In this week’s hip pocket money news.
First things first, Financy readers have voted and told us in our news poll that what tends to keep them awake most at night, is not earning enough money.
This is perhaps unsurprisingly given most of our readers are women, who as far as Australian averages go, tend to earn about 16 per cent less on average than men.
The question is what can you do about it, visit our women + work section for some tips.
Could tax rates go up?
The government has flagged tax hikes if Labor and the Senate crossbench continue to obstruct its cuts to family tax benefits, paid parental leave and unemployment payments.
Fairfax Media is reporting that Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann made the threat after the government failed to attract the necessary support for savings measures in the upper house.
Valentines love not happening on shared accounts
A new survey has found that two-thirds of recently married Australians aren’t saying ‘I do’ to merging financial accounts, according to comparison website finder.com.au.
Around 20 per cent of people said they have separate credit card accounts, while 7 per cent of newlyweds don’t share the financial responsibility of a mortgage.
Interestingly, a separate survey of 1,035 Aussies in 2016 found 22 per cent of couples have secret spending habits their partners don’t know about – predominantly for clothes, gambling and guilt food purchases.
Saving from packed lunches
Aussie parents are set to be stung by the high cost of convenience this school year with pre-packaged snacks like boxes of sultanas, yoghurt and cheese and crackers costing hundreds of dollars more than simple DIY alternatives, according to Mozo.com.au.
Mozo looked at the cost of popular pre-packaged snacks at the major supermarkets and compared how much it would cost to portion out the same sized snacks at home.
“We costed simple lunchbox snack hacks, like throwing a few sultanas in a snaplock bag to avoid the 227 per cent mark-up on pre-packed sultanas,” says Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.
“Parents prepared to put in a little more effort and cut a few slices of cheese to pop in a tub with crackers could save a huge $430 this school year.”
What’s affecting share markets?
The Australian December half profit reporting season ramped up this week with 61 major companies reporting. Among them, the country’s biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank’s half year profit result, which swelled to $4.91 billion.
AMP Capital chief economists Shane Oliver says that earnings upgrades for resource companies on the back of the rise in commodity prices has seen expectations for earnings growth increase to 17 per cent.
Meanwhile shares remain vulnerable to a short term pull back as sentiment towards them remains very high.
“US President Donald Trump related uncertainty will be with us for a while and various European elections could create nervousness in coming months.”
Key points from Mr Oliver are:
- Share markets should trend higher over the next 12 months helped by okay company valuations, low interest rates, fiscal stimulus in the US, some acceleration in global growth and rising corporate profits.
- Cash and bank deposits are likely to continue to provide poor returns, with term deposit rates running around 2.5 per cent.
- The Australian dollar could retest $US0.78, but only for a short period.
“The downtrend in the $A from 2011 is likely to resume as the interest rate differential in favour of Australia narrows and it undertakes its usual undershoot of fair value. Expect a fall below $US0.70 by year end.”