payday loan

Dad’s not getting socks this year

Do you want to get your dad something a little more exciting than foot warmers for Christmas?

Buying gifts for your family is hard enough, but buying on a budget can be a little bit tougher. And now that we’re into September (really? Already?!) you might want to start thinking about spreading your Christmas cheer.

We’ve come up with some simple pre-Christmas strategies to make sure your family gives you extra servings of Christmas ham after they open their pressies:

Put a little money aside each week (or each time you get paid) into a separate account and use that to pay in bulk for presents for your loved ones. Even if it’s only $10 a week, you’re still taking a proactive approach to saving!

Buy your presents intermittently throughout the year leading up to Christmas. Not only do you miss out on the crazy pre-Christmas shopping hype and massive crowds, but you can also shop for presents when sales are on (plus, who doesn’t love being super organised?!).

Have a plan of attack for when you do eventually hit the shops. There’s nothing worse than wandering aimlessly through the millions of people Christmas shopping. Make a list and only buy exactly what’s on there. Put a maximum price next to the gift so you don’t blow your whole budget on one present.



If you’re on the lookout for some DIY and low cost fun, here’s some cool, cheap gift ideas for family (no socks in sight):

  • Experience-based presents work a treat. Shout Dad a game of golf – the benefits are endless! You get him a rad present and you get to spend some quality time with your old man.
  • Get your creative pants on and invest in a candle-making kit to melt wax in old teacups or one-off vintage cups from St Vinnies. They look and smell delicious!
  • Bake all the things! Baking someone their favourite cupcakes or cookies will show how much you know them and they might just share the treats with you (hint hint)!
  • Notebooks and pens have come a long way since high school. Decorate pages of a diary with photos, quotes and reminders of the person you’re buying for and then they’ll be enjoying your present all year long.

Chocolate muffins on the table

Shop online! Some of the best / weirdest / most awesome presents can be found on the old world wide web. We’ve done the research and found some winners so you can shop around and save:

Whatever you do, remember Christmas is first and foremost about spending time with family and friends so don’t get too ‘wrapped up’ (Dad joke in the spirit of this article) in the money side of things.


The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The information in this blog post is not intended to imply any recommendation, endorsement or opinion by Nimble about any financial or non-financial product. Nimble does not recommend or advise on the suitability of a product or suggest or imply a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular product. This blog post is for information purposes only.

Tips for a great road trip on a budget

Going on a road trip is a classic travel archetype that many people dream of doing. Packing up your belongings to fit in a car and hitting the open road can be a spirited and freeing way to see the place you’re in. While often a more economical travel method, costs can still be high and with rising petrol prices, costs can be downright exorbitant. Here are a few tips on having the best possible road trip while sticking to a budget.

Use applications

While this seems like it may defeat the purpose of unplugging and driving along the country, there are so many different (and useful!) applications for finding free camping, attractions and cheap petrol. You can also use these to map out traffic patterns so that you can avoid detours or traffic jams (did we mention saving money on petrol?). Wiki camps is a great application that tells you the closest picnic grounds, camping, even BBQ sites nearby that cost little or no money. The technology is there, you just need to use it to save yourself some time and money while you’re hitting the road.

Go green and go reusable

In addition to leaving less of a carbon footprint in the world, using reusable tools at home will save you lots of expenses in the long run. If you can, purchase a water bottle with a built in filter so that you can fill up wherever you are. Bring along your favourite reusable coffee cup (hello KeepCups) so you can cut down on cardboard while you get your caffeine hit. Definitely scrap the paper plates and plastic utensils and bring a picnic set for each person in the car.

Picnic for twoBuy food, keep food

Always keep food in the car so that if hunger strikes, you don’t necessarily have to eat at the petrol station, unintentionally wasting money on food that probably won’t be the best anyway. Every time you are near a grocery store, just restock these items and you’ll always have something to nibble on in the car. The best non-perishable items for road trips are: cereal, dried fruit, peanut butter, wraps, bread, canned tuna, pasta, couscous, or the old faithful, trail mix and nuts.

Don’t waste fuel!

Petrol is probably going to be your biggest cost next to accommodation and there are so many ways you can prevent wasting fuel in your car:

  • Be sure your tyres are properly inflated. Slightly deflated tyres can decrease fuel mileage.
  • Pack light. The more weight in your car, the worse your mileage will be.
  • Maintain a steady speed. Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain consistent speed.
  • Avoid rapid acceleration and braking, which uses more fuel.
  • Park your car and walk whenever possible if you want to explore an area.

By following just a couple of these tips you can make your road trip friendly to almost any budget. A cheap road trip is on the horizon – just be responsible, plan carefully, budget your money and you will have a truly enriching experience. Oh, and don’t forget to make a playlist…music is of great importance!

Will Norquay is part of the team at Stayz. He’s a  great travel and photography lover. He likes to discover new places and eateries around Australia and share his experiences and stories with other travellers.

How we blew our launch…

I hate it when people talk it up and don’t deliver.

We were guilty of it recently.

Anyone who tried to get a cash advance during the week after our July launch would have noticed the wheels falling off our usually tight operation.

We rushed to get new technology released for you and it went wrong.

When you’re trying to do something cutting edge, there’s a slight risk that things can go wrong. Unfortunately for us things went wrong enough to warrant the decision to stop applications for a few days.

Still, there’s good news…

The dust has settled and we’re humming again.

You can find out more at Rush247

If you’re interested in the technical stuff, here’s what happened…

After our initial glitches and thousands of people contacting us, we gave everyone their own start times in waves of users.

That was fine but more people than we expected decided to try it straight away. We maxxed out the server. Our usually fast system became SSSSLLLOOOOOWWWW.

Due to these speed issues, our staff couldn’t use the system and clients couldn’t log in and apply, a nightmare for all concerned.

We figured that one out but found that the technical updates we’d done meant that some people throughout Australia were viewing the wrong web site. This is because some ISP’s take 24-48 hours to reflect updates nationwide.

So that created a lot of problems too.

Rather than give unacceptable service, we decided to call time out for a few days to nip it all in the bud.

Now it’s all humming again, and it’s cool to see RUSH247 working well.

In hindsight we should have stretched out the launch with fewer users each day, and delayed it a few more days.

We were super keen to get the $2 first time offer and RUSH247 released for clients. We also made some big changes to our internal system to help make things even faster and improve our service ore.

If you were one of the people trying to use our service and had difficulties, we’re really sorry.

We’re back in top form now so check out Rush247 and 2 Dollar and see what I’ve been going on about for the last few weeks.

I’m also on Twitter most days, so feel free to ask me anything you like. We’re also publishing some neat little Tight Arts Videos. You should follow me at


The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.

Credit Cards- Do you have the self-discipline?

I had a bit of a shock a couple of days ago.

My girlfriend saw an unopened statement from my credit card when she was having a bit of a de-clutter and just put it on the side for me to see.

Now I paid my credit card off and cut it up in September last year from the proceeds of selling my house in the UK, so it was a surprise to see a statement. Surprise turned to horror when I saw a balance of $21,000 on it!

Now, fortunately, I then noticed the statement date was July last year. I (unsurprisingly) regularly check all my statements online and keep the unopened posted statements for the sake of good order. I quickly hopped online and checked that, yes, my account was dormant.

But it led me to think about credit cards and the credit card culture.

There was a huge furore in the UK in October 2003, when Matt Barrett, the Chief Executive of Britain’s largest credit card provider, Barclaycard, admitted steering clear of credit cards because they were “too expensive” and that he actively “advised his children against using them”.

You see, in principle, credit cards are a useful form of credit. You put small sums of money on them and pay them off in full within a short time period with no charge at all. In reality, people let the small sums build up and what started off as a couple of pizzas and a bottle of wine ends up in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.

I’ll use myself as an example. I’ve worked in consumer credit most of my career since 1994 and, well aware of the potential risks of a credit card, steered very clear of them until 1999.

And then I was accosted by a pretty girl in a rest stop, offering the opportunity to sign up for a credit card. I thought I’d chat for a while, flirt a little but ultimately turn round with my usual response – “I’m sorry, I work in credit and I know how expensive these things are!”

However, it was her birthday, I only had to sign up and I could cancel with no hassles, just, it really was her birthday and she could really do with the bonus…

Well, I was 22 and blinded by an attractive lady, so what could I do? Of course, I was going to cancel the minute it came through.

Only I didn’t. The card arrived two days before I went on holiday with my friends to Ayia Napa – a trashy European party venue. Well, I thought, just take it for emergencies.

And I did only use it for emergencies. That essential bottle of expensive champagne (four of them actually) on my birthday; taking a couple of girls out for drinks and paying all night; and eating in the best restaurants in town.

And so, despite knowing better, I was caught in the credit card trap for nearly 10 years and virtually nothing I bought with it was important and it certainly wasn’t cheap.

So, if a qualified financial adviser, the manager of a high street bank, gets knowingly caught in the credit card trap, what hope does anyone else have?

Fortunately, consumer awareness and access to decent advice is far greater now than it was in the late ’90s. We understand our options better, and there are more of them.

But it doesn’t stop that natural behaviour typical of Generations X and Y, the “I-Want-It-NOW” mentality. And credit access, while becoming more difficult in the current economic climate, is still easier than ever before.

Well then, what are the answers?

  • Firstly, look at your options, can you save up for this purchase? Do you really need it?
  • If you do get a credit card, get one with a low limit and avoid all those kind offers to extend your limit. Save a little towards it each month and pay it off just before the end of its interest free period.
  • If you need to make a significant purchase, go for a personal loan. Make sure you budget to pay that as a priority after your rent or mortgage and resist the sales person’s suggestions to borrow a little extra for the holiday you weren’t planning!
  • If you need some emergency cash, get a payday loan but make sure you pay it off when it’s due.

You see, like a credit card, a payday loan IS a useful form of credit. It’s there when you have an unexpected budget crisis; it’s there when it’s worth the extra $50 to get your car back on the road today rather than in two weeks; and it is there for that little treat on a special occasion.

But, also like a credit card, it can be very expensive. Borrowing payday loans to pay off other payday loans or regular credit payments; rolling over your balance (just paying the interest and re-borrowing the principal); not meeting payments, accruing late fees and charges; or using it for that additional unnecessary purchase is definitely not the way to go. The biggest ‘no-no’ is using it to meet regular payments that you just can’t afford in your budget anytime. All you’ll do is build up pressure and eventually explode.

So whatever product you use, think about why you’re doing it and how you’re going to pay it off quickly and easily.

If everyone does that credit, and credit cards, can still be a very useful tool.


The information contained in this blog is correct at the date of publication.