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David Beckham's incredible offer for 'stealing' couple's wedding venue

<p>David Beckham has reportedly made a huge offer to a couple in a bid to steal the venue from them. </p> <p>The couple had booked the luxury resort Gleneagles in Scotland, UK for their dream wedding, but the football legend - who has reportedly been busy hunting for the perfect location to celebrate his 50th birthday - also wanted to book the venue to mark the milestone birthday. </p> <p>According to <em><a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/david-beckham-steals-couples-wedding-32864115" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Mirror</a>,</em> Beckham has apparently convinced the couple to move their wedding date and venue by helping them pay off their wedding and a few other special offers. </p> <p>A “friend of a friend” took to X, to share the claim this week. </p> <p>“A friend of a friend is getting married at Gleneagles next year but David Beckham wants the date for his 50th, so to get the friend to move it so he can have the hotel, Gleneagles are paying for their new wedding date, honeymoon AND paying off their mortgage … the power of Becks," user Ollienarrator wrote in a tweet. </p> <p>Fans of Beckham praised the football legend for being so generous. </p> <p>“OMG!!!! That’s absolutely wild! Ah but so worth it,” wrote one person. </p> <p>“What a wedding present!” added another, to which the original poster responded:  “I bet Beckham won’t have to pay either! But yeah, mortgage paid off will do!” </p> <p><em>The Mirror</em> reported that they have contacted Beckham's representatives for a comment. </p> <p><em>Image: Ryan Browne/ Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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$2 billion lotto win tears family apart

<p>A man who won one of the biggest lottery jackpots in American history has been accused of cutting his family out of their promised share after winning $2 billion (AUD) in the Mega Millions jackpot. </p> <p>The unidentified man has been in a legal battle with his daughter’s mum since November, after he accused her of violating a nondisclosure agreement by telling the rest of the family about his fortune before their daughter's 18th birthday in 2032, according to the Independent. </p> <p>He bought the winning ticket in Lebanon, Maine on January 13 2023. </p> <p>The mum – identified by a pseudonym, Sara Smith – claimed that he was the one who told his family about his lotto winnings, not her. </p> <p>The man's father supported Smith's claim and said that his son told him about the win and all the things he planned to do with his new-found fortune, which he collected through an LLC in a lump sum of over $750 million. </p> <p>“February or March of 2023, my son came to my house … and informed me and my wife that he won a large amount of money in the Maine State Lottery,” his father wrote in new court documents. </p> <p>“I understand that my son has stated that he told me nothing about his money ‘other than the simple fact that I had won’,” the dad wrote. “That is not true.”</p> <p>He also claimed that he didn't ask his son for any money, but the lotto-winner allegedly made a bunch of promises, including building his dad a garage to fix up old cars, buying his childhood home, setting up a million-dollar trust fund and funding future medical expenses for his dad and stepmum.</p> <p>The lotto-winner also allegedly demanded his father to not talk to Smith. </p> <p>"I told him … ‘You are not the son I knew’,” his dad wrote in the filing.</p> <p>“He got angry, calling me a ‘dictator’ and an ‘a**ehole’. I have not heard from my son since, and he has not done any of [the] things he promised.”</p> <p>The half-billionaire refuted his dad and Smith's claims. </p> <p>“I made the mistake of telling my father that I had won the lottery without having him sign a confidentiality agreement,” he wrote. </p> <p>“Our relationship deteriorated quickly thereafter,” he continued.</p> <p>“I did not tell him what I was doing with my money, how I was going to benefit my daughter, or any facts other than the simple fact that I had won.” </p> <p>He also accused his ex-partner of trying to reveal his identity to the world and that she wrongly accused him of trying to kidnap their daughter after he refused to pay for her and her new boyfriend's vacation. </p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <p> </p>

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Cancer survivor slapped with $15,000 water bill

<p>An Aussie man has been slapped with a $15,645.86 water bill after the <span style="font-family: Inter, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: -0.16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Goulburn Mulwaree Council </span>claimed he had used more than 35,000 litres a day over 104 days. </p> <p>Anthony, who lives on his own in the Southern Tablelands, said that his bill is normally around $290 and that he uses about 130 litres of water a day, the average amount a person would use according to Sydney Water. </p> <p>"A 15-and-a-half thousand dollar water bill, they can go and get themselves nicked," he told <em>A Current Affair</em>. </p> <p>"I'm not paying it, no way in the world."</p> <p>The local mechanic is a cancer survivor, but the disease has made it difficult for him to communicate, so he went to a council meeting with his father, Neil, who talked on his behalf. </p> <p>"I couldn't believe it when he showed me the bill," Neil said. </p> <p>"Currently now, we're at this point in stage where we can't get any reasonable common sense from the council.</p> <p>"I said, 'It's got to be the crook meter', and she said, 'We've had a lot of meters tested and they've all come back positive. </p> <p>"And I said, 'What about this meter?' and she said, 'It'll cost you $50 to have it tested but there'll be nothing wrong with it'."</p> <p>Anthony is accused of using more than 3.6million litres of water,  which is equivalent to filling two Olympic sized swimming pools - or having five taps running all-day. </p> <p>He has received multiple emails from the local council asking him to prove his claim. </p> <p>The local mechanic also said that he received an overdue bill notice ordering him to pay it immediately. </p> <p>"I got an email saying I can have a payment plan and all the rest of it... like, get real," he said. </p> <p>"I'm not going to pay it."</p> <p>Anthony uses his own water tank to water his lawn, fill his fishpond and wash his car, and only uses town waters to wash up and shower. </p> <p>He has been asked to prepare a detailed letter of his water usage, which will be presented at a council meeting later this month.</p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Family of eight forced to live in tent amid rental crisis

<p>A family of eight have been forced to live in a tent for over six months as they wait to find suitable accommodation after their last rental lease ended. </p> <p>Cameron and Tameka Fletcher and their six children, aged between one and 10, have been living in a tent and have had to move from campsite to campsite since September. </p> <p>The couple claimed that the government can't support them because they have "too many children", and are waiting for public housing, but they might not meet the criteria to be eligible for it. </p> <p>They were reportedly staying in a makeshift tent city in a suburban park north of Brisbane.</p> <p>"We've always had a house, we've never done this," Cameron Fletcher told <em>Nine News</em>. </p> <p>"Everyone here is going through the same thing. But it's the only way to get help."</p> <p>“We can only do what’s best for our kids, to keep a roof over their heads,” his wife added. </p> <p>One of the couple's daughters is due to start school next year, and they have been struggling to enrol her as the family doesn't have a permanent address. </p> <p>The family said they are also struggling with day-to-day activities like finding breakfast, washing their clothes and getting the kids ready for school, and are using solar camping showers purchased from Kmart to clean themselves.</p> <p>According to <em>Nine News</em>, the family would be happy with a three-bedroom home but were told by state housing officials that they can only be offered a five-bedroom home to avoid overcrowding, but there are currently none available. </p> <p>In a statement issued to <em>Yahoo News</em>, a spokesperson for Department of Housing said it “has been working with the family since September last year, including providing accommodation which they chose to leave”.</p> <p>"As we’ve been assisting them to find longer-term options, they have declined further offers of accommodation," the spokesperson said.</p> <p>"With regards to social housing, there are eligibility factors that need to be met, including income thresholds. However, the department continues to work with the family to find a private rental and give any other support they might need."</p> <p>This comes as new <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/rent-shock-what-youll-be-paying-in-every-australian-suburb-in-2024/news-story/10b67da9ebe170a2e2d37caa7e66bf40" target="_blank" rel="noopener">PropTrack</a> data, released in March, revealed that rent has increased by 17 per cent over the past 12 months, across all the capital cities in Australia. </p> <p>More than half of Queenslanders who have applied for social housing are reportedly homeless and have had to wait for over two years amid a lack of supply and increased demands.</p> <p>Earlier this year, the Queensland government announced it was aiming to build another 53,500 social homes by 2046, with a $3.1 billion funding boost to deliver one million homes. </p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What to expect from the federal budget

<p>There's just three weeks left until Treasurer Jim Chalmers unveils the federal budget.</p> <p>With the cost of living crisis still a major issue across the country, we can expect to see some policies aimed at alleviating the pressure. </p> <p>Some policies, have already been announced and here are a few others that we can expect to hear from Chalmers on May 14. </p> <p>Stage 3 cuts announced in January, will form a key part of this year's budget, which will direct more benefit towards low- and middle-income earners – although Australians on high salaries will still receive a tax cut.</p> <p>The decision was made to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures and partly address the bracket creep. The cuts lower the threshold for the lowest two brackets (so they pay less tax on that income), and raise the threshold for the highest two brackets (so they need to earn more to be taxed at a higher rate). </p> <p>This means that someone with average income of around $73,000 will get $1504, but how much you actually receive will depend on your income. </p> <p>The new version of the stage 3 cuts will come into effect on July 1.</p> <p>Superannuation will be paid on government-funded parental leave, with the change due to kick in for parents with babies born after July 1, 2025.</p> <p>They will receive a 12 per cent superannuation on top of their government-funded parental leave, with around 180,000 families expected to benefit from it. </p> <p>The figures will be included in the May 14 budget. </p> <p>Although nothing has been officially announced,  there will likely be HECS-HELP debt relief for current and former students. </p> <p>"I think there's a range of areas where we need to do much better with the younger generation, and HECS is one of them," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on radio on April 18.</p> <p>"We've received a review of that... and what that has said is that the system can be made simpler and be made fairer.</p> <p>"We're examining the recommendations and we'll be making announcements pretty soon on that. We, of course, have a budget coming up."</p> <p>There have also been some hints from the government that energy bill relief will continue in this year's budget. </p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," Albanese said, citing the existing policy that gives eligible families up to $500 off their power bills and eligible small businesses up to $650.</p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," he said.</p> <p>"That's why the energy bill relief package I negotiated with the states and territories delivered up to $650 in savings for around 1 million small businesses, along with 5 million families.</p> <p>"And as we put together next month's budget, small businesses and families will again be front and centre in our thinking."</p> <p>Energy bills are also set to go down, or remain stable for the most part from July 1. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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‘Girl math’ may not be smart financial advice, but it could help women feel more empowered with money

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ylva-baeckstrom-1463175">Ylva Baeckstrom</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</a></em></p> <p>If you’ve ever calculated cost per wear to justify the price of an expensive dress, or felt like you’ve made a profit after returning an ill-fitting pair of jeans, you might be an expert in <a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/girl-maths-tiktok-trend-its-basically-free-b1100504.html">“girl math”</a>. With videos about the topic going viral on social media, girl math might seem like a silly (<a href="https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/girl-math-womens-spending-taken-seriously">or even sexist</a>) trend, but it actually tells us a lot about the relationship between gender, money and emotions.</p> <p>Girl math introduces a spend classification system: purchases below a certain value, or made in cash, don’t “count”. Psychologically, this makes low-value spending feel safe and emphasises the importance of the long-term value derived from more expensive items. For example, girl math tells us that buying an expensive dress is only “worth it” if you can wear it to multiple events.</p> <p>This approach has similarities to <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/modernportfoliotheory.asp">portfolio theory</a> – a method of choosing investments to maximise expected returns and minimise risk. By evaluating how each purchase contributes to the shopping portfolio, girl math shoppers essentially become shopping portfolio managers.</p> <h2>Money and emotions</h2> <p>People of all genders, rich or poor, feel anxious when dealing with their personal finances. Many people in the UK do not understand pensions or saving enough to <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/workplacepensions/articles/pensionparticipationatrecordhighbutcontributionsclusteratminimumlevels/2018-05-04">afford their retirement</a>. Without motivation to learn, people avoid dealing with money altogether. One way to find this motivation, as girl math shows, is by having an emotional and tangible connection to our finances.</p> <p>On the surface, it may seem that women are being ridiculed and encouraged to overspend by using girl math. From a different perspective, it hints at something critical: for a person to really care about something as seemingly abstract as personal finance, they need to feel that they can relate to it.</p> <p>Thinking about money in terms of the value of purchases can help create an <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/every-time-i-use-my-card-my-phone-buzzes-and-that-stops-me-shopping-ps0fjx6nj">emotional relationship</a> to finance, making it something people want to look after.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GPzA7B6dcxc?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>The girl math we need</h2> <p>Women are a consumer force to be reckoned with, controlling <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetbrennan/2015/01/21/top-10-things-everyone-should-know-about-women-consumers/#7679f9d6a8b4">up to 80%</a> of consumer spending globally. The girl math trend is a demonstration of women’s mastery at applying portfolio theory to their shopping, making them investment powerhouses whose potential is overlooked by the financial services industry.</p> <p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/28/women-paid-less-than-men-over-careers-gender-pay-gap-report">Women are disadvantaged</a> when it comes to money and finance. Women in the UK earn on average £260,000 less than men during their careers and the retirement income of men is twice as high as women’s.</p> <p>As I’ve found in <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Gender-and-Finance-Addressing-Inequality-in-the-Financial-Services-Industry/Baeckstrom/p/book/9781032055572">my research</a> on gender and finance, women have lower financial self-efficacy (belief in their own abilities) compared to men. This is not helped by women feeling patronised when seeking financial advice.</p> <p>Because the world of finance was created by men for men, its language and culture are <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Gender-and-Finance-Addressing-Inequality-in-the-Financial-Services-Industry/Baeckstrom/p/book/9781032055572">intrinsically male</a>. Only in the mid-1970s did women in the UK gain the legal right to open a bank account without a male signature and it was not until 1980 that they could apply for credit independently. With the law now more (<a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2023/03/02/pace-of-reform-toward-equal-rights-for-women-falls-to-20-year-low">but not fully</a>) gender equal, the financial services industry has failed to connect with women.</p> <p>Studies show that 49% of women are <a href="https://www.ellevest.com/magazine/disrupt-money/ellevest-financial-wellness-survey">anxious about their finances</a>. However they have not bought into patronising offers and <a href="https://www.fa-mag.com/news/gender-roles-block-female-financial-experience--ubs-says-73531.html">mansplaining by financial advisers</a>. This outdated approach suggests that it is women, rather than the malfunctioning financial system, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/16/women-are-not-financially-illiterate-they-need-more-than-condescending-advice">who need fixing</a>.</p> <p>Women continue to feel that they do not belong to or are able to trust the world of finance. And why would women trust an industry with a <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/genderpaygapintheuk/2019">gender pay gap</a> of up to 59% and a severe lack of women in senior positions?</p> <p>Girl math on its own isn’t necessarily good financial advice, but if it helps even a handful of women feel more empowered to manage and understand their finances, it should not be dismissed.</p> <p><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ylva-baeckstrom-1463175">Ylva Baeckstrom</a>, Senior Lecturer in Finance, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/kings-college-london-1196">King's College London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/girl-math-may-not-be-smart-financial-advice-but-it-could-help-women-feel-more-empowered-with-money-211780">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Michael Schumacher’s wife makes emotional call

<p>Michael Schumacher’s family has made the difficult decision to auction off his personal collection of luxury watches ahead of the Italian Grand Prix on May 19. </p> <p>The F1 legend's wife Corinna is believed to have made the decision as she continues to care for him after his devastating skiing accident over 10 years ago. </p> <p>Corinna manages Schumacher's $970 million fortune, which is set to grow with the sale of Schumacher's eight most valuable watches, including a one-of-a-kind FP Journe Vagabondage 1 Model, which is expected to sell for between $1.7 million and $3.4 million.</p> <p>Auction house Christie’s will conduct the sale of the F1 legend's watch collection, which is believed to be worth roughly $6 million. </p> <p>“Christie’s expresses sincere thanks to the Schumacher family for their trust in us and their wish to share these masterpieces of horology with other passionate collectors around the globe,” Rémi Guillemin, Christie’s Head of Watches Europe and US, said. </p> <p>“We are proud to present these iconic and unique timepieces belonging to one of the most celebrated Formula 1 legends. An exceptional moment, for watch and F1 enthusiasts alike.</p> <p>“We are looking forward to meeting with passionate collectors during our international exhibitions and the auction on 13 May in Geneva.”</p> <p>One of the other watches going up for auction is an Audemars Piguet watch which features the Ferrari emblem, Schumacher’s helmet design, symbols representing his seven titles and an engraved message, which read: “Xmas 2004 — Jean Todt for my friend Michael Schumacher." </p> <p>The watch was given to him by Todt and is expected to sell for between $250,000 and $425,000. </p> <p>The auction is another financial move by Corinna, who reportedly meets with a small group of financial advisers about three or four times a year to make decisions about the family's sales and investments. </p> <p>Ever since the accident Corinna has also been protecting her husband's privacy, with no one outside of Schumacher's inner circle knowing what happened to the F1 legend. </p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Image: Getty/ Christie's</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Kochie's warning for every Aussie parent

<p>Australian finance expert David Koch has warned parents to think twice before offering financial assistance to their adult children who are thinking of buying their first home. </p> <p>With many young Australians looking to buy property turning to the “Bank of Mum and Dad” for financial help, Kochie has advised parents to approach this with caution, structured agreements, and clear communication, to reduce the risks and protect both parties involved. </p> <p>“The Bank of Mum and Dad provided $2.7 billion to their adult children to buy property over the past year," the finance expert said on his latest column in <em>The Nightly</em></p> <p>He encouraged a structured approach to navigating the common intergenerational finance practice, and added that financial assistance from parents has become a significant player in the housing market. </p> <p>“If it was an actual bank, it would be somewhere between the fifth and ninth biggest mortgage lender," he said, referring to an estimation by the Productivity Commission. </p> <p>He then warned against the casual approach that is often taken, saying: “We all want to help our kids … But the question is what that help looks like.”</p> <p>“Treat the loan as a business transaction and draw up a formal agreement between each party outlining the terms of the deal, including a set repayment schedule,” he emphasised. </p> <p>Kochie also drew attention to the University of Newcastle’s findings on the increased risk of financial elder abuse associated with parental assistance.</p> <p>“Borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad encourages ageist attitudes, which leads to kids financially abusing their parents," he quoted the study. </p> <p>He then differentiated the different forms of financial assistance, explaining the difference between gifts, loans, and guarantees. </p> <p>“If your child is married or in a de facto relationship and it ends, gifts will usually be considered part of the family assets and divided up in court,” he warned. </p> <p>He also offered guidance on parental investments in entrepreneurial ventures, advising parents to “think of your role as that of a regular investor."</p> <p><em>Image: news.com.au </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Property tycoon sentenced to death over $27 billion fraud

<p>A Vietnamese billionaire was sentenced to death on Thursday in one of the biggest corruption cases in history, an estimated $27 billion in damages - a figure equivalent to six percent of the country’s 2023 GDP. </p> <p>Truong My Lan, chair of major developer Van Thinh Phat, was found guilty of embezzlement, after looting from one of the country's biggest banks, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) for over a decade. </p> <p>“The defendant’s actions... eroded people’s trust in the leadership of the (Communist) Party and state,” the verdict read at the trial in Ho Chi Minh City. </p> <p>After a five-week trial, 85 others were also charged for their involvement in the fraud, with charges ranging from from bribery and abuse of power to appropriation and violations of banking law. </p> <p>Four were given life imprisonment, while others received jail terms ranging between 20 years and three years suspended. Lan's husband was Hong Kong billionaire Eric Chu Nap Kee, was sentenced to nine years in prison.</p> <p>Lan and the others were arrested as part of a national corruption crackdown.</p> <p>Lan was initially believed to have embezzled $12.5 billion, but on Thursday prosecutors have said that the total damages caused by the fraud now amounted to $27 billion. </p> <p>The property tycoon was convicted of taking out $44bn in loans from the bank, according to the <em>BBC</em>, with prosecutors saying that $27 billion of this may never be recovered. </p> <p>The court ordered Lan to to pay almost the entire damages sum in compensation. </p> <p>It is also <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-68778636" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported</a> that she is one of very few women in Vietnam to be sentenced to death for a white collar crime. </p> <p>“In my desperation, I thought of death,” Lan said in her final remarks to the court, according to state media. </p> <p>“I am so angry that I was stupid enough to get involved in this very fierce business environment -- the banking sector -- which I have little knowledge of.”</p> <p>Police have identified around 42,000 victims of the scam, and many of them were unhappy with the verdict. </p> <p>One 67-year-old Hanoi resident told the AFP that she had hoped Lan would receive a life sentence so she could fully witness the devastating impact of her actions. </p> <p>“Many people worked hard to deposit money into the bank, but now she’s received the death sentence and that’s it for her,” they said. </p> <p>“She can’t see the suffering of the people.”</p> <p>The resident has so far been unable to retrieve the $120,000 she invested with SCB. </p> <p>Police have said that many of the victims are SCB bondholders, who cannot withdraw their money and have not received interest or principal payments since Lan’s arrest. </p> <p>Authorities have also reportedly seized over 1000 properties belonging to Lan. </p> <p><em>Image: Twitter</em></p> <p> </p>

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Millions of phones at risk of being cut off from calling triple-0

<p>Over a million Aussies may be unable to contact triple-0 as two major telcos cut their 3G networks. </p> <p>Telstra's network will be closed on June 30 this year followed by Optus, which will shut their 3G network in September.</p> <p>While most late model phones are now serviced by either 4G or 5G networks, there are many devices that still rely on 3G. </p> <p>Approximately 113,000 Telstra customers have not upgraded their 3G handsets, while Optus have not disclosed a figure.</p> <p>The greater concerns lie for older 4G-enabled handsets that may not be able to call triple-0 once the 3G networks are switched off, because of the way those phones are configured.</p> <p>In March, Communications Minister Michelle Rowland was informed that 740,000 Australians were in that category.  </p> <p>A month later, that figure was revised to over a million. </p> <p>"I welcome the industry’s first report to government but am concerned around their disclosure of around one million potentially impacted consumers,” the minister said. </p> <p>“I am considering the detail provided and next steps, and the government will have more to say about the 3G switchover soon.”</p> <p>She also said that they were open to delaying the switchover  "if warranted in the public interest”.</p> <p>“Options exist under law for the government to consider proposals to delay the planned switchover, subject to consultation and procedural processes,” she said.</p> <p>Telstra has informed customers about what to do if they are affected, and how they could check. </p> <p>“If your mobile device doesn’t have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology, even if it uses 4G data, it will not be able to make voice calls on our network after 30 June 2024,” they informed their customers. </p> <p>“Not all VoLTE enabled devices support emergency VoLTE calling, meaning they will not be able to make an emergency call to triple-0 once 3G closes." </p> <p>“Without taking the recommended action you won’t be able to connect to a network after 30 June 2024,” they warned. </p> <p>Customers who are worried that they might be impacted, are encouraged to text 3 to the number 3498, so that the telco can inform the customer on their connection status.</p> <p>Optus have also encouraged customers to contact them if they think they may be affected. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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"How could he do it to me?": Grandmother broken over grandson's alleged fraud

<p>In a courtroom in Perth, emotions ran high as a heartbroken grandmother awaited a reunion with her grandson, Jack Endersby. But this wasn't a typical family gathering. It was a courtroom confrontation, where Lyn Newby hoped her grandson would look her in the eye and confront the pain he allegedly caused by defrauding her of more than $320,000.</p> <p>Endersby, a 24-year-old <a href="https://www.9news.com.au/national/perth-news-grandmother-lost-320000-after-investing-in-grandson-business-alleged-ponzi-scheme/e3ea6396-750c-452c-8e87-c0ef53d65ede" target="_blank" rel="noopener">accused of orchestrating a Ponzi-style scheme</a> that allegedly swindled around $2 million from victims across Australia, faced the scrutiny of the law and the anguish of his own family. The accusations against him span from February 2021 to February 2024, a period during which he allegedly promised lucrative returns to investors, only to leave them empty-handed and disillusioned.</p> <p>For Newby, the betrayal cut deep. She had entrusted her grandson with a substantial sum, believing it to be an investment in his trading business, Codex Investments. His promises of monthly returns seemed enticing, but when the payments abruptly ceased, Newby's world shattered.</p> <p>"He has ruined our lives," she lamented. "How could he do it to me? I'm his grandmother." </p> <p>Endersby's arrest earlier this month marked a turning point in the unravelling of his alleged scheme. Facing 11 charges of fraud, he appeared in Perth Magistrates Court, where his family, including his mother, sought answers and reconciliation. However, Endersby remained aloof, ignoring their attempts at communication.</p> <p>In the lead-up to his court appearance, Newby expressed her desire for her grandson to acknowledge the pain he caused. "He will feel terrible when he sees me, and I want him to look me in the eye and know how much he's hurt me," she said, her anguish palpable.</p> <p>The allegations against Endersby paint a stark contrast to his earlier life. Once a telesales consultant and labourer, he purportedly transformed into a "self-taught investor" with a multimillion-dollar portfolio and a lifestyle of luxury. Flashy holidays, upscale accommodations and a Maserati adorned his newfound prosperity, allegedly funded by the deceitful machinations of a Ponzi scheme.</p> <p>As the details of Endersby's alleged deception emerged, more victims came forward, each recounting their own stories of financial loss and shattered trust. Michael Dawson, who invested in Endersby's business 18 months prior, described initial returns followed by a troubling silence. Others spoke of referral schemes that seemingly built trust but ultimately ensnared unsuspecting investors in a web of deceit.</p> <p>Amid the courtroom drama and legal proceedings, questions linger about the true extent of Endersby's alleged scheme and the lives it impacted. As he awaits his next court appearance on April 19, the echoes of broken trust and shattered dreams serve as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of financial fraud.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

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Millions of Aussies to get cash boost in weeks

<p>Millions of Australians are set to receive more money when payments are indexed. </p> <p>On March 20, those on the age pension, disability support pension and carer payment will be pocketing extra money. </p> <p>Single people on the pension and carer payment can expect an extra $19.60, with maximum amount increasing to $1116.30. For couples, the rate will go up $29.40 per fortnight, with the maximum being $1682.80.</p> <p>People on rent assistance, JobSeeker, single parenting payments and ABSTUDY will also benefit from payment increases, with single parenting payment going up by $17.50 a fortnight.</p> <p>Single JobSeeker recipients with no kids, and people over 22 on ABSTUDY, will get an extra $13.50 per fortnight, while each member of a couple will get an additional $12.30 per fortnight.</p> <p>The government has also changed the eligibility criteria for parents seeking welfare payments, with the last budget revealing that 77,000 parents will receive benefits for the youngest child up to the age of 14 instead of eight. </p> <p>The income and assets limits will also be increased in line with indexation in March.</p> <p>Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said that these changes will be implemented to ensure that Centrelink recipients would be able to have more money in their accounts, with the rise in cost-of-living. </p> <p>“Our number one priority is addressing inflation and cost of living pressures,” Rishworth said.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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"We've all gone": Why Jackie O stormed off set

<p>Jackie O Henderson has marched out of KIIS FM in the middle of <em>The Kyle and Jackie O show, </em>after finding out that the station has the highest gender pay gap disparity across Australian radio.</p> <p>“Southern Cross Austereo has a disgraceful 5.9% pay gap. At Nova and Smooth FM it is even worse, six per cent." <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Kyle Sandilands told listeners on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">"But unfortunately, the number one spot is at KIIS FM, – at the top of the tree with a 12% pay gap disparity.”</span></p> <p>Sandilands, who famously fought for Henderson to secure equal pay on their radio program, then brought on one of the show’s producers Pete Deppeler and another female KIIS FM producer, who revealed she was only being paid half of what Deppeler was. </p> <p>“Are you freaking joking? Why is Peter getting that much money? I’m so angry about that, it makes my blood boil,” Henderson replied. </p> <p>She then left the studios with all her female colleagues. </p> <p>“We’ve all gone,” she said.</p> <p>"We are just here with the fellas. I don’t know whether I am enjoying this, bring the girls back!” Sandilands told listeners. </p> <p>On Tuesday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency published the gender pay gap for more than 5,000 Australian companies.</p> <p>This was done after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ordered the information to be made public for the first time ever, so the data can be compared within and across industries.</p> <p>The new data revealed that the national gap for total remuneration sits at 19 per cent and the median Australian female worker is taking home $18,461 less than their male counterpart.</p> <p>Despite a few criticisms on Albanese's decision to publicise this data, Workplace Minister Tony Burke has said that releasing this data is effective. </p> <p>“People on this side know that releasing that sort of data is effective and you will only find in the other side of politics anyone arguing that it is useless,‘’ he said.</p> <p>“The days of secretly paying women less than men are now over.”</p> <p><em>Images: Kyle and Jacki O Show</em></p>

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Woman allegedly murders great-aunt with spaghetti

<p>Italian police are investigating the bizarre alleged murder of Maria Basso, 80.</p> <p>Paola Pepe, her young great-niece, was arrested for the alleged murder after she was believed to have force-fed Basso with spaghetti, Italian newspaper <em>Corriere della Sera </em>reported. </p> <p>Basso was vulnerable to choking if she did not eat finely chopped or pureed food, despite this Pepe still took out her great-aunt for a meal in a Sicily restaurant in December 2022. </p> <p>She allegedly bought Basso spaghetti, and two days later her great-aunt was dead, after some of the pasta allegedly got lodged in her airways. </p> <p>Her death initially looked like an accident, until Italian police launched further investigations and found that Pepe had amended her great-aunt's will just two days before the meal.</p> <p>The<em> Corriere della Sera</em> reported Pepe had taken an unusual interest in her great-aunt's finances in the months leading up to her death after she had unexpectedly turned up during Basso's 80th birthday, and spent hours alone with her. </p> <p>Pepe eventually moved Basso to a care home 1300 kilometres away, without telling her close family members, and reportedly did not take any of Basso's medication or personal belongings to the new home. </p> <p>Police alleged that after isolating her great-aunt, she managed to convince Basso to change her will so that Pepe was named sole beneficiary of Basso's estate, which was worth $775,000. </p> <p>Basso initially intended to give her estate to a charity, as she had no children according to local media.</p> <p>Pepe has denied all accusations and was bailed, but is wearing a police ankle bracelet while waiting for her trial. </p> <p><em>Image: Strettoweb</em></p> <p> </p>

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Bunnings worker wins $1.25 million payout

<p>Bunnings is set to fork out $1.25 million after a worker was seriously injured on the job. </p> <p>Sarah Jane, 31, worked as a merchandiser for Neutrog at Seven Hills Bunnings in Western Sydney in 2018  when she severely injured her back while trying to lift and drag forward a bucket of fertiliser to the front of a pallet.</p> <p>Each bucket weighed between 10.8 and 11.2 kilograms, and Jane said that she continues to suffer from the injury today. </p> <p>Her case was heard in the NSW Supreme Court this week with Bunnings agreeing to pay $750,000 in a settlement plus legal costs, which are estimated to be about $500,000.</p> <p>Neutrog, who was her employer, has also been ordered to contribute to the costs. </p> <p>As part of the settlement, Bunnings admitted they “knew or ought to have known” the foreseeable risk when they failed to train Jane to use a pallet jack, which could have prevented her injury.</p> <p>Jane was only trained using a Bunnings module, but was not told that pallet jacks were available to help her move stock forward. </p> <p>The pallet are regularly used by Bunnings workers but court documents note that they “did not apply the same rigour or adopt the same precautions for the merchandisers, who were nonetheless subject to Bunnings control and oversight”.</p> <p>Jane’s lawyer, Luke Power, said that the settlement was a "win for the little guy" after a lot of push back from Bunnings regarding the case. </p> <p>“There has been a lot of push back and we were told on numerous occasions there was no case,” Power said.</p> <p>“This has been incredibly stressful for her, and it was fought tooth and nail.”</p> <p>Despite winning the big payout, Jane, who is also a mother, has said that the injury has dramatically changed her life. </p> <p>“It’s a win but it doesn’t really feel like a win,” she said. </p> <p>“Not just everything that they’ve put me through, but just the injury itself, and how much it’s changed my life and how much I’ve missed out on with my kids when they were young.”</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

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The types of insurance that aren’t worth your while

<p>While it’s important to make sure you’ve been covered, some forms of insurance aren’t really worth your while in the long run. We’ve taken a look at several types of insurance you shouldn’t really bother with, why they’re not worth your money and how you can find an alternative.</p> <p>Yes, it’s essential to make sure you’re covered, but at the same time you don’t need to waste any money.</p> <p><strong>Extended warranties</strong></p> <p>Many a salesperson has made a customer fork out that little bit extra for an “extended warranty” to go with a major electronic purchase. The thing is though, in many cases the period of time covered by the warranty is actually exactly the level you’re automatically entitled to under consumer law.</p> <p><strong>Credit protection insurance</strong></p> <p>While this type of insurance can be useful and a way to insure yourself against the possibility of something happening to your income as the result of an injury or a condition, credit protection insurance has tendency to be pretty expensive.</p> <p>A more cost effective way to ensure your payments to your credit card, personal loans or mortgages are fulfilled would be to take out a life insurance or total and permanent disability insurance policy through your individual superannuation fund.</p> <p><strong>Funeral insurance</strong></p> <p>Many people see this as a good way to ease the financial burden on their family that comes with their passing, but in reality funeral insurance is quite expensive and the premiums add up every year.</p> <p>A far better option is a prepaid funeral, funeral bonds life insurance or even a special savings account with money set aside. Just make sure you let your family know!</p> <p><strong>ID theft insurance</strong></p> <p>This is one of those types of insurance that isn’t really protecting your from becoming a victim, rather helping you deal with the costs once it’s already happened. And what’s more, you bank is usually willing to cover the costs of credit card fraud, which is one of the major problems to be associated with ID theft.</p> <p>Instead of spending money on a policy you can protect yourself from ID theft by simply keeping your personal documents safe, shredding documents such as bank account statements before throwing them away, and using antivirus software that is up to date. You can also check your credit file each year to make sure nobody’s using your identity for fake accounts.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

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Big W customer gobsmacked over $4000 shipping fee

<p>A Big W customer was only trying to buy an outdoor play set for her kids but got the shock of her life when she saw the "ridiculous" shipping fee that was over three times the cost of the play set. </p> <p>The Singleton mum had added the $1,200 item to her cart while shopping online and was about to check out when she was greeted with a $4,466 shipping fee. </p> <p>"How in God's name can they charge $4,466 for delivery! Big W are slowly losing my vote!" the outraged mum wrote on Facebook, even swearing off the department store for the apparent money grab. </p> <p>According to the Big W website, the play set is sent via Plum Play, a "trusted partner", and not by Big W stores, and because the woman lives in a rural area, she initially believed that was the reason for the extortionate shipping costs. </p> <p>A few other shoppers criticised the high fee. </p> <p>"That is fricken ridiculous!!!! No one would pay that," one said. </p> <p>"Jesus, are you ordering a few pallets of bricks? No way normal merchandise would cost that much to send," another wrote. </p> <p>A few others questioned the weight of the item and where she lived, while others tried to buy the same item and got even higher shipping fees. </p> <p>"It jumped a few grand for a couple of ks for me," one wrote, with the cost of standard delivery for the play set at $7,858. </p> <p>Some reported fees of up to $50,000, but most were $7,000 to $10,000. </p> <p>The department store has addressed the issue and told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em> that an "error on the website" was to blame. </p> <p>They have since corrected the delivery charges which should have been about $100 for the woman's location. </p> <p>"We were made aware of a delivery calculation error on our website which has since been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused," a spokesperson told the publication. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Woolies boss' multi-million dollar payout revealed

<p>Chief executive Brad Banducci announced his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/woolies-ceo-quits-after-disaster-interview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">early retirement </a>on Wednesday, following a series of PR disasters for the brand and just days after a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/i-think-i-m-done-the-question-that-made-woolies-ceo-leave-interview" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trainwreck interview</a> with <em>ABC Four Corners</em>.</p> <p>Now, the staggering amount he will be paid-out for walking away from the top job has been revealed. </p> <p>According to a report published by T<em>he Australian</em>, the supermarket boss will take home a share portfolio worth an estimated $24.4 million.</p> <p>This is in addition to the $6.5 million he would likely be paid-out from his salary. </p> <p>Banducci will step down from his position in September and he will be replaced by former WooliesX leader <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/new-woolies-ceo-s-huge-salary-revealed" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Amanda Bardwell</a>, who will take over as Chief Executive then.</p> <p>Woolworths Group has denied the suggestion that the resignation was related to the disaster Four Corners interview where Banducci tried to walk away in the middle of being questioned about price gouging. </p> <p>A senate inquiry is also currently investigating whether major supermarkets across the country have engaged in price gouging, as the cost-of-living continues to rise. </p> <p>Banducci has been involved in a series of public controversies before his retirement, including when he came under fire after the supermarket announced it would <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/woolworths-under-fire-for-dropping-australia-day-merch" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stop selling Australia Day merchandise </a>ahead of the national holiday in January.</p> <p><em>Image: Today</em></p>

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Better Homes and Gardens star's dream rural property up for grabs

<p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>star Charlie Albone and his wife interior designer Juliet Love, have listed their dream Ourimbah home. </p> <p>The 2.07ha property located on the Central Coast has been listed by McGrath Gosford agents Peter Morris and Nate Waters with a $3m to $3.2m price guidance.</p> <p>The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits deep behind a gated entry, which ensures privacy and is surrounded by plenty of greenery with its garden alcoves, a stunning wisteria-covered arbour, fruit trees, and a few garden beds for vegetables. </p> <p>There is also a feature dry-stone wall fire pit built by Scottish stonemason Callum Grey, that's perfect for winter and colder nights.</p> <p>The English cottage-style home  comes with a separate self-contained unit that includes a bedroom and kitchenette. </p> <p>The home is every animal lovers' dream with five paddocks that come with animal shelters, plumbed water troughs and a three-stall stable. </p> <p>For those hot summer days, whoever the new owners are can dip into the saltwater pool located on the property. </p> <p>The property is equipped with 100,000-litre tanks and has town water. </p> <p>Albone and his family bought the property in 2012 for $840,000 which means that if it was sold at the price guide then it's almost four times the original price they bought it at. </p> <p>The top acreage sale at Ourimbah currently sits at $3,725,000 for a 13.93ha Dog Trap Rd six-bedroom house, which sold in 2021.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

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Five tips for developing and managing your budget – even in tough economic times

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p>There’s nothing quite like a new year to prompt us to take stock of our lives, our health, our goals – and our finances. Many people will start a new year by contemplating how best to budget, plan and save. This is always a good set of aims, but it’s especially important in the inflation-prone and unpredictable economies we’re seeing <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/268225/countries-with-the-highest-inflation-rate/">all over Africa and the world</a>.</p> <p>Budgeting is especially key. It is the most effective method to <a href="https://www.thebalancemoney.com/how-to-make-a-budget-1289587">monitor income and expenditure</a>. <a href="https://www.uslendingcompany.com/blog/key-differences-in-writing-a-household-budget-vs-a-personal-budget/">Personal budgets</a> can help you to monitor your resources in pursuit of larger financial goals. Budgeting also offers <a href="https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v46/acr_vol46_2411998.pdf">more opportunities</a> to save money, reduce your debts and live a comfortable life. It can even <a href="https://prucomm.ac.uk/assets/uploads/blog/2013/04/Personal-Budgets-review-of-evidence_FINAL-REPORT.pdf">improve your mental health</a>.</p> <p>But where should you start? What questions do you need to answer in creating a budget? Here are some tips that I’ve learned – not just as an economist, but as a research cost analyst and someone who keeps a budget too.</p> <h2>1. Understand the broader economic conditions</h2> <p>It is imperative that individuals keep themselves aware and up-to-date on the realities of their country’s economic landscape. You don’t have to be a professional economist, but keep an eye on new developments like free business registration, small business development funds and printing of new money notes. What is the current exchange rate? What’s the political landscape and what international factors, like the price of crude oil, are at play? You should also watch the inflation rate and have a sense of unemployment trends.</p> <p>This economic awareness will prepare you to draft your own budget and you’ll have a sense of when external factors mean it’s time to revisit your plans.</p> <h2>2. Review your income sources</h2> <p>The ability to earn income is critical to sustaining livelihoods. Having a definite source of income is the bedrock of budgeting.</p> <p>Some important questions you should ask about your income – and how you might budget with it – include:</p> <ul> <li>What is my current income?</li> <li>What do I use my income for?</li> <li>Am I able to save, given my current income?</li> <li>What proportion of my income do I save and what proportion do I spend?</li> <li>Do I have the capacity to earn more than this?</li> <li>How can I improve my income?</li> </ul> <p>Your answers can help you to identify gaps or untapped potential. Those with irregular or unpredictable income should factor in the element of time-gap in their income, for effective budgeting. Time gap is when they are not earning income. And everyone should make allowance in their budgets for uncertainties like health issues, social engagements, inflation, unemployment, recession and price shocks.</p> <h2>3. Appraise your expenses</h2> <p>Expenses can be broadly categorised into “variable” and “fixed”.</p> <p>Fixed expenses recur within a short period: housing, food, transport, medical costs, electricity, utilities, toiletries and clothing. Variable expenses are more long-term and irregular, such as investment in property or interest-yielding assets, and the purchase of machinery.</p> <p>The main essence of revising our expenses is to analyse and possibly improve our spending habits. In reviewing our expenses, we can consider issues such as:</p> <ul> <li>What is the proportion of consumption-savings ratio from my income? This is how much do I spend compared to how much I save.</li> <li>What are my regular expenses?</li> <li>What are my fixed, capital or investment expenses?</li> <li>What are my extraordinary expenses that need modification?</li> <li>Have there been emergency or extraordinary expenses?</li> </ul> <p>A careful response to the issues raised above offers an occasion to re-evaluate the pattern and direction of our expenses. For instance, overspending, unplanned or extraordinary expenses can be identified. This can lead to an optimal, efficient reallocation of available resources.</p> <h2>4. Stabilise your finances through savings</h2> <p>Savings have been <a href="https://klinglercpa.com/bedrock-principles-for-saving-money/">described</a> as a financial stabiliser, given their potential to cater for urgent needs and create opportunities for investments.</p> <p>Of course, savings have more value when they grow faster than the rate of inflation. Inflation erodes the value of savings. For instance, an amount of 300,000 naira (US$676) saved to purchase an autorickshaw today may be impossible in two months’ time with an inflation rate of 10% when the tricycle price rises to 330,000 naira (US$744). The reverse is the case when there is deflation.</p> <p>Therefore, it is advisable to improve the value of savings through investments in interest-yielding assets such as stocks, shares, bonds, microfinance and production.</p> <p>That’s not to say it’s always easy to save. Many income earners spend as they go, not seeing savings as part of their budgets. Harsh economic realities can also make it difficult – sometimes seemingly impossible – to save. But it’s not impossible: savings can be made in small amounts, through a daily, weekly or monthly contribution to collections, cooperative schemes or microfinance affiliations. For instance, a point of sale business in Nigeria can permit a daily contribution of 500 naira (US$1.13) over 25 work days, giving an average saving of 12,500 naira (US$28.18) per month.</p> <p>The Point-of-Sale business started in Nigeria in 2013 when the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the agent banking system. A POS agent operates and processes transactions through a POS service provider. Providers of such services include banks, microfinance banks and fintech companies.</p> <h2>5. Run a flexible budget</h2> <p>Once your budget is created, remember that it’s not set in stone. It should be flexible if anything changes in your life. For instance, an amount saved to buy a car can be invested in a promising venture buying shares through public offerings or private placements in multinational organisations like Nestle or Unilever.</p> <p>Also, health emergencies or career advancement programmes can require taking some money out of our savings.</p> <p>In all, budgeting should be flexible enough to incorporate exigencies, especially when catering for the current situation will culminate into a greater good.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/195590/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, Lecturer/Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-tips-for-developing-and-managing-your-budget-even-in-tough-economic-times-195590">original article</a>.</em></p>

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