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How Much Your Credit Card Debt Is Really Costing You

Us Aussies have a love affair with the ‘plastic fantastic’.  According to The Money Smart website Australians in total have about $34 billion in credit card debt or an average of $4,400 per credit card holder.  But how much is that credit card debt really costing us?

Assuming you have the average credit card debt of $4,400 and decide to buy nothing else on the card and your interest rate is 18% (most cards range between 17%-19% depending)… here are the numbers:

Repayment Made Total Cost Time Taken to Pay Off
Minimum (2%) $14,883 over 31 years
$100 $7,056 5 years & 11 months
$150 $5,725 3 years & 3 months

 

Yes, you read it right!!!  If you only make the minimum repayment it will take you over 31 years to pay off the $4,400 debt and cost you a total of […]

By |July 16th, 2014|Debt|24 Comments

5 Websites That Will Help You Make or Save Money

The best ways to save or make extra money are the easy ones.  So here are 5 of my favourite websites that I have used to save and/or make me a little extra money.

(1) The Centrelink Payment Finder

Dealing with Centrelink is hard and quite often it is really difficult and time consuming to figure out what you are entitled to.  The Centrelink Payment Finder makes it really simple and quickly allows you to figure out what you could receive.  It is one of my absolute faves and has alerted me to potential payments that I had no idea I could receive.  Click here to check it out.

(2) Unclaimed Money

I love to do an Unclaimed Money search.  It takes all of 20 seconds and is completely free.  Potentially it could find you any lost bank accounts, shares or life insurance […]

By |June 25th, 2014|Budgeting|45 Comments

The Superannuation Co-Contribution – How To Get An Extra $500 Superannuation For Free

I am so excited – this year I qualify for the government’s superannuation co-contribution scheme and I am absolutely going to take it up!!  Let’s face it, there are not many ways you can get $500 for free, particularly from the Government!!!  However, this is one of them and it is really easy!!! Who would have thought!!!

So here is how you do it!  Pretty much to qualify for the full benefit of $500 you have to earn less than $33,516 and put an after-tax contribution of $1000 into your superannuation fund by the 30th of June 2014.  As long as you have put the contribution into your fund and you file your tax-return, the $500 will automatically be paid into your fund by the government.  (Click here to see the full criteria).

If you earn between $33,516 and $48,516, you will still get […]

By |June 19th, 2014|Superannuation|13 Comments

How To Finance Your Home Renovations

This post is brought to you by Newcastle Permanent

Renovating your home can be a fabulous way to add serious value to your home and improve your prospects at resale.  Interest rates are low and property prices are high, so renovating does appear to be an attractive investment option.  So the big question is, once you have picked out your new bathroom or kitchen, how are you going to finance it?

Here are some of the more common financing options when you don’t have the cash to pay for the renovations up front.

(1)    Take out a home equity loan or line of credit.

A line of credit or home equity loan is a loan against the value of your house but unlike a mortgage which must be used to purchase your home, a line of credit can be spent on anything, including renovations.  A line […]

By |December 5th, 2013|Mortgages|10 Comments

Three Easy Ways To Find Your Lost Superannuation

Loads of people I speak to have lost superannuation.  Actually, I think most people do, you simply change jobs a few times and lose track.  Easily done.  Well, until recently one of those people was my husband.  Yes, my husband had superannuation that had been lost in the system from a job he had ten years ago!

I cannot tell you how much this irked me.  Finding your lost superannuation is the quickest and easiest way to boost your superannuation balance, and it helps keep you off cat food in retirement.  Having explained this to my husband, I started a campaign to get him to move his superannuation.  So year one, not wanting to be the nagging wife, I would gently remind him that he had a new job and that he should move his superannuation.  Nothing.  Year two, I stepped up the campaign a notch and I printed out the […]

By |September 24th, 2013|Superannuation|12 Comments

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Paying off your mortgage early can be a great investment.  Not only do you get the banks off your back but it frees up cash to be put towards other investments and most importantly it saves you thousands of dollars in interest.  Most people don’t know this but if you let your mortgage run for the full 30 years you will end up paying the banks almost as much in interest as it cost you to buy the house in the first place!!!  You can see why the banks make so much money!!!

In a nutshell, paying off your mortgage quickly is not rocket science, there are only two things you need to do.  Firstly, you need to find the cheapest home loan you can.  Then you need to make as many extra repayments as you can, as quickly as you can.  This two pronged approach means not only is it […]

By |August 29th, 2013|Mortgages|41 Comments

Top tips for getting rid of your credit card debt

Credit card debt is a major issue for a lot of parents.  Let’s face it having children is expensive and income is often reduced as parents take a break from the work force or return to work part time.  However, like most things, when used wisely credit cards can be a handy tool in managing your finances.

My number one tip and the key to success when it comes to using credit cards, is to ensure that the balance is paid off in full every single month.  For us, we have found setting up a direct debit through internet banking as the best way to ensure this is done.  My other key strategy is to only ever have one credit card.  This makes it easy to keep track of our spending.

But if you already have a credit card debt what is fastest way out?  Here is my simple four-step plan to get […]

By |March 28th, 2013|Debt|5 Comments