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Are Christmas Club Savings Accounts A Good Way To Save For Christmas?

You have probably never even heard of a Christmas Club Savings Account.  They are an account that helps you save for Christmas by allowing you to make direct deposits of your savings during the year but you can’t access the account without penalty until Christmas time, generally from the 1st of November.  Christmas Club  Savings Accounts were really popular in the 1970s and 1980s and are now becoming harder to find.  The big banks no longer offer them but you can still find them with some of the smaller banks and credit unions.   So are Christmas Club Savings Accounts worth it?

Well, the biggest pro for a Christmas Club Savings Account is that they allow you to start a regular savings habit for Christmas, while restricting your access during the year.  Generally speaking most accounts allow you to access your money for free from the 1st of November until the 31st […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Christmas|13 Comments

5 Easy Ways To Sort Out Your Superannuation for Spring!

Yayyyy!  Spring has sprung (not that you can tell from our recent weather!) and it is time to get cracking on sorting out all those things you have neglected over the cold winter months.  Now I am not just talking about getting rid of the dust bunnies hiding behind the furniture (guilty) but spring can be a great time to sort out your superannuation too!  I know most people would rather poke their eyes out with hot sticks than think about their superannuation.  However, the truth is that superannuation is your friend; it is there to help you out when you get older and want escape from the world of work forever.  Unfortunately nowadays you cannot rely on the pension to save you as governments creep the qualification age further and further away.  So do it!  Follow these five easy steps and sort out your superannuation for spring and keep yourself […]

By |September 8th, 2014|Superannuation|18 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

5 Financial Tips You Should Know Now You’re a Parent

Let’s face it parenthood changes everything.  From your social life to your ability to go to the bathroom in peace.  Things are no longer just about you and your partner, there are other considerations that must be made.  With parenthood also comes extra financial responsibility, there are extra costs and quite often less income coming in the door as one partner stays home or changes to part time work.

So here are five financial tips that you need to know now you are a parent:

  1. You should make sure you have a Will. I know you don’t want to think about it, but a Will is crucial in making sure that your children are well looked after should anything happen to you, your partner or both of you.  It gives you the ability to say how your assets will be distributed and even who should have custody of your children should the worst […]
By |August 20th, 2013|General Finance|37 Comments

How To Make Your Savings Work Harder (And It’s Not As Easy As You Think!)

Your savings are an investment.  They are not something that should be plonked into the same old  savings account because that is what you have always done.  You can, and should make your savings work harder.  With the latest round of interest rate cuts, interest rates are low and it is now even more important to make sure you are getting the best possible return for your savings.  “Don’t I just pick the account with the highest rate?” I hear you say.  Yes, generally speaking, but like most things it is not as easy as just that.  So here are a few things you need to look out for in choosing the best possible a savings account for your cash.

  1. What is the interest rate?  I know it is an obvious one.  The higher the better but there are a couple of tricks when looking at the rate.  Firstly, you have […]
By |August 15th, 2013|Saving|19 Comments

Money Mummy’s Top Tax Tips

No one likes tax time, well maybe except accountants (they love that sort of thing), so I have decided to put together my top tax tips to help you get through tax time as painlessly as possible.   Here goes:

(1)    My number one golden rule when it comes to tax is that if the Taxman owes me money, (think refund), I get my tax done as quickly as possible.  If it is likely that I owe the Taxman, for example I have made extra cash through saving or investments, I don’t submit my return until the 31st of October if I am doing it myself.  If you use a tax agent, you can push it out even further.  Most tax agents have an extension until the 31st of May, but confirm with your agent to be sure.

(2)    Consider using the ATO’s online tax preparation and lodgement service called e-tax.  It’s […]

By |July 17th, 2013|Tax|8 Comments

Investing In Property: Investing Basics Part 6

The Money Mummy Guide to Investing is back and this week we are going to look at the risk and return characteristics of property investments and how these could fit into your overall investment strategy.

Now as Australian’s we are renown for being in love with property.  It is easy to see why, residential property has been an amazing performer, such that we now have some of the most expensive residential property in the world.  I will have to admit, I have a bias against Australian residential property as an investment, right now.  Simply because on most measures it is simply unaffordable.  How many people do you know who are struggling to buy a property?  So despite low interest rates, in my view there is little room for property prices to keep on climbing.   (I will also admit that I said this five years ago when we brought our family home, […]

By |July 4th, 2013|Investing Basics, Investment Types|0 Comments

What Are Fixed Interest Investments?: Investing Basics Part 5

This week we are going to look at the risk and return characteristics of fixed interest investments and how these could fit into your overall investment strategy.  When you make an investment in a fixed interest product you are essentially agreeing to lend an institution (say a bank in the case of a term deposit), or a government (in the case of a government bond) or a company, money.  In return they agree to give you regular interest payments and at the end of the period they will give you your initial investment (capital) back.

Common examples of fixed interest investments include:

  • government and semi government bonds,
  • corporate bonds,
  • term deposits,
  • secured and unsecured notes
  • hybrid investments.

Generally speaking, fixed interest investments are considered to be more risky than holding your money in cash but overall are considered quite low on the risk spectrum.  But it should be noted, just because an investment is in the fixed […]

By |May 23rd, 2013|Investment Types|0 Comments

What Are My Investment Choices? Investing Basics Part 4

So now you have an idea of your risk profile (tolerance) and you understand the relationship between risk and return, it’s time to look at characteristics of the broad asset classes or types of investment.  It is important to understand the different investment types as each category has different levels of expected risk and return.  Understanding what to expect from the different asset types will help you decide which categories of investments best suit your investment goals and your timeframe.

Generally speaking, there are considered five broad investment types or asset classes:

  1. Cash – investments like savings accounts, high interest accounts, bank bills
  2. Fixed Interest – includes government bonds and bond like securities issued by companies called hybrids
  3. Property – includes residential, retail, industrial and office properties.
  4. Australian Shares – are shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange which cover many different sectors such as mining, healthcare, banking and retail.
  5. International Shares – are shares […]
By |May 9th, 2013|Investing Basics, Investment Types, Saving|2 Comments

Investment Basics: Risk and Return – The Money Mummy Guide to Investing Part 3

There is a trade off between risk and return.  Anyone who tells you any different is lying.  If I had a dollar, for every time a client told me about a no risk investment returning a guaranteed 20%, I would be on a beach somewhere, right now.  My advice is always the same, it is highly likely you are being scammed, run!

Remember risk is the chance that an investment won’t give you the return you expect.  It is the chance of losing some or even all of your investment.  Higher risk investments are generally associated with higher potential returns.  Low risk investments are generally associated with lower potential returns.  This is the risk/return trade off.  No one in their right mind would take on a high risk investment for a low potential return.    It makes no sense, the return you get at the end of the day does not compensate […]

By |May 2nd, 2013|Investing Basics, Risk|4 Comments