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The Baby Budget - how to prepare financially for a new arrival

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27 January 2017

do you have a baby budget?

Do you have dreams of being a parent one day? Perhaps it is a goal for your future, once you meet Mr or Mrs right, or once you’ve done your big overseas trip, or you’ve ticked a few career goals. Thing is, it’s unlikely you will ever feel completely ready for a baby. You won’t know what’s instore until you’ve been there yourself. No matter how many siblings, nieces, nephews or kid’s friends you’ve been exposed to, nothing can prepare you for the real thing.

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How to have a Stress-free Christmas

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23 December 2016

Christmas is usually something most of us look forward to, but it can be a time of stress and overwhelm for many. The pressure of making the day perfect is a big one for those hosting a lunch or dinner on Christmas day. Add to this potential financial strain, extra houseguests, family dynamics, hot weather and perhaps a tad too much alcohol and you have a potential boiling pot of stress and friction. 

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Keep your Body and Books Balanced this Party Season

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16 December 2016

keep the body and the books balanced this party season

When the weather warms up so does our social life. The days are longer and the lure of the outdoors beckons us with its sunshine and mild evenings. From now until the end of the year it is party central, with work Christmas parties, gatherings with buddies and family reunions. The energy of summer is one of expansion and connecting with others. Picnics in the park, days out at the beach, lots of BBQs and parties into the night – you will be flitting from one gathering to the next like a moth from lantern to light globe.

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Be Cyber Savvy this Christmas

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30 November 2016

be cyber savvy this Christmas

Like a speeding bullet train we are heading for a collision course with Christmas and the end of 2016. Whether we like it or not that’s our destination, so strap on your tinsel belts and hold on to your spending budgets tightly, the impact is hard to predict, but may result in damaging blows to your savings and a stack of refugee gifts awaiting new homes on boxing day.

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Home is Where the Heart Is - Making a Rental Your Own

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20 November 2016

home sweet home, even if you're renting

It's still the Australian dream, but for many of us living in places like Sydney, owning our own home is still a little out of reach for now.  Some of us might own property yet choose to rent it out, while renting another place for themselves.  Others are on the seemingly perpetual saving wheel, squirreling away as much as they can week by week to build up an acceptable deposit.  Even with interest rates at an all time low, there are many middle income, double income couples, professionals (not to mention the lower income and students) living in the big smoke still having to rent because buying, for now anyway, just isn't an option.  

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Simplify Your Christmas

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16 November 2016

simplify your Christmas this year

Christmas is nearly here!  The hunt for gifts has begun and you may be already decking out your house with sparkles and lights.  Perhaps you are already planning the food, the colour themes, and visualised how the gifts will be wrapped this year (or perhaps you're like me and these things are all last minute spur of the moment, what-ever-you-have-at-hand decisions). The shops have already begun playing carols and window displays are looking very festive indeed. We are encouraged by magazines, movies and malls to spend up big at Christmas on decorations, gifts, food and accessories. But how much do you really have to spend to make it a memorable day spent with loved ones?

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How to Entertain on a Budget

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05 November 2016

how to entertain on a budget

It’s getting to that time of year, when social activities take up a bit more of our free time. The warner nights are perfect to spend outside with a glass of wine or a few tasty dishes to share with loved ones.

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Top Money Saving Apps

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01 November 2016

use your phone to save money

The mobile revolution really has changed our lives.  We have at our fingertips communities from all over the world, photos from people we have never met and opportunities to purchase items from all corners of the globe.  Our communications devices have evolved to the point where they can store our entire diary and photo library and we can even make a call or send a text with voice activation. It really is mind numbing how technology has advanced. However these handy little pocket gadgets aren’t cheap to buy or operate, with the average smart phone costing between $60 to $80 a month on a contract, and to buy outright you’re looking at over $600 for the latest release of a Samsung or iPhone 6 and that’s not including call charges.

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Your Mental Health Begins With You

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14 October 2016

Monday October 10 was World Mental Health Day, and this week is National Mental Health Week. These initiatives have been established to help raise awareness around the importance of taking care of your own personal mental health. The events promote social and emotional wellbeing to the community. The aim is to encourage people to maximise their health potential, to help enhance the coping capacity of communities, families and individuals with the goal of increasing mental health recovery.

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How to Buy Your First Home

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07 October 2016

Most people aspire to own their own home and create a space where you can relax and unwind after a long week, whether it’s an apartment, a townhouse or a house on a big block of land. The last 15 years has seen the price of properties escalate and as a result has kept a lot of people renting or staying at home for longer. The housing ‘bubble’ keeps threatening to burst with many first home owners sitting on their deposits, waiting for a decline in prices. However those in the property and finance industry claim it has never been a better time to buy. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, so it is worth taking time to investigate exactly what is involved. 

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