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6 Ways To Save Money On Your Child’s Birthday Party

If you choose to use the KISS principle anywhere in your life, you should absolutely use it when you are hosting a kids birthday party.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the KISS principle it stands for “Keep it simple, stupid!”  We applied this principle big time when it came to our daughter’s first and second birthdays.  We just grabbed a picnic blanket, a couple of roast chooks from up the road and headed down to our local park with a couple of friends.  Simple, low stress and oh so cheap.

This year, with Miss Money turning 3, she really wanted a proper birthday party.  So, with much trepidation we decided to give it a go.  Kids birthday parties are a bit like weddings, it is easy to get carried away and they can easily become black holes for cash.  So here are 6 ways we saved money whilst […]

By |September 5th, 2013|Saving|27 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

How Interest Rates Impact You And Your Family (It’s Not Just About Mortgage Holders)

Interest rate talk is everywhere, especially with last week’s decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to cut the official interest rate to 2.5%.  Many people think that changes in interest rates impact only those who have a mortgage but this is simply not true.  Changes in interest rates impact everybody.  They influence whether individuals like you and I decide to save or spend or borrow.  Or whether businesses, large and small will expand or contract.  In this way interest rates impact the direction of the whole economy, impacting the daily lives of you and me.

So let’s start at the start – what is an interest rate?  An interest rate is simply the price of money.  The lower interest rates are the cheaper it is to borrow money and spend it and the less attractive it is to save money (because you don’t get much return on your savings).  […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Interest Rates|3 Comments

10 Easy Ways To Save Money

Ok, here is a confession.  I am not very good at sticking to a strict budget.  For me, it’s like being on a soup diet, it is just not possible!  However, on my journey from being a spender to a saver I have learnt several tips that have helped my bank balance to grow.  Most of them are small things but the best part is that instead of being a chore or a punishment they have simply become a part of the way I live my life.

So today I would like to share them with you:

  1. I always write a shopping list and stick to it.  Supermarkets are the land of temptation.  They are deliberately designed that way.  Where and how each product is placed is planned to get you to spend more.  They call it the “theatre” of the shopping experience.  Have you ever wondered why the milk is always […]
By |August 2nd, 2013|Saving|21 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

Is Costco Membership Worth It?

For quite a while I have been wanting to check out a Costco store.  They promise big savings but I find it hard to stomach the concept of paying a $60 yearly membership fee for the privilege of shopping at their store, without knowing whether the savings stack up.  After much consideration, I decided to take a leap of faith and sign up for a year to find out what all the fuss was about.  So I powered off down Parramatta Road, handed over my cash and added an extra card to my wallet.  But the big question is was it all worth it?

In a word, I think, yes.  But let’s start at the beginning first.  For those who haven’t been Costco it is true American shopping experience.  Everything is super sized!  In terms of the store itself, think Bunnings with food!

But it is not just food you can buy […]

By |July 10th, 2013|Budgeting|47 Comments

Investing Basics – How Do I Get Started? The Money Mummy Guide to Investing Part 1

Yesterday I posted an article which showed that women are better than investors than men, but knowing you have the potential to be a good investor is of no use, unless you know where to start.  So welcome to the Money Mummy school of investing!  Every Thursday I am going to publish a post which guides you through the key principles that you need to know when making your first investment decision.  Successful investing is not difficult and has nothing to do with luck.  There are a few fundamental ideas that you need to know which will greatly increase your chances of success and help you avoid disasters.  So let’s get started.

Before you invest a cent, there is one very important thing you must do and that is make sure your “financial house” is in order.  You must be very clear about how much debt you owe and what type […]

By |April 18th, 2013|Debt, Investing Basics, Saving|2 Comments

Three Things You Really Need to Know When Saving and Investing For Your Child

The best time to start saving for your child is now.  Whether it be for their education, or to buy a car or a deposit for a house, having time on your side and a long term investment horizon will help you to your reach your goals.  However, there are three things you really need to know about when investing/saving for your child:

  1. Watch out for the taxman!

Investing directly in your child’s name is unlikely to be the most tax effective way of saving for your child.  This is due to tough penalty taxes for minors.  The Government has put this in place to stop parents funneling money into their children’s names to avoid tax.  The penalty tax is applied to “unearned income”, that is money the child has not worked for and includes income such as interest, share dividends and distributions from trusts.  If you invest under your child’s name, the […]

By |April 3rd, 2013|Saving|19 Comments