By Amanda Morrall (email)
For a future Take Five charity edition, I would like to compile a list of the top five NZ charities. I know that's limiting a very big pool down to a small margin. I have my own favourites but would be keen to hear what yours are and why?
1) Rent by postal code
Regulars to our site will know we have a gold mine of data and information herein. Sometimes, it takes a bit of digging to find it but well worth the treasure hunt.
Our good man Suhaimi has put together this nifty list of average rents by district and the increases over the past two year. I received another financial spanking when I saw my district among the highest in the country, having shot up 9% in the past two years. I know I can get cheaper rent elsewhere but whether the cost of moving, the added hassle, and the disruption to kids, pets and my already stretched self would be worth it, is questionable. Plus, I have really cool landlords who take good care of the house I live in, and bonus they even like my puppy. That's a value add as a renter.
Others, less encumbered than myself, could be incentivised to hire the trailer and pack a suitcase. Check it out.
2) Household debt
The U.S. is in a sorry situation to be sure. I felt even sorrier for my former neighbours after reading this piece from Investopedia, describing the effect a prolonged economic slump will have on householders.
4) Frugality is cool
Twenty years ago, I probably would have thought anyone blogging on personal finance was a loser. Then again, I don't think blogging existed, except maybe in the form of a published column that was heavily censored by editorial teams and buried deep in the business section. Today, as one of them, I think it's pretty cool. Sure, there are some crack pot suggestions that get flouted (it'll be a cold day in hell before I scrape road kill off the street to feed my pets or cultivate maggots for fish food) however these true life tales from the streets are interesting, informative and inspirational.
You can thank a regular follower and fellow personal finance junkie for a pointing me in the direction of frugaldad.com. Frugal Dad in this post shares his 35 favourite blogs of the year. Some good holiday reading for the i-pad that you saved for well in advance having already paid off all your debt. No I don't have Apple shares though I wish I did.
Thank you Nathan.
5) The seedy sex trade
Okay, I admit it. I'm stretching the boundaries of personal finance by including this latest column on the seedy sex trade (and the implications of its legalisation) from my one of favourite bloggers, Dalhousie University economist Marina Adshade. I don't expect there are too many who budget for that service, well not consciously anyway.
Adshade, writing from Brussels, looks at the effect of legalising prostitution on the welfare of women forced to do this kind of work for a living and also the correlation of human trafficking.
On a lighter note, I was amused (though some will undoubtedly be horrified) by the frank approach Adshade takes on the subject with her traveling companion, her 12-year-old son. I recently had a PG rated talk about the birds and bees with my own kids. One reacted in disgust, the other in curious wonder. I'm glad I have sons.