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The types of insurance that aren’t worth your while

<p>While it’s important to make sure you’ve been covered, some forms of insurance aren’t really worth your while in the long run. We’ve taken a look at several types of insurance you shouldn’t really bother with, why they’re not worth your money and how you can find an alternative.</p> <p>Yes, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered, but at the same time you don’t need to waste any money.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranties</strong></p> <p>Many a salesperson has made a customer fork out that little bit extra for an “extended warranty” to go with a major electronic purchase. The thing is though, in many cases the period of time covered by the warranty is actually exactly the level you’re automatically entitled to under consumer law.</p> <p><strong>Credit protection insurance</strong></p> <p>While this type of insurance can be useful and a way to insure yourself against the possibility of something happening to your income as the result of an injury or a condition, credit protection insurance has tendency to be pretty expensive.</p> <p>A more cost effective way to ensure your payments to your credit card, personal loans or mortgages are fulfilled would be to take out a life insurance or total and permanent disability insurance policy through your individual superannuation fund.</p> <p><strong>Funeral insurance</strong></p> <p>Many people see this as a good way to ease the financial burden on their family that comes with their passing, but in reality funeral insurance is quite expensive and the premiums add up every year.</p> <p>A far better option is a prepaid funeral, funeral bonds life insurance or even a special savings account with money set aside. Just make sure you let your family know!</p> <p><strong>ID theft insurance</strong></p> <p>This is one of those types of insurance that isn’t really protecting your from becoming a victim, rather helping you deal with the costs once it’s already happened. And what’s more, you bank is usually willing to cover the costs of credit card fraud, which is one of the major problems to be associated with ID theft.</p> <p>Instead of spending money on a policy you can protect yourself from ID theft by simply keeping your personal documents safe, shredding documents such as bank account statements before throwing them away, and using antivirus software that is up to date. You can also check your credit file each year to make sure nobody’s using your identity for fake accounts.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Big W customer gobsmacked over $4000 shipping fee

<p>A Big W customer was only trying to buy an outdoor play set for her kids but got the shock of her life when she saw the "ridiculous" shipping fee that was over three times the cost of the play set. </p> <p>The Singleton mum had added the $1,200 item to her cart while shopping online and was about to check out when she was greeted with a $4,466 shipping fee. </p> <p>"How in God's name can they charge $4,466 for delivery! Big W are slowly losing my vote!" the outraged mum wrote on Facebook, even swearing off the department store for the apparent money grab. </p> <p>According to the Big W website, the play set is sent via Plum Play, a "trusted partner", and not by Big W stores, and because the woman lives in a rural area, she initially believed that was the reason for the extortionate shipping costs. </p> <p>A few other shoppers criticised the high fee. </p> <p>"That is fricken ridiculous!!!! No one would pay that," one said. </p> <p>"Jesus, are you ordering a few pallets of bricks? No way normal merchandise would cost that much to send," another wrote. </p> <p>A few others questioned the weight of the item and where she lived, while others tried to buy the same item and got even higher shipping fees. </p> <p>"It jumped a few grand for a couple of ks for me," one wrote, with the cost of standard delivery for the play set at $7,858. </p> <p>Some reported fees of up to $50,000, but most were $7,000 to $10,000. </p> <p>The department store has addressed the issue and told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em> that an "error on the website" was to blame. </p> <p>They have since corrected the delivery charges which should have been about $100 for the woman's location. </p> <p>"We were made aware of a delivery calculation error on our website which has since been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused," a spokesperson told the publication. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Woolies boss' multi-million dollar payout revealed

<p>Chief executive Brad Banducci announced his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/woolies-ceo-quits-after-disaster-interview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">early retirement </a>on Wednesday, following a series of PR disasters for the brand and just days after a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-think-i-m-done-the-question-that-made-woolies-ceo-leave-interview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trainwreck interview</a> with <em>ABC Four Corners</em>.</p> <p>Now, the staggering amount he will be paid-out for walking away from the top job has been revealed. </p> <p>According to a report published by T<em>he Australian</em>, the supermarket boss will take home a share portfolio worth an estimated $24.4 million.</p> <p>This is in addition to the $6.5 million he would likely be paid-out from his salary. </p> <p>Banducci will step down from his position in September and he will be replaced by former WooliesX leader <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/new-woolies-ceo-s-huge-salary-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amanda Bardwell</a>, who will take over as Chief Executive then.</p> <p>Woolworths Group has denied the suggestion that the resignation was related to the disaster Four Corners interview where Banducci tried to walk away in the middle of being questioned about price gouging. </p> <p>A senate inquiry is also currently investigating whether major supermarkets across the country have engaged in price gouging, as the cost-of-living continues to rise. </p> <p>Banducci has been involved in a series of public controversies before his retirement, including when he came under fire after the supermarket announced it would <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/woolworths-under-fire-for-dropping-australia-day-merch" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stop selling Australia Day merchandise </a>ahead of the national holiday in January.</p> <p><em>Image: Today</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Better Homes and Gardens star's dream rural property up for grabs

<p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>star Charlie Albone and his wife interior designer Juliet Love, have listed their dream Ourimbah home. </p> <p>The 2.07ha property located on the Central Coast has been listed by McGrath Gosford agents Peter Morris and Nate Waters with a $3m to $3.2m price guidance.</p> <p>The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits deep behind a gated entry, which ensures privacy and is surrounded by plenty of greenery with its garden alcoves, a stunning wisteria-covered arbour, fruit trees, and a few garden beds for vegetables. </p> <p>There is also a feature dry-stone wall fire pit built by Scottish stonemason Callum Grey, that's perfect for winter and colder nights.</p> <p>The English cottage-style home  comes with a separate self-contained unit that includes a bedroom and kitchenette. </p> <p>The home is every animal lovers' dream with five paddocks that come with animal shelters, plumbed water troughs and a three-stall stable. </p> <p>For those hot summer days, whoever the new owners are can dip into the saltwater pool located on the property. </p> <p>The property is equipped with 100,000-litre tanks and has town water. </p> <p>Albone and his family bought the property in 2012 for $840,000 which means that if it was sold at the price guide then it's almost four times the original price they bought it at. </p> <p>The top acreage sale at Ourimbah currently sits at $3,725,000 for a 13.93ha Dog Trap Rd six-bedroom house, which sold in 2021.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

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Five tips for developing and managing your budget – even in tough economic times

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p>There’s nothing quite like a new year to prompt us to take stock of our lives, our health, our goals – and our finances. Many people will start a new year by contemplating how best to budget, plan and save. This is always a good set of aims, but it’s especially important in the inflation-prone and unpredictable economies we’re seeing <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/268225/countries-with-the-highest-inflation-rate/">all over Africa and the world</a>.</p> <p>Budgeting is especially key. It is the most effective method to <a href="https://www.thebalancemoney.com/how-to-make-a-budget-1289587">monitor income and expenditure</a>. <a href="https://www.uslendingcompany.com/blog/key-differences-in-writing-a-household-budget-vs-a-personal-budget/">Personal budgets</a> can help you to monitor your resources in pursuit of larger financial goals. Budgeting also offers <a href="https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v46/acr_vol46_2411998.pdf">more opportunities</a> to save money, reduce your debts and live a comfortable life. It can even <a href="https://prucomm.ac.uk/assets/uploads/blog/2013/04/Personal-Budgets-review-of-evidence_FINAL-REPORT.pdf">improve your mental health</a>.</p> <p>But where should you start? What questions do you need to answer in creating a budget? Here are some tips that I’ve learned – not just as an economist, but as a research cost analyst and someone who keeps a budget too.</p> <h2>1. Understand the broader economic conditions</h2> <p>It is imperative that individuals keep themselves aware and up-to-date on the realities of their country’s economic landscape. You don’t have to be a professional economist, but keep an eye on new developments like free business registration, small business development funds and printing of new money notes. What is the current exchange rate? What’s the political landscape and what international factors, like the price of crude oil, are at play? You should also watch the inflation rate and have a sense of unemployment trends.</p> <p>This economic awareness will prepare you to draft your own budget and you’ll have a sense of when external factors mean it’s time to revisit your plans.</p> <h2>2. Review your income sources</h2> <p>The ability to earn income is critical to sustaining livelihoods. Having a definite source of income is the bedrock of budgeting.</p> <p>Some important questions you should ask about your income – and how you might budget with it – include:</p> <ul> <li>What is my current income?</li> <li>What do I use my income for?</li> <li>Am I able to save, given my current income?</li> <li>What proportion of my income do I save and what proportion do I spend?</li> <li>Do I have the capacity to earn more than this?</li> <li>How can I improve my income?</li> </ul> <p>Your answers can help you to identify gaps or untapped potential. Those with irregular or unpredictable income should factor in the element of time-gap in their income, for effective budgeting. Time gap is when they are not earning income. And everyone should make allowance in their budgets for uncertainties like health issues, social engagements, inflation, unemployment, recession and price shocks.</p> <h2>3. Appraise your expenses</h2> <p>Expenses can be broadly categorised into “variable” and “fixed”.</p> <p>Fixed expenses recur within a short period: housing, food, transport, medical costs, electricity, utilities, toiletries and clothing. Variable expenses are more long-term and irregular, such as investment in property or interest-yielding assets, and the purchase of machinery.</p> <p>The main essence of revising our expenses is to analyse and possibly improve our spending habits. In reviewing our expenses, we can consider issues such as:</p> <ul> <li>What is the proportion of consumption-savings ratio from my income? This is how much do I spend compared to how much I save.</li> <li>What are my regular expenses?</li> <li>What are my fixed, capital or investment expenses?</li> <li>What are my extraordinary expenses that need modification?</li> <li>Have there been emergency or extraordinary expenses?</li> </ul> <p>A careful response to the issues raised above offers an occasion to re-evaluate the pattern and direction of our expenses. For instance, overspending, unplanned or extraordinary expenses can be identified. This can lead to an optimal, efficient reallocation of available resources.</p> <h2>4. Stabilise your finances through savings</h2> <p>Savings have been <a href="https://klinglercpa.com/bedrock-principles-for-saving-money/">described</a> as a financial stabiliser, given their potential to cater for urgent needs and create opportunities for investments.</p> <p>Of course, savings have more value when they grow faster than the rate of inflation. Inflation erodes the value of savings. For instance, an amount of 300,000 naira (US$676) saved to purchase an autorickshaw today may be impossible in two months’ time with an inflation rate of 10% when the tricycle price rises to 330,000 naira (US$744). The reverse is the case when there is deflation.</p> <p>Therefore, it is advisable to improve the value of savings through investments in interest-yielding assets such as stocks, shares, bonds, microfinance and production.</p> <p>That’s not to say it’s always easy to save. Many income earners spend as they go, not seeing savings as part of their budgets. Harsh economic realities can also make it difficult – sometimes seemingly impossible – to save. But it’s not impossible: savings can be made in small amounts, through a daily, weekly or monthly contribution to collections, cooperative schemes or microfinance affiliations. For instance, a point of sale business in Nigeria can permit a daily contribution of 500 naira (US$1.13) over 25 work days, giving an average saving of 12,500 naira (US$28.18) per month.</p> <p>The Point-of-Sale business started in Nigeria in 2013 when the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the agent banking system. A POS agent operates and processes transactions through a POS service provider. Providers of such services include banks, microfinance banks and fintech companies.</p> <h2>5. Run a flexible budget</h2> <p>Once your budget is created, remember that it’s not set in stone. It should be flexible if anything changes in your life. For instance, an amount saved to buy a car can be invested in a promising venture buying shares through public offerings or private placements in multinational organisations like Nestle or Unilever.</p> <p>Also, health emergencies or career advancement programmes can require taking some money out of our savings.</p> <p>In all, budgeting should be flexible enough to incorporate exigencies, especially when catering for the current situation will culminate into a greater good.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/195590/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, Lecturer/Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-tips-for-developing-and-managing-your-budget-even-in-tough-economic-times-195590">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Tax boost announced for 1.2 million people

<p>Low-income earners will receive a tax boost with the Medicare levy threshold set to rise. </p> <p>The income threshold at which taxpayers will have to pay a two per cent Medicare levy will increase by 7.1 per cent, in line with inflation. </p> <p>Currently single people who earn below $24,276 do not have to pay the levy. Under the changes, the two per cent levy only has to be paid by anyone earning over <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">$26,000</span></p> <p>The <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Medicare levy </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">threshold for seniors and pensioners will increase to $41,089, up from the initial benchmark of $38,365. </span></p> <p>For families, this threshold has increased to $43,486 up from the previous $40,939. </p> <p>Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that the increase was part of the broader measures taken to relieve the increase in cost-of-living. </p> <p>“This will ensure people on lower incomes continue to pay less or are exempt from the Medicare levy,”  he said on Tuesday. </p> <p>“It means 1.2 million Australians get to keep a bit more of what they earn.”</p> <p>The boost in the Medicare levy threshold was announced alongside changes to income tax cuts, with those earning under $150,000 set to receive greater benefits. </p> <p>“This is about doing what we responsibly can to ease some of the pressure being felt by Australians right around the country, but especially for people on lower incomes, young people, seniors and women,” Chalmers said.</p> <p>This comes just days after Medicare celebrated it's 40th anniversary, with an exhibition launched at Parliament House.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Science finally proves "Money doesn't buy happiness"

<p>A new study has proven that the old adage "money can't buy you happiness" is true. </p> <p>Historically, economic wealth and higher income households are often seen to have an increased level of wellbeing and happiness, with the extra money making way for less stress and more general comfortability. </p> <p>However, researchers from Canada and Spain have concluded this may not be true, with such surveys often including responses from people in industrialised areas only. </p> <p>People in small-scale societies where money does not play a central role in every day life are often excluded from these studies, as the livelihood of residents in these small communities usually depend more on nature. </p> <p>Now, 2,966 people from Indigenous and local communities in 19 locations across the globe have been included in a study, with researchers now finding that societies of Indigenous people and those in small, local communities report living very satisfying lives despite not having a lot of money. </p> <p>The researchers wrote, "The striking aspect of our findings... is that reported life satisfaction in very low-income communities can meet and even exceed that reported at the highest average levels of material wealth provided by industrial ways of life."</p> <p>Researchers concluded the findings are strong evidence that economic growth is not needed to be happy, with only 64 percent of households included in the survey reported having any cash income.</p> <p>Eric Galbraith, lead author of the study, said, "Surprisingly, many populations with very low monetary incomes report very high average levels of life satisfaction, with scores similar to those in wealthy countries."</p> <p>Researchers added that high life satisfaction is shown in these communities "despite many of these societies having suffered histories of marginalisation and oppression."</p> <p>Galbraith added, "I would hope that, by learning more about what makes life satisfying in these diverse communities, it might help many others to lead more satisfying lives while addressing the sustainability crisis."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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“So tacky”: Bride slammed for using GoFundMe to pay for wedding

<p dir="ltr">A cash-strapped bride has been slammed for considering using GoFundMe to help pay for her wedding. </p> <p dir="ltr">Taking to a wedding page on Facebook, the bride explained that she and her partner had been saving as much money as possible for their wedding, but were struggling with their finances. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Our wedding is next year but I'm still so stressed that we won't be able to pay for the things that we need let alone actual decorations,” the bride began.</p> <p dir="ltr">Given the large expense of a wedding, the bride questioned if it was “tacky” to use GoFundMe, a crowd-funding website used for emergencies, to fund her big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">People were quick to chime in on the idea, with many people labelling it as “inappropriate” to use such a site for wedding expenses. </p> <p dir="ltr">The bride didn't share how much extra money she needs to fund the wedding, but many said she should continue to save rather than rely on others.  </p> <p dir="ltr">“Have the wedding you can afford, or wait and save,” one said bluntly. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Personally I think it is [tacky]. If you want to have a wedding you should be funding it yourself. If you can't afford all the things you want, then I guess you have to decide if you would rather go without or postpone until it's in your budget,” another wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">One woman said it's “insensitive” since GoFundMe pages are for emergencies only, such as medical situations. </p> <p dir="ltr">“If you can't afford to have the wedding you want you really have two choices - postpone until in a better position financially or scale back your plans to fit within your means,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Stage 3 stacks up: the rejigged tax cuts help fight bracket creep and boost middle and upper-middle households

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-phillips-98866">Ben Phillips</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>The winners and losers from the Albanese government’s <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2024-01/tax-cuts-government-fact-sheet.pdf">rejig</a> of this year’s Stage 3 tax cuts have already been well documented.</p> <p>From July 1 every taxpayer will get a tax cut. Most, the 11 million taxpayers earning up to A$146,486, will also pay less tax than they would have under the earlier version of Stage 3, some getting a tax cut <a href="https://theconversation.com/albanese-tax-plan-will-give-average-earner-1500-tax-cut-more-than-double-morrisons-stage-3-221875">twice as big</a>.</p> <p>A much smaller number, 1.8 million, will get a smaller tax cut than they would have under the original scheme, although their cuts will still be big. The highest earners will get cuts of $4,529 instead of $9,075.</p> <p>But many of us live in households where income is shared and many households don’t pay tax because the people in them don’t earn enough or are on benefits.</p> <p>The Australian National University’s <a href="https://csrm.cass.anu.edu.au/research/policymod">PolicyMod</a> model is able to work out the impacts at the household level, including the impact on households in which members are on benefits or don’t earn enough to pay tax.</p> <h2>More winners than losers in every broad income group</h2> <p>We’ve divided Australian households into five equal-size groups ranked by income, from lowest to lower-middle to middle to upper-middle to high.</p> <p>Our modelling finds that, just as is the case for individuals, many more households will be better off with the changes to Stage 3 than would have been better off with Stage 3 as it was, although the difference isn’t as extreme.</p> <p>Overall, 58% of households will be better off with the reworked Stage 3 than they would have under the original and 11% will be worse off.</p> <p>Importantly, there remain 31% who will be neither better off nor worse off, because they don’t pay personal income tax.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="0CWXE" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/0CWXE/4/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>But it is different for different types of households.</p> <p>In the lowest-earning fifth of households, far more are better off (13.5%) than worse off (0.2%) with the overwhelming bulk neither better nor worse off (86.3%).</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="KC5zy" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KC5zy/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>In the highest-earning fifth of households, while more than half are better off (54.4%), a very substantial proportion are worse off (42.3%).</p> <p>Very few (only 3.1%) are neither better nor worse off.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="WSkSL" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/WSkSL/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>But high-earning households go backwards on average</h2> <p>In dollar terms, the top-earning fifth of households loses money while every group gains. That’s because although there are more winners than losers among the highest-earning fifth of households, the losers lose more money.</p> <p>The biggest dollar gains go to middle and upper-middle income households with middle-income households ahead, on average, by $988 per year and upper-middle income households by $1,102. The highest-income households are worse off by an average of $837 per year.</p> <p>As a percentage of income, middle-income households gain the most with a 1% increase in disposable income. Lowest income households gain very little, while the highest-income households go backwards by 0.3%.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="kAPmC" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/kAPmC/3/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>The rejig does a better job of fighting bracket creep</h2> <p>And we’ve found something else.</p> <p>The original version of the Stage 3 tax cuts was advertised as a measure to overcome <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-2-main-arguments-against-redesigning-the-stage-3-tax-cuts-are-wrong-heres-why-221975">bracket creep</a>, which is what happens when a greater proportion of taxpayers’ income gets pushed into higher tax brackets as incomes climb.</p> <p>We have found it wouldn’t have done it for most of the income groups, leaving all but the highest-earning group paying more tax after the change in mid-2024 than it used to in 2018.</p> <p>The rejigged version of Stage 3 should compensate for bracket creep better, leaving the top two groups paying less than they did in 2018 and compensating the bottom three better than the original Stage 3.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="YG0cT" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/YG0cT/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Not too much should be made of the increase in tax rates in the lowest income group between 2018 ad 2024 because some of it reflects stronger income growth.</p> <p>We find that overall, the redesigned Stage 3 does a better job of offsetting bracket creep than the original. It is also better targeted to middle and upper-middle income households.</p> <p>Having said that, the average benefit in dollar terms isn’t big. At about $1,000 per year for middle and upper-middle income households and costing the budget about what the original Stage 3 tax cuts would have cost, its inflationary impact compared to the original looks modest.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221851/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ben-phillips-98866"><em>Ben Phillips</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, Centre for Social Research and Methods, Director, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/stage-3-stacks-up-the-rejigged-tax-cuts-help-fight-bracket-creep-and-boost-middle-and-upper-middle-households-221851">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Too good to be true": Bank teller saves couple from losing $40k

<p>A Tasmanian couple have been saved from losing $40k into an online investment scam after a bank teller noticed the red flags. </p> <p>The couple visited the NAB branch in Rosny, Hobart after their account was blocked during an attempt to transfer the money to an ‘online investment firm’ in Perth. </p> <p>The payment was the first of two instalments that they were set to pay the "firm" but NAB Customer Advisor Erin Bugg saved them from a massive loss. </p> <p>Bugg became suspicious of the firm after they promised a 12 per cent return on their term deposit  and a guaranteed pay out if the firm went bust. </p> <p>“If there was a scam red flags bingo card, ‘online investment opportunity’ would be top of the list,”  the NAB Customer Advisor said. </p> <p>“Immediately, alarm bells went off for me. It sounded like an investment scam and I was concerned this couple could lose their life savings.” </p> <p>The couple, however, insisted that they weren't being scammed so Bugg decided to look into the matter further and found a website and article about the firm. </p> <p>When she looked into the rates they offered she realised it “was literally too good to be true." </p> <p>“No one likes to be told they’re being lied to, especially when they feel like they’ve done all the right things. They had done their own research, and even spoken to the company on the phone,” she said. </p> <p>She added that "alarm bells" started ringing when the wife explained that a man from the firm kept calling her to thank her for the investment and encourage her to open an account. </p> <p>The couple then rang the "firm" in front of Bugg to try and convince her it was real. </p> <p>“I declined to speak to the ‘firm’, but I could hear them telling the customers, ‘Oh, NAB always flags us as a scam’,’”  she recalled. </p> <p>NAB’s fraud team then informed them that the firm had a bank account at another bank, and to call the bank to confirm whether it was legit. </p> <p>After calling the other bank, they found that the account was not connected to the investment firm and suggested them to not transfer anything. </p> <p>“It was such a relief to hear from the customer that they’d avoided being scammed,” Bugg said. </p> <p>This comes after Scamwatch received  over 7,000 reports of investment scams collectively costing Aussies  over $275 million in the last year. </p> <p><em>Image: NAB </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Senior changes will to leave fortune to pets instead of family

<p>An elderly woman in China has decided to leave her $A4.3 million fortune to her pets instead of her three children, after she claims they never visited or took care of her when she was sick. </p> <p>The Shanghai woman, known by her last name Liu, drafted the will a few years ago according to the <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/people-culture/trending-china/article/3248592/elderly-china-woman-leaves-us28-million-assets-beloved-pets-instead-children-who-never-visited-even" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a>. </p> <p>However, as her three children rarely contacted her, and left her on her own while she was sick, Liu decided her cats and dogs were more deserving of her multi-million dollar fortune, and changed her will. </p> <p>Chen Kai, an official from the China’s Will Registration Centre headquarters, told her that leaving her entire inheritance to animals is illegal in China, but there is a way for her to ensure her pets get taken care of. </p> <p>“Liu’s current will is one way, and we would have advised her to appoint a person she trusts to supervise the vet clinic to ensure the pets are properly cared for,” he told the <em>South China Morning Post</em>. </p> <p>Another official added that Liu could always change her mind, if her children changed their attitude. </p> <p>“We told Auntie Liu that if her children change their attitude towards her, she could always alter her will again,” the official said. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Family & Pets

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Real estate agency slammed for "greedy" rental increase

<p>Real estate agency Nelson Alexander has come under fire after increasing the weekly rent to one of their vacant properties on the day of the viewing. </p> <p>The property, located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, had a scheduled viewing on Thursday and many hopeful tenants were keen to check it out. </p> <p>Unfortunately, their interest came at a cost, as the agency sent out a text just hours beforehand saying that they were increasing  the weekly rent from $600 to $650 due to "overwhelming" demand.</p> <p>Journalist Jacqueline Felgate shared the text on social media, and many branded the agency's move as  "greedy" and "disgraceful" and even accused them of perpetuating the rental crisis. </p> <p>The exact location of the property and the number of bedrooms it has <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">is unknown, and after receiving all the backlash, the ad has since been pulled. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The real estate agency also apologised and said that </span>they "do not solicit or encourage any form of rental bidding".</p> <p>"Whilst the current issue at hand is not a breach of legislation, it fell short of our commitment to fair and transparent practices," the statement read.</p> <p>"We are deeply aware of the moral and social responsibility we have to our community during these challenging times."</p> <p>They also added that they are currently reviewing their processes to "ensure this doesn't ever happen again". </p> <p>It is unclear whether the property has been put back on the market and for what price. </p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: Instagram</em></p>

Money & Banking

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14 personal finance tips you were never taught – but need to know

<p><strong>Take a day to think about large purchases to avoid impulse buys</strong></p> <p>“Delaying your purchases for a day gives you time to think about whether or not you really need the items, and it curbs regrettable impulse buys,” advises Marc Diana, CEO of MoneyTips.</p> <p>“Sale items may be an exception to this rule, but even then, question how badly you need the item compared to saving or investing the money you would use to purchase it. When times are tough, and you’re cutting expenses, would you rather have a rarely worn $300 pair of shoes or $300 cash?”</p> <p><strong>Budgets are freeing, not constricting</strong></p> <p>Says financial educator Tiffany Aliche, “Keeping a budget allows you to say yes to your goals in a strategic way. If you have a budget, you can save for the holiday, house or car you want to get. You can look at it as ‘No dining out,’ but I see it as ‘Yes to a trip to Paris.’ A budget is not a NO plan, but a YES plan with actual steps towards achieving your goals.”</p> <p><strong>Budget with the 50/20/30 rule</strong></p> <p>Lynn Toomey, co-founder of Your Retirement Advisor, suggests following this easy budgeting rule:</p> <p>Use 50 per cent of your income for non-discretionary necessities like food, rent/house payment, utilities, and transportation.</p> <p>Put aside 20 per cent of your income for an emergency fund (three to six months’ salary is a good target), retirement, savings, and to pay off any debts.</p> <p>Use 30 per cent of your income for discretionary (non-essential) spending such as entertainment, holidays and gifts.</p> <p><strong>Penny-pinching is not the road to wealth</strong></p> <p>Spending less doesn’t mean you’ll have more. Saving is a good way to stabilise your finances, but you still need to invest. “Pretend there are two islands,” advises Aliche, who is also known as The Budgetnista: “Financially Stuck Island and Wealthy Island.”</p> <p>She says that your savings can be like a car – you can’t drive off Financially Stuck Island without a bridge. Investing is the bridge to financial success. “To get from one island to another, you need to get in your savings car and drive it over your investment bridge.”</p> <p><strong>It’s OK to put yourself before your kids</strong></p> <p>Many people want their kids to go to university, says Aliche, “but it’s more important for you to save enough for retirement. Because the best gift you can give your child is not a free ride to school, but rather not to be a financial burden on them when it’s time to start their own family. Kids can get student loans; no one is going to lend you money without collateral when you’re retired.”</p> <p><strong>Financial advisors aren’t only for wealthy people</strong></p> <p>Millions of people have trillions invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other stock exchange investments, but just because you can easily make trades yourself doesn’t mean you should. “Why not do what you do best to earn money and let a trained professional invest it for you?” asks Brian Saranovitz, president of Your Retirement Advisor. “A recent Vanguard Investments study indicated that integrating proper retirement strategies can add as much as 3 per cent efficient return to a retirement portfolio.”</p> <p>Adds Aliche, “You need to purposefully seek out knowledge. If you break a leg, you know that you need to go to a doctor. With personal finance, people have got the notion that they could just fix it themselves. When it comes to investing, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.”</p> <p><strong>Get a clear picture of yourself at 80</strong></p> <p>Barring tragedy, you will live to a ripe, old age. Aliche recommends naming your 80-year-old image of yourself. “Mine is Wanda. I imagine Wanda sitting on the front steps in her yard. People feel disconnected from their older self. The more you can picture her, the better. I don’t want to see her mopping floors at 80. When I’m making a decision, I think, ‘How will this affect Wanda?’ If I dip into my retirement funds to buy an expensive car, that’s going to hurt Wanda.”</p> <p>If it’s easier, pretend you’re living with your grandfather or grandmother. “You’re not going to tell Granny, ‘You have to go to work. We need the money,’” she says.</p> <p><strong>You can never have too much retirement savings</strong></p> <p>Says Lynn Toomey, co-founder of Your Retirement Advisor, “Life is good. Retirement is better, if you are prepared.” She points out that retirement is laden with potential costs, such as healthcare, longevity, market volatility and inflation.</p> <p>“Even if you think you’re saving enough and have assets, it still may not be enough. The earlier you start saving and investing, the longer compound interest can work its magic to help you achieve a successful retirement.”</p> <p><strong>Don’t blow your tax refund</strong></p> <p>“What are you planning on doing with your tax refund?” asks financial advisor Mike Zaino. “If you’re like most people, the world of instant gratification is beckoning. It could be extremely damaging to your retirement account, however, especially given the time value of money and what Albert Einstein called ‘The eighth wonder of the world” – compound interest.”</p> <p><strong>Ask current lenders for a better rate</strong></p> <p>“Banks, credit unions and other lenders are keenly aware of their competition,” says Diana of MoneyTips.com. “If your credit score qualifies you for a better rate from another credit card issuer or lender, ask them to match the rate. There’s no downside to asking; the worst they could do is refuse.”</p> <p><strong>Asking for your credit limit to be raised can improve your credit score</strong></p> <p>Keep your credit utilisation – the amount of credit you use compared to your credit limit – low to boost your all-important credit, advises Diana. “You can borrow less, or you can ask for a raise in your credit limit.”</p> <p>A recent study from CreditCards.com found that only 28 per cent of respondents have never asked for an increase in their credit limit. However, a whopping 89 per cent of those who asked for a credit limit increase received one.</p> <p><strong>Unless they have a high annual fee, don’t close your old credit cards</strong></p> <p>“The longer your stable credit history, the better it reflects on your credit score,” explains Diana. “The age of accounts is averaged over all of your credit accounts, so closing an older account that is infrequently used actually harms your credit score in two ways: it lowers your credit limit, which raises your credit utilisation; and it lowers your average account age. If you have an old card with a decent credit limit, use it at least annually to keep it open. But don’t forget to pay the bill on time!”</p> <p><strong>Don’t ever co-sign a loan</strong></p> <p>“Co-signing a loan isn’t just vouching for someone’s character,” explains Toomey. “Understand that if the borrower doesn’t pay, then you’re responsible for every single missed payment. If they don’t pay, it’s your credit that will be ruined.”</p> <p><strong>Being debt-free should not be your goal</strong></p> <p>Says Aliche, creator of the Live Richer Challenge, “People focus on getting out of debt. If they use that money to grow wealth instead of getting rid of debt, they could be debt-free faster. Do you pay off your student loans to get debt-free, or invest money in your business to grow and secure wealth for yourself? If you focus on being debt-free, that’s all you’ll be. If you focus on building wealth, then you can be wealthy and debt-free.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/14-personal-finance-tips-you-were-never-taught-but-need-to-know?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Proud to pay more": The billionaires who want to pay more tax

<p>Over 250 millionaires and billionaires have issued an <a href="https://proudtopaymore.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">open letter</a> to global leaders encouraging them to implement wealth taxes to combat the cost-of-living crisis. </p> <p>This comes just as a report by the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/shocking-amount-australia-s-richest-people-earn-per-hour" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oxfam Charity</a> revealed that the global wealth of billionaires have only grown in the last three years despite inflation. </p> <p>The open letter, signed by super-rich individuals from 17 countries, includes signatories like Abigail Disney, the grand-niece of Walt Disney, <em>Succession </em>actor Brian Cox, and American philanthropist and Rockefeller family heir Valerie Rockefeller.</p> <p>They said that they would be "proud to pay more taxes" in order to address the  inequality.</p> <p>"Elected leaders must tax us, the super rich,"  the letter read. </p> <p>"This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nations' economic growth.</p> <p>"But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future."</p> <p>Austrian heir Marlene Engelhorn is also among the voices demanding that they pay more in taxes.</p> <p>"I've inherited a fortune and therefore power, without having done anything for it. And the state doesn't even want taxes on it,"  Engelhorn, who inherited millions from her family who founded chemical giant BASF, said.</p> <p>The letter was released just as global leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.</p> <p>Abigail Disney, whose net-worth is measured at more than $100 million, said that lawmakers need to come together to make a meaningful economic and social change. </p> <p>"There's too much at stake for us all to wait for the ultra rich to grow a conscience and voluntarily change their ways," she said.</p> <p>"For that reason, lawmakers must step in and tax extreme wealth, along with the variety of environmentally destructive habits of the world's richest."</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/63fe48c7e864f3729e4f9287/t/6596bfb943707b56d11f1296/1704378297933/G20+Survey+of+those+with+More+than+%241+million+on+Attitudes+to+Extreme+Wealth+and+Taxing+the+Super+Rich.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">survey</a> of almost 2400 millionaires found that 74 per cent of them supported the introduction of a wealth tax to fund improved public services and deal with the cost-of-living crisis.</p> <p>The open letter also said that one-off donations and philanthropy "cannot redress the current colossal imbalance" of societal wealth.</p> <p>"We need our governments and our leaders to lead," the letter said. </p> <p>"The true measure of a society can be found, not just in how it treats its most vulnerable, but in what it asks of its wealthiest members."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debts, and which should I pay off first?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/angel-zhong-1204643">Angel Zhong</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the cost of living soaring and many struggling to get a pay rise, it’s not surprising people are using debt to navigate life’s financial twists and turns.</p> <p>Owing money can sometimes feel challenging, but not all debts should keep you awake at night.</p> <p>So which debts are good and which are bad? And in what order should you pay them off? As it all depends on your personal circumstances, all I can offer is general information and not financial advice. Ideally, you should seek guidance from an accredited financial adviser. But in the meantime, here are some ideas to consider.</p> <h2>What is a ‘good debt’?</h2> <p>Good debts can be strategic tools and help build a solid foundation for your future. They usually increase your net worth by helping you generate income or buy assets that increase in value.</p> <p>With good debts, you usually get back more than what you pay for. They usually have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms. But personal finance is dynamic, and the line between good and bad debt can be nuanced. If not managed properly, even good debts can cause problems.</p> <p>Some examples of “good debts” might include:</p> <p><strong>Mortgages</strong>: A mortgage allows you to buy a house, which is an asset that generally increases in value over time. You may potentially get tax advantages, such as <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/forms-and-instructions/rental-properties-2023/other-tax-considerations">negative gearing</a>, through investment properties. However, it’s crucial not to overstretch yourself and turn a mortgage into a nightmare. As a rule of thumb, try avoid spending <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/select/mortgage-affordability/">more than 30% of your income</a> per year on your mortgage repayments.</p> <p><strong>Student loans</strong>: Education is an investment in yourself. Used well, student loans (such as <a href="https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help">HECS-HELP</a>) can be the ticket to a higher-paying job and better career opportunities.</p> <h2>What is a ‘bad debt’?</h2> <p>“Bad debts” undermine your financial stability and can hinder your financial progress. They usually come with high interest rates and short repayment terms, making them more challenging to pay off. They can lead to a vicious cycle of debt.</p> <p>Examples of bad debts include:</p> <p><strong>Payday loans</strong>: A payday loan offers a quick fix for people in a financial tight spot. However, their steep interest rates, high fees and tight repayment terms often end up worsening a person’s financial problems. The interest and fee you may end up paying can get close to the loan amount itself.</p> <p><strong>Credit card debt:</strong> Credit cards can be like quicksand for your finances. If you don’t pay off your purchase on time, you’ll be subject to an annual interest rate of around <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/statistics/tables/">19.94%</a>. For a A$3,000 credit card debt, for example, that could mean paying nearly $600 annual interest. Carrying credit card debt from month to month can lead to a seemingly never-ending debt cycle.</p> <p><strong>Personal loans:</strong> People usually take personal loans from a bank to pay for something special, such as a nice holiday or a car. They often come with higher interest rates, averaging around <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/personal-loans">10%</a>. Spending money that you don’t have can lead to prolonged financial headaches.</p> <p><strong>Buy-now-pay-later services:</strong> Buy-now-pay-later services often provide interest-free instalment options for purchases. This can be tempting, but the account fees and late payment fees associated with buy-now-pay-later services can lead to a long-term financial hangover. The convenience and accessibility of buy-now-pay-later services can also make it easy to get further and further into debt.</p> <h2>So in what order should I pay off my debts?</h2> <p>There is no one right answer to this question, but here are three factors to consider.</p> <p><strong>Prioritise high-interest debts</strong>: Start by confronting the debts with the highest interest rates. This typically includes credit card debt and personal loans. Paying off high-interest debts first can save you money and reduce your total debt faster.</p> <p><strong>Negotiate interest rates or switch lenders:</strong> Don’t be shy. A simple call to your lender requesting a lower rate can make a significant difference. You may also take advantage of sign-on offers and refinancing your loan with a new lender. In the banking business, customers are not usually rewarded for their loyalty.</p> <p><strong>Consider different repayment strategies:</strong> Choose a debt repayment strategy that aligns with your preferences. Some people get a psychological boost from paying off smaller debts first (this is often called the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">snowball method</a>”). Others focus on high-interest debts (often known as the “<a href="https://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-credit/smarter-credit/manage-your-debt/snowball-vs-avalanche-paydown/#:%7E:text=The%20%22snowball%20method%2C%22%20simply,all%20accounts%20are%20paid%20off.">avalanche method</a>”). Find what works for you. The most important thing is to have a plan and stick to it.</p> <p>Review the terms of each debt carefully. Certain loans offer flexibility in repayment schedules, while others may impose penalties for early settlement. Take note of these conditions as you develop your repayment plan.</p> <p>Debt can be a useful tool or a dangerous trap, depending on how you use it. By understanding the difference between good and bad debts, and by having a smart strategy for paying them off, you can take charge of your financial future.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/217779/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/angel-zhong-1204643"><em>Angel Zhong</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-are-good-and-bad-debts-and-which-should-i-pay-off-first-217779">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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$280 million lotto winner cuts ties with "greedy" family

<p>Scotland resident Gillian Bayford went from rags to riches in an instant when she won the equivalent of a $278.36 million jackpot in August 2012. </p> <p>Thinking luck was finally on her side, Bayford didn't expect the amount of drama that came with the life-changing prize. </p> <p>It all began just 15 months after her lucky win with then-husband Adrian, who she split with allegedly due to the stress of managing the jackpot. </p> <p>Not long after, she spent $1,324,304 to pay off her family's debt, which included money that her late father Ian McCulloch and her brother Colin owed over a series of failed business ventures according to <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/woman-won-187m-lottery-severed-ties-greedy-family-2023-12" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Business Insider</em></a>. </p> <p>“My dad and brother built up one company after another and then closed them down,” Bayford said. </p> <p>“I’ve bailed them out of every debt.”</p> <p>She continued to keep her family financially afloat spending a total of $37.31 million on them, and even bought her parents - who were broke and living in a caravan at the time - a $522,388 penthouse apartment in eastern Scotland. </p> <p>But, according to the <em>Mirror</em>, that wasn't enough and her father insisted that she should give her brother around $1.5 million, for a new play-centre business. </p> <p>She obliged, and instead of thanking her, Colin now drives Audis with private plates, owns a $546,000 house and reportedly stopped talking to his sister. He even got married to his girlfriend without inviting Bayford to the wedding. </p> <p>“They have lost touch with where they’ve come from,” Bayford told <em>The Sun</em>.</p> <p>“They’re rubbing people’s noses in it by flashing their cash, which I think is downright nasty.”</p> <p>At one point her father even tried to take control of her winnings and even take a piece of her business. </p> <p>“It’s upsetting and raw,” she told the publication. </p> <p>“The money was supposed to make everybody happy. But it’s made them demanding and greedy.” </p> <p>She added, "they brought our name into disrespect in the village, and we had people threatening to torch the family house.”</p> <p>Bayford said that despite it all she takes pride in herself "because I know I’ve taken them out of a situation.”</p> <p>The lotto winner officially cut ties with her family in 2016 after they called her an embarrassment, while her mum Brenda McCulloch claims she’s heartbroken over the lack of contact with her daughter and grandchildren.</p> <p>“Gillian says that we didn’t try and get in touch with them, but if I’d tried she wouldn’t have let me,”  she said. </p> <p>Her mum also claimed that while her daughter was “generous,” the actual amount she gave her family was much lower. </p> <p>“Every word that comes out of their mouths is a lie. I wish them a happy life, but there will be no reconciliation now," Bayford refuted. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Shocking amount Australia's richest people earn per hour

<p>Three of Australia's richest people — Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and Harry Triguboff — have more than doubled their wealth since 2020, according to the charity Oxfam. </p> <p>A report from the charity published on Monday, found that the fortune of Australia's richest people doubled at a staggering rate of $1.5 million per hour. </p> <p>The report also found that the total wealth of the country’s billionaires increased by $120 billion in that same period, which is over 70 per cent. </p> <p>Tech tycoons Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, are among the top five richest men worldwide, with the report finding that it would take them 476 years to spend all of their wealth if they spent $1.5 million daily. </p> <p>The global wealth of billionaires grew three times faster than the inflation rate, and they are $4.9 trillion richer today than they were in 2020, despite nearly five billion people worldwide growing poorer. </p> <p>According to the Australian Council of Social Services, one in eight adults are living in poverty, earning half of the median household income which ranges from $489 a week for a single adult to $1,027 for a couple with two kids. </p> <p>The report was released to raise concern over the growing global inequality, as they urge the federal government to reduce the wealth gap by scrapping the stage three tax cuts coming into effect on July 1. </p> <p>The tax cuts will lower marginal tax rates for high-earning Australians. </p> <p>Oxfam Australia chief executive Lyn Morgain has urged governments to step up. </p> <p>“We cannot accept a society that promotes the gross accumulation of wealth alongside widespread global poverty,” she said. </p> <p>“One of the best mechanisms we have to address this is progressive taxation.</p> <p>“The shame of our woeful global response to catastrophic disasters, displacement, famine and the climate crisis cannot be attributed to a scarcity of resources, it is distribution — and that’s a problem all governments, including the Australian government, need to tackle urgently.”</p> <p>Oxfam have also called for a wealth tax on the world's millionaires and billionaires that it claims could bring in $2.7 trillion each year.</p> <p>The report also called to cap CEO pay and break up private monopolies, which have gained significant power thanks to surging stock prices. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Aussie mum's outrage over neighbour's "creepy" act

<p>An Aussie mum has slammed her neighbour for being a "creep" after spotting a surveillance camera which she claims is pointed directly into her bathroom window. </p> <p>A photo taken of the set-up showed the camera poking out from underneath the blinds behind a window on the property next door. </p> <p>"It was facing the car park, and now it's facing my window [and it has] been there for the last four days," she wrote in the Facebook post, adding that she lives on private property and is not sure what to do. </p> <p>"It's facing my bathroom window. Disgusting. I have two young kids here."</p> <p>The post blew up, with hundreds of locals urging the mum-of-two to speak to her neighbour, put privacy screens, or tint her windows, to which the mum responded: "I shouldn't have to tint my windows to feel safe enough to have a shower." </p> <p> "I live on private property, he comes off as a creep."</p> <p>Despite revealing that she had issues with the neighbour in the past over her dog, the woman went and talked to the neighbour. </p> <p>"[I] went and spoke with them," she wrote. </p> <p>"Apparently it's not facing my backyard, only theirs, but clearly it is, so I will be taking it further.</p> <p>"It isn't for a backyard, it's for a car park that never gets used, only during the weekdays, but it's not even pointing anywhere near that direction anymore. It's legit right into my windows."</p> <p>Property lawyer Monica Rouvella told <em>Yahoo News</em> that there are several things the woman could do if this continues.</p> <p>"One of them is to contact the local police and they can come out and actually request to view that person's footage to see exactly what's been looked at," she said. </p> <p> "And then the police can actually, I believe, request that the camera be taken down or repositioned."</p> <p>She also said the Hunter Valley mum could try going through local councils, but they might refer back to the police. </p> <p>"The other takeaway is, you know, these days everybody has a camera on their house," she told the publication. </p> <p>"So you know, if you don't like that then don't do things you shouldn't be doing. But yeah, if it is directed at a person's house or window then that's a violation of that person's privacy." </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

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Mum slammed for being "stingy" after refusing to buy $2 snack for daughter's playdate

<p>A mum has come under fire for being "selfish" and "stingy" after refusing to buy a $2 snack for her 11-year-old daughter’s best friend.</p> <p>The woman, believed to be from the US, and her daughter Ellie were invited for a playdate at an indoor playground with 12-year-old Sophie and her mum.</p> <p>Sophie's mum offered to put them on her membership card so that Ellie and her mum could go to the indoor playground for free. </p> <p>“Sophie’s mum called me... and Sophie wanted to know if Ellie could come and play," she began in a Reddit thread called <em>Am I the a****** .</em></p> <p>"She offered to put me on her membership card so it would be free for me so I got Ellie in the car and we met them at the playground.” </p> <p>Trouble started when the girls got hungry after an hour of playing, and Ellie's mum only packed a snack for her daughter. </p> <p>“Sophie’s mum didn’t have any snacks on her,” she said.</p> <p>“I told her they sell snacks in the front but she claimed that she didn’t have any money on her and asked me to buy Sophie some Goldfish."</p> <p>Ellie's mum agreed to grab the crackers on one condition - Sophie's mum had to transfer the money to her. </p> <p>“She says she paid for my kid to get in so I could cover the $2 for the Goldfish. I said no, I took care of my kid and it’s not my job to take care of hers too.</p> <p>“I told her if she wanted me to bring snacks she should’ve told me when she invited me but I won’t be wasting $2 for a 50 cent bag of Goldfish because she was unprepared.”</p> <p>She added that Sophie's mum eventually managed to get snacks for her own daughter, and wondered "if she lied about not having money".</p> <p>She then accused Sophie's mum of being "petty" for asking her to pay back for “all the times” she's used her membership to get a guest pass at the indoor playground, adding that "they regularly pay for us to join them on outings.”</p> <p>Her post was met with over 2500 comments slamming her for being “selfish”, “stingy” and “ungrateful”.</p> <p>“You were invited to a place for free that you would otherwise have had to pay for. You only packed snacks for your child? Why didn’t you also take snacks for the other child?" one wrote. </p> <p>“Yes, you did not have to do so, and that child is not your responsibility, but if I was meeting someone for a playdate for my child, not paying to get in, knowing, at some point both girls were going to be hungry, I would have packed snacks for both, as a thank you for the invitation and just because," the commenter continued. </p> <p>“If someone asked me to transfer them $2, I’m rolling my eyes big time. It’s petty, especially when someone gave you something likely far more valuable," another added. </p> <p>“Seriously. I don’t even think I could tell a stranger no when it comes to feeding their hungry child, much less a person I know and spend time with," a third commented. </p> <p>Others called the mum a "fool", for potentially causing Ellie to lose her best friend.</p> <p>“Don’t be an idiot. Apologise. You might care about 50 cents. But your daughter will lose her best friend. And that is worth a lot more. Your daughter might never get a friend like that... And the fact that universe gift wrapped a friend for your daughter. And you choose to throw it in the trash. Wow, you are truly a fool," they said. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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