One Dollar More: Personal Finance Picks for October

In lieu of writing my own blog post I thought I’d post on One Dollar More with my top personal finance blog picks from October.

Billshrink VC Firms [Infographic]

“Where’s the money? Here’s a look at where the most active VC firms in the US are and the biggest deals have been made. Venture funding increased during the third quarter over the first two quarters of 2009, but is still down 33 percent from one year ago.” Link

11 Incredible Homes From Around the World for Under $50K

“No doubt there will be a few reading ready to point out the error in the title. Surely, it’s a mistake? Homes for less than 50K? No way! But yet, it’s true.” Link

92 Quotes About Debt That’ll Make You Think, Laugh, & Tweet!

“A passionate quote can provoke thought, encourage laughter, or inspire thousands into action.” Link from Man vs Debt

Contest: Free Access to a Resume Service

There’s a contest on over at Miranda Marquit’s Yielding Wealth blog where one lucky winner will win a free resume CV consultation. With the news that unemployment is up, and the likelihood that we will be seeing a jobless recovery increasing each week, your ability to get a job becomes important. Enter it if you need to brush up that resume.

20 Signs Your Personal Finances Are In Tatters

“It’s payday next week, and the time just isn’t going quick enough. You’ve already earmarked a dozen things you want to buy, and then there’s those nights out with your mates you planned – now you can finally afford a few drinks… or can you?”

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The 3 Categories of Money: Earn, Spend and Give

Money, its such a big subject but its something that we all need to understand better than we do and its something that i want to be able to teach to my kids.

There are basically only 3 categories of money; earning money (or ‘obtaining’ it), spending money and giving money away.

These are the 3 basic areas of personal finance I want to think about in this blog post.  If you’re like most people you will think you’re not earning enough, you spend too much and you need to work on giving your money away to church, charity or friends in need.

Earning Money

Doesn’t matter how you phrase it, this is the bringing in of money which means getting a job. Your income, believe it or not is the most important part of the personal finance equation and you have to protect your income if you’re ever going to getting out of dodge.

Spending Money

What do you spend your money on? Groceries, latte’s, rent, loan repayments, fuel, clothes, holidays, miscellaneous expenses. The list goes on and on. The simple truth is that if you are going to be wise with your money you should never be spending more than you earn, nor anywhere close. Dave Ramsey, for instance, would teach that you shouldn’t be spending more than 1/3% of your take home (post tax) pay on home loan repayments otherwise you’ll become ‘house poor’ i.e only able to afford the house but having nothing left over for perks, holidays, little treats and of course giving money.

Giving Money

How do you perform in the giving department? Do you give you charity? Are you generous with your money? Or are you like a lot of people who are sticklers for giving?

My post is over for tonight. Hope thats been something worth reading.

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Shopaholics: Five Common Traits of a Compulsive Shopper

The top five traits of a shopaholic are somewhat comedic when you consider this person shops for items that are of no use. This is a compulsive behavior attributed to 1 out of every 20 people. It is not limited to one gender, but affects men and women equally. The most famous stash is probably the clothes and shoes found in the closet of Imelda Marcos. Mary Todd Lincoln had over 84 pairs of gloves. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Diana had huge wardrobes of clothes. William Randolph Hearst collected expensive and eccentric art, antiques, tile and stone.

Inner Self of the Shopaholic

The average person shops for items they need, except during festive seasons when they are buying gifts for others. Think of the shopaholic as an average shopper on steroids. Shopaholics are addicted to the rush they get from shopping. They need the same rush that a gambler gets when let loose in a casino, the rush of a drunk who cannot stay out of the local pub or the person who drops into every lottery station hoping for a miracle. Continue reading

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A Simple Guide to Moving House

Moving House Boxes

Moving House Boxes

I helped a family member move a mammoth 3 hrs north from where they had been living and I can tell you that moving house at best is a busy and stressful time, but there are ways to make the move run more smoothly and organised which means less stress come moving day. A movers’ checklist helps keep the task at hand from the beginning to end of the move.

Here are the tips that I have learned:

About 4 – 6 weeks before the move, a firm date has to be set to move into the new house and arrangements made with your job to have moving day off. Then preparations for mail to be redirected to the new address on the move date needs to be made. And before any early packing can be done, all of the junk and unused stuff needs to be purged from the home and got rid of (this allows for a fresh start). When planning a move a few things to consider are; will all of the appliances fit in the new house, will the budget allow for professional movers or will friends and family help move.

Another moving checklist needs to be done about 2 weeks before the moving date and should include; the connection and disconnection of utility accounts for both houses, canceling any local services associated to the current house that is being lived in. When the furniture and all other personal belongings are moved from the house it needs to be properly cleaned either by a professional carpet cleaner and general house cleaner or if doing it yourself is an option because the budget is a factor.

On moving day there are several last minute things going on, so it is helpful to have a checklist to check off tasks that are done. Getting up early will allow plenty of time to get ready for the day and pack up a few last minute essentials needed for everyday life in a house. This includes; all bathroom items, medicines, toiletries, and a change of clothes. Another box of kitchen essentials needs to be packed after it is used, which usually includes; coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, snacks, coffee pot, silverware, mugs, and etc…

Knowing the inventory of the furniture going out will help when it goes into the new house. Before leaving check all storage areas, windows, and doors of the house before locking the doors for good. Make or confirm the collection of the key and turn off electricity at the meter. Be sure to keep all important papers, insurance papers, valuables, and personal items with you.

Photo source: 1

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Top Reasons Why Your Personal Finances Are In Tatters

Coming home to a nasty credit card bill

Coming home to a nasty credit card bill. Source: photo

Let’s face it – money is tight these days no matter who you are or where you live. Learning to save and correctly budget your money is a skill that eventually improve your personal finances no end. This applies not only to those with low income jobs, but to anyone who would like to sleep comfortably knowing that they are not in debt. That said, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself afloat without having to live like a ‘serf’.

Forget about the flat-screen television. Even though “everyone” has one these days, and you can sometimes get a “no payments no interest for twelve months” at your local department store, the bottom line is that this is a luxury that is unnecessary to daily living. Don’t give in to the trend! Next, ditch the premium television channels. You may be able to lower your cable bill from $100 a month to $30 a month if you can do without the higher end channels. Also, hold back on putting a TV in every room. The extra electricity that you will use adds up to a hefty sum of money.

Eating out too often is another way that people tend to spend much more money than necessary. Sure, it can be nice to go out for a steak every once in a while, but try limiting this to once every two weeks. After all, cooking at home is usually more satisfying to begin with! However, don’t use this as an excuse to eat poorly, as this will not help anyone in the long run. Stick to grains, fruits and vegetables. It is also important to get plenty of exercise to compliment your diet.

Don’t jump into leasing a car if you are looking for a new vehicle, as in the end you will pay much more money than you would if you just bought the car in the beginning. On that note, try to make your vehicle last as long as possible, as buying a new car every few years can be a huge source of wasted money.

Skip the urge to buy the latest and greatest cell phone – this is a trend, just like the flat panel TV! If you really need it for your business then go for it if you can justify it but its just a toy for the purposes of showing off then reconsider.

Another reason why your personal finances are in tatters – you constantly buy new clothes! Why not make use of your old clothes instead of spending a heap of money on new ones all the time!  Fashion comes and it goes. Try to buy clothes that will last for more than one season. Try to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Take these simple pieces of advice on board and you will be able to stay afloat a little bit better.

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The Best Gold Cards on the Market For Australians

The Best Gold Card on the Market in Australia

The Best Gold Card on the Market for Australians

Even in the midst of a recession, there are those who have and those who have not. Those who have money generally know how they got it. Those who ‘have not’, excellently referred to as the “Not So Well To Do’s” on Free From Broke, by contrast generally have no idea why the have no money! Anyway, I digress.

For those who have, there are a number of ….’options’ when it comes to the golden variety of plastic. I thought I would take the time to do a post on the gold cards on the market in Australia and here’s what I’ve come up with.

If you’re is looking for high credit limits, then check out the CitiBusiness Gold Card or American Express Gold Choice credit cards. The CitiBusiness Gold Card has a whopping $60,000 credit limit while the American Express Gold Choice Card has a maximum $50,000 credit limit … for those who qualify. Both cards feature aggressive reward point systems and 55 day interest free days, but the CitiBusiness Gold Card also offers 7.99% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.

Those ‘who have’ and are looking for gold credit cards with a comparatively low APR might be surprised to find the ANZ’s Gold Visa Card or the Citibank Gold Card. The ANZ Gold Card has 17.49% per annum interest rate which is much less than the 19.99% of the Citibank Gold Card.

  • The ANZ card offers 44 days of interest free days on purchases as well as 24/7 travel assistance wheras the Citibank gold offers 55 days interest free, travel insurance plus access to Citibank World Privileges.
  • Both the ANZ Gold Visa Card and the Citibank card come with international travel insurance.
  • The ANZ Gold Visa Card comes with a credit limit up to $25,000 and a 7.99% balance transfer period of 6 months.
  • The Citibank Gold Card comes with a credit limit up to $25,000 and a 2.9% balance transfer period of 6 months.
  • For those who travel internationally it is worth noting that Citibank has branches in many countries which might just sway you….if you are a ‘have’.

Don’t overlook the NAB, which offers the NAB Qantas Gold Card allowing cardholders to earn Frequent Flyer points on everyday purchases. The NAB Qantas gold cards feature slightly higher APRs than their non-Qantas counterparts at 17.99%.

If you’re looking to transfer large balances at low interest rates then they ought to look at the Citibank Gold Card or the CBA Gold Card. The Citibank Gold Card offers an incredibly low 2.99% per annum rate on balance transfers for a full year while the CBA card offers a very reasonable 5.99% per annum rate on all balance transfers for a 5 month period.

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Top 5 Money Saving Tips For Recession Survival

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In our current struggling global economy, every penny counts. Families and individuals right across Australia are increasingly interested in discovering new ways to save money. Here are my five top ways to save money, which will go a long way in keeping you solvent while still allowing you to enjoy the good things in life.

#1 – Set Yourself a Personal Spending Budget and Goals

The number one way to save money is to have a good understanding of where your money is being spent and to set budgeting goals to meet every month. Many people overspend in certain areas at the beginning of every month and then find themselves short when it comes time to pay bills or other expenses toward the end of the month. They then find themselves overextended, paying for things on credit and living outside of their means. When you set yourself a personal spending budget and set savings goals, you gain a realistic awareness of the money flowing in and out of your bank account, which can help to curb spontaneous emotional purchases and ensure that you are able to fulfill all of your financial responsibilities every month.

#2 – Save Money Regularly

Individuals living outside of their means rarely set aside money in savings for emergencies or large purchases, which can leave them in the lurch when large sums of money are required with little advance notice. A savings goal can help you to live within your means, while still acquiring large sums of money over time that can allow you to enjoy the large luxury purchases that can elevate your standard of living. Setting aside even a small sum every month is better than saving nothing at all. You may be wise to schedule a direct debit to your savings account every month, to ensure that saving is a kept a top priority in your budget.

#3 – Choose a Bank Account that Rewards Savings with High Interest and Low/Zero Bank Fees

Many accounts exist that will pay top dollar for the privilege of your holding your savings. Search out banks that offer a high interest introductory offer, which includes low or non-existent monthly bank fees. You can automatically transfer money from your checking account into saving every month and enjoy watching as your savings steadily increases through interest payments over the months and years.

#4 – Pay Off Higher Interest Debts First

The higher the rate is on your credit card, the more you pay every month in interest on your principle amount borrowed. It stands to reason, therefore, to pay off your highest interest rate debts first. This will allow you to minimize the interest payments you will make on your debt and save money with which to pay off your lower interest cards.

#5 – Save Securely

Deposits of up to A$1 million at all eligible Australian Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) are guaranteed by the Government at no cost. This means that even during tumultuous global economic times, your money will be safe against market fluctuation or the closing of a major financial institution.

What are your top money tips? Leave a comment with your top money saving tip below.

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