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  • admin 15:08 on 03/18/2019  

    letch illo online jan 10th money spending 10 dollar noteHave you noticed that self-denial is creeping slowly back into vogue? Oh sure, it’s not yet enough to truly counterbalance our society’s rampant consumerism and it’s often only for a limited time – more Dry January than lifelong teetotallerhood.
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    But it’s interesting to see all the Buy Nothing groups pop up and all the articles about people who gave up buying new clothes for a year and found themselves, or not, in the process.

    When I shared one of those articles on Facebook, a friend added me to a closed group for fashion lovers who want to curb their shopping habits. It’s been fascinating to read about other people’s struggles and goals and share my own.

    While I don’t have a wardrobe full of clothing with the tags still on and I’ve never used Afterpay, a new reverse lay-by system where you buy now and pay later with several direct debits, I’m also not a monk. Like most people, I’ll sometimes buy things I don’t need for a quick pick-me-up.

    However, retail therapy is really anything but. I’ve been reading Curing Affluenza, the new book by n economist Richard Denniss, which I received for Christmas. Denniss distinguishes between materialism – love of things – and consumerism – love of buying new things.

    Consumerism is the thrill of hunting for a bargain, the quest for the new or unique, or the moment when the shop assistant hands you a new purchase, beautifully wrapped as if it’s a present. At best it can provide only a transient sense of satisfaction, Denniss writes.

    But materialism is deriving satisfaction from what we already own, and caring for and maintaining our belongings. The people in my Facebook group are trying to make that transition, sharing outfit photos entirely composed of clothing they already own, or tips for sewing and repurposing clothing with belts, buttons and crocheted collars.

    Denniss and my Facebook pals share a desire to help the environment: the group’s thread on ethical fashion brands is one of the most popular. Saving money is another common goal, but I’ve picked up on something else too – a sense that people are curbing spending to find meaning and contentment. In fact, the latest research suggests they’re on the right track.

    In their 2013 book Happy Money, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton explore how to best spend money for the biggest pay-off in happiness.

    Dunn is associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and Norton is professor of business administration at Harvard.

    The book suggests that spending money on experiences, time and other people are things that make you happy, something I’ve written about before. But it also has interesting insights into how frugal spending and delayed gratification are paths to happiness.

    First, if you make something a treat, you’ll enjoy it more.

    In a 2009 study students came into a psychology lab to eat a piece of chocolate then returned the following week to eat a second piece. Overall the students enjoyed it less the second time around because the novelty had worn off.

    In a separate 2012 study, students had an initial chocolate tasting and one group then promised to abstain for the rest of the week, while the other group received a kilogram-bag of chocolate and pledged to eat as much as they comfortably could. They returned the following week to eat more chocolate, but only those who’d abstained in between tastings enjoyed it as much as the first week.

    Second, there’s the argument for “pay now, consume later” rather than the opposite behaviour enabled by credit cards and services such as Afterpay. Not just because credit can encourage us to spend beyond our means, but because there’s actually a happiness dividend to paying in advance.

    Economists have a term for the discomfort of parting with cash – the “pain of paying”. The more you can disconnect payment from what you’re buying, the more you’ll enjoy the experience or item.

    So an all-inclusive holiday that you’ve prepaid is likely to be more enjoyable than an identical holiday at any identical price that you pay as you go. Sure, from the point of view of maximising your money, you should delay payment as long as possible so you earn interest, but from the point of view of maximising your happiness, the opposite is true.

    Researchers have found we experience a “wrinkle in time” where events that lie in the future provoke more emotion than identical events in the past. This means we derive more joy from things coming in the future than from things already received. So buying a concert ticket a month in advance is better value than buying it on the day, even at the same price.

    However, this effect also means we are tormented more by things we dread than things that have already happened. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy commonly experience vomiting and other side effects in the 24 hours before treatment, while people consistently rank Friday as their favourite day rather than Sunday because of the anticipation of the weekend versus Monday.

    The dread of the credit card bill can be potent too.

    But if everyone bought less wouldn’t the economy tank? Denniss argues no.

    After all, it’s not very efficient to spend billions of dollars buying consumer goods we don’t need in order to generate a small slice of company tax revenue that we can then spend on education and health. Denniss likens it to baking a tray of muffins purely to consume the crunchy muffin tops. It just locks people into a cycle of work, buy, consume, die.

    Certainly such a profound shift in culture would transform the global economy, but Denniss argues this shift is necessary if we want to avoid the worst of climate change and environmental devastation.

    Caitlin Fitzsimmons is the Money editor. Ross Gittins is on leave.

    Find Caitlin on Facebook or Twitter or read her columns on money, work and life.

    Continue reading Delaying spending can make you happier
  • admin 15:08 on 03/18/2019  

    Fashion brand Diana Ferrari will close its bricks and mortar boutiques across the country, scrap its apparel line and focus solely on footwear as its owner tries to adapt to the tough retail environment.
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    Diana Ferrari’s owner, the Munro Footwear Group (MFG), said the 37-year-old brand’s shoes would continue to be sold online, and through its Williams and Mathers shops as well as David Jones and Myer.

    MFG will close 14 Diana Ferrari boutiques in the coming months and three others will be rebranded. Five clearance outlets in Victoria and one in NSW will remain open.

    MFG acquired Diana Ferrari in June last year when it bought Fusion Retail Brands, which also owned the Colorado label. This added to its own stable of vertically integrated brands including Styletread, Midas, Mollini, Wanted and Django & Juliette.

    MFG’s chief executive, Jay Munro, said it was closing Diana Ferrari stores and exiting apparel so it could “focus on its core business and objective of being ‘s best footwear company”.

    “Diana Ferrari is an iconic n footwear brand and MFG is committed through this change to further strengthen the brand going forward,” he said.

    Mr Munro said Diana Ferrari stores and its apparel range had been “solid performers” but in the current retail environment, it was the right strategic decision for the company to focus solely on footwear.

    All affected retail staff would be offered new jobs through MFG’s network of 280 stores, he said.

    Accounts lodged with the corporate regulator show MFG’s revenue jumped by $20 million in the 12 months to July 2, 2017, to $57 million, off the back of its acquisitions.

    But its after-tax profit fell from $2.8 million in 2016 to a loss of $482,894.

    The Diana Ferrari stores in Woden, Canberra, and Sydney’s Chatswood, Penrith and Hornsby will close on January 21. The Miranda, Sydney, and Knox, Melbourne stores will close on January 28.

    The news comes after plus-size retailer Maggie T entered administration last week, and a string of high-profile collapses over the past 18 months including Oroton, Marcs, David Lawrence, Herringbone, Rhodes & Beckett, Payless Shoes and kids fashion brand Pumpkin Patch.

    But listed fashion group Noni B, which also owns Rockmans and beme, bucked the trend on Tuesday by announcing 3 per cent same-store sales growth for six months to December 31.

    Noni B said it expected earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for that half of $22 million – up 53 per cent on the same half in 2017, and almost equal to its 2017 full-year underlying EBITDA of $22.9 million.

    The company’s shares had jumped 5.2 per cent to $2 by 3pm. Diana Ferrari boutiques that will close are:

    NSW: Penrith Plaza, Chatswood, Hornsby, Miranda, Erina (rebrand), Kotara (rebrand), Warringah Mall, Burwood, Macquarie Centre, Macarthur Square

    VIC: Knox City, Eastland, Fountain Gate, Southland

    QLD: Chermside, Garden City (rebrand)

    ACT: Woden

    Continue reading Diana Ferrari to close boutiques, exit fashion as focus turns to footwear
  • admin 15:08 on 03/18/2019  

    ‘Let’s get married’ as soon as we can Not before time: Felicity Evers and Jenny Thompson did not think they were the marrying kind until it became a possibility. They married in Newcastle on Tuesday – the first day they legally could without a waiver in . Picture: Simone De Peak
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    READY: Rebecca Hickson prepares to walk down the aisle on her wedding day.

    Love: Celeste Pollard and Prudence Hamill made it official. Picture: Ben Howland

    Love: Celeste Pollard and Prudence Hamill give celebrant Kez Tippett a big squeezy, celebratory hug. Picture: Ben Howland

    Not before time: Felicity Evers and Jenny Thompson did not think they were the marrying kind until it became a possibility. They married in Newcastle on Tuesday – the first day they legally could without a waiver in . Picture: Simone De Peak

    Not before time: Felicity Evers and Jenny Thompson did not think they were the marrying kind until it became a possibility. They married in Newcastle on Tuesday – the first day they legally could without a waiver in . Picture: Simone De Peak

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Sarah Turnbull and Rebecca Hickson after being married in a ceremony in Newcastle, Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Picture: Dan Himbrechts, AAP

    Done deal: Felicity Evers and Jenny Thompson did not think they were the marrying kind until it became a possibility. They married in Newcastle on Tuesday – the first day they legally could without a waiver in . Picture: Simone De Peak

    Love: Celeste Pollard and Prudence Hamill made it official. Picture: Ben Howland

    Love: Celeste Pollard and Prudence Hamill made it official. Picture: Ben Howland

    Love: Celeste Pollard and Prudence Hamill made it official, pictured with the whole happy gang. Picture: Ben Howland

    Yes: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull celebrate getting married, “for real.”

    Yes: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull celebrate getting married, “for real.”

    Yes: Rebecca Hickson and Sarah Turnbull celebrate getting married, “for real.”

    Tears of joy: Sarah Turnbull hugs her grandmother, Betty, and mother, Sue.

    TweetFacebook So much love: Welcome to our weddings“ILOVED you yesterday, I love you today, I will love you tomorrow, and forever.”

    These words formed part of the vows thatJenny Thompson and Felicity Evers exchanged at an intimate ceremony surrounded by friends and familyat a former church in Watt Street, Newcastle,on Tuesday.

    “We are absolutely excitedand thrilled to be here,” Ms Evers said.

    “It’s not before time. We’re very glad to tie the knoton the first legal day. It isa great win for all of us in .”

    The couplehasbeen together for 15 years, and while both women werefierce supporters of themarriage equality campaign, they had not anticipatedgetting married themselves.

    “Obviously we were huge supporters of marriage equality, and had been pressing for it to happen for a long time,” Ms Thompson said.

    “But we didn’t think we were doing it so that we, specifically, individually, could get married.”

    Read more: ‘You may – finally – kiss the bride.’

    The couple was sitting together in a cafe in Melbourne when the results of the marriage equality vote came through.

    “We were so happy, and we just turned to each other and said, ‘Let’s get married!’.”

    At the time, they lookedthrough the voting outcomes fromdifferent areas, and were moved by the results recorded in the Hunter region.

    “We were looking for the results, looking for Newcastle, and when it was 74.5 per cent we were ecstatic,” Ms Thompson said.

    “We were absolutely thrilled with the response of Novocastrians and Hunter residents in supporting the marriage equality campaign,” Ms Evers added.

    Friends and family from Ireland,the United States and the Sunshine Coast tuned in at 11am to watch a livestream of their ceremony via social media.

    Read more: Marriage Bill passes in the House of Representatives

    Their wedding was one of three free back-to-back ceremonies hosted by The Sassy Celebrants on Tuesday – the first day same-sex couples could legally marry without a waiver in .

    The newlyweds thanked all of the people and businesses, including their celebrant Kim Oakley, as well as photographer Thierry Boudan and The Wedding Designer stylists, who had donated their skills and services to help them celebratetheir special day.

    “It’s such a special day today, and I actually feel overwhelmed with emotion,” Ms Oakley said.

    “I feel so honoured to be able to do what I do.”

    Other contributors to the day includedCurly Tree Photography,Ben Howland,Hunter Valley Video, Eluminate, Gloss Girl Bridal Story and Wedding Streamerz.

    Celeste Pollard andPrudence Hamill also married at 48 Watt Street, at 1pm, on Tuesday.

    The newlyweds had previously celebrated their relationship witha commitment ceremony, but they jumped at the opportunity to make their marriage official.

    The Sassy Celebrants, who orchestrated the events of the day and coordinated the contributors,originally had six couples register their interest, but it had come down to who could get their Notice of Intended Marriage lodged by midnight on December 9.

    Continue reading Three same sex weddings take place in Newcastle on January 9 under the new Marriage Act
  • admin 15:08 on 03/18/2019  

    Police are investigating the possibility missing NSW man Jayden Penno-Tompsett may have visited a mystery property and potentially hitchhiked back across the Queensland border before he vanished.
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    The 22-year-old had not been seen since New Year’s Eve after an argument broke out between mates at a roadhouse on the Flinders Highway at Charters Towers, about 230 kilometres south-west of Townsville.

    However, new information from a witness puts Mr Penno-Tompsett’s last known location at a mystery property described as “unique” in Charters Towers.

    The witness told detectives the property was on an unsealed road with a red steel fence.

    Jayden Penno-Tompsett was not reported missing for four days. Photo: Queensland Police

    The witness also said there was a bull skull on a post near a set of yards with silver-coloured fencing.

    A house was visible several hundred metres from the road. The unsealed road ran off a bitumen road.

    Police have not been able to pinpoint the location of the property and they appealed for locals who may know where it is, or anyone who may have assisted Mr Penno-Tompsett, to come forward.

    The witness told police the property was “unique”, according to local newspaper The Northern Miner Charters Towers.

    Police believe the Newcastle man may have attended the property on foot or in a Nissan Pulsar sedan bearing NSW plates.

    It is possible Mr Penno-Tompsett hitchhiked from Charters Towers and returned to NSW, police said.

    The new information comes after police released CCTV images of Mr Penno-Tompsett in a Charters Towers roadhouse.

    Queensland police have confirmed they still believe Jayden Penno-Tompsett was last seen in a Charters Towers roadhouse on December 31. Photo: QUEENSLAND POLICE

    In the footage, the 22-year-old walks around the roadhouse in a singlet and thongs.

    He stretches and looks around the store before walking out again before dawn.

    Moments after he walks out, Mr Penno-Tompsett has an argument with a friend – some have told authorities it was over money.

    His friend later tells police Mr Penno-Tompsett became enraged and got out of the car and walked off.

    They do not report Mr Penno-Tompsett missing until Wednesday – four days after he was last seen.

    Police still believe Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen about 5am on December 31 and his father, Brendan Tompsett, has warned social media users to rely on facts and not suspicions.

    A post suggesting Mr Penno-Tompsett was now believed to have been last seen on December 30 – a day earlier than first reported – was wrong, according to police.

    “We can’t deal in second-hand information. The best way to help is to tell police what you know so they can deal with the facts,” Mr Tompsett said.

    A land and air search on Thursday in a semi-rural area of Charters Towers where Mr Penno-Tompsett was last seen found no trace of him.

    Mr Tompsett said his son’s disappearance was gut-wrenching but his family was staying positive.

    “He is very much like me and has done a lot of walking,” Mr Tompsett said.

    “If Jayden has to walk then he walks, he just does it.

    “He has always been a great, little survivor and that is what I am putting my faith in.”

    Continue reading Jayden may have visited ‘mystery property’ before disappearing
  • admin 15:07 on 03/18/2019  

    It’s the question most parents ask themselves at some point: Should I charge my adult working children board or allow them to live at home free so they can accumulate savings?
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    Cassandra Fitzpatrick, a Sydney mother of three children aged 22 to 26, started charging board when her children got full-time jobs.

    “All three have always been taught that it’s a given to contribute to the home. There was no pocket money for chores. Chores were a part of family life and so was contributing to the costs of living, such as board. They pay for their toiletries. If they go to the shops and buy milk or bread, they never expected the money,” she says.

    Fitzpatrick says she doesn’t need her children to pay board for financial reasons, it’s about teaching them principles to live by.

    “As young adults able to vote and have a drink, becoming responsible for themselves is a reality better [learned] soon than later,” she says.

    Cassandra’s son, 22-year-old Marcus, says paying board has made him more responsible when dealing with his funds and knowing how to budget his money.

    “I have been on four overseas [trips] without my parents, all of which I paid for. I pay for my own car, phone, internet, laptop and much more. I know people my age who have only recently started working and their parents still buy them most of the items they own and consistently hand out money. It’s not that my parents are being stingy or tight asses, it’s them making me responsible and getting me ready for adulthood,” Marcus says.

    Child and adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes if young adults are studying or doing an apprenticeship, it is counterproductive to make them pay board as most students have little or no money. It isn’t until they are working properly and still living at home that they should start contributing something, he says.

    Dr Carr-Gregg says there are two schools of thought with board income.

    “Some parents use it to subsidise costs [which is] justifiable given the rising cost of living these days. Some choose to save the board money as forced savings for their child to get into the housing market, usually without their knowledge,” he says.

    “If they are still in school, I think that’s a bit rough. When they have finished studying and are earning is the best time to start. Once they start in the workforce, my view is that parents should ask for 10 per cent of their take-home pay each week.”

    He says charging your children board helps prepare them for the real world.

    “If they are getting free accommodation then they are living in a bit of an artificial reality because that’s not how the world works,” he says.

    “I think you’ve got to give them the right incentive to do something positive with their money rather than relying on parental support. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own financial affairs.”

    Sydney university student Ariana Norton doesn’t pay board yet, but says her parents will expect her to start once she is working full-time and earning a steady income. The 21-year-old helps around the house with cleaning, dishes and the occasional meal prep. Her parents pay for the necessities, but everything else comes out of her own pocket.

    “I think there’s a certain point where kids living at home should contribute financially to the cost of their own living, especially if they work full-time, but only then, otherwise I think it does negatively change the dynamic of family relationships. I think it can cause difference if it happens too early,” Norton says.

    Twenty-one-year-old Chantelle Mpofu lives at her family home in Melbourne and doesn’t pay board. She didn’t know paying board was a thing until she read about it on a Facebook page. The idea of paying to live at home had never been raised by her parents and they were just as surprised about the concept as she was.

    “I don’t have to pay money to contribute to the household. I have my own bathroom and obviously it’s expected that I keep my own space clean. Sometimes I feel like trying out a new recipe I’ve found and that’s always a pleasant surprise in my house. I do help out around the house, and I am happy to because it is my house as well,” she says.

    Mpofu says not paying board has “absolutely benefited” her.

    “My mother has always said she doesn’t care what I do with my money as long as I’m putting something into my savings account weekly. She and I have a joint account that neither of us can take money out of without the other’s signature and I have a direct deposit into it from when I get paid from work each week. I’m lucky enough that my parents don’t need my money. They’re setting me up for my future and I appreciate this so much,” Mpofu says.

    When deciding how much board to charge, Dr Carr-Gregg says parents may like to take the following things into consideration: Your adult child’s employment status and the size of their pay packet;Your own financial situation – in some households, a bit of board can make all the difference;How much the child assists with household chores (the lazier they are, the more you can charge);How much of a drain they place on household resources (long, hot showers, leaving the air conditioning on all the time);How much it would cost them to live in a share house with the same benefits they receive at home;How often they have friends over (meaning extra mouths to feed).

    He says the best way to teach your children effective financial habits from a young age is to have three jars – one to spend, one to save and one to give to charity.

    “Whatever you choose to do with the money you receive from your boarder, you need to ensure they pay it every week or fortnight without fail. This will reinforce the importance of paying your bills and rent/mortgage first and then luxuries after, setting them up for good habits when they leave the nest,” he says.

    Certified financial planner Tony Sandercock says the best ways to teach your children positive financial habits are to:

    1. Set a good example. Are you always pulling out your credit card?

    2. Give them responsibility. Challenge them to find a better internet deal, and give them some incentive to do it, such as a percentage of what they can save. You can do the same with mobile phone and energy suppliers. These are real life lessons that will stick.

    3. Explain how a loan works. Going through your loan statements with your kids is another brilliant opportunity for financial education.

    4. Encourage them to find a job and help them do it. Kids need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. It teaches them responsibility, teamwork and even how to read an employment contract or understand how superannuation works.

    5. Demonstrate that pocket money is not an allowance. Pay them for the work they do around the house. This helps them understand that money is earned and not given away, and of course, that means that if jobs don’t get done, there’s a consequence – no money!

    6. Keep track. If your kids don’t measure what money is going where, they don’t have control over their situation. Make it fun! There are some excellent apps that help track spending and saving, such as one you can download for free from the government’s Moneysmart website.

    7. Set a savings goal. Show how putting aside small amounts regularly will grow into something worthwhile.

    8. Help them understand opportunity cost. That’s just another way of saying, ‘If you want this video game, you won’t have the money to buy that new dress’. Your kids should be able to weigh up the pros and cons of financial decisions and realise that each decision has a consequence.

    9. Give them responsibility of their own bank account. This takes money management to the next level and it will prepare them for managing a healthy account balance when they get older.

    10. Explain the dangers of credit cards. Credit cards are just too easy to flip out. Don’t let them become another credit card victim.

    When it comes to determining exactly how much board to charge your children, Sandercock says there are a couple of different approaches – charge a percentage of what they earn (20-25 per cent is common), or charge a percentage of the costs (work out the costs for food, power, transport and housing and charge a percentage of that).

    Continue reading Why you should charge your kids board
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