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Debts taking over? Spending too much on impulse purchases? We’re all guilty of making money mistakes, but Cha-Ching spokesperson Mireille Salloum shows us what to look out for so money can be our friend, not our foe.

1. THE PIGGY BANK IS EMPTY

The biggest mistake is to not have a savings plan. At some point, we will all have our rainy days and it’s best that we have something in the kitty to take the load off.


2. YOU’RE A LITTLE OVER BOARD ON THE SPENDING

Over spending is our biggest down fall. We have all been guilty of buying that outfit that was a little overpriced. The key to this is to set a budget and stick to it – at least you can spend the allocated amount guilt free!


3. YOUR DEBTS ARE TAKING OVER

In Australia, we are notoriously living above and beyond our affordability. It’s very easy to end up with a home loan, car loan, investment loan, credit card debt (if not multiple), financed products etc. This can become a bit daunting when all your money is going towards repayments and there is no disposable income. As a society, we need to start controlling our spending and work to a budget and we need to not exceed our capacity to earn and live.


4. YOU HAVE NO RETIREMENT PLAN

Did you know that women retire with HALF the superannuation that men do? With our average life span increasing to 85 and with the retirement age being 65 – we need to sustain ourselves for 20 years without income or very little assistance! Think about how much you spend a year at the moment just on yourself. Now multiply that by 20. As women, we can’t solely rely on our superannuation as this will diminish when we have children. Make a retirement plan! Stick to it!


5. YOU PAY FULL PRICE FOR IMPULSE BUYS

Paying retail these days is a crime. There are so many competitive markets both online and in store that it’s a sin to pay full price. If you love something, guaranteed if you wait a few weeks you will find it much cheaper. Otherwise check online or jump on some deals websites – a little bargain hunting can go a long way.


6. YOU KEEP PAYING LATE FEES

This one is simple. Pay your bills on time. Why should you donate extra money you don’t have to Fortune 500 companies? Set reminders and alerts and pay your bills on time and you’re winning.


7. YOU ALWAYS TAKE THE FIRST DEAL

We are all guilty of this. Whether it’s our home loans, electricity company, phone or internet plan, credit card… there is always a better deal and you have the power to shop around. Never take the first deal – always seek out the competition – look into bundles offers, special sales and discount rates.


8. YOU’RE UNDER PAID

How many of you are in a job where you’re feeling under paid? We all have entitlements in this beautiful country so the first step is knowing your rights and chasing your worth. Very few people will offer money you didn’t ask for. If your employer does not automatically increase your salary based on inflation and experience then you should be asking for this. If you think you are being under paid, it is very easy to check the award rates in your field of employment by visiting www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au


9. YOU SPEND YOUR CASH ON MONEY WASTERS

If you have a good look at your spending, you will inevitably find that there are many things you could cut down on. For example why in this country rich with great utilities would anyone pay $8 at a restaurant for bottled water? Do you need to buy three coffees from the cafe down the street at work every day at $4 / cup. That’s $60 a week you probably didn’t need to spend.


10. YOU SELF MANAGE YOUR FINANCES

When you are sick, you see a doctor. When you need a loan, you go to a bank. But why do we choose to self-manage our money and investments when these are some of the biggest decisions we will make? We all need to seek professional advice about our money at some point to understand how we can better our financial situation and make wise investment decisions that will increase wealth, reduce debt and help us save for future goals.


Cha-Ching is a new, free personal financial management website designed for Australian women. Offering an exclusive My Money Manager feature, Cha Ching makes it possible for you to view all of your accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, investments, superannuation, rewards, bills and mortgages in the one place. Sounds good to us!