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Money

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INSIGHT

Oil price fall is good news for households

CLANCY YEATES Don't let the gloomy sharemarket reaction to tumbling oil prices fool you into thinking it is all bad news for the economy. It ain't so.

SUMMERTIME BLUES

Holiday care can be a headache

Summer holiday fun can involve substantial cost.

Sylvia Pennington Some parents have to outlay three and four figure sums to have their kids looked after while they go back to work.

MONEY SWAP

Bitcoin can help travellers cut costs of foreign exchange

Risky business: The digital currency bitcoin is still in its infancy which leaves it vulnerable to malicious users.

David Wilson If you want to move cash cross-border in a hurry, bitcoin could be a way around brutal online banking charges and it's as easy as sending an email from your smartphone.

HOLIDAY CARE

Back to work: Long hot summer holidays cost families dear

Markhams

Sylvia Pennington For some of us the summer fun goes on and on but for many working families the next few weeks are a real trial, one that can hit hard in the hip pocket.

FRAUD

Eight things your bank would never ask you

Watch out - there's plenty of crooks about.

Pretending to be from your bank is one way scammers try to gain your trust - and your money. But they ask questions the real banks never would.

Comments 35

MAKING MONEY

Is this the world's worst fake note?

The fake £20 note that fooled a Manchester shopkeeper.

David Barrett Police conceal identity of shopkeeper taken in by counterfeit £20 note made of two photocopies stapled together

HEALTHY WEALTH

The five-day money detox that saves $5000

Fiscal workout: Now is the time to get your finances into shape.

NICOLE PEDERSEN-MCKINNON This (almost) painless Dollar Detox can transform your financial flab into fab in 2015.

The economics of commuting versus city living

Productive time: Tony Simpson has been catching a train from the country to central Sydney for five years.

Sylvia Pennington Do the ongoing costs of the trek into town swallow up more savings than commuters bargain for?

HOT TOPIC

How to keep your energy bills low

Lights switch: Nicola Oldridge has changed to longer-lasting LED bulbs.

Alexandra Cain In the not-too distant past the cost of electricity and gas barely rated a mention. But today the rising cost of energy makes front page news.

Survey shows Australians are failing to budget over Christmas

Research shows Australians aren't taking their Christmas budget responsibilities as seriously as they should.

ALEISHA ORR Christmas dinners are being planned. Shoppings lists are being written for gift-buying. And time off work is being schedule to celebrate the festive season. But we're not taking our budgetary responsibilities so seriously.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Match fixing allegations

Apples with oranges: How many of these comparator sites offer genuine unbiased advice?

JOHN COLLETT Comparator websites could face penalties for misleading or deceiving consumers.

Race to the bottom between dollar and rates

Tumblers: The new year could bring a lower dollar or lower interest rates, or both.

David Potts The new year might not be so happy considering economic growth has more than halved. That's not enough to generate jobs.

EMOTIONAL RESCUE

The emotional effects of Christmas shopping and curbing over spending

Me too: Be careful you don't come back from Christmas shopping with more gifts for yourself than anyone else.

Christine Long It's that time of year again. Time for us to head out there and spend, spend spend. But for too many of us, a lot of that spending is on ourselves.

BOURIS ON MONEY

Christmas budget survival kit

Shop solo: Christmas shopping is business, not a social outing with friends.

Mark Bouris When the calendar flips over to December, the realisation hits that you need to be very well-organised, or risk being left destitute.

SHORT CHANGE

Short Change

Caption

Richard Hughes Some private health insurance premiums have risen by almost double the average 6.2 per cent approved a year ago by the Federal Government, according to comparethemarket.

YOUR QUESTIONS

Will I face gift tax if I buy my son a car?

All wrapped up.

George Cochrane Is it possible to buy a new car as a once-only gift without incurring gift tax?

EXPATS

Inflation fugitives fleeing to cheaper shores

Nostalgia: The nation's high cost of living can be a disincentive to return.

David Wilson Soaring cost of living sees many of us looking beyond the Lucky Country to a less expensive life overseas.

INSIGHT

Motorists gain despite excise hike

Bowser bonanza: The wholesale price of fuel is about its lowest level in 17 months.

CLANCY YEATES From next week, motorists will start paying a bit more tax when they fill up the car, as the government recommences increasing fuel excise in line with inflation.

MIND THE GAP

Who pays for Generation Gap?

Mind the gap: The gap year is an expensive luxury that is well beyond the reach of many young people.

Sylvia Pennington Who pays for the gap year - the Bank of Mum and Dad, or savings from after-school jobs?

WELL HEELED

You've earned it but you don't have to flaunt it all

Buyer beware: Splurging on luxuries when you're young could come back to bite you later in life.

Melissa Browne Spending it all on cars, homes and clothes might be fun but don't restrict the choices you're able to make tomorrow.

CAR FUNDING

Check blind spots in car plans

Alycia Inglis has made $500 in a month by renting her under-utilised car to her neighbours.

Christine Long They're one of the largest purchases most people will make, so smart funding options and ways to recoup some of the outlay on your car are worth considering.

SPEND, SPEND, SPEND

Can't stop, must shop

Feeling good: Shopaholic Chiquita Searle during a shopping spree at Tony Bianco shoes in Chapel Street, Prahran.

Nina Hendy They say our land abounds in retail strips but the ease of online shopping is turning some of us into addicts.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Coffee won't cut it, you need to think big

Watch your dollars.

Scott Phillips Forgoing a few lattes is not enough to turn your financial fortunes around.

VIRTUAL MONEY

Bit by bit, bitcoin is gaining currency

A Bitcoin ATM machine at the Emporium, Melbourne. 24 September 2014.
The Age NEWS. Photo:Eddie Jim.

David Potts With bitcoin you can now buy a round of drinks at the local pub or even a Virgin Galactic flight into space.

GOAL PLANNING

Daily habits can help us hit financial targets

Start small: Even small changes will make a difference.

Melissa Browne There's nothing as motivating as a series of small wins on the way to a big win.

Smart investor

How experts take profits

Contrarian investor Simon Marais explains why he sold half his stake in a company that doubled in value.

Where to find cash cows

The hunt for industrial stocks which will become reliable wealth generators never ends at Perpetual.

Blue Ribbon 2014 winners

The best financial products in Australia presented in one easy-to-navigate list.

Each week financial advisor and international best selling author, Noel Whittaker, answers your questions. Ask an Expert

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo

Market Movers

Total number of Rises
205
Total number of Falls
112
Total number of Steadies
57
Gainers 30-Jan-2015 18:50:02
CompanyPriceChange% Change
GID0.285+0.05523.91
NWT0.100+0.01720.48
FUN0.025+0.00313.64
Losers
CompanyPriceChange% Change
CFU0.004-0.001-20.00
AJL0.365-0.045-10.98
MXI0.510-0.050-8.93
Total number of Rises
68
Total number of Falls
101
Total number of Steadies
145
Gainers 30-Jan-2015 18:50:02
CompanyPriceChange% Change
MEO0.015+0.00325.00
MMC0.008+0.00114.29
GGX0.008+0.00114.29
Losers
CompanyPriceChange% Change
TGS0.049-0.061-55.45
LKO0.002-0.001-33.33
IEC0.016-0.005-23.81

More Market Movers