The Butler’s Blog

The Butler is obsessed with saving you time and stress. They hate to see you waste your time on repetitive tasks and working at jobs you hate. This blog is a place for the butler to share inspiring productivity and outsourcing tips. Most posts also include links to useful tools and apps for your smartphone, tablet or computer. Regular readers may also learn much more than they want to know about Lady Penelope.

Insecurity and Infidelity –  Financial and Romantic Pitfalls

Insecurity and Infidelity – Financial and Romantic Pitfalls

It’s well known (and unsurprising) that finances are the top cause of relationship issues. What is disturbing, is the sheer range of financial communication levels and styles between different couples and families. Poor Communication means poor outcomes Surprising numbers of people in committed relationships have a card or an account which their partner doesn’t know about. More disturbingly, in a recent study, almost half of respondents had no idea of their partner’s income – this indicates a shocking lack of communication about money. If you don’t know what your income is as a couple, how can you possibly make career plans, budget for purchases, or even begin to chart a […] read more

Australians Are Failing to Pay their Bills, but Why?

New research commissioned by the BPAY group has revealed some scary insights into Australians’ bill payment habits. The survey divided people on into five personality types, some partly related to age: Big Picture Organisers (28%) Experienced and capable with their finances – but not obsessive. They seek convenience alongside security. Life Jugglers (27%) Don't manage their finances proactively and many lack the confidence to do so. They are keen for simple processes with customer support and information. Rigid Record Keepers (19%) Rigorous in managing their finances. Most have an effective system and keep a record of what they pay. They are less likely to report financial stress. They prioritise security […] read more

Survivor meet Wealth Builder

Over at the Acorns blog, Jackie Lamb has a nice piece contrasting wealth-builders with survivors.  The key difference being mindset. Notice I wrote “mindset” and not “personality type”. That’s because if you’re merely surviving, making the change to become a wealth builder is something that can be learned and implemented – and Bill Butler can help you with both steps. Attributes of Survival mode Spend more than you earn Not knowing where your money disappears to Little to no savings for emergencies Living from pay day to pay day You don’t have to have a low income to be in survival mode, but what we can tell you is when you are […] read more

Free spirits and dreamers achieve your financial vision

There’s no point in pretending we’re all built the same. If you and your partner (or your mum, or your best friend) take the cognitive profile quiz, chances are you will have different results. These results are based on the work of twentieth century psychiatrist Carl Jung. His work showed that as we develop as adults, we undergo individuation—the lifelong process of differentiation of the self out of both our conscious and unconscious elements. This “growing into ourselves” is healthy and the reason why no matter what goals or dreams we may share, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Some of us have “Goals” others have Dreams! This blog (and many […] read more

CPA Australia fails to gain traction in the advice market

Article published in Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), in response to previous article on disgruntled CPA's. After nearly two years, CPA Australia fails to get traction despite receiving 600 expressions of interest from advisers and advice groups and investing $1.15million into its advice business. What has led to the failure of the CPA Advice arm? Or the real question, what differentiates a CPA Financial Adviser from any other Advice Dealer Groups? The idea of a Financial Planner aligned with CPA Australia appears to offer clients a service that could simplify a client’s financial life. The potential of synergy between forward-looking strategy accounted for by an Accountant when optimising the client’s tax returns, insurances and […] read more

The Art of Failure 5 reasons why you are failing yourself financially

There are many things in life that we focus our attention on and put our best into; however when it comes to personal finances, many of us carry a narrow view of success. Basically we say to ourselves “if there is enough money in the bank to pay my bills and I can do the things that I want now, then I am satisfied". This is a type of freedom, absolutely.  However, when life throws a few curve balls, we are forced to get a little more serious about the details and need to figure out how to either make more money or cut our expenses. Once back on track, […] read more

Your Financial Success Checklist

Checklists can help for all large life goals. They help by providing milestones, and by breaking down that seemingly insurmountable goal into more manageable chunks. That’s not to say everyone’s checklist should have the same items (or the items in the same order). Some of us prioritise security with building an emergency fund and making a will at the top of the list. You have both of these right?  Others will prioritise growth  - investment goals and retirement planning. Your top three steps will vary depending on the stage of life you are at. For example, a sample checklist for those with young kids might begin with: Review your estate […] read more

Is it time to review your Credit Score?

With recent changes to Veda's credit scoring methods, it is time to ensure your financial behaviour isn’t jeopardising your credit score. Unless you have recently been seeking finance, you may not even be aware of your score.  People can be shocked the first time they have a look. What are the implications of the scoring method changes? Simply keeping your repayments up to date no longer guarantees your Credit Score is safe. Veda scores now rely on significantly more data from a far larger range of sources than ever before. The scoring system is based on data held on a rolling 2-year basis. With some information specifically related to credit contracts retained […] read more

Can your finances take an interest rate rise?

Interest rates to rise in 2017 Interest rates are expected to rise this year, according to research by Digital Finance Analytics.  Are you one of the 20% of homeowners so stretched, they couldn’t meet the repayment costs of a minimal 0.5% rise? What about one of the 25% who would struggle with a 1% rise? Or maybe one of the 42% who would face financial pressure if home loan interest rates were to increase from the recent (historic low) average of 4.5% back up to the long term average of 7%. Investors face cash flow squeeze Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics points to wage growth being too low […] read more

When Financial Stress affects Health and Wealth it is time to change

According to an AMP wealth management report, financial stress now affects over 25% of Australians – that’s over 2.8 million people! While it is a bad thing in itself, financial stress also causes a range of knock-on effects. For this reason, the best cure is prevention: if possible, plan proactively to avoid the scenarios that lead to financial stress. Up your Productivity AMP’s research shows financially stressed employees lose over 6 hours of productive work per week due to stress. There’s a vicious cycle of stress: Financial stress lowers your career effectiveness, which feeds further financial stress! Among the most-cited causes of financial stress are missing bills (32% of respondents) […] read more