For anyone out there who is considering refinancing their owner occupied home at the moment with Westpac, you may be entitled to a $1250 rebate. Please call our office on 1300 361 051 to find out more. The offer has an expiry date so you need to call today if this is something that is of interest to you.
Just letting our customers know some exciting news.
We can now do car and equipment finance direct and some of our lenders have some exciting rates on offer at the moment.
Instead of applying for a personal loan through your bank you can talk to us about getting a consumer lease. We have lots of lenders on our panel.
We can find you a personal loan, finance for a motorcycle, a car, a truck, business equipment, a caravan or even a boat. It doesn't cost anything to talk to us and for us to give you a quote. Pick up the phone today and call us on 1300 361 051.
Money Scams - Thanks to Westpac
The following are some scam email examples reported to Westpac for the following months. Westpac have highlighted some of the ways that can help you spot a scam email.
Email subject line: Your account access is limited. Why?
Description: This email hoax attempts to scare you into believing that ‘illegal payments’ have been performed via Online Banking. The link leads to a fake website designed to harvest your credentials. Do not click on any links in such emails.
Email subject line: Important Message Ref XXXX regarding your Westpac Online Banking
Description: This email hoax threatens that your Online Banking access will be deactivated unless you act quickly by clicking on the provided link. The link leads to a fake website. Do not click on any links in such emails.
Email subject line: Online Banking Notification
Description: This email hoax advises that your Online Banking access has been disabled. Helpfully a link has been provided to re enable your access – of course, it is a trick and will lead to a fake website. Do not click on any links in such emails.
Email subject line: New Message update from Westpac
Description: This email hoax is crafted to create a sense of urgency that you must take action otherwise an unknown debit will occur on your account.
Do not click on any links in such emails.
Phone scams alert
Fraudsters don't only strike online. There's been an increase in phone scams where the caller claims to be from a reputable organisation offering to assist with a computer issue.
They then attempt to take control of, or access your computer. Do not allow this under any circumstances; just hang up.
Also, be particularly vigilant if you’re asked to disclose any Online Banking sign-in details or Bank SMS Code sent to your mobile. Again, just don’t do it.
Protect your SMS code like you would a password or PIN
Disclosing your Internet Banking Protect SMS code - or any Online Banking access codes - to others contravenes the banks Terms and Conditions. Doing so may find you liable for any losses due to fraud on your account.
Other recent phone scams involve hoax callers claiming to be bank employees, who then request customer account or personal details. For better protection from phone scams:
Description: SMS phone scam "Restricted Access"
Description: SMS phone scam "Review and update details"
Malicious software alerts. The following are recent example of some signs that your machine may be infected with malicious software such as a Trojan or virus.
Description: We’ve recently detected a new malware variant. Here is what happens after you log into Corporate Online on a computer that has been infected. This malware compromises your computer and tries to captures your token password and number.
Please Note: Only accounts which require a second users approval will be prompted for the "Second user authorisation".
When signing in you will receive the "Please wait" screen. This screen is quite slow when loading.
Next you will unexpectedly be asked to confirm your token details. Do not enter your token details into this screen, in the event you have please call our Corporate Online Help Desk on 1300 134 291 Mon - Fri.
When a second authoriser is required for a transaction, you will be asked for a second users details. Do not enter your details into this screen, in the event you have please call your bank.
Description: We’ve recently detected a new malware variant. Here is what happens after you log into Online Banking on a computer that has been infected with this malware. This malware injects a new page and asks you to enter your date of birth, drive licence and asks you to download an malicious application to your mobile phone. If you have installed the application on your mobile, then un-install it as soon as possible.
In the event you have entered your details the screen will now prompt you to enter an SMS code. If you have entered any personal information into either screens, please contact your bank immediately.
Please note, these are just some examples of what is out there in the market place. Be aware and if something doesn't feel or seem right then better to drop into your local branch of your bank and find out or better still, give your bank a call.
Identity Theft Update - Thanks to Westpac
Identity theft is on the rise in Australia.
It appears in many forms, from fraudulent credit card use, to your entire identity being used to open accounts, obtain loans, and conduct other illegal activities.
Here are 8 simple strategies to help protect your financial identity:
It's time to consider setting some goals for the year ahead. Not NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS, but actually things you would like to achieve throughout the coming year. Before you begin looking at how to set SMART Goals there are a few things you need to consider.
The Triangle of Happiness
The nation’s longest-running and most comprehensive survey on happiness, the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, has just been released. And after fifteen years of detailed research, the author of the survey, Deakin University Emeritus Professor Robert Cummins, says he’d finally cracked the code to wellbeing, which he dubbed the ‘golden triangle of happiness’:
1. A sense of purpose.
2. Strong personal relationship/s.
3. Financial control.
A Sense Of Purpose
This often explains why we strive for outward symbols of success. Large home, nice car, private school. Years of research has proved that once you earn over $100,000 a year, money wont actually make you much happier. It will buy you a lot of things but that's just a quick rush until you find the next thing that takes your fancy. And believe me, that wont take long as compulsive buying of things is akin to an addiction.
Is it time to rethink your sense of purpose?
Strong personal relationships
One of the building blocks for happiness is strong personal relationships…yet the number one cause of relationship break-ups is fights about money. It’s important to understand that Relationships Australia says this is universal, and not just confined to low income earning couples who encounter this problem.
Money may not make you happy, but the research shows that not being in control of your finances will make you very unhappy: in fact Professor Cummins and his research team found that financial insecurity produces similar feelings to that of physical torture.
Achieving a sense of financial control is about your self worth.
You don’t have to wait until you’ve paid off all your credit cards.
You don’t need to wait until you have bought a home.
You don’t have to wait until you have paid your home off.
You don’t have to wait until you have saved enough for retirement.
You can achieve it the moment you make a decision to commit to putting in place a realistic plan. One that’s realistic and based on hard work, savings, paying down debt, and investing conservatively. Create a plan and commit to sticking to it.
So what are SMART Goals?
Paul J. Meyer describes the characteristics of S.M.A.R.T. goals in Attitude is Everything.
SMART GOALS are SpecificThis means the goal is clear and unambiguous. To make goals specific, they must tell you exactly what's expected, why it's important, who’s involved, where it's going to happen and which attributes are important.
A specific goal will usually answer the five 'W' questions:
A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
An achievable goal will usually answer the question How?
Relevant goals (when met) drive you forward. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered a relevant goal.
A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
A time-bound goal will usually answer the question
Wishing you all the best on your Journey to making 2016 amazing!!
And don't forget, make sure you celebrate achieving your goals. Sometimes that may be celebrating the milestones that you achieve on your way to achieving your bigger goals. Find a friend, a supporter and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!!!
During 2016 Village Finance will be launching their commercial and home lending in Tasmania. It's an exciting time and you will start to see a bit more of us as we start to tackle the online learning space when it comes to finance and investments.
We want to make it easier for people to make informed financial decisions so we will have a heap of information coming your way over the coming year. For now though, enjoy the festive season because we anticipate 2016 to be a big year!
So it's getting close to Christmas.
Here are some of our favourite sites for last minute gifts.
www.ebay.com.au (of course)
www.backcountry.com (and Australia post has set itself up as a freight forwarding company so you can buy all your favourite products from the states at greatly reduced prices)
It's the 1st of December tomorrow and it will be Christmas before you know it. According to research by the Sunday Times in the UK, the cost of Christmas is set to rise by more than ten per cent above the rate of inflation this year. How is that possible??
Postage, all that food and gifts are all more expensive than in previous years. For many people it's still tough financially with unemployment and underemployment being major contributors. How can you keep the costs of Christmas down without having a Scrooge-like Christmas?
Top tips for keeping costs down this Christmas:
1. Work out how much you need for the essentials (food and drink, the usual weekly expenses). Then see what you can afford to spend on top.
2. Set a spending budget for gifts per person and stick to it. I found that Christmas was getting ridiculously expensive with partner gifts because I had no budget. Gifts are just a gesture and therefore don't need to break the bank. In today's day and age we more often than not buy what we want during the year so it's important not to get caught up in over doing it at Christmas.
3. Look online. Online marketplaces such as eBay can provide good discounts on many items that would make great presents and you can have the item delivered straight to family and friends avoiding long queues at the post office.
4. Go for funny or personalised gifts. These are often cheaper but may be appreciated even more than an expensive gift.
5. It's time to get tough and do a cull of who you need to buy gifts for. How many of us buy gifts because we feel obliged to do so. The reality is that often buying gifts becomes a habit and we don't actually know what our sister's husband might actually want. Why not save everyone the stress and pain of dealing with unwanted gifts, excessive costs of postage and endless time standing in queues. Why not suggest that in lieu of gifts that you put the money towards a weekend catch up later in the year, that you only buy gifts for the kids and not the adults, that gifts need to be purchased from a charity or why not just do a Kris Kringle. Or you can just suggest that from now on let's not do gifts at Christmas. A phone call is enough.
6. Instead of gifts why doesn't everyone just bring a plate of food for Christmas lunch. You save money on gifts, share the cost of catering for Christmas and everyone gets to feel involved.
7. Make things yourself… consider your skills and put them to use for a truly special present – anything from art to handmade decorations and edible gifts. Handmade decorations look traditional and can be enjoyable to make while handmade presents are filled with love and can easily be personalised.
8. Check out the charity shops. It puts a whole new spin on Christmas if the good are to be sourced from Charity and at least you know the money is going to a good cause.
So, the best way to manage your money for Christmas is to start planning now. Don't forget, Christmas is supposed to be a time for Celebration so do what you can to take the stress out of it.
Cheap holiday ideas - Taken from the Governments Money Smart Website
Planning for a holiday can be exciting but it's easy to get discouraged once the costs start adding up. Here are some MoneySmart ideas to make your holiday budget go further.
How to get the best travel deals
Start your holiday planning by using online flight and accommodation booking sites that offer deals from a variety of airlines and hotels. They are a great way to shop around and compare prices.
These sites often release deals via their social media channels and enewsletters. Make the most of these opportunities by following them on Twitter or Facebook or signing up to be alerted about their special offers.
If you frequently visit the same travel booking sites, consider joining their rewards or membership program.
Save on flights
Flights are usually one of the biggest travel costs but if you can be flexible with your dates, or the time of day that you fly, you can save lots of money.
You will also save money on flights if you travel:
When choosing a destination, make sure you look at what local events are happening at the same time you want to go. These can drive up the cost of flights as well as everything else while you're there.
Save on accommodation
When it comes to hotels, if you find one you like but the deal on a comparison site isn't within your budget, call the hotel and see if they can offer you a better deal. They may offer a discount for staying multiple nights.
You can also save money if you're happy to consider other accommodation options. Think about booking an apartment or cabin. They are often less expensive than a hotel room. Don't forget to look up Air BnB options.
Other wallet-friendly ideas include farm stays, youth hostels and holiday parks. Often venues such as holiday parks have offers for returning visitors if you book for the same time next year before you leave.
If you live in a popular area, join a home exchange site. For an annual fee, you can list your home and gain access to a database of other members' homes worldwide to arrange a swap. You can save a lot of money this way, and you'll get a better feel for a place by living like a local.
Go with a group To take advantage of group discounts, team up with family or a few friends and go to the same destination together. For families or groups, renting an apartment or house can be a lot cheaper than paying for the same number of beds in a hotel.
Don't forget to try UBER when travelling overseas for a cheap alternative to a TAXI.
With one of the four majors? Did your home loan rates just go up? You don't have to cop it on the chin. It might just be time to look at your options. If you want to see what interest rates are available on the market, then give us a call 1300 361 051. There are plenty of cheaper options than the four majors and these lenders have just as much in the way to features to offer their clients as do the big 4. It always pays to be informed on what your options are so pick up the phone and give us a call TODAY 1300 361 051.
Adriana Filipowski has a Masters in Professional Accounting, is a member of CPA and the MFAA.