Money Matters

Paying off a different kind of debt

Last Tuesday, the RBA’s 25bp rate cut brought the official cash rate down to 2.75%, the lowest it has been in fifty-three years (via The Australian). I usually make a voluntary repayment into the fixed portion of my loan whenever RBA makes such a mortgagee-friendly announcement. But with 1st of June fast approaching, I thought I’d attend to another kind of debt, the student loan.

Prior to the economic blip of 2008 and the mortgage in 2009, a less mustbethrifty me decided to do a degree for the fun of it. A couple of years later, I ended up sixteen grand poorer; for the last oh so many years, I’ve been paying for it through my tax return*. Continue reading

Money Matters

Adventures in Flybuysland

Remember my post about the ‘too good to be true’ NAB Flybuys credit card? When commenter Virginia suggested the Coles Flybuys Mastercard as an alternative, I sussed it out and discovered that it was much better value than the NAB, which is unsurprising since ‘[r]eward points for merchant-branded four-party platinum cards are more generous than the bank-branded platinum cards’ (via RBA’s March 2012 Bulletin).

In spite of my hesitation towards getting another credit card, the Coles Flybuys Mastercard deal was as good as, if not better than the latest SuperFood Ideas magazine being marked down from $2.99 to $2. So I signed up for a new card. Gosh, I am such a sucker for bargains. Continue reading

Money Matters

Bills, bills, bills

I stuffed up: I forgot to pay my credit-card bill. The amount wasn’t much–$190.54–but because I didn’t pay it before the due date, the bank charged a $5 late-payment fee and $12.24 in interest*. I also had to pay all that was owing on the card, since interest-free days only apply on purchases if the closing balance is paid in full on the due date of each month. 😦

While it’s good to put off bill payments for as long as possible, it’s baaaaaaaaaaad when you fail to cough up when the money’s due. Nasty things happens: extra fees, accusatory letters from the creditor, utilities being turned off…Continual late payments also affects your credit rating, making it harder for you to leverage a good deal whenever you want to borrow money.

So what’s the best way to tackle bills? Continue reading

Money Matters

If it’s too good to be true, it usually is

Despite having countless loyalty and ‘buy-10-get-1-free’ cards, Flybuys is one of the few programs that has actually given me something, so when I found out that NAB had released a new Flybuys Rewards credit card, I got pretty excited.

Currently, most of my Flybuys points comes from Coles or KMart. Each time I spend $1 at either, I earn 1 Flybys point. If I reach 2,000 points, Flybuys gives me $10 to spend at various stores. Not bad for a program with no join-up fee.

A NAB Flybuys rewards card allows me to earn 1 point for every dollar charged to the card, excluding bills. There’s an annual fee of $65 and only up to 44 interest-free days instead of the preferred 55, so how much do I need to spend in order to profit from this? Continue reading