Thursday, 29 May 2008

Is Private Health Insurance Still Worth It?

As part of the the recent Federal budget here in Australia, the income level that tax penalties kick in if you don't have private health insurance increased from $50,000 to $100,000 for singles; and from $100,000 to $150,000 for couples.

So if your income and situation fall below these levels, the decision to get health insurance is now up to you. There’s no tax incentive (more a stick than a carrot as far as incentives go in my mind) to sign up.

You still get the existing 30 per cent tax rebate. And every year over the age of 30 that you delay taking up private health insurance, your premiums will still go up by 2 per cent.

I’m one of those singles who is no longer impacted by the tax penalty.

An exodus of younger, largely healthy fund members (like me, well at least healthy if not younger these days!) between 485,000 and 750,000 are expected to leave the private health care system. This could of course increase costs to those members who are left behind.

Times are tough, interest rates are going up, petrol costs a fortune, it’s tempting to ditch that monthly charge to save some money.

For me though, the bottom line is not that I can't afford private cover but that I can't afford not to have it. I’m keeping my health insurance. It’s an investment in myself - just in case.

Why? If I happen to be diagnosed with something serious, the blowout in public hospital waiting lists means I might not get the treatment in time and I couldn't afford private treatment out of my own savings.

It’s not a fear thing, it’s just that I insure my car and my home contents against disaster, and don’t expect anything catastrophic to happen, why would I not apply the same reasoning to my own health and wellbeing. It’s got to be worth as much to me as my ‘stuff’.

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Friday, 23 May 2008

Fraud Refund Came Through

I got my $49.72 paid back to me from the dodgy taxi driver that used my stolen credit card to charge me small amounts two months in a row.

The money is being snowflaked straight onto one of my cards to boost my debt elimination efforts for the month. It’s shaping up to be a good month so far debt

Yay for snowflake flurries, for actually reviewing my statements, raising the issues and following it through to resolution with the bank.

They were pretty good with the whole thing; it was only one phone call, then sending in a form as a statutory declaration that I didn’t incur the charges.

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to not only open all your monthly statements, but to check them for any unusual transactions, and to investigate them with your bank as soon as possible.

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Tuesday, 20 May 2008

I’m Out Of The Will!

I know this would normally be a trigger for family drama and concern, but for me it’s actually a very nice compliment.

My sister came up to Sydney last weekend for my birthday (eek, I’m 39 now) and told me she’s written me out of her will. In her words:

‘You’re doing such a good job of getting your financial life and future on track that I no longer worry about you or your future any more.’


Considering she’s one of my greatest financial role models, this meant a great deal to me, but it has made me think about having a will of my own, as I never thought about it much.

Well apart from the time my mother gave me a ‘Will Kit For Singles’ one year for my birthday, which has been a running family joke ever since. I thought it meant she too thought I was destined to die alone. :-)

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Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Spending Money On Things That Matter

I bought a new vacuum cleaner a few weeks ago, as my old one just wasn't cutting it any more. I could have gone for the cheapest one, but I decided to buy a good one that would last and do the job properly.

I ended up with a Hoover Hygiene, and even bought it from Godfreys, but I got it much cheaper than their website pricing. I only paid $449 & they even threw in two packs of free bags, which saved me even more.

It really does make a huge difference, not only to how clean the carpets are, but the air quality in the rooms themselves. It’s also got a 2 year full warranty, and can get fixed on site of required.

I think it’s important to not scrimp on things that make a big difference to your quality of life, which will be different for each of us.

It did amuse me to realise that my vacuum cleaner cost 10% of the purchase price of my car! (The car is a 1995 model, and my very first car, so wasn't expensive).

We all spend a lot of time trying to cut costs and reduce spending on items where possible, but where do you personally draw the line and spend your money?

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Friday, 2 May 2008

Survey Site That Actually Pays

There are a lot of us in the PF blogosphere using surveys to generate some extra money to pay down their debts. You have to find your snowflakes where you can right?

I signed myself up for a whole batch of survey sites a few months ago, and from my perspective Pure Profile seems to be the only one I generate any real money from.

I seem to be ineligible for a lot of surveys unfortunately, maybe it’s because I’m single with no kids, or it could be that as an Aussie there aren't the same volume of survey opportunities as my US and UK colleagues enjoy.

Pure Profile pay out in cash (to your PayPal account) at $25 and it hasn't taken me that long to get there compared to other sites.

It may be worth trying out Pure Profile yourself?

There are some other great posts out there to locate the best survey sites available, here are my favourites:

Paid Twice: Surveys For Fun And Pocket Change
Money Blog Site: Survey Sites
Dead Set Free Stuff: Australian Survey Sites That Pay!

Do you use online survey sites to generate extra money? I’d love to hear if they work for you or if there’s something else I should be trying?

Have you got a post about surveys? I’d like to add it to my list here, so leave me the details in a comment!

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Thursday, 1 May 2008

The Ugly Truth – Day 244

The Ugly Truth

  • Personal Loan: -$23,200
  • Credit Card 1: -$7,242
  • Credit Card 2: -$8,895 (what the!)
  • Credit Card 3: -$5,999
  • Credit Card 4: -$11,242
  • Credit Card 5: (paid in full)
  • Credit Card 6: -$3,923
  • Credit Card 7: (paid in full)
  • Emergency Fund: +$1,200
  • Car Fund (Maintenance & Registration): +$500

Total: -$58,801
Debt reduced from last month: +405
Debt reduced from Sep 2007: -$2,029

April was another up and down month. A couple of unexpected major expenses that I put on a card blew out my otherwise good progress.

It turns out the moving company hadn't charged me, so that was $450 I wasn't expecting, and then my ancient vacuum cleaner blew up the week before my rental inspection, so I decided to invest in a decent one that will last me a while and was on special for $449. I just couldn't bear to use my emergency fund now I’d got it back to over $1000, and even added $200 to it this month.


I'm under $59,000 at least which I'm happy about, so still some downwards activity overall.

I've got rego, pink slip and green slip to pay this month, so it’s going to be a stretch but I think I’ll be OK.

Roll on payday.

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