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Raiz Review (formerly Acorns): the spare change jar of today

Raiz (formerly Acorns Australia) is an App that can be said to replace the spare change jar of old.

Raiz ReviewBack some years ago whenever I would get some spare change weighing down my purse, I would put it in a jar.

By the end of the year, I had always accumulated a decent amount to deposit in the bank.

I never missed the spare change going into the jar and was always pleasantly surprised at how quickly it added up.

If you still use predominantly cash I suggest in my 50 ways to save more post about starting a spare change jar. And making savings jars with your kids can also be a fun kids activity.

However, as we move more and more to a cashless society,  the Raiz App has given us an option to squirrel away our spare change.

Except this time the change is invested virtually in a diversified portfolio.

Raiz Review

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30 of the best birthday freebies

Who doesn’t love a freebie on their birthday?

Since working in lo30 birthday freebiesyalty marketing, I have the annoying habit of signing up for every loyalty program there is available. Mainly for research just to keep on top of what everyone else was doing in the space.

One thing I have learned over the years is that us loyalty marketers love a good trigger campaign. And birthday are as good a trigger as any to prompt a special offer.

My husband celebrated his birthday last week. Nudging ever so close to the big 4-0. His inbox was overflowing with special offers.

So if your birthday is coming up soon, I have compiled a list of 30 birthday freebies in Australia to take advantage of.

Boost Juice

What you get: Free smoothie

How you get it: You need to be a member of the Vibe Club, which is handy to be a part of any way as you can avoid the wait times when you order a juice by ordering in advance on the App.Continue Reading →

Accessing retirement savings won’t fix Australia’s housing affordability

With the Australian Federal Budget being announced tonight one of the hot topics over the past few months Using retirement savings to fund a home deposit is not the answeris around housing affordability in Australia.

The median house price in March 2017 according to CoreLogic is $585,000 based on averages across the main Australian capital cities.

With Sydney coming in at a whopping median price of $805,000.

There is no doubt that the great Australian dream of owning your own place is getting harder for first home buyers.

So it being on the political agenda is no surprise.

Accessing Super for a deposit

An idea that has been floated around the past few months in the media is to allow first home buyers to access what they have in their Superannuation to contribute to a house deposit.

Basically it is reducing someone’s retirement savings by allowing them to invest in buying their first home.Continue Reading →

6 financial mistakes I have made and how you can avoid them

Even the wealthiest people in the world have made mistakes in relation to money.

So don’t bfinancial mistakes and how to avoid themeat yourself up if you are only just getting in control of your finances and discover that you have made a bunch of financial mistakes along the way.

The key is to learn from our mistakes and use the knowledge to help us make better decisions in the future.

Below is a wrap up of what I consider to be the main money mistakes I have made along the way, what I have learned from the mistake and how you can avoid doing what I did.

Stopped keeping track of money

For a good six years or more I kept a running spreadsheet of every cent we ever spent.

My epic tracking spreadsheet is the exact one I used.

I knew exactly what the break up of our spending was on and I filled it in religiously at least once a week.

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50 easy ways to save money this month

Since I have started this blog it has made me notice that I used to be quite a good saver back when it was a necessary requirement due to my low income.

But as my income grew my spending also increased to the point where I was not taking any notice 50 ways to save more this monthof what I was spending money on.

When I did the sums in my quarterly update, you can see the sorry story that from a cash flow perspective we are spending more than we earn.

Once I noticed the trend, we have implemented a number of ideas to help us to save more this month.

Review your home insurance renewal each year

It just so happened that our insurance for our primary residence and one of our rental properties was due this month.

The renewal prices were creeping up each year and the past few times I have just paid them as they fell at times when I had a brand new baby taking up all my time.

This time around I spent about 30 minutes comparing options online.

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25 work from home online business ideas

Before I dive into the list of 25 online business ideas I wanted to preface it by saying that there are two main factors that should be taken into account before you zone in on exactly what online business you would like to pursue.

Find something25 Work from home online business ideas for side hustles or to replace your job. that you are good at, are passionate about, or have an interest in.

Particularly if you are going to commence an online business as a side hustle whilst you also work full time, you will need to ensure that you pick something that you feel is worth dedicated your precious time towards.

A good way to help you settle on an idea is to brainstorm a full list of everything you are passionate about and interest in.

Once you have prepared this list then cross reference it against what you are good at.

This should narrow down the list to help you land on your idea. For example, I might really love crocheted items but if I can’t crochet or I am not good at it, then it is not the right business to pursue.

Ensure what you choose has the ability to make you money.

For example, say you decide to create crafts but the item you make take you a few hours to make and you can only sell it for a low value. Continue Reading →

Guide to the best Australian Cashback and Survey Sites

Back in my university days and when I was just starting out on my savings journey I was always looking for ways to help my savings grow.

One thGuide to the Best Australian CashBack and Survey Sitesing I stumbled across from recommendations from a savings forum I was a part of, was to complete online surveys and to be members of cashback websites.

Now becoming members of these websites are not going to make you a millionaire, but what I did find was that throughout the year I was able to build up enough points or cash to redeem them around Christmas to help go towards gifts.

These days I use spare time, such as when I am travelling on the train, to complete a survey.

It is not something that is going to return a good hourly rate so I wouldn’t suggest spending hours a day on this but if you do get small pockets of time, it can be a nice little cash bonus.

CASH REWARDS

This is a little gem that I discovered only recently. It is a cashback site rather than a survey site.

Basically the way it works is once you sign up to Cash Rewards if you make purchases from a large selection of online stores you will receive a percentage of cash back.

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Quarterly Update – Net Worth, Cash Flow and Goals

Welcome to my very first quarterly update which details my net worth and cash flow as at the end of March 2017 as well as the goals I have set for myself for the next quarter.

Net Worth Update

If mine is the first personal finance blog you have come across you might be thinking this is kind of strange putting the info out there for the world to see.

However it is a fairly regular occurrence with bloggers to either track their net worth or report their monthly income.

For example, J.Money over at Budgets are Sexy has been tracking his net worth for over nine years now. So have a bunch of other bloggers that you can check out in the Rockstar Blog Directory.

I debated whether I should post this or not as I was not sure about how the information would be received.

Particularly here in Australia where ‘tall poppy syndrome’ can mean anyone who seems to be doing OK can be shot down in a hurry.

But my view is that if you have come to my site which is about becoming financial independent in order to retire early then you must be a little bit open minded

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Teach your kids about money: 15 fun at home activities

Teaching your kids about money will set them up with a vital life skill, and since becoming a mum it’s something that I want to focus on to ensure my kids have the best chance of success.

It has been shown that most people in their 20’s who are competent money managers were taught about money by their parents.

Of course it is up to you what you want to share with your children in terms of what you earn, what debt you have etc, but teaching them about what it means to earn money and save or invest money will lay a great foundation for them.

I have put together a list of 15 fun and engaging activities to do with your kids.

In general the activities would suit children aged 4 – 12 years old but you just might need to adapt some of the activities depending on your child’s age.

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Where do our money beliefs come from?

Have you ever heard the saying, ‘money won’t bring you happiness’ or ‘money is a necessary evil’?

Money Beliefs - creating a positive message around moneyThis is the underlying negative message we hear a lot in society. Even in Hollywood films, characters with lots of money are often portrayed as the greedy and selfish villains.

So, our relationship with money begins.

Just the other day I experienced this on a Facebook Group that I am active in. It is a group for mums to chat about finances and one of the mum’s asked a straightforward question about whether the changes to childcare rebates for high income earners were based on pre or post tax income.

Well didn’t the knives come out! This lady was not being arrogant, not once did she big note herself, in fact she even acknowledged that she doesn’t begrudge people on low incomes doing it tough and thinks they deserve the assistance.

All she was trying to do was to see how her finances would be affected by the change.

Sure enough the post turned into a slanging match of people saying that she doesn’t deserve anyContinue Reading →