Archive for August 2019

Saving for the Deposit on your First Home

home buyer

Homeownership can at times, seem like an impossible dream. With property values skyrocketing and wage growth stagnating, it?s harder now than it ever was to own your own home. Despite the hostile economic climate, its still possible for an ordinary Australian to own their own home.?

home buyer

The first hurdle you will face is saving up enough money for a deposit, this can be a considerable lump of money but it?s still achievable with the right game plan. A good home loan calculator can give you a good idea of how much you will need to save. As a rule, the deposit will be %10 of the value of the home. So, a $500,000 home will require a $50,000 deposit.?


Before you start on your savings journey you will need to have an end goal. How much of a deposit do you need? When do you need it by? Having a concrete timeline and set goal will be make sticking to plan that much easier. 

Firstly, you will want to get a solid plan of what your weekly or monthly expenses are. Be honest with yourself, if you are spending $100 a week on novelty spoons, don?t beat yourself up, just accept it, note it and move on. Hopefully, now you will have a crystal-clear picture of your spending habits. Using this information, you can now form a budget. 


The core of the plan, the humble budget. In the monitoring phase, you will have noted all your reoccurring ?fixed? expenses. Expenses like rent, phone bill internet bill, etc. These core expenses are not likely to be cut so work around them. Better deals can be found on phone and internet services as the market is very competitive. Don?t be afraid to shop around for things like insurance, banking, and electricity. 

Luxury items like coffee, alcohol and fast food can be hard to cut out emotionally but doing so will save you money and maybe even your health. The key to a good budget is to be consistent and to keep checking back in. Knowing how much money to save is easy with tools like house loan calculators.?

Get rid of debts

Nothing kills savings faster than persistent debt. Hopefully, you will have identified debts in the monitoring phase.  Debts are a necessary evil in this modern world and having small manageable amounts of debt is ok. If you have many high-interest debts like credit cards, it would be wise to consolidate them all into a low-interest debt. Aim to get rid of any debt as soon as possible, not only will you have an increased ability to save, but your credit history will look better too.

Start saving 

This step doesn?t require much explaining but it begs some caution. Once you have established a regular savings habit, make sure to monitor your progress, again, checking in with your budget. Its possible to make a little extra cash by placing your savings in a high-interest savings account.

Get help

Saving a large amount of money can be very difficult so don?t be afraid to seek help. Moving back in with your parents might seem like a step backward, but if it helps you reach your deposit quicker than its definitely a step forward. As a first home buyer, you may be eligible for some government assistance.

Owning your first home may seem like a daunting task, but with some proper planning and a solid budget, you can be well on your way to saving a deposit for your first home.

5 Tips for Managing Time in Retirement

manage time

?There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.? Brian Tracy

How does it feel to finally be free of responsibilities of going to work, paying income taxes, and being a productive employee?

It feels blissful for a while but very soon things get real and you begin to struggle to manage your life the way you used to when you were working. Managing time is a lifelong process and you have to learn and relearn it as you advance in your life.

Here are the 5 tips for managing time in retirement.

1. Quit being perfect

Perfectionism may be a strength for young people who are detail-oriented, but it detrimental in old age. You don’t want to waste your limited energy in engaging in things that have little or no value– in the grand scheme of things.

Do not waste your time in things like downloading the right theme for your website, hiring the perfect employees for your company, or reaching a certain milestone in business. Accept whatever you are currently capable of and try to do the best with what you have.

2. Get organized

Remember the time when you had to learn how to be organized in your late 20s or early 30s. Was it an easy thing to do? If being organized is not in your genes, you better learn it by practicing it on a daily basis. No one is born as an organized person. It is a habit that every successful person has to learn. As a retiree, you should try to cultivate this habit by following a morning routine, journal twice a day and perform some kind of a meditation exercise.

3. When overwhelmed, create a to-do-list

In old age, it is very difficult to think everything through. Especially, for people with a neurodegenerative disease like Dementia. If remembering things and getting overwhelmed is your problem, just pull out a yellow legal pad and create a to-do-list. Creating a to-do-list is the easiest way of managing time in retirement. If needed do a brain dump by writing whatever task(that needs to be finished) comes to your mind.

4. Create a schedule that suits you

?If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!Benjamin Franklin

Scheduling is another thing that will help you manage your time in retirement. To have a great day, it is necessary to begin the day in the correct way. Do not wake up late or press the snooze button a million times. Wake up early and follow a morning routine. Go for a walk, prepare a breakfast, read a newspaper and create a to-do-list of things that need to be done on the following day.

5. Do not waste your precious time watching television

watching television

?The mood state Americans are in, on average, when watching television is mildly depressed.? Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The above quote stands true for people of all ages. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” has talked a lot about how people lose their momentum when they begin punching below their weight.

Sitting on the couch and watching television all day is not something you have done your whole life. So, why engage in this dangerous habit now. Television is the root cause of mental disorders like depression, anxiety, emotional spending, melancholy, etc.

Bottom line

Managing your time in retirement is a lot different than in a full-time day job. You have to face challenges that you have never known before and deal with things like loneliness and boredom.

Loneliness can make you less productive and, as a result, you would avoid making the effort to manage time altogether. By focusing on the principals of time management, you can solve these unique problems that only a few people have.

The Downsides of Borrowing Student Loans

student loans

Are you still deciding on whether to take a student loan or not?  We all know how important it is to get a good quality education in today’s world.

But can everyone afford to go to a good college? People from middle-class families have to rely on a student loan to be able to make their dreams come true. Getting an education loan may seem easy for someone with good grades and decent credit history but there are downsides of borrowing student loans too.

Here are a few downsides of borrowing student loans.

1. You get buried into debt at a young age

A student loan may seem like a lifesaver during your college days but once you graduate, you have to live with the burden of debt on your young shoulder– for god knows how many years. The more you earn, the faster you will pay off your debt. So, a young person has to gamble on the fact that he or she, after graduation, will get a good job that also pays well.

2. Very few students get placed immediately after graduation

Ask yourself this question. How many fresh graduates you have met so far had a job in hand immediately after graduation? Even if you haven’t done such a survey, the number of students who get placed is very low. Most students take a year off to learn industry-specific skills and then get some attention from employers. In such a case, how are you going to begin paying off your debt? The longer the delay, the more interest you will have to pay.

3. You will have to putt-off other goals in life

According to a report from LendingTree, students graduated in the year 2018 had a total debt of  $29,800 at the time of graduation. With a five-figure debt to repay, how are you going to find time to accomplish other things in life. Having a good career is great. But it is not the only thing that makes life meaningful. Most students work super hard for 5-8 years after graduation just to pay-off the student loan.

4. Not paying your student loans in time will cause significant damage to your credit score.

Usually, the repayment period of student loans is a long one. And this can be a good thing as you get to take your time to pay off the debt. Even if you have a low paying job, you can still repay the loan without having to default.

On the other hand, defaulting on your monthly payment will affect your credit score significantly. As your credit score drops, applying for other loans and purchasing a credit card will also get difficult. So, by defaulting on your credit card payment, you have invited a host of other financial problems in your life.


This post is not meant to discourage anyone who wants to apply for a student loan. It is merely a peek into reality. Every student should have an estimate of what they are getting into. This helps them plan well-before they graduate and tackle obstacles in a better way.

Easy Exercise Moves You Can Do From Your Desk to Improve Wellbeing

Sitting in a spot for too long, as is common in most workplaces, is responsible for a myriad of health problems ranging from weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health complications. 

One study even found that people who sit in a spot all day have 40% more risk of dying from health related complications.?

This is not to say that your work is likely to kill you before your time, however, working in a sedentary position for too long is not good, and you should consider taking a few simple steps to improve your health while at work. 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle out of the office is also important. Eating healthy meals, drinking lots of fluid, and getting enough rest will put you in great shape for the next day?s work. You should also consider taking out some form of health insurance, which will help cover for part of your medical bills, should you fall sick.?

Here are a few easy exercises you can do from your desk to improve your health at work.


Office work can be quite exhausting, and working in one position for long can be uncomfortable. When you are hunched over your desk or computer, you put your cervical spine and shoulders under pressure. After a while, this part of your body will stiffen, which can cause pain or feelings of discomfort. 

To prevent this uncomfortable experience, perform a simple stretching exercise at different times of the day to relax your spine and shoulders. All you need to do is interlock your fingers, then lift your arms and reach backwards. You should feel a stretch in your chest, shoulders, and back while you are performing this exercise.?

Stretching improves your flexibility, reduces stress, and helps prevent injury.?

Leg exercises

Sitting for too long can reduce circulation, especially in the legs. When you finally want to move, you may experience cramps, and feel tiny pinpricks in your legs, a sign or renewed blood circulation to the dormant areas. These experiences are not just uncomfortable, but also painful.

To avoid poor blood circulation to the legs due to prolonged sitting, you can perform this simple leg exercise. 

While on your seat, extend your legs as far as they would go (preferably not under the desk). Then try to touch your toes with your fingers. Return to a sitting position and repeat the process a few more times. 


There are several benefits of squatting, but this exercise is particularly useful for relieving pressure on your lower back, your quads, and your buttocks.?

You can perform chair squats or full squats depending on your office space and the amount of time you have. 

To perform chair squats, stand a few inches away from your chair, and lower yourself slowly until your buttocks hit the edge of your chair. Repeat this a few times before getting back into your seat. 

Full squats require more space and involve lowering your body slowly until you are fully squatting close to the floor. Do this a few times, and the resume your normal work.

Wrist and finger exercises

If your job requires that you spend a lot of time typing or writing, wrist and fingers exercises will help relieve the pressure in that part of your hands. 

To perform this simple exercise, you will have to stand up, place your wrists on your desk, facing them away from you; you will then begin to apply pressure gently until you feel the stretch. Maintain that posture for a few seconds, and repeat. 

After doing the fingers, you can do a basic wrist exercise but circling your wrist any which way. This will also help improve circulation and encourage flexibility.

5 Key Ingredients Needed for Growth in Business

business essentials

Your business is destined to grow. It?s an organic process. There are certain ingredients you need to add to hasten its growth and ensure its survival. Below are five ingredients guaranteed to make your business grow.

1. A good relationship with your customers

business essentials

Your relationship with your customers will make or mar your business growth. To grow your business, you need to build an excellent relationship with your customers to the point that they find you indispensable.

To make this happen, you need to make it easy for your customers to do business with you, listen to them, make them feel heard, attend to their problems promptly and professionally. In building a good relationship with your clients, little things matter; such as replying to emails promptly, calling them to ensure they are getting value from your product or services, and so on.

2. Continuous tests and improvement

In business, there is usually no clear path to success. What works for one business may not work for another. To discover what works and what doesn?t work, you need to continuously test your ideas in the marketplace and see which one will work.

You need to test your marketing strategies and tactics, test new product features, test talent attraction tactics, and many more important factors. Furthermore, you need to improve continuously. Simply because something work today doesn?t meet it will work tomorrow. Testing and improving every part of your business is the only viable way for consistent growth.

3. Proper financial management

The financial health of your business is key to your business growth. You need to know the financial health of your business at all times. Every penny needs to be accounted for, and every expense justified.

Funds should be allocated judiciously, and you need to plan for emergencies by setting up an emergency fund and subscribing for insurance cover such as public liability insurance. With these in place, you won?t be taken unawares when unforeseen circumstances happen.

4. A dream team of talents

The right workers will not only grow your business, but they also ensure its survival. A business is only as good as its workers. To grow and scale your business, you need to attract the right talents and train them to actualise your business vision.

You need to get it right from the beginning by hiring the right employees because recruitment usually cost money and it takes more than six months to properly train and onboard new hires to the point that they can function with minimum supervision and be productive.

5. The right tools

Your business is going nowhere without the right tools. On the other hand, with the right tools, you can get more done and achieve more. We now live in a technologically advanced world. Almost every tool you need to grow your business has been created, and more are still being created.

With the right tools, you can automate labour-intensive and time-consuming tasks. For instance, you can automate certain marketing tasks, research, analytics, customer relationship management, and even certain aspects of your HR.