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personal finances

How to build an emergency fund (and why you need one)

Last week I paid for an upcoming ski holiday in Canada. The trip isn’t until next ski season but it has to be paid in advance. Skiing in Canada is my idea of nirvana, so it wasn’t too painful to see the thousands of dollars flowing out of my account; after all, it’s going to a good cause. But this week, my car decided it needed a wheel bearing replaced plus a wheel alignment and new spark plugs. Then my dentist…

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Idiot tax: Eight ways to waste your money

We all throw money down the gurgler. But some people have far higher chances of getting a Darwin Award for stupidity by paying too much idiot tax than others. Stop wasting your hard-earned money in these pointless ways: Lottery tax So you think you’re going to get rich quick? If you’re convinced you’re going to win you’ve succumbed to gamblers’ irrationality. Why not be happier with what you’ve got in life already and save that money for your future? If…

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Couple unpacking boxes in home
The pros and cons of going guarantor

‘Going guarantor’ are two dangerous little words. “Nan, will you go guarantor on my car? You don’t have to pay any money.” Stop right there. Going guarantor can be a great way to help others out. But it’s way more risky than most people think. Read this article before you say yes or no. The worst-case scenario is that the lender comes after you for the money. Parents have lost their homes from going guarantor and families have been torn…

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Fatten up your finances with the Three Naughty Things rule
Fatten up your finances with the Three Naughty Things rule

Ever been on a diet? A really strict diet? Chances are, you went crazy about all the things you couldn’t have, felt way too restricted, and had a blowout with a tray of donuts and a one-litre tub of salted caramel gelato. (No? Oh… OK, just me then.) Your finances are a bit like a diet, only in reverse: if you succeed, your bank account is the thing that gets fat. But just like being on a diet, if you’re…

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Funding your first set of wheels
Funding your first set of wheels – what you need to know before getting a car loan

Buying yourself a set of wheels is expensive. If you’ve saved the cash to buy the car, that’s great. But realistically, most young people have to borrow money to buy a car. If that’s you, brush up on a few things before you sign on the dotted line. Save Saving up and paying cash is the cheapest way to buy a car. Ask around and you’ll find friends who have done it. Surprising, huh? Downgrade your expectations We know you…

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