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Francis Church

Are you off your trolley? You could be, with our sneaky supermarket savers

Are you off your trolley? You could be if your supermarket bill is creeping over $50 per person for a family. There are so many sneaky tricks to save money on food. You might even find that you’re healthier and happier when you buy more basic food. Don’t say it can’t be done. If your bill is out of control, try some of these tips. Budget. Start with a figure that you want to spend on food each week and…

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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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Save money by taking the zero waste challenge

Zero waste saves money. Since I vowed to reduce my waste last year I’ve saved a bucket load of money. But let’s get this clear. ‘Zero waste’ is a philosophy/lifestyle goal of reducing the amount of rubbish you personally send to landfill. No-one will be 100 per cent perfect unless they’re a Buddhist monk or a hermit. The bonus is if you cut down on what you buy for environmental reasons you spend less overall. Yay! On a personal level…

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Putting everything on your credit card? There are other ways to pay

Don’t believe you have to have a credit card. Paying interest sucks and there are other ways to pay. It sucks the lifeblood out of your finances. That’s because unless you clear your entire bill within the interest free days, you pay interest. That interest means you’re paying as much as 20% more than your mates for the same things, which may have a detrimental effect on your finances over time. Other (sometimes better) ways to pay Thankfully there are…

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Life after bankruptcy: How to repair your credit score, finances, and emotional wellbeing

There’s life after bankruptcy. Having your debts cleared by bankruptcy can be a chance for a fresh start. But picking yourself up afterwards can be way more difficult than most people expect. Bankruptcy isn’t just a piece of paper. By the time you’ve reached that point, your financial and emotional future can seem like a long dark tunnel with no end. Coming back from bankruptcy When entrepreneur Michael Williams* reached the point of bankruptcy, debt collectors accompanied by gang members…

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Is your food bill out of control? It could be that big lump of protein on your plate

Protein – at least the meaty versions – is expensive. And research indicates that we’re obsessed with protein, to our detriment. Most Aussies spend far too much on that protein, by not eating and shopping consciously. It’s simple to cut the cost of a plate of food radically. First off, not all protein is created equal in terms of cost. A nice porterhouse steak for four can cost $28 for the protein alone. Even own brand sausages can cost more…

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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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Wham, bam, thank you, scam: How to spot a holiday scam

If you like your money, don’t fall victim to a holiday scam. All too many Aussies do. NSW Liberal MP Gareth Ward escaped a “terrifying” attempt to blackmail him in a New York hotel, The Australian reported.  He ordered a US$100 massage and was allegedly charged US$1,000.  Fake “chiefs” in Fiji were trying to sell holiday properties they didn’t own to Australians, The Courier Mail reported. The offers were “too good to refuse”.  News.com.au reported that a New Zealand man…

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Why you should be careful of opening a joint account

If you’re thinking about opening a joint account with a significant other in your life, or as part of a shared account between housemates or friends, tread carefully. There’s a lot riding on the responsibility of the account, and your name will be on it. In the case something negative happens, like a bill payment is forgotten or you go into unplanned overdraft, the resulting mark could end up on your credit report. It’s vital to know the credit history…

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