad odour out of shoes.</p> <p>A member of the group shared her story, where she used Polident to clean her lounge. Polident, which retails for around $9, is a denture cleaner that has very impressive cleaning properties.</p> <p>After mixing warm water and three tablets of the denture cleaner, she got to work cleaning her lounge. Once she let the solution sit on the lounge for five minutes, she scrubbed the sofa “hard” with a dishwashing brush and using a towel to absorb the dirty water.</p> <p>“It has come out great,” she wrote</p> <p>“Our sofa is about five or six years old and this is the first time we’ve cleaned it.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7822985/polident.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/89cd2689432b41e8a882a888fa24a64b" /></p> <p>After seeing the post, another group member decided to clean her bathroom tiles with it.</p> <p>“I used the Polident whitening ones tablets, put two in a spray bottle with water,” she shared.</p> <p>“The whole bathroom floor took me with 40min with toothbrush. Sure a grout brush would of quicker.”</p> <p>She was very impressed with her results!</p> <p>Another group member has used the product to remove the smell from stinky shoes.</p> <p>“My shoes were already yellow so I had nothing to lose,” she wrote. “But after I left them to soak in Polident over night and now they are like new!”</p> <p>However, this group member had to use six tablets instead of the two or three like the others had.</p> <p>Many group members have been enjoying the fact that the product is not toxic and they no longer have to breathe in the chemicals while cleaning. Biome warned <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/aussies-are-going-nuts-for-this-5-cleaning-hack/news-story/50a6c50c797c4973d1eef0a6d65873e0" target="_blank">news.com.au </a>that the product itself isn’t completely toxin free.</p> <p>“It’s not completely toxin free, but its main ingredients are bicarb soda and citric acid — which is a take on the old fashioned cleaner of bicarb and vinegar.</p> <p>“Brands like White King and Exit Mould will smack you in the face with their chemical fumes, but oxygen bleach is different.</p> <p>“For an even cheaper option and a 100 per cent toxin free alternative, I’d recommend mixing bicarb soda with white vinegar.”</p> <p>Did you know about this Polident cleaing hack? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Helping your adult kids to be financially savvy

<p>It is human nature for parents to want to provide for their children but at some point, the “help” you may be giving them could actually be more of a hindrance to them gaining their own financial independence. Cash handouts to pay for mobile phone costs, car servicing, and health insurance may be insulating your adult children from the realities of financial life — stunting their financial literacy and growth.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Your financial future is at stake</strong></p> <p>The flip side of the nest not being empty is that your retirement lifestyle could be at risk. If you are 50 or older, now is the time to be setting yourself up for the future and making the most of every discretionary dollar for the development of your nest egg. If you are operating the “bank of mum and dad” for your kids instead of building your retirement, it could mean you need to work longer or compromise your retired lifestyle.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Helping them become financially savvy</strong></p> <p>So, what can you do to help your kids get a grip on their situation and gain financial responsibility? The short answer to this question is “plenty”!</p> <p>You can give your children the financial wherewithal to build their financial maturity and growth, through positive encouragement and tangible education on the financial life skills they will need. This doesn’t mean you should suddenly “cut them off”, but it does mean you need to begin a serious discussion with them about the costs of maintaining their lifestyle and determine a timeline for passing over responsibility to them.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Budgeting is the foundation</strong></p> <p>The harsh realities of needing to budget income and spend judiciously cannot be avoided if your children are to stand on their own two feet. If you have been putting food on the table and a roof over their head, chances are their income has been directed toward spending on their own entertainment and enjoyment. Giving them an understanding of budgeting is critical for them to gain a broader view of what it takes to survive and prosper financially.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools available online or through banks, which you can encourage them to use and help them to complete. This will give them an understanding of the scope and scale of spending required to live independently, as well as an appreciation of the differences between essential living expenses (such as food, utilities, communication, transport, and rent) and discretionary spending (such as eating out, entertainment, gaming, and hobbies).</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Developing responsible habits</strong></p> <p>An extension of the budgeting process is to educate them on the vital importance of saving regularly from their income. Start with a simple rule of saving a set percentage of everything they earn. This can then be developed into goal-oriented saving for various objectives they consider important and worth sacrificing for.</p> <p>If you do want to provide some form of financial support, rather than giving random handouts toward immediate needs, perhaps you can offer to match their savings dollar for dollar in support of something worthwhile, such as a home deposit, rental bond, or a business venture. This gives real incentive to form solid saving habits that will benefit them throughout their life.</p> <p>Educating on credit is also essential. With the accessibility of credit cards and financing offers on major purchases, it is easy for them to quickly rack up personal debts that can demoralise them and distort their financial priorities. Analysing a month’s spending may point out where their income is being squandered or wasted, and will help you identify how they can save and achieve major purchases through their own income, rather than by resorting to credit.</p> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Creating wealth slowly</strong></p> <p>In a society that is focused on instant gratification, easy credit, and an expectation of getting what you want right away, your children may view the concept of creating financial independence as something that can only happen through outrageous luck or taking huge risks for quick gain. Therefore, one of the most vital lessons you can pass on is the value and importance of creating wealth slowly.</p> <p>Real financial independence is not the result of a lottery win or riding the back of an investment boom — rather it is the result of forming sound investment practices such as:</p> <ul> <li>Allocating a certain proportion of your regular savings toward longterm wealth creation plans</li> <li>Utilising available tools that accelerate wealth, such as superannuation tax incentives</li> <li>Diversifying investments beyond bank term deposits and into a variety of asset classes that relate to your investment time horizons</li> <li>Planning for contingencies (such as sudden loss of income or emergency expenses) by establishing an emergency savings plan and personal insurance protection plans</li> <li>Seeking the advice of a financial adviser to coordinate all of the above, and to develop a lifelong plan and strategy for wealth creation.</li> </ul> <p><strong class="bigger-text">Start the conversation now</strong></p> <p>Delaying the steps outlined here may result in an ongoing cycle of dependence that will only become harder to break if it isn’t addressed. Begin the conversation with your children now, and ease them toward financial responsibility with some positive encouragement and agreed goals on budgeting, spending, debt management, saving, and investing.</p> <p>What ideas have you found useful for encouraging adult kids to take on financial independence? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/helping-your-adult-kids-to-be-financially-savvy.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

How to change your mindset about money

<p>We’ve all heard money sayings like “money can’t buy you happiness.” Some of us even use these sayings regularly, but have you ever stopped to think about how true these statements really are? In fact, it may be that believing in these myths about money is holding us back from achieving financial freedom.</p> <p>“Everything we know about money has been learned from others, but this advice could actually be bad advice,” says Benjamin J Harvey, co-founder of training company,<span> </span><span>Authentic Education</span>.</p> <p>With this in mind, it makes good sense to revaluate our attitudes to personal finances to prevent limiting beliefs from stopping us becoming wealthy. Here we show you how.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">What’s our wealth imprint?</span></strong></p> <p>We start developing our views about wealth and money from a really young age. “Psychologists say our beliefs about money are set as early as age six,” says Harvey.</p> <p>He says our overall view about money is called our ‘wealth imprint.’ We get our wealth imprint from friends, the media, our parents and by developing our own views and this imprint has an unconscious impact on our relationship with money.</p> <p>“We may see our parents argue about money and decide that money is bad, or hear our friends complain about greedy rich people and decide we never want to be rich,” says Harvey. Although we may not know we’re even doing it, we could be accepting these ideas as being true.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">Why our wealth imprint is so important</span></strong></p> <p>According to Harvey, our wealth imprint often reinforces those money myths that prevent us from achieving financial freedom. As Harvey explains, it’s not that these money myths are completely untrue, but that they represent an unbalanced and limiting opinion about money.</p> <p>“If you look at the popular money and happiness myth, it’s certainly true that money can’t buy happiness, but at the same time if you are always broke, you will probably experience unhappiness, “ he says.</p> <p>“Similarly if you believe the money myth, ‘It’s selfish to want a lot of money’, then you’re less likely to attract as much wealth as someone who has a more empowering belief such as, ‘The more money I have, the more good I can do for society and the world’,” says Harvey.</p> <p>Therefore, by having a one-sided view about these statements, it often means we are trapped in a negative pattern of belief that may well become true for us.</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">Another common money myth</span></strong></p> <p>One of the biggest money myths is, “I’m too old to build wealth now.” This belief is entirely untrue, says Harvey. “Your earning capacity isn’t limited by your age.</p> <p>“There are many well-known examples of older people obtaining a level of financial success that allows them to expand their wealth.” One well-known example is Colonel Harland David Sanders, the founder of the fast food chain KFC. Colonel Sanders didn’t start the KFC business until he was 62 years old and he sold it in 1964 at the age of 73, for $2 million (roughly the equivalent of 16 million today).</p> <p><strong><span class="bigger-text">One way we can overcome our limiting beliefs</span></strong></p> <p>The human mind is very adaptable and it’s quite possible for us to change our limiting beliefs about money. Harvey says a simple, but powerful, way to change a limiting belief is to:</p> <ol> <li>First identify the limiting belief</li> <li>Identify a more empowering belief</li> <li>Reinforce this new belief by writing it down and reading it to yourself every morning and night</li> </ol> <p><em><strong>What strategies have you found helpful to change how you think about money?</strong></em></p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/how-to-change-your-mindset-about-money.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Unruly tourist’s Bunnings hat for sale in hilarious ad

<p>It’s only been a few days since the young foul-mouthed tourists who wreaked havoc in New Zealand made headlines for telling locals he was “going to punch your brains out” and now, in true internet fashion, the iconic Bunnings hat he was donning is being “auctioned” in an ad.</p> <p>A Kiwi woman took to the world wide web on Wednesday evening to list a size 12 Bunnings hat for sale, with the price starting at $NZ1.</p> <p>The woman’s hilarious product description included how she came across the hat, which she claims was found near Takapuna Beach – the location where the rowdy tourists were filmed igniting a feud with locals, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&amp;objectid=12191671" target="_blank"><em>New Zealand Herald</em></a>.</p> <p><span>The seller also takes no responsibility for what comes out of the wearer's mouth, as she claims the hat may incite foul language.</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/BsnAdp3F-PD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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/BsnAdp3F-PD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bunnings Hat (@bloodybunningshat)</a> on Jan 14, 2019 at 1:12am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Bunnings hat. Used condition. Found near Takapuna Beach discarded. Although this is a very attractive and stylish hat, I cannot be responsible for any obscenities that may flow from your mouth or rude hand gestures while wearing the hat,” the seller wrote.</p> <p>It has been reported that the tourists caused chaos throughout Auckland and Hamilton restaurants as they claimed to have found ants and hair in their food, before demanding a refund.</p> <p>The hat seller chose to take it another step further after 26-year-old Tina Marie Cash admitted to shoplifting at a Caltex station in Albany.</p> <p>“User beware. Not recommended for children even under adult supervision. This hat has no ants or hair in it. Could be useful if you decide to go travelling to see our beautiful country, perhaps see the Hobbits?</p> <p>“One size fits all. There are no sunglasses or rope with this purchase. Similar to one shown.”</p> <p>Currently the bid is at NZ$101 with 23 bids in total.</p> <p>Those who came across the witty ad decided to get involved by asking a few safety questions about the hat.</p> <p>“If I wear this hat will it give me anger issues?” asked one person, to which the seller replied: “I cannot guarantee that you will not have outbursts while wearing this hat. May be the hat that has issues or the wearer of the hat.”</p> <p>The seller says all proceeds made from the item will be donated to Auckland’s Mercy Hospice. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Make your retirement funds go the distance

<p>You only get one shot at going into retirement, so it is essential that you go in with your eyes wide open. That means being aware of where your income may be coming from, how to plan for living and recreational expenses, and making decisions that are balanced and have an eye on the long term.</p> <p>The earlier you start preparing, the more options you will have, so here are some top tips to get the ball rolling.</p> <p><strong>Where do you stand now?</strong><br />Even if you haven’t been especially concerned about financial planning throughout your working life, it is important to do so as you enter retirement, where you are no longer able to rely on earned income.</p> <p>The first part of the planning process is to get a clear understanding of where you currently stand financially. What assets do you have and what are they worth? This includes your home, your savings and investments accounts, your superannuation, and your possessions.</p> <p><strong>Key dates to be aware of</strong><br />The next step is to establish the key milestones as you transition to retirement. The first milestone is your “preservation age” — the age at which you can access your super. Provided you have retired from the workforce, the minimum preservation age is 55 years if you were born before July 1960. This age increases on a sliding scale up to age 60 for those born after June 1964.</p> <p>The second milestone is the age at which you are eligible for the age pension. For those born before July 1952, this will be 65. For those younger than that, it can be as high as age 67, depending on your date of birth. Eligibility also depends on the income and assets tests.</p> <p><strong>Plan around your lifestyle decisions</strong><br />Once you know when your super and pension income will kick in, you can start to plan your finances around the lifestyle activities you want to engage in during the potentially long years of retirement ahead. For example, you may want to:</p> <ul> <li>Travel in the earlier stages of retirement, before settling down</li> <li>Make some renovations around the home in the earlier years, so you don’t have to worry about them later</li> <li>Make major recreational purchases, such as a boat or motorhome</li> <li>Downsize your home or move to a retirement village down the track</li> </ul> <p>Ideally, all of these major lifestyle decisions should be projected early, so that you can allocate funds for them, decide where those funds should be drawn from, and ensure that you have enough left to generate an ongoing income.</p> <p><strong>Assess your income options</strong><br />Get a clear picture of where your retirement income may come from. This could include:</p> <ul> <li>Income from super</li> <li>Investments outside super</li> <li>Part-time employment</li> <li>The age pension</li> <li>Home equity release or selling the family home</li> </ul> <p>In assessing these income sources, you need to consider whether one may impact another. For example, selling the family home or working part-time may impact your age pension.</p> <p><strong>Take full advantage of entitlements</strong><br />While the age pension on its own may not be enough to fund the lifestyle you want to enjoy, it can certainly be a handy supplement to your ongoing living income. Apart from the pension itself, there may also be other benefits, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines, and reduced council and water rates, which can translate into a significant amount of savings every year.</p> <p>Structuring your investments to maximise entitlements is therefore a critical issue and some professional financial advice can make a big difference in that regard.</p> <p><strong>Is work an option?</strong><br />Not everyone is particularly keen on making a sudden shift from full-time work to full-time leisure, so if you are still interested in continuing to work part-time, it can help you delay drawing down on your super and other assets.</p> <p>There are incentives within the social security system to encourage this, so seek advice to see how it may be a good option for you financially.</p> <p><strong>Budgeting is essential</strong><br />There may be a temptation to splurge a little when you first receive a large lump sum from your super, but make sure you project your living expenses properly before taking the plunge.</p> <p>More than ever, a simple budget is essential to ensure you don’t outlive your income in retirement, so ask for advice and get things in writing to make it as tangible as possible.</p> <p>Don’t forget to include emergency funds in your budget to take care of any surprises or spikes in expenses, such as unexpected illness, a house move, or a family crisis.</p> <p><strong>Get advice early</strong> <br />As you can see from the factors mentioned here, there are many interconnected elements to planning income and expenses for retirement: speak to a financial planner to help put the puzzle together, structure a diversified investment strategy, maximise entitlements, and map out your lifestyle and living expense needs.</p> <p>What are your biggest concerns about getting through retirement without financial worry? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/make-your-retirement-funds-go-the-distance.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Woman discovers brilliant $12 Kmart bathroom hack

<p>If you’re tired of the clutter and disorganisation in your home, you’re not alone. A fellow Instagram user had decided she’d had enough and headed off to her local Kmart to see what she could find.</p> <p>Instagram user Michelle whose account is <span>@</span>lookwhat_i_found had hit the motherlode when she discovered Kmart's wicker baskets for bicycles.</p> <p>Michelle explained: <span>“When I spotted the beautiful wicker bike baskets @kmartaus -$12, I just had to create something with them.</span></p> <p>“The leather look buckle straps are perfect for attaching onto the Kmart bamboo ladder and really give the baskets a fabulous look!”</p> <p>If this is the first time you’ve branched out into DIY, Michelle explains that the hack she’s discovered isn’t difficult to do.</p> <p>“I just had to rearrange the straps by sliding them up higher to balance the baskets.”</p> <p>She even goes as far as to explain what hole the buckles need to go in on the ladder.</p> <p>“Also to get the baskets to sit properly I put the buckles towards the second last hole to hang a little lower so they sit on the rungs. They make great storage for towels or even for plants!”</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/Bscinh1hryj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=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/Bscinh1hryj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">WICKER BIKE BASKET HACK . 👉SWIPE ACROSS FOR MORE PHOTOS 😍 When I spotted the beautiful wicker bike baskets @kmartaus -$12 , I just had to create something with them . The leather look buckle straps are perfect for attaching onto the @kmartaus bamboo ladder and really give the baskets a fabulous look!❤️ I just had to rearrange the straps by sliding them up higher to balance the baskets. Also to get the baskets to sit properly I put the buckles towards the second last hole to hang a little lower so they sit on the rungs. They make great storage for towels or even for plants! Check out my Insta Stories for more @kmartaus goodies!! #kmartaus #kmartaustralia #kmartau #kmarthack #kmarthacks #hack #homeimprovement #homedecor #home #kmartaddict #diy#kmartstyling #homeinspo #homestyle #kmartmum #bargain #bargainshopper #decor #homewares #kmartstorage #diy #wicker #styling #lookwhat_i_found</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/lookwhat_i_found/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Look What i Found</a> (@lookwhat_i_found) on Jan 9, 2019 at 11:38pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Followers flooded her post with comments, with one saying, “Looks great, might try it for my bathroom”, whereas others were tagging their friends and saying that this would look great for their bathroom at home.</p> <p>One commenter had other ideas for the baskets.</p> <p>“Would be a lovely idea in kids nursery for blankets and soft toys”.</p> <p>Where would you set this up in your home? Would you set it up in the laundry or see where it would look in other rooms? Are you tempted to try this out? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Novak Djokovic fires up tennis war over Australian Open prize money

<p>A war is brewing behind the scenes of the Australian Open as men’s players struggle for more pay and independence.</p> <p>Over the weekend, Melbourne saw players, coaches and members of the men’s tennis tournament governing body the ATP struggle over issues surrounding leadership and prize money.</p> <p>At the annual players meeting on Saturday, player council chairman Novak Djokovic reportedly voted against extending the tenure of ATP’s chief executive and president Chris Kermode. However, Djokovic refused to confirm his vote, citing the meeting’s confidentiality.</p> <p>“The decision hasn’t been made on the president,” Djokovic said. “Whether there’s a renewal or not, it’s going to be decided in the next period.”</p> <p>The ATP board is due to vote on Kermode’s contract renewal before the end of the month.</p> <p>Tennis legend Roger Federer confirmed that “a lot is happening” behind the scenes. “It’s definitely interesting times, I’d like to call it, not bad times in our sport,” Federer said on Sunday.</p> <p>“It’s maybe also a bit of a transition time. So it will be interesting to see what’s going to happen.”</p> <p>A few players have publicly supported the motion to remove Kermode from his position. </p> <p>“Grand slams which report hundreds of millions of dollars in profit … yet we get less in prize money than 10 per cent of their revenue,” player council member Vasek Pospisil said in an email sent to players ranked between 50 and 100.</p> <p>“The governance structure of the ATP favours the interests of the tournaments and its owners,” said Pospisil. “We need a CEO that first and foremost represents OUR interests.”</p> <p>This is in line with Djokovic’s suggestion last year that the men’s players should form a new union that is separate from the ATP.</p> <p>However, other players have also expressed support for Kermode’s continued leadership. Swiss player Stan Wawrinka and Australia's Nick Kyrgios said Kermode’s performance in the past few years has brought men’s tennis in the right direction.</p> <p>“If you look what’s happened the last few years with our president, I think he only helped the tennis to be in a better place,” Wawrinka told<span> </span><em>The Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>“I also think that some people have some personal interest for sure … there should be a reason to move someone at that spot after a few years going quite positive for the tennis. That’s maybe where it’s a bit strange.”</p> <p>Australian coach Darren Cahill endorsed Kermode in a Twitter post, saying the 54-year-old had brought “big increases in prize money, pension plan, new events, doubles initiative supporter, new progressive rules for injured players … facility upgrades” among others.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Big increases in prize money, pension plan, new events, doubles initiative supporter, new progressive rules for injured players &amp; LL’s, challenger increases, facility upgrades ++. I’d be stunned if Chris Kermode is removed. ATP needs stability right now<a href="https://t.co/vYiHQR7OBK">https://t.co/vYiHQR7OBK</a></p> — Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) <a href="https://twitter.com/darren_cahill/status/1084188951630336000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">12 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“I’d be stunned if Chris Kermode is removed. ATP needs stability right now.”</p> <p>Do you think tennis players should receive more prize money? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Prince Harry’s $35 million fortune under threat

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

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

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

5 ways you can save money using credit cards

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

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

7 ways to take the financial stress out of your relationship

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

Money & Banking