News Archive for April 2020

April 2020

4 steps to teach kids savvy savings skills at home

4 steps to teach kids savvy savings skills at home

Old money-conscious dogs can indeed learn new tricks, but instilling strong savings habits in kids could make financial planning easier in the long-run. So if you’ve got a brood of your own, start teaching them how to earn their keep and grow their treasure trove before they enter the workforce.

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How to haggle down your car insurance during lockdown

How to haggle down your car insurance during lockdown

With many vehicles confined to garages as the need to drive diminishes during COVID-19, your car insurance may also be lying idle. Mozo Director Kristy Lamont says car insurers are undoubtedly seeing a decline in claims and should pass on the savings to customers.

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Home loan repayment holidays: What are they and are there hidden costs?

Home loan repayment holidays: What are they and are there hidden costs?

A mortgage is likely the biggest financial commitment the average Australian can expect to make. But personal circumstances are prone to change, and sometimes it can get difficult to keep up with things like monthly repayments. In these situations, many lenders might allow you to take a repayment holiday. Below, we take a look at what that means.

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Gumtree advances contactless trade during COVID-19

Gumtree advances contactless trade during COVID-19

If you’re looking to save dosh while social distancing, you may be heading online to make discounted or second-hand purchases when necessary. To ensure the safety of online marketplace users, sources like Gumtree and Amazon are altering their delivery practices and fees, with eBay offering struggling sellers fee deferrals and fee-free periods for new businesses joining the site.

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Coronavirus economic update: RBA expects biggest contraction since 1930s

Coronavirus economic update: RBA expects biggest contraction since 1930s

It's clear that the coronavirus pandemic has put extreme pressure on the economy, but recent comments by Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe put the extent of the current crisis into clear focus.“Over the first half of 2020, we are likely to experience the biggest contraction in national output and national income that we’ve witnessed since the 1930s,” he said in a speech on Tuesday.The RBA is forecasting a drop in national output of 10% in the coming months, with most of the decline occurring in the June quarter. The number of out-of-work Australians will also see a steep increase.“The unemployment rate is likely to be around 10% by June, although I am hopeful that it might be lower than this if businesses are able to retain their employees on lower hours,” Lowe said.While the numerous stimulus packages introduced by the Government will help many weather the downturn, a dip in household income is to be expected. Consumer spending is also unlikely to recover in the near term, given the restrictions on movement and social activity currently being enforced. RELATED: Who is eligible for the government’s Coronavirus support payments? As for inflation, the RBA expects it to remain positive in underlying terms, but is bracing for a steep drop in the June quarter.“The large fall in oil prices, combined with the introduction of free childcare and the deferral or reduction in some price increases mean that it is quite likely that year-ended headline inflation will turn negative in June,” Lowe said.“If so, this would be the first time since the early 1960s that the price level has fallen over a full year.”Lowe admitted that as more economic data comes in over the coming months it will present a “very sobering picture of the state of our economy.” At the same time, he stressed that the current crisis is a temporary one and that the country’s institutions are well-placed to handle it.“As Australians digest this economic news, I would ask that we keep in mind that this period will pass, and that a bridge has been built to get us to the other side. With the help of that bridge, we will recover and the economy will grow strongly again,” he said.

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How to save money and stay ethical

How to save money and stay ethical

You might be doing your darndest to be an ethical consumer: buying green and local, reusing and recycling, and supporting bigger retailers that share your worldview. But if you’re not properly investigating your savings accounts, the source of your energy supply, or what your superannuation is invested in, then you could be counteracting all those positive actions with some big missteps.

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How to make your property move during lockdown

How to make your property move during lockdown

In the uncertain economic environment caused by COVID-19, you may be avoiding any big financial moves like buying a house or looking for a new rental. The inability to personally inspect properties or attend auctions in most circumstances is also slowing down real estate action, even as the industry finds innovative ways to continue operating.

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Meet Aussie fintech game-changer: Cashwerkz

Meet Aussie fintech game-changer: Cashwerkz

In 2020, new technology-driven products and services are changing the way that we do everything, from the way we order food to the way we watch a movie. And the banking world is no exception.

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1-year term deposit rates on the rise with emergency RBA cut

1-year term deposit rates on the rise with emergency RBA cut

One month on from the Reserve Bank’s emergency cash rate cut in mid-March and something a little unexpected is happening in the world of savings. Amongst all the interest rate decreases, it would seem that one-year term deposit rates are actually increasing.

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Get ahead of the downturn with the right financial support

Get ahead of the downturn with the right financial support

Dubbing the conditions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic ‘The Great Lockdown’, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted a sharp decline in global economic growth for 2020, with Australia’s economy expected to contract by 6.7% or almost $130 billion.

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ASIC eases restrictions on financial advice around early super release

ASIC eases restrictions on financial advice around early super release

To help those looking to take advantage of the Government’s early super release scheme, ASIC has introduced measures to ensure Australians have access to affordable and timely financial advice.Since the Government announced the scheme, tax agents, accountants and financial advisers have seen an uptick in demand for their services. The new measures will relax some of the restrictions they usually face.Advice providers will no longer be required to provide a statement of advice (SOA) after discussing the early release of super with their clients.The move will also allow registered tax agents to advise existing clients about the scheme without needing to hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence.ASIC will also issue a temporary ‘no-action’ position to superannuation trustees. That means any personal advice a super fund provides about the scheme will be classified as ‘intra-fund advice’ (general advice that is provided at no extra charge to the member), and will not result in action taken by ASIC if conduct is breached.RELATED: What your state is doing to help Aussies cope during the COVID-19 outbreakASIC has stressed that these measures are temporary and subject to strict conditions. For one, clients must be provided with a record of advice (ROA) — a document similar to an SOA which confirms advice has been provided.It must also be established that the client is entitled to the early release of their super, and that they approached the advice provider and not vice versa.Finally, any advice fee is to be capped at $300.In a joint statement, five major Australian professional bodies - CPA Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, SMSF Association, Financial Planning Association, and Institute of Public Accountants - voiced their support for the move.“There has been an increasing demand for advice around early access to super since the Government announced Australians could access up to two parcels of $10,000 in superannuation tax-free as part of their second stimulus package,” they said."This move has removed significant red tape and ensured a simple, streamlined process is in place so those facing financial hardship during this time get the right advice.”For more information about the kinds of support available to individuals and households, along with other tips to keep your finances in good health amid the current crisis, browse our coronavirus financial guide.

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5 online personal loans you can apply for right from home

5 online personal loans you can apply for right from home

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government has enforced strict lockdown restrictions in attempts to slow down the spread of COVID-19, instructing Australians to self-isolate at home for the next foreseeable future and only leave the house for essential travel.

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4 tips for getting food and booze delivered to your door this Easter

4 tips for getting food and booze delivered to your door this Easter

Your Easter feast is going to be a little different this year. With strict COVID-19 social distancing measures now in place, you’ll undoubtedly have fewer partygoers at the table. You might also have to make do with a shorter grocery list or rely on home delivery if you’re quarantining.

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Find out how much refinancing now, might save you by next Easter

Find out how much refinancing now, might save you by next Easter

Following not one but two RBA cash rate cuts this year and a series of cash rate cuts last year, home loan interest rates are the lowest they’ve ever been. So if you’re feeling restless this weekend and want to take a little break from R&R time, why not figure out how much you could save by refinancing your home loan!

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7 affordable things to do with kids indoors these school holidays

7 affordable things to do with kids indoors these school holidays

If you’ve got little tykes waiting for the Easter bunny to arrive, things will undoubtedly be different over the break this year. Once upon a time you and the kids joined Easter parties and egg hunts, but now you’ll be spending most of the school holidays at home to help stem the spread of Coronavirus.

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5 sure-fire ways to dump debt fast

5 sure-fire ways to dump debt fast

Up to your ears in debt? Or maybe you’ve just got one lingering debt that’s been following you around like a bad smell? No matter the size of it, at the end of the day, debt is debt and it needs to be paid off otherwise it’ll haunt you for years to come.

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Super scams on the rise during COVID-19, says ACCC

Super scams on the rise during COVID-19, says ACCC

After noting a significant number of scam reports related to COVID-19, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now issued a warning specifically related to fraudulent claims around early superannuation access.

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UBank crowned Australia's best bank lender

UBank crowned Australia's best bank lender

UBank has kept hold of its crown as one of the most competitive home loan lenders in Australia, beating out 85 lenders to win the title of Best Bank Lender of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards 2020.

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Joy for savers as rates head upwards

Joy for savers as rates head upwards

In what might be the best news for the nation's savers this year, banks and other financial institutions are actually increasing rates on select savings and term deposit accounts. The emerging trend is a rare ray of light for savers, and a strong sign that competition for deposit customers is heating up.

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Fixed rates for Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan fall below 2%!

Fixed rates for Bank Australia’s Clean Energy Home Loan fall below 2%!

For the first time ever, fixed home loan rates now start with a 1! That’s right, the Bank Australia Clean Energy Home Loan now sits at a rock bottom 1.79% p.a. (3.10% p.a. comparison rate*) for a three year fixed rate home loan. This comes not long after the Reserve Bank’s emergency cash rate cut in mid-March.

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April 2020 Financial Checklist

April 2020 Financial Checklist

It’s the first of April! But things are feeling a little bit sombre this month. With the current coronavirus pandemic, wherever you’re from in the world, there’s a good chance that you’re currently at home in self-isolation. How are you holding up, folks?

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RBA expects a “material contraction” in the economy, minutes reveal

RBA expects a “material contraction” in the economy, minutes reveal

The coronavirus outbreak has taken a devastating toll on the Australian economy, and according to recently released minutes the Reserve Bank believes the current period of disruption could extend to the latter half of the year.While charting the outcome of the crisis will be difficult, the Board expects Australia to experience “a very material contraction in economic activity,” which will last through the March and June quarters and possibly beyond that.“The size of the fall in economic activity would depend on the extent of the social distancing requirements, and potential lockdowns, put in place to contain the virus,” the minutes say.The Board met ahead of schedule on March 18 amid fears the coronavirus outbreak could tip the country into a recession. It announced the following day it will be cutting official interest rates to 0.25%, commencing bond purchasing, and establishing a $90 billion facility to help banks access cheap loans.Since then, closures of non-essential businesses and restrictions on public and private gatherings have brought entire swaths of the economy to a standstill.To curb the fallout, the Federal Government has announced several rounds of stimulus packages, most recently the JobKeeper scheme — a $130 billion subsidy to businesses to help keep employees on the payroll.RELATED: How do I receive the government’s coronavirus support payments?The Board agreed that unemployment is set to surge in the coming months, though there is an expectation that some industries will fare better than others. “There were likely to be significant job losses over the months ahead, although the extent of this would depend on the capacity of businesses to retain employees during this period.”“At the same time, some industries were employing more workers, particularly those involved in the retail supply chain and delivering goods.”The Board also ruled out further monetary easing and made clear that it has “no appetite” for negative interest rates. The official cash rate will remain unchanged until progress is made towards full employment and an inflation target of 2-3%.The same goes for the Board’s bond purchasing program, though it flagged that it would sooner end that program than raise the cash rate.While the buying up of government bonds by a central bank sounds a lot like quantitative easing, the RBA has been reluctant to use the term. That’s because this particular program isn’t so much focused on the quantity of bonds purchased (as in the US, where the Fed recently committed to buying $700 billion worth), but with preserving low funding costs.It will do this by targeting the yield on three-year Australian Government bonds, hoping to bring it down from around 0.45%, where it had been hovering for several weeks, to 0.25%.“The specific proposal was to target the rate at the three-year mark, given its importance as a benchmark rate in financial markets and its role in funding across much of the Australian economy,” the minutes say.“Such a target would also be consistent with the expectation that the cash rate would remain at a very low level for several years.”

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