The Worst University Degrees to Study

There are many degrees that are just not worth the investment. The following are the worst, according to the McCrindle Research study of graduate earnings:

  • Psychology: The 6th most popular degree in the world has only 63% of its graduates working in the field of psychology. The starting salary is only $47,500, well down from the average starting salary of $50,000.
  • Architecture: While you may dream of building high-rises or housing for the poor, in reality, you might just need to design your own poor house. Your starting salary will only be $32,500… less than a waiter earns.
  • Visual and Performing Arts: Less than half of these graduates will get a job, making it the worst degree for finding work. Even if you find a job, you’re only going to earn $38,000. Maybe it’s not worth the $15,000 in debt. No worries; graduates in this field rarely earn enough to pay it back anyways.
  • Social Science: Anthropology and archaeology may sound really sexy, but the reality is that there is not a lot of demand in this field. You’d be better off financially by flipping burgers and looking for fossils on the weekend. The average graduates’ wage for this area of study is $45,000.


Top 10 Missed Tax Deductions: How to Keep Your Money

Tax DeductionsIt’s tax time again, and sadly, many of us are going to miss out on thousands of dollars of deductions. We’ve compiled a list of the most commonly missed deductions, so you don’t have to pay the ATO any more than is required.

You need to be able to justify your deductions. The easiest way to do this is with a receipt. An original receipt is great, but a good-quality electronic version is fine too. Get into the habit of taking receipt photos with your phone, and that way you’ll never lose a receipt. For a lot of expenses, a diary can be an acceptable form of evidence. In general, you don’t have to keep it for the whole year; one to three months is usually sufficient.

Disclaimer: You will read tips below but not tax advice. While we believe the details to be accurate, we encourage you to see a tax agent—their fees are tax deductable as well.

Financial Lessons for My Son

My son is only 18 months old, too young to actually teach anything about money.  Given what I do for living I have started to think about what I would like him to think about money.

  1. Money isn’t evil. Having a lot it doesn’t make you a bad person. If you got that money through immoral means, that is evil, but you can do a lot of good in the world if you have some money.
  2. You get money through work. Work your butt off.
  3. You have more choice if you make smarter choices with your money. If you save your money, then you’ll have choices later in life that other people won’t have.
  4. You save a lot of money if you don’t care what people think about you. The richest people I know look like vagrants and drive old utes, because they don’t care what people think about them.
  5. Don’t use money to show someone that you love them. A lot of people spend money instead of time. You’ll get a better return on time.
  6. Debt is dumb. The only debt I ever want you to have is a mortgage, and then I want you to work like a dog to pay it off.
  7. Buy the best second-hand car that you can for cash and drive it until it dies. Depreciation and ego are expensive.
  8. A poor person who lives within their means has more dignity than a rich person who’s up to their eyeballs in debt—even though it might not look like it from the outside.
  9. If you mess up, there is pride to be had in taking responsibility and paying back your debts, but don’t make the same mistake again.
  10. Don’t try to be too clever. You’re smart; I’m sure you’ll be smarter than me, but don’t try to be too clever with investments or tax.
  11. Brush your teeth—dental work is really expensive.
  12. Use a written budget—you can’t control something that you don’t measure. And your Dad will be really proud of you.

What do you want to teach you kids about money?

Lafauli: Debt-Free and Smiling


J&A_DCSgroup_Laulifu_003Can you tell me about your background? How did you accumulate your debt?


I was born in New Zealand, grew up in Auckland, and migrated to Australia in 2004. I am the fourth child of three brothers and two sisters. My parents worked very hard to feed, clothe and put a roof over our heads, instilling the strong value of working hard for a day’s wage but having no knowledge of how to save money.


I later accumulated this debt through reckless spending and putting everything on the fantastic plastic. When one card was used up, I got another; over time, I could not pay the debt off and fell behind in my payments. I thought that by ignoring the payments it would all go away, but it caught up with me in the end and I needed to face my demons.


Was there a “light bulb” moment when you decided that you were going to get debt-free?


The light bulb moment was when I came to an understanding that I did not want to live my life this way… trying to avoid phone calls, mail, and convincing myself that I was ok when I wasn’t. That is when I made the phone call and everything else seems like history.


How long did it take you to get debt-free? How did you stay motivated?


It took me over four years to get debt-free. At the end, it was a great accomplishment; what kept me motivated was my partner’s being there for me through the hard times and good times.


What advice would you give to people with large amounts of debt who don’t see a way of getting debt-free?


I had to come to the understanding that I needed to surrender and accept that I had a problem with debt. Just because we surrender, well, my advice is that it doesn’t make you a lesser person, it only gives more hope that you can get through it all by taking one step at a time.


What mistakes do you see others making with their money?


I think the mistakes that some people make with money is the lack of respect that they have for money. This includes taking it for granted, keeping up spending when you think you can get more, and just forgetting about the long-term effects that this whole process does to you, family, friends and your community.


What was the most important thing that you’ve learnt along the way?


What I have learnt along the way is to to have respect for money and not take it for granted. I heard that saying, “money is the root of all evil”, but I think it’s truer with the lack of it.


What goals or aspirations are you going to achieve now you’re debt-free?


I have achieved a few goals in becoming debt-free, and during that time, I have learnt to save money for trips away. Now with the money I have saved, I use it for further education.


Do you have any final words of wisdom for the readers?


The final word that I have for the readers is to know that when you look at your statements received in the mail from Debt Mediators and see the total going down, it’s a wonderful thing to see. Celebrate that achievement by rewarding yourself each time; go to a restaurant with your partner, enjoy a mini-holiday weekend, or do whatever else you really like to do!


Five Mistakes People Make When Managing Debt

  1. Worried couple doing their accounts in the living roomNot paying on time: There are the late payment fees, which can run into the hundreds every month, and you also miss out on ‘interest free period’ offerings for any new purchases.
  2. Only making the minimum payment: If you are only covering the interest, then it’s dead money. You need to pay as much above the minimum as you can.
  3. Not communicating with your bank: If you cannot make this month’s payment, then get on the phone. The bank can defer the payment’s due date, which will save you the late fee.
  4. Consolidating and not closing: If you consolidate or transfer your balance, close your other debts. An empty credit card will find an expense.
  5. Trying to get out of debt without a plan: You need a plan to pay down debt, which includes having a budget and a timeline.