Tagged With personal finance

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It's an annual tradition for parents all across the country. The Christmas holidays start to wind down. They get a letter from school about their student's enrolment. They start seeing hints of "back to school" at the store. The kids are dressed in clothes that are almost too small and worn from a summer of play. It's time to start thinking about going back to school.

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Most people have purchased things that they later 'guilted' themselves for buying. Or maybe something that seemed like a solid investment at the time quickly tumbled in value. (Commiserations, crypto bros.) If this all feels painfully familiar, here's how to free yourself from buyer regret.

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Holly Butcher was a 27-year old Australian who suffered from Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects the bone and surrounding soft tissue. Before she passed away on January 4, Holly asked her family to share a post on her Facebook page. Her final status has since gone viral with over 91,000 reactions and 61,000 shares.

In the moving Facebook post, Holly offers some compelling advice on personal finance, especially when it comes to disposable income. It's something a lot of us could learn from.

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I know what you're thinking, and I agree, so let's just get this out of the way: "Having someone to take care of you when you get old" is a terrible reason to bear children. But since you may currently be in the trenches of wiping the bottom of a person who keeps calling you Squishy Belly Mummy and wondering, "So when is this whole parenting thing supposed to pay off again," let's look at some numbers, shall we?

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Money management is something most of us could be better at. Whether it's bad budgeting or unclaimed superannuation, there's probably a mistake or two that you need to rectify immediately. This infographic looks at the often painful money lessons we learn during life's journey: from "young and single" to "empty nester".

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The stretch from November to January is so festive, so cheerful - and so expensive. There are the gifts for your family and friends, new outfits for dinners and parties, booze and food for your own shindigs, airfare or petrol, holiday cards... the list goes on. In my house, at least, the late-January credit bills always bring a horrified reckoning and promises to do better next year.

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The holidays cause some anxiety in my house: My husband and I are both somewhat undisciplined in our spending, and previous Januaries have arrived with credit-card bills so disturbingly large that I've wondered if we were in the grip of some kind of eggnog-induced mania. This holiday season is different, however: Last January I vowed to get my financial life in order and teach my kids about sensible money management, and it's gone pretty well. For the first time, this Christmas we've actually budgeted a sensible amount for gifts and festivities.

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The holidays are an expensive time for everyone - holiday travel, gifts, food, booze and festive clothes can break the bank for even the most frugal. But December can be especially financially brutal for single people, says Carey Purcell, writing for the Washington Post. This is in large part because single people are generally shouldering their living expenses alone, rather than splitting them with a partner, which obviously reduces their disposable income at holiday-time. But, as Purcell points out, it's also due to differing expectations for singles than for partnered people.

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Some things in life -- such as fixing your own car or DIY home improvements -- might appear dangerous or risky, especially if you've never done them before or you tend to err on the side of caution. They also might be more doable than they look. Here are ten daunting things you probably likely can handle on your own.

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If you've been tempted to get in on the blockchain currency racket, first read tech writer Mark Frauenfelder's story of losing access to $US30,000 ($39,186) in bitcoin. Ask yourself if you could handle the stress of trying to guess a seven-digit PIN, knowing that every time you guessed wrong, your money would get locked away for hours, then days, then years. Ask yourself what you'd do if your investment paid off tenfold, only to disappear in a fire.

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When you first start out in the workforce, superannuation doesn't seem particularly important. It's something that only affects you at retirement age - which isn't something the average twenty-something likes to think about. Fortunately, preparing for this far-off future doesn't take much time or wherewithal - and the benefits can be significant.