Dumb Ways to Pay: Australia’s Highest-Rate Credit Cards

“Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world,” said Albert Einstein. “He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn't, pays it.” Let’s say you put $1000 on a Credit Card with a 20% interest rate and don’t pay it off for 10 years. In the end, you’ll pay the bank $2168! The interest alone will be more than the initial amount you borrowed. Add to that the merchant fee of up to 2% ea... Read more

Side hustles for the Over-50s

In some ways, it’s the ultimate Generation Z expression: the "side hustle", which promises extra money for any number of gig economy, freelance or other labours. The term goes back to the 1950s as long before COVID, unemployment and uncertainty, there were imaginative, energetic and needy people who found ways to earn a buck on the side. There are long lists of available side hustles; one... Read more

NEW Remediator Service Now Live for Bank & Insurance Refunds

Are you owed hundreds or thousands of dollars in refunds for junk insurance or unfair financial advice fees? We’ve got your back! The Banking Royal Commission revealed that banks and insurance companies have used pressure tactics to sell billions of dollars worth of junk insurance to thousands of Australians and many financial advisers have also charged fees for services they never provided.... Read more

Why 'the new Lay-By' could be better for you than a high-interest Credit Card - and why it's not just for the kids

  SmartWayToPay BNPL goes mainstream   The initials BNPL sprout up regularly in newspapers resembling an awkward alphabet soup. It's hard to miss the proliferation of platforms such as AfterPay, Zip Pay, Klarna and others who offer their services in shop windows, websites and other channels. 'Buy Now, Pay Later' is a consumer revolution causing quite a stir. It clai... Read more

Letting opportunity knock in one of Australia’s op shop capitals

I’m on assignment, consigned to pick up bargain goods and highlight the thrifty tradition and enticing experience of opportunity shops. While much shopping is predictable and pricey, the op shop combines the unexpected, the unnecessary and the cut-price indulgence of consuming, all in one. And what better place to start than Ballina in northern NSW - known as an ‘op shop capital’ - comple... Read more

The big questions we need to ask about loneliness in society - and how I blew it on the ABC!

Along with the pandemic we are said to be facing an epidemic of loneliness, in part caused by the ‘connectedness’ of digital communications which still manages to divide us and can be a poor substitute for the real thing. Alongside the all-consuming buzz around everything COVID, a greater concern is emerging about this condition of loneliness, its prevalence and the questions of what we can ... Read more

Is it worth ditching extras cover from your health insurance?

The one quickest and simplest ways to save money on your private health insurance may be to uncouple yourself from the extras but it’s advice many chose not to follow. You can easily do away with the part of your policy which covers dentists, physios, optical and a range of other allied health professionals and at a stroke save hundreds of dollars. While it might make financial sense for ... Read more

Why you’d be crazy to dump private health insurance unless you really can’t afford it

The imminent increase to most private health fund premiums on Oct 1 is a ‘trigger’ moment for us consumers to review costs, compare cover and hopefully find greater value. This year’s average 2.9%, which means some funds will charge more and some less than this figure, has been held over from the usual April 1 annual hike because of COVID-19. A bit of good news is that those with cover, w... Read more

“Cooking with gas” should not be a cause for concern

Gas is generating an awful lot of heat right now - and not just in your own home and hearth. We’re being asked to decide if it’s a dangerous fossil fuel or the key to our transition to a cleaner energy future. This volatile debate is hardly going to be resolved anytime soon, so in the meantime how should we feel about using natural gas in the home? I value the gas we use responsibly for h... Read more

You don’t have to be as ‘old as Methuselah’ to face workplace age discrimination. Being in your Fifties will do just fine.

How sensitive are you about revealing your true age when applying for a job? And is any reticence about the number due to vanity or a well-placed fear of age-discrimination? The question was raised in my mind after hearing one of the more energetic and richest of Australians, who turns 80 this week, was not keen on any celebratory hullabaloo from his staff. It’s not to suggest businessman... Read more