Save on a budget! How to make your monthly income work for you!

save on a budget

Not all of us are born with huge trust funds like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton. Sadly, some of us (most of us) have to work very hard and at first, for very little. The most responsible of us will start saving from very early on, and work out very quickly how to make your money work for you, because really anything and everything is possible, even being able to save on a budget.

There is no sexy way to talk about saving. Saving doesn’t seem like a sexy thing, but you know what is great about saving? Security, saving now will come in handy in the future and we think that is sexy. But how does one, and especially how does someone save on a very tight budget? When funds are few and you are living from pay cheque to pay cheque, putting money aside for a rainy day doesn’t seem like it’s something that is feasible.

We put together a few small tips and tricks that really help when trying to save on a budget, but remember the biggest tip of them all is that you should only be saving what you can afford, whether that is $1 or $10 000 every little bit counts and it all adds up.

Here are some tips to save on a budget:

Workout your monthly income

Knowing how much you are earning is important – make sure you’re looking at all incomes and removing tax! Make sure you are not overextending yourself and will allow you to be able to make decisions and choices that will allow you to stay within your budget. Knowing exactly how much money is coming into your account is important if you want to be able to live a life where you can enjoy things, splash out a little bit and have some fun whilst still being able to save on a budget.

Work out your expenses

If you know how much you are earning, the next most important thing to know when trying to save on a budget is how much your expenses are. If your expenses are less than your income then you are lucky and you can afford to save right from the start, if your expenses are more than your income then you need to start making some changes.

There are two types of expenses

Necessities

Food and housing are necessities, these are expenses that are non-negotiable and have to be accounted for. Look at your necessary expense and see where possible you may be spending too much money, if you are shopping at luxury grocery stores and living in a high-end suburb there are simple changes that you can make like changing grocery stores, only buying items on your shopping list, or moving to a different area. Even your most necessary expenses could be excessive and looking at them properly with a “savings lense” on will really allow you to see where you are overspending and how to can fix that, so you can still save on a budget.

Luxuries

Luxury expenses are items that you like and bring you great joy but you can do without. Luxuries are things like going out for dinner, buying a chocolate at the grocery store and getting your hair highlighted. There are all “nice to haves” and nice to haves will not make or break your life if you go without them for a while in order to stick to a budget. Making little sacrifices with your luxuries is just one of the things you can do to be able to save on budget.

What’s coming in and going out?

If your expenses are more than your income then, “Houston, we have a problem”. If that is the case then you really need to take some serious action, this could mean changing jobs if you are feeling underpaid or taking on another job to help you cover your expenses, however not all hope is lost if you have already made drastic changes and are still feeling like there is just not enough money to go around. Here are some more really great and easy lifestyle tips and changes that you can help you keep to your budget, and save money:

Grow a vegetable garden

Not only is homegrown vegetable better for you health wise in the long-term, you can sell the excess. An added benefit is that the cost of seeds is substantially cheaper than the cost of buying Vegetables weekly.

Turn off the lights

It may seem like a frugal thing to do, but switching off lights in rooms that no one in, is an easy way save a little bit on an electricity bill. When you are on a tight budget, every little bit helps.

Eat less meat

Meat is very expensive, and if you want to save on a budget it is a good idea to eat fewer meals in a week that include meat. It’s an easy way to save money on your weekly or monthly grocery bill.

Ditch your car

If you live close enough to your place of work that you can cycle or walk, then do it. Wake up a little earlier and get peddling or put on your trainers and get walking, not only is it better for your health but it is also a great way to save on petrol.

Pay with cash

Instead of relying on Credit Cards to pay for things, switch instead to only using them in dire situations or in times when unexpected expenses come up that can’t be avoided. The great thing about using cash is you are more aware of the money that you are spending, and it allows you to have a daily amount that you set aside and when it’s done, you can’t buy anything else or make any unplanned purchases. Another way to save on a budget when you are using cash to pay for things is to save the change for your daily purchases.

Take advantage of online deals

There are often great deals online, the trick to buying items online is to only buy the deals that you know you will use or that you need.

Buy in Bulk

When you see a good deal on items that last for an infinite amount of time (the likes of toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo etc) buy them. Bulk deals are a great way to save in the long term, there is a reason why the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” is so popular, everyone loves a great deal!

Ready to save on a budget? Here’s how to get going

The thing that seems so daunting about trying to save on a budget is not knowing where to start. Don’t let not knowing how or where to start put you off. Our suggestion is that you start small and work towards a goal amount that you want to be saving towards. Once you start seeing where you can save money and how easy it is to make small changes, we are pretty sure that you will want to save more and more.

Saving on a budget is doable. It does not matter how much money you do or do not have anything is possible if you are strict with yourself and your family. Nothing worth having comes easy and the same can be said for saving. Michelle Obama’s beautifully toned arms were not achieved in a day and the same mentality can be applied to saving. You just need to keep on keeping on at it!

You’ve got this

Saving isn’t always easy. Stick with it and when you have been saving for some time you will see the amount of money growing. It’s then that you’ll see that the security of having some money for a “rainy day” really is worth it.

PayID is about to knock your socks off.

PayID

Before we get into the juicy stuff about why PayID is about to make your life a whole lot easier, it would probably be a good idea to start with what PayID is.

Well, if you ask the fish – yes, there’s a talking fish – he’ll tell you it has been developed for Australian banks. The New Payment Platform Australia company, aims to make getting and sending money from your bank account easier.

Having developed the platform with SWIFT, the New Payment Platform product, PayID, is set to revolutionise the Australian economy. How? By giving consumers access to an easy to use, super simple payment system – yep, even easier than mobile banking.

So what, exactly, is this PayID thing? It’s a single password that’s used to unlock a multitude of payments. Depending on how you set yours up, collecting cash from your buddies could be as easy as making sure they have your phone number. How’s that sounding? Good? Ok, let’s figure out how to get a PayID.

How do I get a PayID?

Your bank or credit union will let you know when they’re ready for you to set up your own PayID. They’ll probably pop up a notification when you log into your internet or mobile banking account.

Here’s the catch – you’re going to want to create an ID that is simple and easy to remember. No, not easy to remember like that super clever password you came up with and could never get right, and probably not your date of birth, either. Come on – you can do this. Of course, your financial institution may restrict you in terms of what you can use, limiting the options to things like your mobile number, email address or ABN.

There will be a quick confirmation of information ownership, and the PayID will be linked to your account.

If you’re worried that your bank is a little behind the curve, don’t start stressing just yet. Business Insider says 60 Australian financial institutions have launched PayID, and the official New Payment Platform website has a handy list of the 13 New Payment Platform participants, including:

  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
  • Australian Settlements Limited (ASL)
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
  • Citigroup
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Cuscal
  • HSBC Bank Australia
  • Indue
  • ING Australia
  • Macquarie Bank
  • National Australia Bank (NAB)
  • Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)
  • Westpac Banking Corporation

How do I use my PayID?

Once you’ve set up your new payment platform ID you’ll be able to send it to people who owe you money. They’ll just need to log on to their mobile or internet banking and make a PayID payment. Selecting PayID is done much like how you would choose to pay a BPay or payee from internet or mobile banking. This new payment platform embodies what is real time payments – and it’s all super easy to use.

Whenever a person pays you using your PayID, your name will appear. All they’ll need to do is confirm that it is, in fact, you that they’re shipping their hard-earned moolah off to. If it’s an Osko payment, you’ll have the money within a minute – how good is that? What is real time payments? This is it, right here.

We loved how treasurer Scott Morrison put it to Business Insider:
“Gone will be the days of frustrating three-day waits for transfers between accounts of different banks. Customers will be able to securely pay businesses, split restaurant bills with their friends, and pay a tradesperson instantly.”

It gets better – according to ABC, it seems like not even weekends and public holidays will stand in the way of you getting your cash transfers!

Now, you’re probably going to have a bunch of concerns about the new PayID system and, most importantly, how to make sure this new payment platform keeps your data locked up and safe.

How can I protect my PayID?

If you’re anything like us, you’ll have already wondered how to protect your PayID and keep it safe from cybercrime. Your bank will never ask you to provide your PayID via email links, or phone calls, or ask you to provide your internet banking username or password. If you’re ever unsure about some communication, rather call your bank and check if it’s them, and if it’s really necessary!

The New Payment Platform Australia company has used the highest data security standards, which they monitor 24/7, according to BeyondBank. Furthermore, your PayID can only be used to make payments to you. Someone in possession of your PayID cannot withdraw money from your bank account.

In short, it’s a one-way payment system that you have complete control over. Only you can release funds from your own account.

When a person sends money to you using your PayID, they will only see the name you have provided, not your banking information, account number or contact details – unless they have those already.

To keep it all super secure, there are a number of verification steps and stops that will be required in order to set up a PayID. This is to make sure that no one can set up a PayID using your information.

What is real time payments to businesses?

Here’s where it really starts to get good. If you’re a tradie, or work for yourself in any way, you’ll know that one of the biggest stressors can be making sure your clients pay you. In the past, you’ve probably issued invoices after finishing up a job and had to wait for a whole month, if not more, for clients to pay their bills. You may have even had to make those excruciating calls to people asking if they could please, please pay up.

Now, picture this – you finish a job, write out an invoice quickly and hand it over to the client. They quickly log into their mobile banking and, using your simple PayID – which could be your phone number or email address – can pay you there and then. The best part? The payment should clear in a few minutes, after which you can be on your merry way.

According to Scott Morrison, consumers will also be able to attach extra info to their payments, like invoices or instructions for how the payment is to be used. This means businesses will have a streamlined method of making and receiving payments. This should hopefully ease the ‘what was this payment here’ conversations that go on near the end of each financial year.

You can find out more about PayID for business here.

Ready to give PayID a go?

Say goodbye to waiting for someone’s BSB and account number, or someone pretending not to have received yours. At the same time, you can kiss that lengthy payment process goodbye. If you’re like us, your routine probably involves at least 6 checks to make sure you’re paying the right person.
The New Payment Process and PayID just went ahead and made our lives so much simpler.

Setting yours up is all that’s left for you to do!

Don’t believe us? Just ask the fish.

Of course, if you’re looking for a way to afford something a little out of your reach right now, you could also look at taking out a personal loan with us. Head over to our home page to get started!

Good spending habits: 6 useful ways to control your spending

Budget

Good spending habits begin with learning how to control your spending. But how can you be good with money? How can you manage home finances, control your spending and start saving?

Sometimes the hardest part is starting! Good spending habits, like any habits, take time to cultivate and hone. Even if you’re not overspending, it’s important to have these skills to ensure you’ve saved enough for a rainy day. We’ve collated 6 useful ways to control your spending, including instructions on how to set up a budget and stick to it! However, at the end of the day, you’ll need to adapt these strategies to best execute your household finances tactics.

Budget

Starting good spending habits

Spending money is pretty easy, even if you don’t have the cash! It’s exciting to get new things because they are presents that we give ourselves. Unless you have crippling buyer’s remorse, most of the time, it’s exactly what you want! Maybe you already have a budget, which accounts for some flexibility with spending cash. If so, that is a great place to start! However, expenses can quickly creep up on you if you’re not actively saving. For example, the price of groceries can quickly inflate depending on different factors. This means that you can quickly burst your budget without even realising it or buying anything extra.

That’s why it’s important to watch both your big and small expenses. Your small expenses can quickly add up and your big ones can put you in the red in a blink. There are many free apps and tools available to help you track your spending and your income. One excellent tool is the Pocketbook app, which syncs with your bank account and generates monthly reports. Find out more about this app here https://getpocketbook.com/. Apart from these tools, there are several skills you’ll need to master if you want to get good spending habits under your belt.

  1. Be disciplined

    It’s not easy to say no to an extra serving of guacamole for $2, but how to control spending and start saving begins with a commitment. You’ll need to make tough choices, but if you persevere, saving will soon become second nature. Plus, this will force you to scout out the best happy hour drinks in town so that you get the best bang for your buck.

  2. Revise your budget regularly and stick to it

    When you plan out your budget, it’s important to allocate every single dollar. Either save, invest, spend or pay off your debts. If you don’t have a guide, there are many tools and financial planners to help you with managing household finances.

  3. Keep a wish list

    There will always be a few unexpected things that you will need to buy each month. However, follow the 30-day rule. If something stays on your wish list for 30 days, you’re allowed to buy it. If not, or if your desire for it has waned, you’ve just saved yourself some buyer’s remorse!

  4. Give yourself a cash allowance

    While using a credit card can be very useful in tracking your spending, what if you find yourself consistently overspending? Put yourself on a cash allowance. You can even adopt the envelope method which essentially means you split your cash into separate envelopes for different purposes.

6 good spending habits

How to manage home finances? Spend your money in a smart way because this will make each dollar stretch further. Here are some good spending habits that you can adapt to control your spending!

Create a plan

Decide what’s important to your budget and your goals, be it saving for a holiday or paying off an old debt.

Study before you shop

Got a big expense coming up? Do some research on the best value buy, when to buy and where to buy it!

Avoid things, people or places that make you want to overspend

Have you ever walked into a shop like Typo and had an overwhelming desire to buy everything you see? That’s the kind of trigger you need to avoid. This could even be a baked goods shop or coffee shop! Those $7 hand-crafted morning coffees can quickly put you over your budget.

Don’t browse online shopping sites

It’s very tempting to ‘casually’ browse through your shopping apps while waiting around. You could even be in the queue to buy something and be browsing through another store’s online store! If you’ve already got your credit card out to pay, it’s almost too easy to treat yourself to two new presents.

Wait out the itch to buy

We’ve gone into a store and seen something we feel we need more than life itself. However, rarely is this feeling real. Telling yourself to grab the item before it disappears is a trap and you know it. Don’t worry, the item will most likely be there tomorrow unless you’re shopping on Black Friday. If you can’t wait a whole 30 days to decide to buy something, wait at least 7 days!

Find a savings partner

There’s nothing shameful about wanting or needing to save more. Good spending habit can only be cultivated if you’ve got some form of accountability forcing you to stick to them! Pick someone you trust, they need not follow the same savings plan as you but they’ll need to keep you honest. This is the person you’ll need to discuss a big purchase with and have them lend an objective opinion. For example, they should be able to say, “no Sarah, you do not need a life-sized statue of a horse in your living room”.

How to be good with money

Good spending habits can start with trimming away the unnecessary costs in your budget. Here are some ways how you can control your spending and start saving today!

  • Movie tickets can be an expensive luxury. Unless you’re catching a must-see movie, wait for it to come out on DVD and watch it at home instead. Alternatively, you could sign up for on-demand TV sites like Stan or Netflix and cut out the costs of going to the movies and cable together!
  • Revise your internet or phone plan for a cheaper one.
  • If you have the time, visit different grocery stores. Sometimes certain things are cheaper at different stores. If you do your research properly, you could walk away with tons of savings!
    Buy store brand household items instead of the branded stuff. This doesn’t just apply to groceries or household items, but to clothes and accessories as well! Do you really need those $430 Prada sunglasses? If you really do, can you get them second hand?
  • At the restaurant, stick with water. Get your drinks for cheap at a bar later!
  • Aim for happy hour for cheaper drinks!
  • Make your own coffee instead of paying for a cup every morning.
  • Buy frozen seafood and vegetables, especially during off seasons.
  • Avoid convenience stores, which are always more expensive.
  • Keep your tyres full and your car regularly serviced for long-term savings.
  • Walk or take public transport instead of your car.
  • Bring your own lunch to work instead of buying out. It’ll also be healthier!

Good spending habits apps

There are many great apps out there to help you manage your money. Here are just a few free ones for you!

Control your spending

Mint syncs up with your bank accounts to track what your income and expenses! It’ll tell you when your bills are due and what you’ve got left over.

The Acorns app tracks your expenses and invests whatever is left over!

PocketBook will tell you how much you have at your disposal right now and how much you can afford to spend at any exact moment.

Good Budget helps you split your budget into different categories and monitors how much you have available to spend throughout the month. Perhaps the best bit about this app is that it analyses your spending patterns. This way, you can check if you’ve cheated on your budget plan.
Managing household finances

Money Manager Expense & Budget is a useful app for families or share homes who need to see all their bills at once.

Splitwise helps you share your bills with others, like your family members or roommates. You can add people to a bill, create different groups and send reminders to others. It’ll even calculate the tax on bills for you so you don’t need to worry about being short-changed!

Fudget is a short-term bill tracking app, perfect for those holiday expenses. However, you’ll have to manually add your purchases because it doesn’t sync up to your accounts.

Money management

TrackMyGoals lets you set and track your savings goals, by allowing you to enter in every expense you make.

Expensify is an excellent tool for people who prefer to use cash but find it a hassle to constantly input their expenses. The app scans your receipts and collates your expenses in an excel sheet, which is excellent during tax season!

Level Money is for people who simply cannot decide on a budget. The app will look at your income, regular expenses and calculate a suggested daily, weekly and monthly budget!
Good spending habits start with having a budget and knowing what your money is going towards. Controlling your spending doesn’t have to be a stressful or shameful task. Focus on a short timeframe, like a week. If it goes well, try out a full month.

Is higher education a good investment?

higher education

More and more students are going to university these days with the aim of obtaining better job prospects as a result of their higher education. It is a common thought that going to university broadens your horizon, as it opens a world of opportunities and knowledge not necessarily available to those with a high school certificate. However, in the past, university was only available to a select few, as it was more expensive and only required by a few professions. Though these days university is much more accessible with around 26% of the population (not including those under 15 years old), educated to degree level, in comparison to 6% in 1970.

After the recession of 2008, there has been more discussion around whether university is a worthwhile investment. Students who went to university during this time not only accumulated student loans, but struggled to find work once graduating. This resulted in massive student debts and left students to work jobs they were potentially overqualified for. At the same time, stories came out about students who had dropped out of university to start their own businesses and ended up becoming millionaires. It led to the question being raised, is investing in higher education still a good idea?

In this post, we will explore what the advantages and disadvantages of getting a university degree. We aim to answer the question, is getting a university degree a good investment?

Why is getting a higher education a good idea?

So, what are the benefits of having a higher education? There are clear benefits, for both society and the individual, of going to university, despite some perceived drawbacks. Here we’ll explore how higher education can have a positive impact on the individual obtaining a degree as well as the society at large.

Advantages for the individual

Earn a higher income

Studies show that, overall, those with a higher education will earn more over a lifetime than those without. Sometimes, when applying for jobs, what you studied in your degree doesn’t matter, it just shows that you can commit yourself to something and accomplish a goal. According to The Economist, university graduates aged between 25 and 32 will earn $17,500 more annually than those who did not attend or complete university.

Lower unemployment

Studies from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), show that those with a higher education experience have lower unemployment rates than those without a university degree. The 2014 Education at a Glance report showed that employment among graduates was 80%, while it was only 60% among those without a degree.

Better well-being

Studies show that those with a higher education are more likely to have better health prospects. They are less likely to smoke, more likely to do regular exercise and less likely to experience depression.

Learn valuable life skills

A university environment and course can teach you real life skills that can be useful throughout life. Such skills include taking initiative, leadership skills, research and writing, presentation and speaking, and invaluable social skills. Universities also encourage you to think independently and creatively, as well as develop more in-depth knowledge about a specific subject or several subjects. Nevertheless, the amount that the individual gets out of the degree has a lot to do with the way the individual applies themselves.

Graduate study

Some of the other gains come from the opportunities that having a degree opens you up to in terms of graduate study. Students can fast-track their career and become experts in their field by doing research, higher degrees or masters programs.

Advantages for economy/ society

Educated citizens positively impact society

An educated society is going to function and develop more efficiently. Educated citizens encourage advancement and stability and often problems within society can be a result of ignorance about what is going on within the world at large.

Educated future workforce

Similarly, when many young people get a university education, it creates an educated future workforce. This includes future leaders, and those that will essentially be shaping the future of the world.

Helps to provide jobs for society

Not only does having a university degree improve the prospects of the individual, but can aid in the creation of jobs as well.

Helps with trading and associations with other economies

Educated citizens often gain a better understanding of other cultures. This can be due to the subjects taken in university such as languages and other cultural subjects, but also through connections made with international friends and universities. This eventually assists countries when it comes to trade relations.

Growing knowledge and innovation happening within a society

Young people with a higher education drive innovation and growth within a society. This means societies can benefit from advancements in technology brought about by highly educated generations.

It has a positive impact on taxes and social contributions

Generally, individuals with a higher education are able to obtain quality jobs with salaries that allow them to contribute back to society. Therefore, they can contribute more to government taxes which will benefit society as a whole, and they are less likely to need to depend on government benefits.

Why might getting a higher education be a bad idea?

We’ve had a look at the benefits of getting a university degree, but what are the drawbacks? There are some disadvantages that come with getting a higher education that may outweigh some of the benefits for you.

Disadvantages for the individual

Student debt

Unfortunately, getting a university degree comes with a price. Unless you live in a Scandinavian country where education is free, degrees cost thousands of dollars that could leave you owing a massive debt which can take years to pay off.

You don’t always need a degree

While some jobs necessitate having a university degree, such as medicine or engineering, not all jobs require you to have one. If you have developed skills through work experience, you can generally climb the ladder within that industry or field without a degree. Also, some hands-on jobs, such as trades, need training but don’t require an actual degree. Your need for a university degree is quite dependant on the industry you wish to work in.

Delays time entering the real world

Depending on what course you choose, university degrees can take 3 to 5 years to complete. You could end up spending some of this time studying subjects that are irrelevant and could be considered a waste of time. This is time that could otherwise be spent on starting a business or doing something specifically related to your desired career path.

Many distractions at university

While university is a place for learning, it is also a place where many social activities take place. This can be sources of great distraction when you should otherwise be focusing on your studies. It can be difficult to concentrate and make the most out of your time at university if you are constantly partaking in other ‘extra-curricular’ activities. If you think this could be problematic for you, you could try studying online.

Does not guarantee that you will be fully prepared for the job

While you may gain a lot of knowledge in a certain field and learn plenty of skills it does not necessarily prepare you for the real world. You may not learn the required skills that make you employable meaning you may not be guaranteed to land a job upon graduating.

Disadvantages to society

There is very little information out there about the disadvantages that university education brings to society because there are very few. However, some drawbacks may include the fact that university education is not always as easily accessible to those from lower income backgrounds. If children grow up in a family that struggles with low income, they may not have access to the proper resources to help them excel in school. This means they could potentially fall behind and miss out on opportunities to progress to a higher education.

However, this is not necessarily a result of higher education, though it is associated with a lack of access to it. If the pathway to university was made more accessible to those from lower income backgrounds, it could help people break the poverty cycle they are in.

Things to keep in mind

The type of degree studied can have an impact. For example, arts and humanities may be less likely to earn as high an income as those studying degrees such as engineering and finance.

Some professions require degrees like medical degrees, law degrees, or academia degrees.

Suggestions for the future of higher education

While there are some clear benefits of getting a higher education, some of the drawbacks associated with getting a university degree may deter people from going down that path. Here are some suggestions for the future of higher education that could lead to the its increase in popularity.

Maximize student aid

One way would be to increase the amount of student aid provided by the government to help support students through their studies. This could be in the form of financial support for full-time students or students with children. Another way student aid could have an impact would be through increased subsidisation of degree programs so that they will be less expensive and students will have less debt.

Make higher education more affordable or free

While this may have to be a gradual process, it could be something that Australia could work towards. Some European nations such as Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany offer free education. If Australia offered free higher education it may encourage an even greater portion of the population to study, resulting in a more educated society and therefore a better functioning society as a whole.

Improve accessibility of higher education

This is related to making higher education more affordable or free, but is also associated with helping students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain better access to higher education. This could be done through government intervention within disadvantaged schools and implementing programs to help educate students about the different programs available.

Change the way students are measured in terms of their readiness to graduate

Rather than measuring the amount of credits students obtain, they should be assessed on how well they have achieved and mastered certain outcomes. This will ensure that students graduate with the necessary skills for employment.

Structured pathways

This is a relatively new model which helps to guide students through their academic program by providing them a pathway through their degree. It helps to outline to students the key points throughout their degree. The model is supposed to decrease the dropout rate and increase academic performance as students are clear about the goals they are working towards.

Tutoring and academic coaching services

Having this facility available will prevent students who are falling behind from dropping out. It means that students who are struggling will be able to improve their performance with the assistance of tutors so they can get over any hurdles they might be experiencing throughout the course.

Digital student services

If university institutions can deliver services that include academic advice, counselling, library resources, course registration and financial aid information on a digital basis it might assist students who have other commitments such as families, jobs and other responsibilities.

Greater preparation for high school leavers

This is another way to help decrease the dropout rate. If some preparation for university is done in high school this might prevent school-leavers feeling so unprepared.  Another option would be to offer a type of bridging course between high school and university to help students brush up on certain subjects while helping them to succeed.

Ultimately, there are both benefits and drawbacks to getting a university degree. It’s undeniable that the advantages of getting a university education outweighs the disadvantages for both the individual and society. Nevertheless, it can depend on the individual situation. Getting a higher education improves prospects for the individual and society overall, despite the drawbacks. However, there could still be improvements made in the higher education system. That way society could get the most out of university education and so can the individuals.

So, tell us, what do you think? Is higher education worth it? Did you go to university?

What do you think is stopping kids from enrolling?

South Pacific Tsunami Warning

new-caledonia

New Caledonia, the French speaking pacific island off the east coast of Australia has just been issued a Tsunami alert. A 7.0 magnitude Earthquake occurred this morning 82 kilometres off the east coast of New Caledonia at a shallow 10km beneath the surface. There are fears of hazardous waves spreading 300 km from the epicentre of the Earthquake, meaning coastal populations in New Caledonia and Vanuatu are at risk. Though assessments show that the tsunami will not be of risk to New Zealand or Australia.

new-caledonia

Image via: Beach-on-map.com

About New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a Melanesian group of islands in the Pacific, which was settled around 3000 years ago by the Kanak people, though was colonised by France in 1853. The Capital is Noumea where French is the national language, though English and Japanese are also widely spoken, and there are around 30 different Melanesian languages spoken.

It is made up of various island clusters including the loyalty islands, the Isle of Pines as well as several other small islands and the main island called Grande Terre. New Caledonia is a popular holiday destination due its beautiful natural scenery. It is filled with beautiful blue/green lagoons, and has an impressive mountain range, due to it originally being a volcanic island.

Since the Earthquake this morning, the stunning Melanesian island is at risk of being affected by waves between 1-3 metres hitting their coastline, with the Loyalty Islands being the most at risk.  The last time New Caledonia was affected by an Earthquake, was in 1875, where a magnitude 8.0 Earthquake caused waves of up to 2m, resulting in 25 casualties.

About Vanuatu

The other archipelago at risk from the Tsunami is the islands of Vanuatu. Since, they are located a bit further from the epicentre of the earthquake, the waves are expected to be smaller. The last Earthquake to have affected Vanuatu was in 1920, when a magnitude 7.8 Earthquake provoked a tsunami – though there were no resulting deaths. Vanuatu is made up of 80 islands which are home to a population of over 200,000.

Also, part of Melanesia Vanuatu was colonised by France and England, but gained independence from them in 1980. Their national languages remain as French and English, but have also developed a pidgin language called Bislama that evolved from English. Though there are over 100 indigenous languages spoken through Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is also an archipelago with amazing scenery. It has several active volcanoes, and most islands are mountainous and full of forests. Though the islands are quite limited in the number of animal species found there. There are no indigenous large mammals, poisonous snakes or spiders. Though scuba is a popular activity to be done here, as Vanuatu is surrounded by abundant sea life.

How do earthquakes create Tsunami’s?

Earthquakes can generate Tsunami’s when they occur under the ocean, often at a relatively shallow depth. When tectonic plates collide, they displace large areas of the ocean floor, including massive vertical displacements of earth. When this happens suddenly it disturbs and displaces the surrounding water which is how a tsunami occurs. The resulting tsunami waves can travel a massive distance away from the source, sometimes up to thousands of kilometres away. Though it’s important to note that it takes an Earthquake of at least 7.5 on the Richter Scale to cause a destructive Tsunami.  In some cases, under water earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides which also result in a massive displacement of water.

tsunami

Worst Tsunami in History

The largest ever recorded Tsunami was in 1960 when an Earthquake of magnitude 9.5 struck off the coast of Chile, creating a massive Tsunami that hit the coast within 15 minutes. Named Valdivia, it created waves of up to 25m, resulting in the death of over 1500 people in both Chile and Hawaii. Since the Earthquake was so huge it created what is called a Tele-tsunami which crossed entire oceans. The Valdivia tsunami affected Southern Chile, Hawaii, Samoa, Easter Island, Japan, The Philippines, Eastern New Zealand and Southeast Australia.

What to do when there is a Tsunami

If you are ever stuck in a location that receives a Tsunami alert there are a few actions to take before, during and after it occurs.

Before a Tsunami occurs, the first thing you should do is to build an Emergency kit and make an evacuation plan. Create and practice the plan so that your family knows what the escape route would be if a Tsunami were to hit. It’s also important to listen to the community’s warning system, which include disaster plans and evacuation routes. If you are a tourist in the area it’s important to familiarise yourself with the local tsunami protocols. It is also important to keep the local radio on, to keep updated with what is happening.

During a tsunami, it’s important to follow the order issued by local authorities on what to do. You should also move further inland and to higher ground as soon as possible. It’s also imperative that you stay away from the beach. If you see the water receding noticeably from the sure line, this is a warning sign of Tsunami. Also, remember to assist vulnerable people including children and elderly, and help them to move to safer locations.

After a Tsunami occurs, go to a designated public shelter if you feel it is unsafe to return home. Avoid any disaster areas, as you may put yourself at risk of getting caught in residual floods. If someone needs to be rescued call emergency response who can help them.

How badly will New Caledonia and Vanuatu be affected?

It’s likely that the effects of the Tsunami will not be too devastating, since the size of the Earthquake was only 7.0, and it often needs a higher magnitude earthquake to have a disastrous impact. Nevertheless, the islands will be affect by minor sea levels fluctuations, along with large waves reaching the coastline. Residents have reportedly been frightened by the tremors felt the previous night, and may experience further shaking, but the level of damage experienced should be low. As for Vanuatu, the effects should be even less, and no Tsunami alert has been issued yet.

Online shopping: I could stop but I’m not a quitter

online shopping

How to stay money smart online

Australians can be known to be quite lazy, so imagine our delight when the world of online shopping was suddenly at our fingertips. No more dragging yourself to the shopping centre and walking aimlessly up and down looking for something really specific to wear on Saturday night. No more stalking the lanes of the Westfield carpark searching for the perfect spot that’s not too far from the entrance. Now we just need to open our computer or jump on our smart phones and find everything we’re looking for without having to get out of bed.

online shopping

While online shopping has saved us from ever having to leave the house, it is an expensive habit. At least before online shopping was an option, the idea of physically going to the shops was enough to stop us from doing it all the time, now it’s just too easy to spend our money at the click of a button.

Online shopping absolutely has its perks; however, its biggest downfall is the fact that it allows Australians to be distracted from the fact they are spending money. When you have to take cash out of your wallet or swipe your card on an Eftpos machine, it’s more apparent that your money is diminishing. When you’re just getting carried away clicking buttons it is quite easy to forget that you are actually spending money and not just clicking buttons.

How can I save money while online shopping Australia?

This is why we’ve compromised some amazing tips for saving your money while online shopping. Like any addiction, it needs to be kept under control so some ways in which you can do that include:

  • Look for coupons – if you’re on a retailer’s mailing list, you’ll probably receive all their specials and sales, however make sure you keep an eye out for further online deals through catalogues and social media. This will ensure that you’re not missing out on any prime shopportunities.
  • Know when the sales are – most stores seem to roll out their discounts during the week when there’s less traffic coming through. It does depend on what you’re looking for – retailers are good for during the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday), flights are cheapest on Sundays, and Tuesdays are best for electronics.
  • Use the right card – firstly, make sure you’re not using a card with a big surcharge so you’re not making the purchase more expensive than it needs to be, and secondly, you should check whether your card has an online merchant mall. This basically means that you can receive rewards by using that card to make your online purchases. Some cards that offer great rewards with your online purchases include:
  • American Express
  • NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
  • ANZ Rewards Black
  • Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa
  • ANZ Rewards Platinum
  • Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer
  • Take advantage of reward programs – some companies will use their app to offer you special deals in return for doing something for them (e.g. an online survey). If you don’t mind answering a bunch of random questions then you should definitely take advantage of these opportunities. An example of these sites is
  • Compare the market – this may make you think of those talking meercats on TV but it just means to compare the prices of similar products on different websites and make sure you’re getting the best deal. A good comparison site is https://www.google.com.au/shopping
  • Sleep on it – the beauty of online shopping is that it gives you the option to leave things in your cart and step away for a while. This means that whenever there is something that you’re not 100% sure about then you should take a day or 2 to decide if it’s something you need or not. Doing this will minimise your chances of wasting money on items you’ll only like for 5 minutes.
  • Shipping – look for sites with free shipping and try to buy your products from the one supplier if possible, to reduce costs in shipping. Buying locally will also help you save money.
  • Bookmark your favourite brands – you’e a brand loyalist, or even if you’e not, try bookmarking the brands that have worked for you because that might be where you find the deals.
  • Work your magic with customer service – if you’ve just discovered a coupon code in your email and it expired yesterday, or you purchased an item and the next day it went on sale, you may be able to talk yourself into being included in those deals. Sometimes retailers will offer price-drop refunds for items purchased just before a sale, and sometimes they’ll also let you use expired coupons… sometimes.
  • Be aware of your location – if you live in an upscale area, you could be at a disadvantage as retailers might mark up their prices for areas that seem more well off. Seeing as everyone has access to our location these days, you might try using a VPN or different IP address to avoid the issue.
  • Clear your browser – some retailers are more likely to offer discounts to new customers so by clearing your browser or creating a separate shopping browser, you may be able to trick them into thinking you are a new customer.

These are some simple approaches to saving as much as you can while you have your binge session shopping online. When you’re saving money, and whether you’re bidding on eBay, buying off Gumtree, browsing on ASOS, or grocery shopping with Coles Online, it’s important to never make impulse buys and research the market before committing to a purchase.

What should I look out for with online shopping scams?

One thing to be wary of when online shopping is the presence of scammers. Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site.  This is another downfall of online shopping as it gives scammers the disguise they need to rip people off. Some things to look out for include:

  • A product is offered at a ‘too good to be true’ price or it’s advertised to have amazing benefits that seem a little unbelievable
  • The retailer insists on immediate payment, or payment by electronic funds or wire transfer. They may insist that you need to pay upfront for vouchers before you’ve even made a purchase
  • An online seller or bidder has a poor rating or the seller wants to complete the sale outside of the website. If you go along with this, you will lose any protection the website offered you.
  • The retailer doesn’t provide adequate information regarding privacy, terms and conditions, dispute resolution or contact details (e.g. illegitimate email address – Hotmail, Gmail)

Ways to avoid online shopping scammers

  • Do some independent research on the website and check reviews from other customers
  • Avoid making any up-front payments via money order, wire transfer, international fund transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency (e.g. bitcoin)
  • Only pay for online items using a secure payment service (PayPal) and look for a URL starting with ‘https’
  • Check if the website has a refund or returns policy and that their policies sound fair.
  • Avoid clicking on pop up ads that can download viruses and other unwanted software onto your computer
  • Don’t give out any personal information unless you know why it is required and how it will be used

Ensuring your online safety is very important when it comes to protecting your hard-earned money. You don’t want to make a purchase and get excited about its arrival only to find that you’ve been scammed out of your dollars. Money Smart offers some great tips on how to keep yourself and your money safe on the internet.

What happens if I get my online shopping item and it doesn’t fit or I don’t like it?

Well, this is why it’s always a good idea to sleep on any retail purchases you make so you can ensure it’s definitely what you want. If you receive your item and it doesn’t fit you then most retailers do offer refunds or exchanges however this is something you’ll need to establish before making the initial purchase. There is always the risk of the item not fitting due to the fact that you made the purchase online without trying it on.

The last thing we want to do is waste our money, so here are some tips on how to ensure your garment will fit.

  • Take accurate measurements – most legitimate online retailers will provide the measurements of each item. This allows you to use measure yourself and then compare those measurements with the ones of the garment to find the size that will fit you.
  • Make note of the retailers you’ve bought from – online shopping can be a trial and error kind of game so when you find a retailer with clothes that fit you well, make sure you remember the shop, what you bought and its size so you can go back in the future.
  • Check the charts – once you’ve measured yourself, have a look at the stores size charts to figure out which size, whether it be S, M or L, is best for you.
  • Find a trusted tailor – find yourself a tailor or a seamstress, or a friend or family member that’s good with a sewing machine, who is happy to make any necessary alterations to your online purchases for you.

Online shopping can make for an enjoyable pass-time and it can also make for an expensive one. By following these easy steps we’ve outlined for you, you’ll be able to ensure that you are getting the most out of your online shopping experience. If you don’t follow these steps and you don’t get the most out of your online shopping experience then give our lovely customer service attendants a call and find out how a Personal Loan Pal short-term personal loan can give you the help that you need! Our loans are fast, easy, flexible, and custom-made to fit your money needs! Apply with us today and find out how enjoyable (safe) online shopping can be!

Check out Australias new PayID.

The secret costs of travelling

travel

Everyone loves travelling. It’s exciting, you meet new people and you try new things. You escape the banality of life back home. It’s an adventure, and you learn new things about the world at large.

Travelling is addictive and some people never stop. There are even those who make a living out of travelling.

It’s one of those things that can be life changing, and once you get the travel bug, you’re hooked for life. It’s because when you go out and explore the world, you realise just how much else is out there. You want to keep experiencing more.

Globetrotting can be expensive or it can be very cheap, it just depends on your preferences and your approach to your adventures.

However, there are certain costs associated with travelling that no one ever talks about. These costs can bite you in the bum at the most inconvenient of times.

Here are 13 secrets costs of travelling that no one talks about and what you can do to avoid them:

  1. “Tourist prices” – This is when you are charged more expensive prices just because you are a tourist. In countries that are much poorer, it can be understandable to charge higher than local prices. The tourist price is often still significantly lower than what the tourist would pay at home.

However, there are some places like Italy or Spain, where you may have to watch out for being charged tourist prices. For locals, the prices are much cheaper, and you could sometimes end up paying the same amount as you would back home.

travelling

To avoid this, you may want to get taken out by a local so that they can help you avoid getting taken advantage of. Some group tours offer an authentic experience where you get taken around by a local. It is even worth getting some advice from locals about good places for tourists to go and eat and shop.

  1. Insurance vs. no insurance – Getting travel insurance can be expensive and can be an additional cost to your trip. However, if something unanticipated happens while you are away such as a medical emergency or theft, this could end up costing you much more without insurance. If you have a medical emergency in foreign country, it can cost thousands of dollars in fees while could be disastrous.

It’s therefore worth doing a bit of research about what travel insurance options are available out there. There are some good companies that will offer comprehensive deals on travel insurance and, often, credit card companies offer free insurance if you use your card to book your trip, so make sure you shop around.

  1. Tipping – In certain countries it’s customary to tip. For example, in the US it is considered very impolite if you don’t leave a tip. For many countries in Europe it is also normal to tip hospitality staff. An acceptable amount is around 10% the total bill. In some countries, service is added to the end of the bill. For example, in Brazil you don’t need to leave a tip – the service is included at the end of the bill but it is not compulsory to pay it.

It is worthwhile doing some research on the local tipping practice before arriving in that destination. Another alternative could be to speak to a local and get their advice on what is considered appropriate tipping practice. That way you can factor tipping into your travel budget or leave it out altogether.

  1. Currency exchange – Currency exchange costs can be sneaky and you could unwittingly lose money this way if you haven’t done some research. If you need to exchange money while abroad, be careful where you go to exchange cash.

You can risk getting ripped off by dodgy lenders who charge you extremely high rates to exchange money. If you are unaware of how much you should receive in return for your currency, you could risk being heavily overcharged if you aren’t familiar with the exchange rate.

Ultimately, before travel abroad it’s imperative you do some research on the exchange rates for the currencies of the places you are visiting and worth asking exchange agents and banks if what they’ve offered is their best price.

  1. International Roaming charges – This can be very dangerous. If you take your phone abroad and you have a phone contract, you risk racking up huge roaming fees. Furthermore, it often happens fast. Within a few phone calls or a small use of data. Receiving your bill with these extra charges can be absolutely devastating.

It’s less risky for pre-paid phones that require you to top-up credit. They simply won’t let you do anything when they run out of credit. However, even if you top up, that credit can be eaten up incredibly fast.

To avoid, such unfortunate circumstances, it is best to check with your mobile phone provider about what deals that have when travelling abroad. You could also get a global sim card just to use while you’re are away travelling or a local one once you arrive in your destination country.

Get a global sim card here: https://www.covermoreglobalsim.com/

  1. Getting to and from the airport – this is a type of expense that might sneak up on you. It’s another example of where it is important to do your research before you go. Taxis are often waiting outside the airport, and there might be other forms of transport to get to your destination. However, these may not necessarily be the most cost-effective options.

The more economical options may not be clearly advertised and the only way to know about them would be to do some research prior to your travel. For example, the Gatwick express train that takes you from Gatwick airport into London costs £18 and is clearly advertised for everyone to see as soon as you step off the plane. In the meantime, there is another regular train that only takes 10 minutes longer and costs less than half the price! It is worth seeing if your accommodation offer any shuttles as these are often much cheaper, and they know exactly where to go.

  1. Heavy luggage fees – This is a nasty one. The last thing you want to get stung with once you arrive at the airport is hearing that your bag is overweight and that it’s going to cost you. This can be a bitter start to your trip. Similarly, it could also be a disappointing end to your travels. You’ve bought a bunch of souvenirs and gifts ready to bring home to friends and family, and now you’ve got to pay even more for them.

Airlines can charge you ridiculous amounts per kilo over your baggage limit. Though, some airlines offer discounts if you book extra baggage online before arriving at the airport. However, it’s always worth checking how much you bag weighs and trying to get it under the limit to avoid those unnecessary fees.

You could also find out what your total luggage allowance is – if your airline allows it, it may be much cheaper to buy an extra bag at the airport and check it in.

  1. Cancellation fees – It’s always important to look at the cancellation fees associated with accommodation. There are lots of accommodation options you can book whereby you have free cancellation up to a certain date. However, there are some places that will have a non-refundable deposit policy. It is therefore imperative to look at the fine print of the terms and conditions to make sure that you know where you stand.

If you know you need some flexibility with your accommodation, make sure you look at the accommodation policy to see if you able to cancel if need be.

  1. Missed flights – If you miss a flight and don’t have insurance, it could cost you a lot to rebook the flights. If it is your fault for missing the flight, an airline won’t take responsibility. Airlines also don’t have to take responsibility when natural causes prevent you from catching the flight. For larger and well-reputed airline carriers, they may re-book flights for you in the case of a natural disaster, but this is a lot less likely to occur with low cost carriers.
  2. Card fees – Using your card abroad can incur transaction fees that add up. If you use your card abroad you can end paying unnecessary transaction fees for the convenience. There are often fees for using a certain bank machine, plus the cost of the exchange rate that your bank gives you.

A way to avoid this would be to get a travel card, which is a special travel credit card that allows you to put money on it before you travel and withdraw money abroad without incurring those extra fees. You could also take out a certain amount of cash in that currency and take it with you. The only drawback with this option is that it can be risky to carry a lot of cash around with you when you are travelling around.

  1. Car rental fees – You can find good deals out there for car rentals when travelling. However, there are still some hidden fees that can slip in under the rug. For instance, if you are under 25, car rental companies will charge you much higher fees. This is because you are considered riskier drivers as you have less driving experience.

In addition, car rental companies will often charge you more if you want to add an extra driver to the contract and will try to throw in extra insurance costs even though the standard option is more than suitable. It’s worth checking the policy to find out how they’ll charge you for filling the fuel tank up once you return the car – sometimes it can be cheaper to fill it up yourself. Make sure to check out our 6 car tips n tricks.

Finally, it’s important to check the condition of the car before you start driving it, in case there are any damages or marks that you could be charged for when you return the car.

  1. Airline fees – low cost carriers often charge a bunch of additional fees if you want to add anything to your service. If you want to choose your seat, there is a fee. Do you have a bag to check in? You’ve got to pay for that too. If you would like to consume any food or drinks, this will also have to be paid for.

Low cost carriers that do long-haul flights may even charge you to use their in-flight entertainment system. These fees add up.

If, for some reason, you had to change your flight, there are often high charges for changes, and it’s sometimes worth buying a whole new ticket with a low-cost carrier.

  1. Opportunity costs – Another thing to consider is, what else could you be doing that might be more cost effective. For instance, is the destination you choose to go to the most affordable place to travel to right now, or should it go onto your bucket list? There may be an array of other destinations that are much less expensive where you could get more out of your money and your time. What is the opportunity cost of your travels?

In addition, you could consider whether travelling is the best decision to make in your life now. Perhaps you are saving up for a car or a home. Consider what implications taking a big trip could have on those plans, especially if it ends up costing a bit more than expected as holidays often do. It’s much more cost effective to save up a larger sum of money when you apply for a home loan. If you have a greater deposit it could save you thousands of dollars from years of paying interest.

As you can tell there are many secret costs associated with travelling that can easily be overlooked. Many of the things mentioned above are things that we often don’t even think about. Some of them are are unexpected costs, that may be a result of an emergency. It is therefore useful to do a bit of research on each one of these issues before you travel.

Getting things like travel insurance, a global sim or a travel credit card could all help you avoid such unnecessary expenses. Though there are some other secret costs that you may not be able to plan, such as tourist prices. Getting some advice from locals when you arrive could help with this.

However, if you do find yourself in one of the above situations and have not taken the preventative measures outlined above, not all hope is lost. You could still always consider taking out a quick personal loan. You simply apply online, state the amount that you wish to borrow and repay it over a certain period. This could be the answer to any unexpected expenses that occur during your travels. So, don’t stress if you’ve been stung by a hidden travel costs, you know what to do.

Car repairs – 6 terms to know

Car Repair Loans

If you’re not a mechanic, or an automobile enthusiast, your car terminology may be limited or even non-existent. This is completely understandable because many people don’t have jobs or hobbies associated with cars, so they don’t pick up the lingo. Then, when out of the blue you find that you need a car repair, you’re lost for words. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, because car terminology can be technical and often it’s not worth your time learning everything.

However, it can be problematic because when it comes to desperately needing a car repair and having to deal with a mechanic – you run the risk of being taken advantage of. They are likely to pick up on your lack of knowledge and may decide to capitalise on your inexperience.
Not to worry, we’re here to help clear things up. We’re about to outline the most common and important terms you need to know when it comes to fixing your car. Knowing some key terminology will demonstrate you have some understanding of car repairs. Familiarising yourself with these terms means you are less likely to be ripped off.

Car Repair Loans

The 6 most important car repair terms you need to know (so you’re not hoodwinked)

Oil changes – You may be wondering why it is so important to change the oil in your car. In fact, it is one of the most important routine checks you should do with your car. What happens is the old oil is removed and it is replaced with new, fresh oil. One of the biggest reasons that oil changes are necessary is to do with lubrication.

In a car engine, there are many parts that are moving around which generates heat. If there is not enough oil to lubricate the parts, they can generate increased friction which can cause the engine to overheat. This can destroy a car’s engine. That is why it is so important to check your oil roughly every 3 months.

So how do you check your oil level? You simply pull out the oil dip stick on the oil container. You need to make sure your car is on a flat surface to make sure the oil is level and that you don’t get a false reading. Then you must wipe down the stick with a rag, and dip the stick back in. You will be able to see the level on the oil on the stick which will have a measurement line on it for you to see how high the oil is.

Exhaust manifold gasket – This is an essential piece of the exhaust system. When the exhaust from the fuel combustion is dispelled through the exhaust system, the manifold gasket serves the purpose of preventing the exhaust from leaking into the engine bay. It removes toxic gases from the exhaust. It also decreases noise produced by the engine and it improves the efficiency of the car.

They are normally made from multiple layers of steel because they are heated to incredibly high temperatures, so they must be durable enough not to burn. The cost of replacing a manifold gasket is anywhere between $250 – $500. It is also recommended to have it changed by an experienced mechanic as it can be very difficult to access, particularly in new cars. This may add to the service cost of changing the part.

It’s rare for the manifold gasket to break down, particularly in a well manufactured car. It is also rare for it to malfunction if the car has driven under 100,000 km. However, if you do have problems with it, it is very important to have it changed. It can cause health problems by leaking toxic gases into the car’s cabin. It is also very bad for the environment. Not to mention toxic gases leaking into your engine can damage your engine itself.

Ignition coil and spark plugs – Spark plugs are what makes your engine ignite. It is made with a coil called an ignition coil. It supplies the electric power to the spark plug. It carries a magnetic field supplied by the spark plug which makes it turn on. However, if the coil is cracked, the spark plug may not work which means you won’t be able to start your car.
Replacing a spark plug can cost anywhere between $200-$400.

As mentioned above, the ignition coil is part of the spark plug and is what makes the car start. They ignite the air and fuel mixture in the car. However, if the spark plug is wearing out it can misfire and this can waste fuel. That is why it is worthwhile to get it changed as soon as possible. The cost of replacing a spark plug can cost anywhere between $120 and $400 depending on the model of the car.

Air coolant temperature sensor – This is a device that is meant to respond to changes in the car’s engine coolant temperature.

Catalytic convertor – A catalytic converter plays an important part in keeping a car’s gas emissions to a minimum. It significantly cuts down on pollution by absorbing pollution from your car and surrounding cars. It is fitted to the exhaust system and is also a big contributing factor to reducing exhaust noise pollution.

It is also an integral part of a car’s ability to pass a road worthy test. Australia has several environmental standards that all cars must meet and one of these things is a car having a catalytic convertor.

However, if you do find that you need to do a catalytic convertor car repair it can cost anywhere between $300 to $3000, depending on the model of your car. They can be very expensive. Your catalytic converter may need to be change if: it gets clogged, it could get poisoned, valves could be faulty or it could get overheated and burnt out from the exhaust system. If any of the above things do happen, it’s worth getting it changed as it could cause further problems for your car especially engine. Replacing your engine can be incredibly expensive so It would be best to avoid this from happening.

To find out more about Australia’s environmental standards for car emissions visit this website.

Mass airflow sensors – These are electrical devices that measure the mass of air that is drawn into the engine. It is used to calculate how much fuel is needed to be delivered via the injectors. They are a very important part of the engine management system. It means that you have probably not cleaned your air filters regularly enough. Therefore, it is recommended to clean it regularly to improve its durability. To replace your air filters can cost around $25, but replacing the airflow sensors can cost up to $400.

Drive Belts – These are very important components of a properly functioning engine. They help connect the auxiliary parts of the engine including the battery. Without it your engine would probably overheat.

If the temperature in your engine bay is very high it could result in the belt becoming cracked. It is therefore useful to regularly check the condition that the belt is in. If it isn’t working, many things in your car may not function properly. To get it changed can cost anywhere between $100 – $400.

Brake fluid – These days brakes operate using a hydraulics system. This means that when you put your foot down on the brake, the pressure you apply is multiplied to an amount that is enough to stop the car. It is done through the physics of hydraulics and friction.

Over time, brake fluid cylinders can absorb moisture from outside which can damage the brake system. It could effectively decrease the effectiveness of the brake system. To replace the brake fluid is a comparatively inexpensive car repair compared to replacing the fluid cylinders if they start to corrode. That is why it is worthwhile getting the fluid checked out before it causes problems to the cylinders.

As a guideline, it is advisable to change the brake fluid every 2 years. It is known as getting a brake fluid flush and can cost anywhere between $70 and $120.

Shock Absorbers – The purpose of shock absorbers is quite self-explanatory. They absorb energy that is created from the car’s movements. This can either be from accelerating, braking or from driving on bumpy roads. They are very important components of the car’s driving system, as they prevent the driver from experiencing the shocks caused by the movements mentioned above. It is recommended to have them checked every 20,000km as worn out shock absorbers can cause driving problems that can be very dangerous for the driver. They can cost anywhere between $250 to $500 depending on the type of car you drive.

Wheel bearings – They are incredibly important components in allowing a car’s wheels to spin properly. If they don’t function correctly it means that your car wheels won’t spin as efficiently and while increase your fuel consumption. To know whether you must replace your wheel bearing is if you hear a loud rumbling noise coming from your engine. It is even more noticeable as you increase your speed. Another indicator is whether you feel the steering wheel vibrating.

However, it is important to note that a rumbling sound could also be a result of uneven tyre pressure. So, it’s worth checking this out first before making such a large expense.

This can cause your Replacing the wheel bearing can cost anything between $150 – $600 depending on the location of the wheel bearing and thus what it involves the mechanic to do to replace it.

Oxygen sensor – An oxygen sensor measures whether there is a proportional amount of oxygen in the car’s engine. It ensures that’s the car is running at its peak by ensuring oxygen levels are normal. If it is not at the right level it may signify that the car’s emissions are higher than normal. Cars will have at least 1 oxygen sensor but can have up to 4.

It is important as it measures the air temperature, the altitude and air pressure which helps determine how much oxygen needs to be pulled into the engine. If the sensor is not functioning, it means the sensor will end up guessing how much oxygen needs to be pulled into the engine. This can result in an inefficient consumption of fuel.

They can cost anywhere between $200 and $500 and need to be replaced every 150,000 – 200,00 km.

Thermostat – A thermostat is an important device in measuring a car’s temperature. It is a small valve that keeps the coolant closed until the engine warms up. When the engine heats up the valve expands, allowing for the fluid to flow and cool the engine down. If it is not functioning properly i.e. the valve is stuck close, the car’s engine can risk overheating.

It can also result in increased fuel consumption, and poor fuel emissions. This car repair could therefore cost you more in fuel, but also a damaged engine which can be incredibly costly. Replacing your thermostat can cost anywhere between $150 and $250.

 

Don’t spin your wheels and stress!

There are many expenses that can be involved with your car, from regos to repairs. Replacing certain parts can be costly if they malfunction. However, what can end up being even more costly is the damages caused by not replacing parts when they start to play up. If you don’t replace something small, it could end up damaging your engine which can cost thousands of dollars.

So, even though certain parts may be costly and be a nuisance to pay for at the time, it could be worth getting these repairs out of the way. It’s also important to be familiar with car repair terminology and some other costs of certain repairs to avoid being taken advantage of by some automotive dealers who may try and take advantage of your inexperience with the industry.
Nevertheless, it can still be costly to pay for repairs and sometimes the money for these costs is often just not available when you need it, right?

If you need to do some car repairs, consider a car repair personal loan. They are quick and easy to apply for and repayment is a simple process. The best part? The cash could be in your account in the same day.
Apply now to find out if you qualify.

Loan providers: Who can you trust?

online-loans-instant-approval-australia

Looking for a personal loan can be a daunting task. Especially since there are so many lenders out there these days. It can be difficult to sift through them all and figure out which one to choose.

Like with all financial matters, you will want to think things through and do a few comparisons before making any commitments. In addition, it’s always worth being well informed about all of the options available to you.

But when there are so many lenders in the market all offering seemingly similar solutions and packages, and a lot of information for you to sift through, it’s hard to know who you can trust. There are things to look out for such as loan scams, and it’s important to be street wise. Luckily, we’ve put together this blog post to help clear a few things up for you.

Here we have a created a list of criteria that will help you identify a good lender from a not so good lender. If you choose to apply for a short-term personal loan through us, we’ll take a look at the loan providers that are most suitable for you and give you just one company to deal with, to help you in your decision making.

So, don’t worry if you’re not sure who to trust and what to look for in a loan provider, by the time you finish reading this you’ll be feeling a lot more confident.

What makes a good loan provider?

There are several things that make a loan provider a good one. Here are just a few things to look out for that will help you to identify whether a lender is trustworthy or not:

They’re transparent with fees: One sure way to pick out a trustworthy lender is that they will be up front with their fees. This means that before you enter a loan contract with the lender they will clearly outline the costs involved with taking out the loan.

There are also legal standards that the Australian government has set-up that personal loan lenders must comply with for small amount credit contracts (SACCS). For instance, they can charge no more than 20% for an initial establishment fee plus no more than 4% per month.

In addition, they should clearly point out what penalty fees will be incurred for missing any payments, and help you set us any direct debits in line with your salary payments so that you are not at risk of having penalty fees added to your total repayment amount. These additional fees are called dishonour fees. This is because responsible lenders will want to help you to pay off the loan in the most efficient way.

To find out more about the legal standard of personal loan charges visit: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/borrowing-and-credit/payday-loans/

They won’t lend you more than you can afford: Another way to distinguish a responsible lender from an irresponsible lender is that the former will not lend you more than you can afford. Responsible lenders are legally required to perform checks on your financial situation. They need to verify your financial situation by checking documents outlining your income – they can’t just take your word for it.

For instance, as a part of your application they will probably ask for bank statements showing regular income. Or they may ask for you to provide copies of your payslips and may even do a reference check to ensure that you are employed. Don’t worry – they don’t disclose the reason for the check or any personal information.

Trustworthy lenders won’t let you borrow more than you can afford because there are severe penalties associated with not complying with the responsible lending rules.

They won’t contact you first: This is a clear warning sign of an untrustworthy lender. One telling sign of a loan scam is that they will contact you first. If you haven’t contacted a lender to make a credit inquiry you shouldn’t hear from a lender.

Thus, if you are contacted out of the blue, you could assume this might be a scam. Furthermore, if you are asked to make any payments before you receive the loan this is another warning sign of a loan scam.

A responsible lender won’t ask you to put forward any money before you receive the loan. Once you have received the loan into your account – that is when you will start having to make the repayments.

Another sign of a loan scam is that a lender may advertise very low interest rates. This is a trap that is important not to get caught up in.

If you want to find out more about identifying loan scams visit: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/banking-and-credit-card-scams/loan-scams/

They are licensed and accredited: any credit providers must be licensed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This means that not just anyone can be a lender, you need to first receive approval from the government. Once a creditor has been licensed with the ASIC they must operate under the terms and conditions of the licence.

Something else to look out for is whether they have an Australian Business Number, or ABN. This will be displayed somewhere on their website. If you can’t see this anywhere, stay away from them.

If they are not directly licensed, they must be licensed under the umbrella of another licensee. If you want to find out if a provider is licensed or not visit: https://connectonline.asic.gov.au/RegistrySearch/faces/landing/ProfessionalRegisters.jspx?_adf.ctrl-state=qael5366v_4/

Offers good customer service: check online for reviews or head over to their Facebook page to see what people are saying about them to find out if they offer good customer service. This is important because if you have any questions or problems you need help with, you’ll want to know for sure that you will have someone to turn to when things crop up.

If they have a direct contact number that you are free to contact whenever you need to ask a question, this is a good thing. You want to make sure you are dealing with a person and not a computer or robot. While you’re checking out their service, you’ll have a good opportunity to check out the legitimacy of the business, too.

Read some reviews: it’s worth checking out what reviews have been written about lenders. Consumers give star ratings based on their past experiences with lenders. These are a good starting point to determine which one you should choose or not. If there rea bad reviews you know that it might be good to steer clear of them.

Where can you find reviews? Good places to find reviews on personal loan lenders, are places like Facebook. Another useful source is product review on Google. Just remember that some bad reviews may be the result of people being declined loans. Sometimes, despite wanting to help everyone and provide the best possible service, lenders cannot approve loans because the applicants wouldn’t be able to pay them back. Remember all that stuff about responsible lending?

This is a popular place to lodge reviews so it’s a good place to start: https://www.productreview.com.au/c/personal-loans.html/

There are also various awards out there, many of which are awarded based on public votes. Those awards can indicate that they are trustworthy lenders.

Have legitimate contact details: another good indicator is how legitimate their contact details are. If they look like a registered business they should have a proper email rather than a Gmail or yahoo account. It’s also important to check that they have an actual address. This indicates that they have a legitimate physical location.

Do you really need to get a loan?

Before you go out looking for a lender and finding out whether they are legitimate or not, it’s worth taking the time to consider whether getting a personal loan is truly the right option for you. Below is a list of a number situations in which you may think you need a personal loan but may actually do not.

5 times you might think might need a loan but don’t

  1. Car repairs or buying a car – You may be taking out a personal loan in order to buy your first car. Or, you may have to do an unexpected car repair. Getting a personal loan to pay for either might be the first option that comes into your head. However, there may be another option. For instance, if you are buying a car, dealers are often able to set up a payment plan for you. This is where you pay your car off over a certain period of time.

Even if you just have to make a car repair it’s often possible to set up a payment plan with your mechanic where you pay off the repair in installments.

If those aren’t options, apply for a personal loan now using the form above and we’ll help you find a lender you can trust.

  1. Utility bills – Another common reason people think they need a personal loan, is to pay for expensive utility bills. This can be very stressful, but taking out a personal loan is not the only option. It may be worth negotiating for an extension or setting up payment plan with creditors. Often creditors can be very reasonable with this situation and would rather you contacted them to do this than default on your payments.

Another reason this could be a better option is because it very likely to be much cheaper than paying back interest or loan fees.

  1. Household options – Another common reason people take out personal loans is to pay for necessary household items. These are normally more expensive household items such as fridges, washing machines or other large household items. You can purchase these, by setting up an interest free monthly payment plan, where you make payments in instalments over time until you pay off the total amount for the item.

This could be a better alternative to getting a personal loan as you don’t have to pay as much in interest.

  1. Loan consolidation – If you are taking out a personal loan to pay off multiple debts, consider looking at other debt consolidation options. This could include a debt agreement or declaring bankruptcy. These are more serious situations, but could be much more reasonable financial choices are you will not have to pay nearly as much in interest rates as they are interest free.

There are various consequences of declaring bankruptcy so it’s important to check what these are before going ahead with this option.

  1. Medical or dental bills – If you have to finance a medical expense or dental expense you may be eligible to apply for a No Interest Loan Scheme. They are designed to help low income earners pay for necessary expenses such as dental bills or medical bills.

These types of loans are also available for expenses such as funeral costs, household items or school fees.

loan providers who can you trust

Loan Terminology

The following is a list of terminology to keep an eye on for when you are looking for a loan:

Lender A financial institution that lends you money
Loan term It refers to the period of time over which you repay the loan
Credit rating A credit rating is a score you get based on your previous financial history, and tells lenders whether they should lend credit to you or not
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Is the rate of interest
Unsecured Loan A loan that is not secured by an asset and therefore has higher interest rates attached to it.
Secured Loan This type of loan is tied to a financial asset as security
Creditor Someone you owe money to

So, in the end, there are many ways to identify a trustworthy lender. There are a few specific tell-tale signs that will help you to pick one out. Responsible lenders have a number of criteria they have to stick to. Some of these are legal requirements. Another thing to help you determine whether a lender is trustworthy or not is to look for reviews about what customers think.

Finally, before you go out looking for a lender it’s important to consider whether taking a personal loan is actually the right option for you. The above list might help you in making a decision because there might be some better alternatives out there.

Still not sure? Apply through us and we’ll help you find the lender you need.