Bleats

Turns Out That Billionaires Give The Worst Financial Advice, So Use Your Common Cents

“Less lattes” isn’t the savings solution they all think it is.

Economists and Wall Street wolves like to tell Millennials two things: first, that we’re killing every industry under the sun; and second, that we can become self-made millionaires by following their easy – and completely unsolicited – advice.

Some are downright savage. Suze Orman, a financial writer, reckons that if you buy coffee instead of investing “you are peeing $1 million down the drain”. While Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank fame added jeans and shoes to the list of things that will allegedly bankrupt anyone under the age of 30.

And of course, there’s the infamous avocado toast uproar, wherein self-proclaimed ‘moraliser’ and columnist Bernard Salt accused hipster cafes of being the place where home ownership dreams go to die. The memes were glorious, but the economists remained staunch.

Others try a more uplifting approach. In an interview, Amazon-CEO-turned-motivational-speaker Jeff Bezos said: “You can have a job, or you can have a career, or you can have a calling, and if you can somehow figure out how to have a calling, you have hit the jackpot.” Cool Jeff, that’s all well and good, but it’s easy to be inspirational when a cup of coffee is about eight and a half million Bezos-dollars.

As personal finance reporter Tara Siegel Bernard pointed out, the reason all those ‘tips’ you hear sound way too obvious is because it’s easier to manipulate – or criticise – spending choices than all the factors that are out of your control, like wage growth or fluctuations in the housing market.

So instead of focusing on telling you to stop having nice things, here are a few steps to take that are a win-win for your bank balance.

1. Make the most out of your tax return.

At tax time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of all the paperwork you’ll need to do to claw those extra few cents back, but if you haven’t been keeping receipts then you might as well be burning money. Big expenses like a new laptop or printer could be deductible if you bought them for work. If travel of any kind is part of your job, then you can declare that too and be refunded. Unfortunately uni expenses like textbooks or admin fees aren’t usually eligible, but if you’re going from a Bachelor’s to a Master’s degree for example, in the industry you’re working in, you might be able to claim it!

2. Keep a separate, high-interest account open and don’t withdraw.

Most banks offer savings accounts that pay much more in interest than everyday accounts. If you can commit to depositing every month without withdrawing, you might even be eligible for a ‘bonus’ rate, which usually float around the 2.8% per annum mark. Start by asking your bank what they’ll offer you, and compare that with other options outside the big four.

3. Clear your cookies when you’re shopping online.

Flight comparison websites are notorious for doing this, but altering prices based on your cached data is not unique to the travel industry. Some companies have even admitted to using your location to change how they advertise to you. Because it’s very difficult to prove when a website is doing this, take the precaution of using Incognito Mode and regularly clearing your cookies and cache in your browser’s settings.

Epic Houses Around The World That’ll Cost You Less Than $300K

Pack your (money) bags.

The ambition to one day own a home is pretty universal, but depending on how many avocados you smash on a weekly basis, it can seem like a unrealistic goal. But did you know there’s a super simple solution that deeeefinitely won’t require you to uproot your whole life or anything..?

Housing markets in other parts of the world have completely shamed Sydney and Melbourne, so if you’re looking for a bargain, you’re going to have to expand your search area. A lot. To give you a dash of international perspective, here’s what $300 000 will buy you around the globe.

A Three-Storey Emirati Villa

propertyfinder.ae

This offering in the Arab Emirate of Ajman is on the market well below budget at $150,000AUD. For that, you get two bedrooms and plenty more space – 131 square metres is not to be sneezed at. Sure it’s unfurnished, but at least you’ll have plenty left in your pocket for a few IKEA pieces.

A Six-Room Residence In Sunny Portugal

Century21 Global

This property is located 25 minutes outside of the beautiful and affordable city of Lisbon. As well as having a gorgeous interior, you’ll be able to enjoy the calm and quiet of the countryside without abandoning modern life – it has two kitchens!

A Rural Roman Retreat

Gate-Away

An unassuming 3-bedroom located in the Lazio region of Italy, this listing is both colourful and comfortable. The seller is looking for $250,000AUD, which seems a small price to pay for access to a rooftop garden. On the off chance that you’re planning to move to Rome, or you have a voyeuristic interest in real estate, the current owner filmed a virtual tour of the place.

A Small Castle In São Paulo

For a whopping $400,000AUD, did you know that you can buy like, a whole actual mansion in Brazil? Okay, it’s a little over the budget we set, but you would not regret splashing the extra cash. Look at the view you get from that Jacuzzi!

A Cute Croatian Cottage

RealEstateCroatiaIstria

This property might be a little smaller than the previous bargain, but it makes up for it with character! It might look like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but in reality it’s a short drive from town. The region of Istria is a desirable area for a European escape, because its beautiful landscape has remained an affordable investment.

Alas, the final listing we’ll show you is sure to bring you back down to Earth…

A One-Bedroom In Western Sydney

Well, it sure doesn’t look very inspiring, does it? To this Mt Druitt listing‘s credit, the interior is clean and sparkly. On the flipside, it’s tiny, about an hour from the city, in a less than scenic location, and probably noisy given that it’s on a main road. At least it’s near local amenities, I suppose.

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