By Amanda Morrall (email)
Need a break but don't have the money to go away? How about a "staycation'? Instead of the usual long distance splurge, which involves, flights, accommodation, eating out, etc. etc, maybe load up the car and go on a domestic adventure. Monetavor.com writes more about the benefits of a "staycation" including the increased frequency of breaks when you're trying to get ahead.
2) Gold losing its lustre
The Globe and Mail reports here on the drop in gold prices this week and the even more dramatic tumble in gold stocks. Gold prices are back to where they were in August 2011, while gold stocks have shed 27% of their value since September. According to the analysis piece, gold stocks are a "deep bear market," as the US dollar strengthens on signs the US Federal Reserve is unlikely to print more money.
3) A higher education
It's been awhile since I did my master's degree now. I'd like to think that having a higher education pays for itself, somehow, but I'm not so sure it has in my profession. In this contributor's blog published by getrichslowly.org the author explores the value of a getting a Master's degree in fine arts. The conclusion? Do it for love and learning not money otherwise you'll be disappointed.
4 Mobile shopping
I use the mobile for a number of things but shopping isn't one of them. According to MasterCard it's a trend that has yet to take hold in New Zealand. Of the consumers they surveyed on mobile purchasing, only 8% of those who mobile internet access reported making any purchased with their phones in the past three months.
That's roughly on board with our neighbours across the Tasman at 7% however well below many parts of Asia. For example survey respondents in Thailand (59 per cent), China (37 per cent) and Vietnam (32 per cent) said that they were already making mobile purchases.
Mastercard believes it's just a matter of time.
“New Zealand is at a tipping point ready to switch to mobile payments in a dramatic way,” said MasterCard Country Manager Albert Naffah.
“We know how much Kiwis love innovation, so given the wide extent of mobile internet penetration we should start to follow global adoption trends already apparent in other markets that have changed consumer behaviour.”
5) Fighting consumerism
Trends are one thing but one has to question whether the appetite to shop, by however means, has been permanently suppressed by the global financial crisis. This blog from Mr. Money Moustache suggests those days are over and looks further at the disease of consumerism.