A Step by Step Guide to Everyday Savings

Most readers of this blog will already be aware of the three tent poles to everyday savings. Store sales are step one, finding discounts is step two and step three amounts to buying in bulk. These three steps may seem self-explanatory to those who are already of the Make Money Make Cents mentality. But to those among you who haven’t got a clue where to start, here are some tips on how to begin your savings journey:

1. Looking for store sales does not have to mean that you physically get yourself to a store. Sure, Topman may offer fantastic seasonal clearance offers but if you want the utmost of style and comfort at the best possible price you don’t have to brave the droves of Uni kids taking advantage of their student discount. Online shopping provides you with the extra bonus of your new threads being delivered straight to your door and good retailers like Forever 21 will offer free shipping along with your youthful new look.

2. Physical discount coupons still exist but let’s be realistic: paper is a thing of the past. The easiest and most expedient way to track down those desired discounts in the here and now is once again the wonder of the modern world: the Internet. There are even sites like Groupon which offer a huge array of promotional and discount coupons. With just a click of your mouse and few key keystrokes you can find coupons that will help you; from getting everyday groceries at Walgreens to treating yourself to specialty buys like making that photo album you’ve wanted, courtesy of Shutterfly.

3. Finally, to buy in bulk you have to be smart about it. If you’re getting perishables make certain that you are not overestimating what you can consume. Focus your bulk purchasing on non-perishable items for which you have the storage space. And once you combine bulk buying with bulk store sales and discount coupons for your bulk purchases you’ll be well on your way.


Australians pull through the credit crunch and start saving in 2015

After a saving slump lasting 20 years that’s been attributed to lending practices which reduced Australian wealth rather than aided it, Aussies have pulled back from the red and started saving. Since 2006 household savings have begun to increase due to compulsory superannuation and putting the financial lending system on a shorter leash.

So where are Aussie families putting these savings? Research suggests that there aren’t secret stashes under the bed, but that money is being invested into property, savings accounts and superannuation. Banks are reporting household savings of 1.8 trillion dollars, while superannuation companies hold a share of the pie with around 95 billion in Australian earnings. 23% of Aussies now hold investment property, which is an impressive figure considering the downturn of recent years.

The figures show that Australians are savings for three things in 2015; holidays, rainy day funds, and expensive items. This could be due to other factors such as economic instability, job insecurity and the high cost of Australian living. However, with the financial crises behind us and 50% of Aussies surveyed now saving regularly, the future is bright for Aussie families. Check out the infographic from MyBudget for more information on how debt is being reduced by sensible spending and serious saving.


Reasons for Career Shift from Private Equity to Regulatory Bodies

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Regulatory bodies are a no match to private equity firms in terms of compensation plans. Entry level graduates fancy internships and trainee programs in the “Big Four” organisations.

But what comes as a surprise is people from the top management shifting from private equity jobs to advisory services in regulatory bodies. Clearly, there is something beyond monetary benefits that causes this unlikely shift.

Recent research by eFinancialCareers, a career enhancing organisation has reported that financial regulators are hiring private equity experts across Hong Kong, US and other Asian countries. The stringent salary bands that are characteristic of such regulatory bodies also seem to vanish gradually.

Effect of financial crisis on private equity market

Post the financial crisis, the private equity industry had to tackle unprecedented hitches in terms of operational efficiency and in offering better value to the investment professionals. A good percentage of the talent pool affected through these changes looked for opportunities outside the private equity sectors.

Impact of regulators on future growth

In the world of regulation and compliance, key decisions are bound to impact the future of the industry thus vesting more ownership in the hands of policy makers. Regulatory compliance and policy effectiveness are difficult parameters to be achieved, luring professionals looking for more challenging roles.

Long-term job security

While economical uncertainties and political unrest have caused downsizing of organisations in the past, regulatory bodies seem to be the least affected. With the globalization of the financial sector, regulatory bodies specializing in the demeanour of overseas business seem to be growing.

Growth of private wealth management

Advisory services of private funds are on the rise. Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong have been rapidly growing as centres of private wealth management. Regulatory bodies across Asia are now hiring experts from private equity firms to manage and enhance these areas of focus.

Wider opportunities

Regulatory bodies are emerging in many jurisdictions with new supervisory models. Finance professionals in regulatory bodies can choose from a variety of key areas such as corporate governance, compliance management and risk controls.

While history has seen successful transitions between the two industries, there have also been some fiascos (Joe Jiampeitro a former employee of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was fired by Goldman Sachs due to breach of confidentiality policy). However in most cases the stint lasting for 3-4 years in any regulatory body can notably amp up the profile of a finance professional.

Home Loan Repayment Calculator Advice

For most people, being a homeowner is the ultimate milestone, but is your loan really working for you? Banks are creating new innovative home loan options constantly, and with these tempting offers, it can be easy to slip into a mortgage trap. If you have had your current home loan for a few years, it’s very possible your circumstances or needs (or both) have since changed. You may even be considering completely refinancing your home loan. While your current mortgage may still fit into your budget, you could now be finding that you require some flexibility, or you’re looking to incorporate new features into your home loan that were not available before. Whatever the reason, a home loan repayment calculator can provide great insight into your potential repayments if you refinance. The following are important points to consider when using an online calculator.

Use a Calculator from a Reputable Online Lending Institution

When it comes to making a decision about your home loan, it’s important to know the calculator you’re using provides estimates that incorporate the most up-to-date information on rates and other fluctuating market figures. Use an online calculator provided by a reputable lender or mortgage broker you trust to ensure all estimates are as accurate as possible. Banks must provide clear and honest information, and their mortgage calculators should reflect this.

Be Aware of Hidden Loan Costs

Loan calculators are online tools to help buyers be aware and fully informed of estimated financial repayments to their lenders. There are so many home loan options available, that it is almost impossible for a calculator to offer a precise figure. Most provide estimates on borrowing capacity, loan repayments and even stamp duty, however fail to incorporate other potential hidden fees.
When comparing home loans and researching potential repayments, don’t forget to factor in any upfront and/or ongoing costs that you may incur when you make a loan switch. This can include settlement fees, mortgage registration fees, loan establishment fees and exit fees. Taking this into account will better prepare you for making the change.

The Calculator Is NOT A Broker

Don’t get too carried away using a mortgage calculator online, as it’s easy to take its word as gold. If you’re looking for real advice that fits your real-world situation, talk to a mortgage broker or lending institution for advice tailored to your unique needs. Figures provided by a calculator should be taken as an indication only, and are not indicative of professional advice or quotes. If unsure, talk to an experienced professional.
Reviewing your home loan periodically is a great idea and may be very beneficial for you long-term, especially if you discover a loan that is flexible to your unique needs. Mortgage repayment calculators are fantastic tools for providing insight into potential repayments on other loans, and are useful when comparing. However, if you are seriously considering making a switch, talk to an experienced home loan professional. Being fully informed of all your options and any extra charges ensures you make a knowledgeable decision for the future.

The Expenses of Buying and Owning a Home

Buying and maintaining a home is an expensive venture. From finding the perfect mortgage with the appropriate fees, to the year round upkeep and maintenance, this “investment” requires a lot of time and capital. That being said, if you do it right, owning a home can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Eventually you will presumably own the house debt free, and have made many lasting memories within those four walls.

Most people are going to need to take out a loan to buy a house, but not all companies and loans are the same. Often times too much emphasis is paid on the interest rate, and not enough on all the fees that are tacked on to obtaining a mortgage. For instance, NPBS mortgages online can come with lower fees than your typical brick and mortar lenders. A brick and mortar lender comes with a lot more overhead, and they build that into you loan origination fees.

Homeowners insurance is expensive and complicated. The more your house costs the more the insurance to cover the dwelling will cost. You need to make sure that you look online and shop insurance companies, bounce their rates and fees off each other and don’t just go with the first one you find. One caveat, make sure you purchase enough insurance to cover not only the cost of repairing the house, but to rebuild it from the ground up, this is a common mistake that many homeowners fail to recognize until it’s too late.

Keep an emergency fund on hand for general maintenance throughout the year. Things like your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater are going to go out eventually. I should know, I have had two of the three fail on me in the past couple years and they aren’t cheap replacements. Also, you want to make sure you have annual maintenance done on your appliances. This will insure that they last longer.

Lastly, don’t forget all the extras like lawn maintenance and utility bills! The bigger the piece of property the more lawn and garden there is to maintain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly have a green thumb. I pay a lawn care company weekly to keep up my yard, and while it’s fully worth the price, it can be costly over an entire summer season. Utility bills vary by season and by size of the home. A nice big house can be a great thing, but it will also cost you more to heat and cool it. Keep that in mind when shopping around for a new home!