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Diana Clement

How to milk those rewards points

People can be suckers for rewards points, going out of their way to get a few extra clicks. But you’ve got to be careful to get the most out of the rewards points in the best way. It’s not just rewards points credit cards to be careful with. We have wallets full of little plastic and cardboard cards for everything from coffee to Fly Buys. But customer loyalty doesn’t always add up. Here’s the rub: rewards points do work is if…

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In the market for a credit card? Check out our credit card matrix before you decide

What’s the best credit card for you? Chances are it’s not the one (or ones) in your wallet. We Aussies are terrible at trying to justify our credit card choices. We come up with all sorts of ‘facts’ to confirm our poor decision. If you have an open mind, however, and navigate the complex matrix that is credit card choice, you are the one who will reap the rewards. When it comes to the matrix of credit card choice, the…

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Stacked coins on white background
Complete cheapskate: How to conjure up money from nothing

Do you want to conjure money up from nowhere? It can be done. Cheapskates spend almost NOTHING. They pop to the toilet when it’s their round to buy the drinks and trawl local free sites for unwanted pet bunnies to eat. Well perhaps not bunnies, even though it’s been done. But here are some cheapskate ideas to ratchet down your spending big time before your debts affect your credit score: Become a Freegan. It’s amazing how much free food you…

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The future of banking: it’s banks, Jim, but not as we know it

Banking is moving into a new high-tech universe. Like many other aspects of our lives, the digital revolution is about changing the way we bank. In the future, we might even use Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms for our banking with the traditional bank relegated to providing wholesale services. Here’s what I think: Right now, banks have the power Whichever way we turn there are fees, fees, and more fees. Most banks keep their shareholders very happy…

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Beat your brain (and better your bank balance) by understanding thought processes
Beat your brain (and better your bank balance) by understanding thought processes

Is everything you do with your money logical? Don’t fool yourself. Human brains were designed for fight or flight. There’s emerging research showing that even the smartest humans make stupid financial mistakes thanks to our prehistoric brains. Neuro-economists have found longs lists of “cognitive biases” behind why our financial decisions are so flawed. They’ve found that both amateur and professional investors alike are tripped up by inadequate evolution. So when you next fall into the needs versus wants trap, borrow…

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In the habit of ‘whacking it on the mortgage’? Start treating it like any other debt (and get ahead)

Need a new kitchen? Fancy that round the world trip? Just whack it on the mortgage. In 21st century Australia we extend the mortgage every time we have a bit of ‘spare equity’ built up. It’s like we’ve inverted the whole concept of borrowing and the aim of paying it off has disappeared out the window. If you don’t pay that mortgage down as you would other debt, you could be forced to work until you drop just to pay the…

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Swimming in debt? Or drowning? 10 signs you need to take back control

Are you swimming in debt? Or even drowning? You’re not alone, heaps of Aussies have that same feeling they are sinking financially. Debt has its uses and can be used to spread out large or unforeseen expenses. Being in debt all the time, however, isn’t okay and you need to use credit, not let it use you. But there is a way out. Debt can be whittled away one dollar at a time if you start today. So what is “too much…

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Good debt, bad debt. Know the difference.
Good debt, bad debt: Know the difference

Debt’s bad, right? No, it’s good. Okay, okay. It depends on the situation. Debt’s good if it has a positive effect on your financial future. It’s bad if you’re buying unnecessary stuff and falling behind financially. Good debt Debt can be an investment. But before you tell your mates you’ve ‘invested’ in a new surfboard or the best winter coat ever, read on. Good debt is something that you will make money from. Here’s how: 1. Home loans Homes go…

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Five ways to hack your mortgage and put money back into your own pocket

Big mortgages are daunting. Many Aussies pay almost as much in interest than the entire value of their home. The faster you can say “goodbye, mortgage”, the less your bank will make out of you and the more money will stay in your pocket.Try these clever hacks to cut the amount the bank makes off your mortgage. Better to keep that dosh in your back pocket than pay it to the bank. Hack 1 Make fortnightly payments If you cut the amount…

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Does customer loyalty pay?

You don’t get much in this life unless you ask. That’s definitely the case with your bank, your insurance company and utility companies. There’s a lot of money to be made there. And if we’re lazy, companies can maximise their profits. Don’t let that be you. By playing hard to get, or by ‘rate tarting’ (that’s shopping around for a better rate), you can have your loyalty rewarded. Understand your spending Before you storm into your bank or phone your…

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