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A guide to living like the 1%; Blogging for income; Richard Ford on optimism; Capping your cc limit; Portfolio construction (take the quiz)

Posted in Personal Finance

By Amanda Morrall

1) Writing for money

Last week I posted a link to Mr. Money Moustache's blog explaining his decision to kiss US$4k a month in advertising revenue goodbye in the name of freedom of speech. Specifically, he refused to remove the words "Badassity" from his Early Retirement banner on the top of his hugely popular personal finance blog. The US$4k a month was earned through one advertiser; a credit card company.

Having reached his financial goals, MMM was able to justify the loss. I expect other bloggers are taking heart from his disclosure that you can make that much money blogging. I know I did.

Here's financiallypoor.com with five ways to write your way to an online income.

2) Writing is an act of optimism

If you are not writing for money, or fail to achieve that goal, then perhaps you'll be comforted by this interview with Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Ford (one of my absolute favourite writers) talking to the Economist about his latest book "Canada" and why he sees writing as an act of optimism. Actually, his books can be depressing but they are so exquisitely written that they are both inspirational and spirit building as a form of escapism.

3) Keeping the lid on your CC limit

Effective next month, credit card issuers in Australia will be banned from bombarding customers with unsolicited offers to extend credit card limits. (Annette Sampson, writing for the Age, explains the details here). It's about time. To the best of my recollection I never requested an extension to my limit (on a Canadian held card) which went from $500 upon university graduation to more than $15,000 today. Whenever they get me on the phone they're always trying to push more money my way or sell me insurance that I don't need or want. Incredibly annoying.

The policy change in Australia is indicative of long overdue reforms facing the sector.

The ban on solicitation won't apply to existing credit card policies but there are other provisions coming into place to protect card holders. Here's a summation.

 If you apply for a new credit card from next week, additional protections will apply. The lender will be required to give you a fact sheet in a standard format about the card's costs and benefits, which will make it easier to compare the deals on offer. When you apply, you'll be asked to nominate a credit limit rather than having one set by the lender - giving you more control over your borrowing limits. Over-limit fees will be banned on new cards unless you have specifically agreed to them, and lenders will be required to notify you when you reach your limit so you can decide whether to stop using the card or make a payment to reduce your balance. Lenders will also be required to direct your payments to the portion of your debt with the highest interest first, ensuring faster repayment of the total. So if, for example, your balance includes a low-interest transfer balance, normal purchases and a cash advance, all of which generally attract different interest rates, any repayments you make will automatically be applied to reducing the more expensive cash advance rather than your low-interest balance.

4) Portfolio construction quiz

Asset allocation is determined on the basis of few variables the main ones being age, appetite for risk and time horizon for investing. Curious to know what your personalised portfolio would look like? Take this quiz by CNN Money. It's geared to American audiences but will give you a general idea of how the pie should be sliced to suit your preferences.

5) Living like the 1% on the cheap

And for a dose of humour, here's a satirical guide via good.is.com to living like the 1% on a 99% budget. Pretty funny.

Happy weekend all.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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14 Comments

One advantage of accepting a

One advantage of accepting a higher limit offered to you on your credit card is that the credit card issuer (bank) is unlikely to initiate a credit check to Veda etc, so that is not recorded on your file. 
Of course with the positive credit reporting regime now in place, all of your credit card limits are available for a credit enquirer. Even if your balance/s is zero, the combined limits are taken into account when applying for a mortgage or other credit.
 
 

Another point/question...From

Another point/question...From what you are saying.....if the combined limits are counted even if zero....wouldnt it be to the advantage of the bank CC to give you a high as possible limit, thus reducing how much credit you can get elsewhere? 
regards
 

True  -   combined limits are

True  -   combined limits are now totalled.  However, credit issuers don't like lots of credit application enquiries on your file - especially in the 12 months leading up to your mortgage application.
Then again, they also don't like it when you have little or no credit enquiries/apps on your file!
Anyway maybe it's a good thing to completely mess up their system and make dozens of applications, but don't take the credit.  Then you'll be refused later - then you can't get into debt.    Total solution!

"they also don't like it when

"they also don't like it when you have little or no credit enquiries/apps on your file!" Yeah I had that comment made to me....."oh you dont have a credit history".....
 
regards

Good news for 'Roofers' who

Good news for 'Roofers' who will be saved when they fall as they screw in place a new roof that's higher than 3m on a house...and good too for scaffolders who get to put up lots of scaffolding ....but the extra cost plus gst smashes the demand for new houses..so bad news for the roofers who will have less work to do and bad news too for the scaffolders who will get some new work but now face the risk of more falls because there is no scaffolding to protect the scaffolders putting up the scaffold.
Happy is the dept of Labour bureaucrats who cemented in place their position..their fat pay pack...because they came up with the new rule....onto the next piece of red tape because it's their job you see..they have to churn out at least ten new building rules every year...it's a race between them and BRANZ to see who can produce the most BS.
Watch closely as the residential consents fall yet further and....as the new roofs on the ever declining number of new homes, change to be flat roofs that are not higher than 3m above the deck...
Wanna fix that leaky roof....scaffolding sucker...plus gst
And so the wannabee teenage roofer will not be less worried about falling and will take more risks and you know where this will be going don't you...straight to A&E...thankyou dept of Labour....
 

"Good news for

"Good news for 'Roofers"
link? URL?
Scafolding, interesting thing on that....in a few cases this year Ive seen scafolding made out of 95x45mm pine instead....and these "home made" things appearing in situations I wouldnt have expected in the past....ie barely 3m off the ground...given the cost of scafolding Im not surprised.
So it could well be new rules.....I need to re-roof my house so I'd better read up probably doesnt apply to DIY though.  NB a neighbour fell off recently, hit concrete, he's a mess...cracked vertebra, ribs, compressed squashy things....he's in a plastic straight jacket and could be that way for 6months+.
regards
 
 

All well and good

All well and good steven...but why is the safety harness use, not being enforced!

Harrrrrrrrrhahaaaaha....good

Harrrrrrrrrhahaaaaha....good one...hope he's still waiting to be paid!

Got questions about

Got questions about Governmentt share offers?
Yup I has one....what's to protect my investment from some thieving sodding socialist pinky green govt passing a law to allow them to force me to sell my shares to them at a price determined by them????

"Critics here say New Zealand

"Critics here say New Zealand has been doing something similar for four years. Since 2008, doctors, mobile clinics and home visits have screened most of the politicians for health, behavioural social and developmental problems. "
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/7160221/Ministry-hides-tests-real-purpose
apologies to stuff.co
 

"Canterbury Earthquake

"Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is flying to Japan on Sunday to speak at an international conference about the lessons learnt from natural disasters in New Zealand."
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/canterbury-earthquake/109635/brownlee-to-address-disaster-conference
Right...so Japanese earthquake experts are being told what they need to know by a woodwork teacher polly from chch....!
 

wow sounds really

wow sounds really inspiring
the presentation should be called "How not to respond to a natural disaster: the Case of Christchurch"