Parent Warning!!

Don’t let FREE app-based games blow your budget

Interactive games have weaselled their way into our culture – a culture of ‘digital almost anything’.

A 2018 Digital Australia Report states that 97% of homes with children have computer games, 80% of game households have more than one game device and 65% have three or more.

Thought that app was free?

Many app-based games are free to download but there is often a lure for children to progress or access the best parts of a game through in-app purchases.

Take Fortnite as an example. It tempts players with in-app purchases for ‘skins’ or outfits and customised weapons by encouraging spending on what characters are wearing and using.

There was one example where a seven year old child had spent about $1,000 on in-app purchases including paying to be upgraded to new levels. The parents had no idea until they got the bill. Even the child didn’t realise how much was spent at the time.

Avoiding in-app purchase blowout

Here are a few tips to prevent accidental in-app purchases:

• Understand how the games work – read reviews and look into the possible types of purchase •

Set rules around how much (if any) a child can spend on what they want to buy

• Turn off in-app purchases or change the settings so a password is required for every purchase and parents are notified each time a purchase is about to be made

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has further information on how to prevent unauthorised in-app purchases, how to restrict purchases on Apple and Android devices and how to take action. Obtaining a refund for unauthorised in-app purchases can be difficult but there are actions you can take for refunds and complaints.

Take control of your family gaming and free up your budget for much more worthy causes.


“It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits” Charles A Jaffe

There is no doubt that we live in a country with a high cost of living. Many Australian cities are becoming more expensive to live in compared to the rest of the world. Regardless of where you live and how much you earn, managing finances is a big concern for many of us.

A 2018 consumer anxiety study by one of the major Australian banks showed that the cost of living has increased our anxiety level the most. Living comfortably in retirement remains a big worry as well as providing for our family’s future.

Common life events that may affect your financial aspirations and retirement expectations are:

• getting married

• starting a family

• returning to work after having a baby

• losing your job

• divorce and separation

• losing a parent

• dealing with illness

• dealing with financial abuse

Add to these issues the financial consequences and disparity for women, and you might say we have cause for concern.

Women live longer than men (on average, five years), and despite the increasing workplace equality, they are still typically earning less than their male counterparts.

On average, Australian women earn 14.6% less than men, or around $251 a week, although gender pay gaps do differ across industries.


• have an average of 52.8% LESS superannuation at retirement than men

• are more likely to take time out of paid work (or take reduced work hours and pay) to care for their children, and

• in some cases for the ‘sandwich generation’, are also caring for ageing parents The sandwich generation is commonly caught in the financial AND emotional middle.

Now with the royal commission into the Australian aged care industry, there is growing concern for the quality of care and more focus on caring for loved ones at home. The financial obligations can be many and varied.

BEST PRACTICE In regards to gender equality, workplace policies are slowly changing. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) announced the list of employers promoting best practice in the area of promoting gender equality.

The main trends were:

• tailored parental leave policies to support both women and men

• initiatives to encourage women to return to work after a career break

• supporting men’s caring responsibilities

• robust analysis and correction of gender pay gaps

Taking action closer to home

While it is encouraging to see workplaces taking equality more seriously, there is no doubt that taking personal responsibility and action for your own current AND future financial situation reaps MANY rewards. Not just for women, but for whole families and entire communities.

Contact the office  to request our  ‘Top finance tips’.

Get Plogging!! Combining fitness with a good cause.

Did you say plogging?

Plogging is an exercise movement, originating in Sweden, that is spreading around the globe.

The word ‘plogging’ or ’plocka upp’ is a mix of Swedish words for ’to jog’ and ’to pick up’.

Started by Erik Ahlstrom after he noticed a lot of litter during his daily bicycle commute, plogging is collecting rubbish while on the run. Or for the walkers out there, it is known as plalks – walk while picking up rubbish.

Social media has helped spread the plogging movement. After appearing on Instagram back in 2016, this trend has gained popularity spreading to almost every continent.

It’s a run club with a purpose

This fitness craze has taken off in Australia, particularly in Byron Bay and Footscray, Victoria.

Members of the Byron Bay Runners group have taken to the trend with member Geoff Bensley founding the Facebook Plogging Australia Group.

The Byron Bay group usually focuses on the beach areas and keeping plastic out of the ocean. They find mostly single-use plastic bags, bottle tops, straws and cigarette butts.

The Footscray Rubbish Runners are also doing their bit to help the environment.

The group aptly began on Clean up Australia Day by Derek Atkinson and is gaining followers who have set their sights on improved fitness and weight loss while plogging.

Not purely an environmental benefit, you too could realise the varied health benefits of plogging including:

• obvious cardiovascular benefits of jogging, or walking, coupled with the added benefit of squatting, lunging and carrying

• flexibility required to reach and bend

• extra load and weight to challenge you • improvements in physical AND mental health

• plog in a group – walk or jog with friends

• helps control your weight

AND all the other benefits of jogging or walking:

• reduces stress by boosting serotonin in your brain

• improved self-esteem, and

• improved mental stamina

How can you get plogging?

• Scour social media for existing plogging groups

• Start your own local plogging group

• Create a work running group in your lunch hour

• Simply plog on your own

Any day is clean-up day – so encourage your friends and family to join the war on waste.

Australians produce 540 kg of household waste per person each year.

We all need to participate in reducing rubbish entering our waterways, our environment and the waste sent to landfill.

With our combined efforts, we can all do small acts of environmental kindness to make a massive difference.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” – Howard Zinn.

Create or join a community, business or school clean up event. Jump online at www.cleanup.