Income oriented investing; why women should care more about money than men; Working from home strategies; Habits in personal finance; How much you need to retire on

Income oriented investing; why women should care more about money than men; Working from home strategies; Habits in personal finance; How much you need to retire on

By Amanda Morrall

1) Women and money

The fact that the majority of readers coming to our site and reading my column will likely skip this first link because of the reference to women reinforces the importance of this subject.

I've written before that actually most of the gals I know are better money managers than their fellas but possibly my female demographic reference point is skewed as it includes a successful DIY investment junkie for a mother, a retired (at 42) fund manager, a financial journalist and single mum tracking toward financial freedom in five years.  

Given that fact that most women still earn, on average, less for the same job, that their retirement savings are lower, in most cases, than men, that they will outlive their partner (if they still have one after the kids fly the coop) makes it all the more important that women pay closer to attention to the state of their finances.

Forbes money outlines some strategies here for a long and prosperous retirement.

2) High yield, high hopes?

Monevator's co blogger who writes under the name The Investor explains his preference for income oriented investment strategies over a focus on total return and net worth. Good reading for a number of reasons the least of which is a reminder of the range of risks we face as investors both passive and active.

3) Working from home

One of the many perks about the working from home gig is not spending hours of my life stuck in Auckland traffic.

While I still spend a fair bit of driving now as a freelancing yoga teacher and writer, my times behind the wheel are mostly outside of peak hours so I can minimise the road rage.  

Working from home isn't for the highly social  or those lacking in self discipline but it's an excellent way to make extra money using computer based skills and know how. offers 12 work from home ideas in the following blog.

4) Daily habits to enrich your balance

Jillian Berien Davi, a "transformational money coach" and founder of a service called Abundant Finances in the US guest blogs for the Get Rich Slowly website on five daily habits she used to get out of debt and into a winning savings position on an accelerated basis.

Always carrying cash is one of her tips as is checking her account activity daily. See her full five step programme here.

5) Calculating your retirement needs

There are different methods and schools of thought for how to calculate require retirement savings. Canadian financial advisor and money writer Jim Yih outlines three basics ways to target retirement savings without getting lost in the financial fog.

Like what you've read? You'll enjoy the book better. Here's how to order a copy of Amanda's book Money Matters: Get your Life and $ Sorted. The book is also available in ebook format as well via Amazon and is replete with hyper links to help you get your finances in order. 

You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall; check out her previous Take Fives here; Find out what she's up on on her own blog here.  

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I disagree with the advice to spend only cash.  Firstly, it is more difficult to track cash that has been frittered away as compared to EFTPOS or credit card expenditures (which show up on electronic statements).  Secondly, by using a free or inexpensive credit card with a rewards scheme, one can get something back from those credit card charges (although I would never pay a premium to use a credit card).  

In most non European cultures the ideal is that when someone gets old family takes care of them.  
Even for westerners that should still be the ideal, especially when one gets old. The problem is that a western Culture does not emphasise this.
From a Financial viewpoint it makes a lot of sense.

Morally, emotionally, socially, that may well be a fine ideal.  But I am not sure that the financial argument is a particularly strong one. 
Certainly it would be better for the taxpayer if the state had no responsibility for the welfare of old people.  But that would be to expose individuals to risks which they may not have any ability to manage, notably the risk of not having any children survive to adulthood or in a position to support them.   Is it socially acceptable to leave such people to starve?  If not, that may be a risk which is better managed collectively.  Yes, it raises issues of moral hazard and encourages personal irresponsibility.  That's a problem with all insurance based approaches.
From the point of view of the child, I can't see that it makes more financial sense for me to look after my aged parents at my own expense rather than to leave it to the state and keep my finances for myself.  I may prefer to do it myself on moral or emotional grounds, but I can't see the financial benefit.
From the point of view of the parents, well that depends on whether you see people as motivated to maximise their own welfare or to perpetuate their own genes. 
If it's the former (maximising my own welfare), well from a financial point of view, whether I would rather be supported by my children or the state - surely depends on how wealthy my children are.  Again, I may prefer emotionally to be looked after by family, and (assuming they care about my welfare) they may well make a better job of it, but it's not clear that it is obviously the better choice from a financial viewpoint.
If it's the latter (perpetuating genes), then it makes more sense for parents to invest as much as they can in improving their children's life chances rather than for resources to flow in the other direction.

I guess everyone's situation is different, but wouldn't it be better in principle for the inheritance to  stay in the family rather than disappearing into a rest home?
Rest homes are quite expensive($30,000/year?)