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Market Update - September 2019
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Will the world slip up on oil again?
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Australia by the numbers - September 2019
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Spending money in a cashless world
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Dealing with being cash poor and asset rich
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Saving for a rainy day
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Market update
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Access to more resources and tools than most websites.
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Nine reasons why recession remains unlikely in Australia
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Can I go back to work if I’ve accessed my super?
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How's Australia doing statistically?
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Protecting your super package.
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Making the most of record-low interest rates.
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Market Update 2019
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How the top 10 global companies have changes since 1998
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The longest US economic expansion ever
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When can I access my super
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Australia by numbers – Update
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How to retire early
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How to play catch up with your Super
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Inflation undershoots in Australia
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9 money mistakes to avoid in retirement
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What a financial planner does to help.
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Australia's vital statistics.
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What kind of money parent are you?
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How to save money
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Federal Budget 2019 - Overview
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How the 2019 Federal Budget affects you
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New Global growth slowing, plunging bond yields & inverted yield curves
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Women and Money
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Market Update - March 2019
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The problem with getting to 53 years of age.
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How to avoid a travel debt hangover
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Things to avoid as a newbie investor
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Budget Time - How's Australia going?
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Most older Aussies prefer home care over a nursing home
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Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far
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10 money conversations to have when your relationship heats up
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Australia slides into a 'per capita recession'
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6 steps to get your money stuff together
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All you need to know about how Australia is going.
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Australian housing downturn Q&A
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6 ways to reduce your credit card debt once and for all
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5 life insurance questions you've always wanted to ask
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2019 a list of lists - regarding the macro investment outlook
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Part 4 - The major benefit of ‘behavioural coaching'
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How to adult—a quick guide to personal finances in your 20s
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How Australia is performing.
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The Australian economy in 2019
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Holiday budgeting tips— How to avoid a travel debt hangover
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Australia - a comprehensive run-down of our vital statistics.
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The Fed and market turmoil - the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)
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12 ways to avoid waste this Christmas
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Rising US interest rates, trade wars, the US midterm election results, etc
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Our Advent calendar for 2018
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Responsible and ethical investing
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What are the 3 biggest living expenses for households?
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Your Adviser and Behavioural Coaching
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Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
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Information needed to be the BBQ expert.
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Would you like to retire by 40?
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The property cycle and the economy
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How financial advice helps create wealth.
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7 money personalities you may identify with or want to avoid
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Are shares expensive?
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How's Australia doing statistically?
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Super investment options – what’s right for you?
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Here's how to lead a happier life
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What happened to all the worries about rising inflation and bond yields? Goldilocks, tariffs, Turkey & other things
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Is it better to buy an investment property or home first?
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Nine keys to successful investing
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This information will turn you into a fireside expert.
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How Australians will use their tax return
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Lessons from the blue zones: secrets of a long life
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Trumponomics and investment markets
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How much super should I have at my age?
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How tax deductible personal super contributions work
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The rise of the gig economy and side gigs (thanks to technology)
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Statistics for all Australians
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Watch out for tax scams
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After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms
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Now’s the time for tax planning
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Why it pays to contribute to your partner's super
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Australia by numbers – Update
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Federal Budget 2018 – Overview
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4 components of our 2018 Federal Budget
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Australia by numbers – Update
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How to make money by turning your unwanted goods into cash
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Our website is really our digital office.
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Bitcoin – is it really for you?
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Spread your money, reduce risk
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Love and money? It’s not about control
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The pullback in shares - seven reasons not to be too concerned
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Australia. All you need to know to be the expert.
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Australian’s love affair with debt - how big is the risk?
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5 ways to keep a cool head in a falling share market
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2018 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
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Sports lovers enjoy better financial fitness
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Where Australia is at. Our leading indicators.
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The year that was and the year ahead
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Add some extra cash to your New Year
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Our Advent calendar for 2017
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Where are we in the global investment cycle?
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Australia's vital statistics
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One in three Aussies travel without protection
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Digital payment options could see you spend more this Christmas
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If you’ve always thought property prices only go up…
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Will Australian house prices crash?
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Money steps for women
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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How to retire, your way
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Prepare for retirement without missing out today
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Be the boss of your cash
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The Australian economy bounces back again
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Should you lend money to family?
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Money mistakes people make in their 50s and 60s
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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Eight steps to improved cashflow... and lifestyle
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Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
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5 ways Australians will use their tax return this year
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Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
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Money can buy you happiness, you’re just spending it wrong
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Review of 2016, outlook for 2017 - looking better despite the political noise
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54.2 million worries
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Government pulls back on proposed changes to super
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Oliver's Insight - Megatrends
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Value of Advice
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A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget
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Thinking about managing your own super?
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The investment outlook - it's not all that bad!
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Ageing Parents
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2016-17 Federal Budget - AMP
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Heirlooms no more
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Initial market falls precede stronger returns - Shane Oliver
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Australian Government - Budget 2015
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Saving in a material world
Spending money in a cashless world

How the move to electronic payments could be making it easier to spend…and what to do about it. 

       

 

It’s Thursday morning and almost the end of the working week. You’re walking to the train station and you realise you’ve forgotten to top up your public transport card. No matter…a few clicks later and you’ve transferred $50 over.

At the station you grab a takeaway flat white before the train arrives…tap and go, too easy. At lunchtime you jump online and scroll through your newsfeed. Wow, there’s a pretty good one-day special from your local department store. You end up buying a new pair of pants, a replacement for your old wok and a couple of books.

After work you’ve got a few drinks organised with colleagues before heading home. When it’s your round you tap to pay with your smartphone. That night there’s nothing on TV. A few clicks from the comfort of your couch later and you’re settled in to watch a new movie you’ve downloaded.

Over the day you’ve spent close to $400 without touching a coin or banknote. It’s so effortless online, and the ease of tapping your card or phone at the supermarket or café beats the hassle of carrying coins and notes hands down. Plus with every transaction recorded it makes it easier to track your spending, budgeting and investments. What’s not to like?

Winners and losers

Cash payments in Australia are declining rapidly. Cash accounted for just 10% of all payments in 2017 and by 2022 this will fall to 2%. For all intents and purposes, Australia will be a virtually cashless society.i

It’s a trend that certainly has government backing. From an official perspective the notes and coins we were happily using for centuries have a lot to answer for. Banknotes and coins cost money to produce, they help to facilitate criminal transactions and they make it easier to avoid paying tax.

So the move to a cashless society dominated by electronic transactions, contactless payments and tap-and-go smartphones can only be a good thing for everyone, right?

Not necessarily. Like any technological development, there are winners and losers. In a cashless society the poor and elderly can find it difficult to access funds and pay for essential services.

Recent research in the UK highlights how much cash is still relied upon by older and poorer citizens. While only 4% of adults rely on cash, that includes some of the most vulnerable members of society. When you look at people who rely on cash day in day out, 39% are aged 65 or over and 62% have an income of less than 9,000 pounds (around $16,170).ii

How cashless impacts your spending

In the dash to cash we could be in danger of leaving more vulnerable sections of society behind. And the concerns about a cashless society don’t end there.

  • What implications are there for privacy when every transaction can be logged and monitored?
  • What protections are there against hacking and cybercrime in our electronic world?
  • What backup plan is in place if the technology fails during an outage?

But one of the major concerns about going cashless is how easy it makes it to spend money online or with the touch of a card or smartphone.

And you don’t even have to pay for the goods upfront, with AfterPay letting you order online and receive your goods before deciding whether you want them.

Managing our spending has got a whole lot more complex without the tangible reminder of dollar notes and coins in our wallets and purses.

And what about the next generation? It can be difficult to teach kids about money when they see us paying for goods so effortlessly without handing over any cash. Are they equating swiping a card with paying a physical dollar?

5 tips to control your spending in an electronic world

  1. Try going out without your credit card to remove temptation—you can still pay for essentials, but you’ll need to use notes and coins.
  2. Think about moving from a credit card to a debit card so that you’re not spending money you don’t have—even if it is tap and go.
  3. Teach your kids about money by giving them a list of things to buy with a specific amount of cash—if they run out, they’ll need to adjust their budget rather than access easy credit.
  4. Embrace the online advantages of monitoring your spending by using a budgeting applike AMP’s Budget Planner Calculator.
  5. Ringfence some of your income from temptation by setting up an automatic transfer to a higher interest savings account.

The digital revolution is no different to past innovations in its capacity for good and bad. While your smartphone certainly makes it easier to rack up a pretty big bill without too much trouble, it also makes it easier to track your spending and set up a budget.

As the move to a cashless society changes our money habits, our challenge is to harness the power of the new technology to make a positive difference to the way we spend and the way we save.

 

i Finder.com.au, The humble cheque to be extinct by 2019, 1 February 2018.

ii RSA Action and Research Centre, Cashing out: The hidden costs and consequences of moving to a cashless society, January 2019

©AMP Life Limited. First published August 2019