Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Australian’s Household Debt Ranks #4 In The World. When Will We Listen?



You’d probably think the consumer country, United States would rank above Australia, but they are almost half of our debt per household.

Australians have a debt problem and they’re not listening. High household debt is worrying at its best. It’s like a big semi-trailer screaming down the highway. If something bad happens in front of it, the driver has an extremely difficult time trying to stop, or even manoeuvre.

You’re probably saying it’s ok because our interest rates are low. What happens when they go up a quarter of a percent or half a percent, let alone when they creep up 1%? It’ll hurt.

The cost of ‘necessities’ like power, insurance, transport and health creep up every year. The fastest real household spending growth (2016/17) has been in Communications (phone, internet etc) at a rate of 6.6%, Medicine and Medical Aids at 4.9%, Household Appliances (because we are a Nation of consumers) at 4.9%, and Transport Services at 4.8%. Have your wages crept up at those rates?

Something has to give when household expenses are increasing each year, and household incomes are not. It’s usually the household savings that suffer.

So, you are in a better position than most if you actually have savings when things change. What if you don’t?

Then your debt increases. You borrow against your home, or you chase around for another credit card and start that evil route of spending money you don’t have.

I don’t want to get all technical and confuse you with WPI and GDP numbers as most of you will switch off so I’m keeping it simple.

It’s ok to have debt if it’s manageable within your means, but just be wary that low interest and a fairly good economy does have cycles and can change for the worst.

You need to keep a close eye on your finances, not just in your head, or a bank’s phone APP on your account’s activity this month. No, you really need to sit down and create a budget.

The secret is to have a plan, some guidance, direction, a helping hand. When it comes to saving, or not spending, it’s easy enough to put a plan in place, but whatever tool you use must break it down for you.

To take control of your money you need to understand the flow of it: Money comes in from . . . and Money goes out to . . .

Your budgeting tool needs to show you what your finances currently look like, what simple options are available to budget, and then how you can easily save money from that budget.

Everyone talks about a “Budget Plan”. I personally call it “Your Spending Plan” because that is what we are trying to control here – your spending

By creating a Spending Plan you can learn:
  • ·       What your expenses are to the dollar
  • ·       Know exactly what you have to spend
  • ·       How to use your credit card wisely
  • ·       And be able to take charge of your money and build financial security.

If you understand how your money flows, and you can learn that, you will see exactly what you are spending, what your expenses are, and how small changes can save you big money.

If you’re still reading this, you obviously know that you need something to help you manage your spending. I’m not saying to stop spending. You just need to be able to manage your money better.

Your Wealth Vault has created a course format budget which guides you step-by-step to create Your Spending Plan giving you the knowledge and capability to have optimum control over your money.

Spending, which you’ll still do, will take on a whole new light. You’ll be able to do it without the guilt and remorse you currently face.

The course, and creating and managing Your Spending Plan each month, will set you back the cost of 3 cups of coffee each month, but what you will save on your expenses should far outweigh that cost.

If you have ANY concerns about your finances and your spending, you need to visit Your Spending Plan.


Tuesday, 6 February 2018

#1 Way to Stop Overspending and Get Your Budget Under Control


You start every month with really good intentions, or maybe you wait for your new years resolution to roll around to “save more money this year.” Just like the diet, you soon succumb to “oh just this once” and then you get buyers remorse at the end of the month when all of your bills come in.




The signs of being a spending culprit should be fairly self-evident so I won’t go into detail other than to list them:

·       Your budget doesn’t add up – if you even have one. You’re spending more than you make.

·       Your credit cards are always at their limit.

·       You can, or do, only pay the minimum payment. This can get you into so much trouble financially.

·       You splurge on buying stuff, or on entertainment, and neglect your bills.

·       If your income rises, so do your expenses.

·       There’s more in your wardrobe than in your bank account.

·       You can’t make a start to make a change.

You may think you can’t change, but you can as long as you firstly realise there is a problem. It’s kind of like being a gambler, smoker, or alcoholic – you want to quit but it’s too hard to know how, or where to start, let alone stick to it.

The secret is to have a plan, some guidance, direction, a helping hand. When it comes to saving, or not spending, it’s easy enough to put a plan in place, but whatever tool you use must break it down for you.

To take control of your money you need to understand the flow of it: Money comes in from . . . and Money goes out to . . .

Your budgeting tool needs to show you what your finances currently look like, what simple options are available to budget, and then how you can easily save money from that budget.

Everyone talks about a “Budget Plan”. I personally call it “Your Spending Plan” because that is what we are trying to control here – your spending.

By creating a Spending Plan you can learn:

·       what your expenses are to the dollar

·       know exactly what you have to spend

·       how to use your credit card wisely

·       and be able to take charge of your money and build financial security.

If you understand how your money flows, and you can learn that, you will see exactly what you are spending, what your expenses are, and how small changes can save you big money.

If you’re still reading this, you obviously know that you need something to help you manage your spending. I’m not saying to stop spending. You just need to be able to manage your money better.

Your Wealth Vault has created a ‘Your Money Sense’ course which guides you step-by-step to create Your Spending Plan which gives you the knowledge and capability to have optimum control over your money.

Spending, which you’ll still do, will take on a whole new light. You’ll be able to do it without the guilt and remorse you currently face.

The course, and creating and managing Your Spending Plan each month, will set you back the cost of 3 cups of coffee each month, but what you will save on your expenses should far outweigh that cost.

If you have ANY concerns about your finances and your spending, you need to visit Your Spending Plan.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Just Because You Spend Money Doesn’t Mean You Have Money To Spend

Does your overspending get the better of you? You know you need to do something about it but there is always a Sale on, and a Bargain at the next store.
You start every month with really good intentions, or maybe you wait for your new years resolution to roll around to “save more money this year.” Just like the diet, you soon succumb to “oh just this once” and then you get buyers remorse at the end of the month when all of your bills come in.
The signs of being a spending culprit should be fairly self-evident so I won’t go into detail other than to list them:

  • Your budget doesn’t add up – if you even have one. You’re spending more than you make.
  • Your credit cards are always at their limit.
  • You can, or do, only pay the minimum payment. This can get you into so much trouble financially.
  • You splurge on buying stuff, or on entertainment, and neglect your bills.
  • If your income rises, so do your expenses.
  • There’s more in your wardrobe than in your bank account.
  • You can’t make a start to make a change.


You may think you can’t change, but you can as long as you firstly realise there is a problem. It’s kind of like being a gambler, smoker, or alcoholic – you want to quit but it’s too hard to know how, or where to start, let alone stick to it.
The secret is to have a plan, some guidance, direction, a helping hand. When it comes to saving, or not spending, it’s easy enough to put a plan in place, but whatever tool you use must break it down for you.
To take control of your money you need to understand the flow of it: Money comes in from . . . and Money goes out to . . .
Your budgeting tool needs to show you what your finances currently look like, what simple options are available to budget, and then how you can easily save money from that budget.
Everyone talks about a “Budget Plan”. I personally call it “Your Spending Plan” because that is what we are trying to control here – your spending.

By creating a Spending Plan you will learn:
  • What your expenses are to the dollar
  • Know exactly what you have to spend
  • How to use your credit card wisely
  • And be able to take charge of your money and build financial security.
If you understand how your money flows, and you can learn that, you will see exactly what you are spending, what your expenses are, and how small changes can save you big money.
If you’re still reading this, you obviously know that you need something to help you manage your spending. I’m not saying to stop spending. You just need to be able to manage your money better.
Your Wealth Vault has created a ‘Your Money Sense’ course which guides you step-by-step to create Your Spending Plan which gives you the knowledge and capability to have optimum control over your money.
Spending, which you’ll still do, will take on a whole new light. You’ll be able to do it without the guilt and remorse you currently face.
The course, and creating and managing Your Spending Plan each month, will set you back the cost of 3 cups of coffee each month, but what you will save on your expenses should far outweigh that cost.
If you have ANY concerns about your finances and your spending, you need to visit Your Spending Plan.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

7 Steps to Make a Household or Personal Budget


When you get your pay cheque, whether that’s weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, check the instructions.

What? You didn’t get instructions with your pay-cheque!

Instructions seem to be included with everything these days, yet with something as important as your money, you don’t get instructions. You’re just left to figure it out.

How much should you spend to make it through to your next pay-cheque? How much can you save? How much do you need for groceries, bills, kids and so on?

No one is born with money management skills, it is a learned skill. And those that do learn it DO manage their money better. They have more to spend, more to save, and more to go around in general.

If you can build a personal, family or household budget, you’ll manage your money effectively and have more money in your pocket.

Often people don’t attempt to make a budget because they don’t want to face the realisation of frustration, guilt, envy, anger, shame or disappointment.

If this sounds like you, Get Over It!

It’s never too late to start managing your money. Create a budget, or Spending Plan, now and the benefits will show immediately.

If you budget well, you don’t have to make more money, but you will have more money available.

I’m about you to give you the 7 Steps you need to get on top before you build Your Spending Plan, but don’t be put off as there is an easy to way to implement all of this. You’ll get a link to a shortcut and easy way to create Your Spending Plan at the end of this article.
  1. Setting Goals – What do you want and when do you want it? Make realistic goals to work toward.
  2. Identifying Income and Expenses – Put your hands on your bills and expenses. “Garbage In = Garbage Out”. Get it right the first time.
  3. Separating Needs From Wants: You have to prioritise what your money will be spent on. You can’t have everything.
  4. Designing Your Budget: You must work out what current and future spending is required. This needs planning.
  5. Putting your Spending Plan into Action: You need to check and make regular updates for Your Spending Plan to work. It is not a once off exercise.
  6. Managing seasonal expenses: Your expenses are not always the same. You need the tools to make this as easy as possible.
  7. Look ahead: How will your personal circumstances change in the future? What could happen in a year, 5 years, 10 years?

If you put a Spending Plan in place, you’ll always live within your means. You’ll know at a glance what expenses are coming up, what you’ve been spending, and how much you have to splurge on life’s little luxuries.

You’ll avoid the anxiety of not knowing what’s next.


Money can be a great thing to have but a dangerous thing if you don’t know how to manage it.


Your money should give you a sense of happiness and freedom, not fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

The basis of happy money is knowledge, and it’s not that hard to get. Your Spending Plan is designed to make you get the most from the money you have.
I’m gathering if you don’t already have a household or personal budget, it’s because you don’t know where to start.

Online spreadsheets and budget are a challenge, for anyone. Where do you start, what does that mean, what does this mean? What goes here, what goes there.

So here is the link to the shortcut I told you about. Your Spending Plan as built by a Sydney based company, Your Wealth Vault, educates people through the process of setting up a personal budget.

They have built an easy to use course which guides you through the 7 Steps to making a budget, and half way through you’ll have your fully functioning Spending Plan, just by way of following through the quick and easy course.

You’re probably thinking that all sounds too easy, there must be a catch.

There is no “catch”, but there is a charge to use this ground-breaking money-saving software. Good thing is, it’s no more than the cost of few cups of coffee a month, or a bottle of wine, and way less than a few hours parking at a Sydney beach.

If you are serious about getting your finances organised, and making your money “happy”, then start the Course and create Your Spending Plan. You can always easily cancel if you feel it’s all too hard and life can “just go on”.

SO start here >> Your Spending Plan

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

3 Quick Ways To Cut Your Credit Card Debt


I’m sure you are all aware of the number one way to reduce credit card debt: Pay it in full whenever you get your statement. And the second piece of common advice about managing credit card debt: Don’t use it. Easier said than done sometimes.

Even the most organised amongst us may feel like we’re spinning our wheels sometimes when it comes to credit card debt, and the situation isn’t helped by the fees and interest rates often charged by credit card companies

With around $32 billion owing in Australia, that's an average of around $4,300 per card holder. The level of credit card debt can go up or down depending on what the trend is on a monthly basis but the average card holder is paying around $700 in interest per year if their interest rate is between 15 to 20%. And as we know most of the card interest rates are more than that.

Somehow, it feels a lot easier to get into debt than dig yourself out of it. But here’s the thing—have you actually asked your credit card issuer to see if they’re willing to change the terms of your credit card so that it tilts a little more favourably in your direction?

Odds are, if you’re like a lot of people, you haven’t even tried. We constantly receive offers for new credit cards by mail and email, and the more in debt you are the more offers you will get. Banks are falling all over each other to get new customers and keep the ones they have. So if you have an outstanding balance, maybe you should try negotiating more favourable terms for paying it off. Yep, really.

So here are 3 Top Tips for getting your credit card balance paid off quicker.

1. Will You Waive My Late Fee?

Sometimes we just forget to do things. With all the best intentions in the world and even a diarized note, you still forget. When you forget your due by date on your credit card payment there is no forgiveness, you get slogged bad.

But card issuers may actually be more merciful than you think. A growing number of banks will waive the first late fee if you ask.

Having a pristine record of paying on time and a legitimate excuse for dropping the ball (for example, an illness or family emergency) may also increase your chances of getting the fee forgiven. Just don’t make a habit of calling and asking for forgiveness, you will be on record and your credibility and the bank’s kind attitude could dry up fast.

2. Can You Lower My APR?

Ask for a lower annual percentage rate (APR), but do your homework first. Keep a file of all the offers that come through the mail box, and an email folder of the offers that come through digitally from other credit card providers. When it’s time to ask for a lower rate, have your facts and figures of current comparisons on hand and use them as a baseline for your conversation. “XYZ credit card offered XX% and my rate is X+Y%. Can you match that?” Be nice and polite, but be direct and assertive as to what you want.

Typically a bank may offer to knock off 2 or 3 percentage points, but it’s okay to ask for a little more than that. You have every right to make these requests, just as long as you are nice and polite.

If you carry $5,000 of credit card debt at 18% interest that you pay down at the rate of $100 a month, it’ll take you almost eight years to pay off that card. But if your interest rate is 15%, it’ll take you about six and a half years. While you’re at it you might want to work out how much you’d have to pay each month to pay off your balance in five years… or less! It’ll be worth it in the long run.

3. Can I Change My Payment Due Date?

If you find you’re more likely to pay your balance off in full at a certain time of the month rather than when the credit card company expects you to, consider asking your provider to change your due date to a day that’s more convenient for you. That’s not an unreasonable request.

Everyone has different ebbs and flows with their money and when different bills and payments are due. The date you get paid influences when you have money available for payments. If you get paid once a month on the first of the month, it’s probably a lot easier to have your payment due earlier in the month rather than later, after you’ve spent your money on other things. A lot of times a bank might work with you to change your payment due date; it’s all about making payments on time every time.

Just be aware that if you carry a balance and you’re pushing your due date out, from the 1st to the 15th, you’ll be paying finance charges on those extra days that your balance would be accruing interest during your first changed billing cycle.

So you can see there are a few genuine ways that you could realistically reduce your credit card debt. If you’re still having a problem, find another credit card provider and transfer the balance – they’re always offering that.

Taking control of your credit cards is just another step in the process of controlling your overall financial situation. 

Take the Free Your Money Personality Quiz to find out your emotional attachment to money and how to overcome and manage it.

Your Money Sense is an online financial education program where you’ll learn how to take control of your money, step-by-step, identifying where you can save and where you can spend without blowing the budget.

Our proprietary budgeting tool, Your Spending Plan, guides you on how to budget, and you’ll easily learn everything you need to know to manage your money to make confident decisions.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

2 Things That Will Probably Expand This Christmas


The countdown to Christmas is on. Such a lead up of parties, families and gift-giving.

And then it’s over!

New Year rolls around and a couple of things aren’t quite how you left them.

Firstly, your waistline is a couple of inches larger, and secondly your credit card debt is considerably larger too.

So how do you start 2018 in better shape – both physically and financially?

Let’s start with your expanding waistline.

One of the best ways to quickly drop a couple of sizes whilst retaining all the nutrients you need is to ‘Juice’. Yes, just put a bunch of Fruit & Vegetables through a juicer: All the F&V that you like and a few more beneficial varieties that you don’t normally eat. It all literally blends together with the dominant flavour rising anyway. And generally, it all turns brown. Sounds nice huh?

Sure, it takes some time to cut all the F&V, and even more time to wash the juicer, but you’ve usually got enough for more than one meal.

Oh, and don’t forget to exercise. It gets your juices flowing, literally. Your blood is pumping sending lots of oxygen to the dark recesses of your body, and it makes you feel better, more energy, and you’ll sleep well. The weight should drop off too.

Nothing that’s good for you is ever easy. A little effort at the start with a lot of reward to follow.

So now what do you do about the expanding credit card statement?

Just like your expanding waistline, action needs to be taken.

With around $32 billion owing in Australian credit card debt, that's an average of around $4,300 per credit card holder and you are one of them caught in that circle of “buy now, worry about paying later”.

So, you have a few options to alleviate your debt, explained in detail in our article 3 Quick Ways to Reduce your Credit Card Debt

Ask your credit card issuer to see if they’re willing to change the terms of your credit card so that it tilts a little more favourably in your direction? You’d be surprised what they can and will do to help.

Here are the 3 tips in summary:
  • ·    Ask your credit card provider to waive late fees for a month.
  • ·    Ask them to lower the Annual Percentage Rate (APR).
  • ·    Change your Payment Due date.

There are a few genuine ways that you could realistically reduce your credit card debt. If you’re still having a problem, find another credit card provider and transfer the balance – they’re always offering that.

Taking control of your credit cards is just another step in the process of controlling your overall financial situation.

Of course, the best way to avoid the post-Christmas bill-shock is to plan, or budget, in the lead up to the gift-giving, party-attending, family-celebrating season.

Who likes budgeting?
Who knows how to budget?
Who knows where they can save money easily?

I know, I know, the answer is probably 3 out of 3 No’s.

Here is a really good budgeting tool that takes you beyond plugging in numbers and trying to figure out what it all means. You create a Spending Plan so you know what you are spending to the cent, and where you can save money. The budgeting tool is in the form of a course, which guides you step-by-step where to find and how to input all of your money which flows in and flows out. That’s called cash-flow.

Your Spending Plan has a great bill-saving calculator that can show you where you can save money by making slight changes, and how that impacts your overall cash-flow by the week, month or year.

Don’t suffer from credit card shock again, get organised and set up Your Spending Plan now.

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If you are interested in some Holiday reading, here’s a great Free e-book from Your Money Sense: 6-steps to Financial Security It’s a good starting point to get you in the right mindset to manage your money.

Monday, 20 November 2017

8 Online Scams To Be Very Aware Of This Christmas

We’ve all heard about the Nigerian Prince who needs to transfer money out of the country and has selected us to send it to. Haven’t we? Phone and internet scams are all around us, in fact, they're so common that the ACCC recorded more than 105,000 scams a year, which resulted in losses of more than $84 million. That's only the ones that were reported: many more went unreported, often because the victim was too embarrassed to do so.

So to help you be on the lookout for, and hopefully avoid falling into their blackening pit of online deceit, we've put together a list of 8 most common scams.
1. The Urgent Transfer
What it looks like: You receive an email from a friend, family member or senior staff member telling you they need urgent access to funds. The story adds up (they're probably overseas and short on time). Besides, it comes from their email address and looks authentic. 
What's really happening: Their email account has been compromised and you're transferring your money straight into the scammer's bank account.
What can you do to avoid it: Do not reply to that email. Create a new email to that friend and ask them if they are ok, or if you can, privately message them on social media to confirm their status.
2. The Mail That Never Came
What it looks like: That credit card you applied for never seemed to arrive.
What's really happening: Scammers accessed your letterbox and intercepted the card before you had a chance to receive it. They've changed the PIN and are now using it for themselves. In the process, they're racking up a significant debt in your name. And its not just your credit card mail they will take.
What can you do to avoid it: Put a lock on your letterbox, or use a PO Box, or at least check your mailbox regularly.
3. The Parcel Pickup
What it looks like: A postal delivery company sends you an email telling you that you have a parcel that can't be delivered. If you can't collect it within 7 days it will be destroyed. But first, you need to print off a label to redeem your package.
What's really happening: Rather than printing a label, you're actually downloading dangerous ransomware. Once it's installed, scammers can use it to lock files and even destroy them. The only way you can take back control is to pay them. Making sure your computer is regularly backed up can also help counter-effect the impact of ransomware.
What can you do to avoid it: This one is really scary as all you can do to get back control of your computer, and files, is to pay them. Think before you click on anything you aren’t sure of: Are you expecting a parcel? Why would it not have been delivered? Pick up the phone and call before clicking.
4. The 'Free' WiFi
What it looks like: You're at the airport or hotel and need to connect your laptop or mobile to the internet. When you search for a connection, you're in luck. There's a free hotspot right nearby.
What's really happening: You've actually just connected to a fake network. This allows a scammer to intercept all network traffic and steal your personal information. And the pain doesn't stop there. From now on, every time you turn on your device, you could be transmitting the same 'free' wifi to other unsuspecting users.
What can you do to avoid it: You should only connect to wifi that you know is legitimate and, if in doubt, pay to access a secure network. You should also make sure your anti-virus software is up to date and your firewall is turned on.
5. The Unrealistic Job Offer
What it looks like: You respond to an advertisement that promises you'll earn good money from the comfort of your home as an 'accounts processor'. All you need to do is set up a bank account and forward any money that comes into it, onto another account. You even get a cut of each transaction for your troubles. 
What's really happening: You're being used by fraudsters as a “money mule”: an everyday person with no criminal history through whose bank account they'll move the proceeds of crime.
What can you do to avoid it: This is money laundering, done by organized crime, and you can be implicated and go to jail. Easy money doesn’t exist. Check, research, and qualify before you go the easy route.
6. The Speeding Fine
What it looks like:  A government body/law enforcement agency, emails you to tell you that your vehicle has been caught speeding. You need to download the photo they've taken to confirm you were driving.
What's really happening: The link you click on downloads ransomware to your computer. You'll have to pay the scammers to get back the files they encrypt.
What can you do to avoid it: Same as #3, this is hard to back out of and will end up costing you a lot of money. Do your research before you click on things you are not sure of.
7. The Computer Problem
What it looks like: You receive a call from your internet service provider. They've detected a virus on your computer and it's sending error messages. The good news is that they can fix it, so long as you give them remote access.
What's really happening:  You've handed control of your computer to a scammer. They'll probably try to steal your personal data or hold your computer to ransom until you pay.
What can you do to avoid it: Never hand over remote access to anyone! If it’s that bad, take it to the service providers storefront and ask them about it.
8. The Store Voucher
What it looks like:  A well-known brand uses its social media account to post that it's giving away gift vouchers or free flights or another very attractive perk. To claim your prize, all you need to do is like the post. Like this photo, or share it if it tugs on your heartstrings, or type Amen then share, or type the solution then like.
What's really happening: You've fallen victim to a 'like farming' scam. The page isn't authentic but has been set up by a scammer who's trying to get as many likes as possible. They'll on-sell these likes - and your profile - to other fraudsters, who will start pushing spam posts in an effort to get hold of your credit card data.
 What can you do to avoid it: Oh this is so common! If it’s not a friends post or a known source, stay away, don’t get sucked in by emotions or because you think you are clever enough to know the answer.
AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING . . .
As the world becomes alert to the prevalence of scams, scammers are responding by becoming more creative. So, as these 9 scams start to become less effective, it's likely that newer and more sophisticated ones will take their place.
RULE OF THUMB
Email: Don’t open or download any links or attachments that you are unsure of. Research them prior to doing so. Get on the phone and check the source.
Some emails may seem to come from a reputable name, EG: YourFriend, but when you right-click on that ‘from name’ you will find the real source, EG: YourFriend <dodgysource@evendodgiercompany.com>
Social Media: Only respond to known posts – friends and businesses that are familiar to you.
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This list was prepared by Your Wealth Vault, an online financial education program where you’ll learn how to take control of your finances, step-by-step, identifying where your money is coming from and where it is going. It’s called cash-flow budgeting.

Take your FREE Money Personality Quiz to see how your money controls you.