Invest in a property from $50 per week
Owning a property is probably more affordable than you think. If you can spare $50 a week, then you’re halfway there. Money comes up with three scenarios to cater to a range of investing budgets: $50 a week, $150 a week and $250 a week. We also take you through a seven-step guide to help you on your way, including the size of your deposit, how much you can afford each week, how much can you borrow and how to choose the right loan. The majority of investment property owners earn between $35,000 and $80,000, so the great Australian dream needn’t be just be a dream – it can be a reality!
HOW TO TACKLE AN ENERGY CRISIS
Story Anne Lampe
You’ve just received an energy bill which is through the roof and you’re adamant that it’s incorrect. You refuse to pay it….but are there consequences? Choosing to not pay your bill isn’t an advisable option, but there are a number of steps you can take. Money takes a look at some scenarios, such as what to do if you can’t afford to pay the bill, what to do if the supplier threatens to disconnect and if you have a poor credit rating as a result of not paying the bill, can a retailer knock you back?
IN YOUR INTEREST
Although he’s a fan, Paul Clitheroe finds he can resist this TV offering
Whilst Paul sat down in front of the television to unwind, he noticed an advertisement offering a Cashfirst loan of up to $5000, approved online within 24 hours. Out of curiosity, Paul found himself on the lenders website to investigate what the go was. Turns out the interest rate is 30% plus. Woah! So why would you choose to go with a lender that charges this much interest when a low cost credit card only charges 10 – 12%? Paul suspects the online application and 60 second approval is a pretty compelling feature. But even the worst credit card on the market is not likely to have this rate!
My funds are failing
Story Paul Clitheroe
Sophie is married with a 19-month-old toddler. Her managed funds are currently worth $32,000 (Colonial) and $22,000 (OnePath). She put an inheritance of around $40,000 into these shares in 1998 and it’s only gone up by $14,000 with all the turmoil in recent years. Should she put it in a term deposit and leave it there? Or put a deposit on another property?
Sophie wants to use it towards her daughter’s education (hopefully private high school but at least university). She also has $51,000 in super and was convinced to put it into Colonial, rather than my industry super and it has been performing really badly. Should I move it? Paul delivers his verdict.
Getting a second job
Story Maria Bekiaris
A second job isn’t a bad idea when you’re in need of some extra cash. Not only can a second job help boost your income, you can potentially gain extra skills along the way. So what are the tax implications of taking up a second job? When should you claim the tax-free threshold and should you claim it from either employers or just the one? Money takes a look at the tax implications of moonlighting as well as a few other tips you should consider to make it worthwhile.
It’s the card costs that count, says Effie Zahos
Story Effie Zahos
Is there such a thing as credit card status? Unless the card is made of titanium – Amex’s Centurion Card is by invitation only and requires a $5000 joining fee along with a $2500 annual fee – I personally wouldn’t bat an eyelid if somebody pulled out a gold or even platinum card.
In the ’80s, the colour of your card may have flagged your financial success but today all it confirms is that you earn at least the average wage and you’re willing to pay up to four times more than the average standard reward card annual fee. You have to ask yourself: Do the extra benefits and features offered by platinum cards justify their extra cost?
RAISE YOUR GLASS
Where to go to get the best deal on liquor
Story Emi Berry
The smell of sausages and onions on the BBQ are fast becoming a regular event on the weekends as the weather warms up. It’s probably not a bad time to re-stock the bar fridge for those unexpected visitors and last minute BBQ’s. With so many liquor outlets, many of them owned by supermarket operators such as Woolies and Coles and of course the independents, where is the best place to go for a bargain? Money takes four commonly purchased products from the top four liquor segments – beer, wine, bottled spirits and ready to drink (RTDs) – and compare prices across a big box liquor store, an outlet next to a supermarket, a stand-alone liquor outlet and an independent outlet. You may be surprised by the result.
Time to cut down usage
Story Susan Hely
With the cost of water on the rise and the impending warmer months forecast to be hot and dry, now is the time to reduce your water usage. There are a number of ways you can reduce your water consumption by using water saving devices such as efficient shower heads and dual-flush toilets. Rainwater tanks are also a great way to bring down costs, but with meteorologists predicting a return to the dry-weather El Nino climate pattern, a greywater system to recycle water from the bathroom and the laundry might be the go. By installing a greywater system, you could cut new water use by 50%. Money also has other handy tips on how you can save on water consumption this summer.
The US digs a deeper hole
Story Ross Greenwood
If you’re $16 trillion in debt, what’s the best way to solve the problem? Create even more debt by printing even more money. That’s got to be the answer. The US Federal Reserve – like the European Central Bank before it – has decided it has no other choice than to dig the hole even deeper. The hole is one that will not be filled in the lifetimes of most of us. Indeed, it appears, there is no plan or commitment to even try to fill it. Ross Greenwood believes the Aussie dollar’s glory days are numbered.
Swim star’s big plunge
Interview with Michael Klim
Story Deborah Light
When he left home to join Canberra’s Institute of Sport, aged 16, Michael Klim knew so little about life outside swimming he couldn’t post a letter. “I was useless,” he recalls, shaking his head – that great, trademark, gleaming dome. “My mum used to do everything for me. It was kinda sad.” Today the former Olympic, World and Commonwealth gold medallist runs a growing young business turning over $4 million – up about 17% on last year’s sales – through Australia’s supermarket majors and others, also abroad, including the British pharmacy giant Boots. Deborah Light talks with Michael Klim.
HIGHLIGHTS AND GIVEAWAYS
• Reader offer: Save 90% on your will. Usually $149.95, readers can have their will drafted for $14.99, a saving of 90% on the regular price.
• Book of the month: Invest my way. We’re giving away 10 copies to our readers.
• Subscribe or renew your subscription to Money before November 6 and receive a Dymo Letra Tag worth $54.50.
• Money’s Letter of the Month gets a 12-month subscription to Money magazine.