Expert Opinion Panel
Jason Bryce – Business & Finance Specialist
Single Parent budgeting
Five ways to save money in 2019
Single parents need to be on top of any changes
that will impact your wallet in 2019
Single parents need to be on top of all the tax, Centrelink, banking and other changes that will impact your wallet in 2019.
Do you know about these five big money savers for starting up in 2019?
The tampon tax is dead.
Now this is a good thing! After an 18 year campaign by women’s groups and others, the GST on female sanitary products has been axed, meaning tampons, pads, menstrual cups, maternity pads and leak-proof underwear should all go down in price by 10 per cent.
A 16-pack of Kotex Regular Tampons is $4.25 at Coles so this tax cut will deliver about $6.00 per year to the average Australian woman, but that’s $6 that the patriarchy owes you.
New parents get a baby bundle in NSW
Babies born in NSW after 1 January 2019 get a bundle of goodies worth $300. “Especially if it’s your first child it will be of particular use, ” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian, “But we want to make the offer available to all new bubs.”
In the bundle is:
- A sleeping bag
- Play and change mats
- A muslin wrap
- Bath and room thermometers
- A baby toothbrush
- Breast pads
- A first aid kit
- Board books
- A face cloth
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Barrier cream
There will also be a $100 rebate for cultural activities and $100 voucher for sporting activities for all children
TAFE courses are now free in Victoria
Thirty TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses are now free in Victoria for Australians and New Zealanders aged under 20 years who are unemployed, upskilling or changing careers.
The new free courses include:
- Aged Support
- Dental Assisting
- Community Services
- Mental Health
Power prices should be coming down
The big companies have pledged to limit or cut prices in 2019. In the second half of 2018, AGL cut electricity prices in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
Concession card holders in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT are eligible for an automatic discount from their supplier from the 1 January 2019. Origin, EnergyAustralia and other companies are already crediting it to your account, if your details are up to date.
In Victoria, EnergyAustralia, Origin and AGL are giving away big rebates when customers come to the end of their deal.”Two hundred and eighty five thousand households will benefit by between $250 and
$720 from January 1,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
New rules which would force retailers to provide better assistance to customers on hardship programs also come into effect in Victoria in January 2019.
On top of that, AGL has also announced electricity prices will come down by 1.6 per cent in Victoria, saving households $23 a year, while gas prices will come down by 0.9 for residential customers.
It comes after
It’s harder to get a loan or credit card
New guidelines for banks have come into force so if you have an existing credit card debt, you may not be able to get a new credit card. To get any kind of loan, the lender must be sure you can repay the whole amount in three years or less.
“They’re making it much harder for anybody to get a credit card,” finance expert Noel Whittaker told ABC Radio.
“In the old days they used to push credit cards at people, keep pushing credit cards and people got into debt.
An average $5,000 credit card limit would require repayments of about $178 per month over three years at an average credit card interest rate of about 17 per cent according to Ratecity.
But more single parents are discovering Buy Now, Pay Later.Close to two million shoppers in Australia use Afterpay and other buy now, pay later services, double the numbers in 2017. Single parents and plenty of other budget conscious shoppers are discovering the interest free, fee free way to buy. AfterPay splits the cost of your purchase into four equal repayments and you can’t make another Afterpay purchase until the first one is paid off.But if there is not enough money in your bank account on the day Afterpay payments are due, high fees ($10) can add plenty to the cost of your original purchase, plus bank fees might be due or credit card charges if you link your Afterpay account to your credit card account.