bosco Bosco Tan

All articles by bosco

 

Valentine’s Day Spending Data Surprises

Valentine’s Day remains a source of controversy and tension for many people.  Some complain it’s a “Hallmark” holiday that tries to commercialise love by forcing people to shop.  In recent years, resistance has grown, so much so, that media outlets have speculated that Valentine’s Day might be dying. At Pocketbook, we let the numbers be...
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Plan To Join A Gym In 2017? Read This First.

How often do you hear people say they’re finally going to get in shape in the New Year?  It’s a great goal, but you can be excused for doubting whether the person is actually going to see this resolution through. We’ve all been there, and we’re skeptical, too.  So this year, we decided to see whether...
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Is your bank reducing interest rates this August?

In May, your bank passed on the RBA rate drop when the cash rate dropped to a record low 1.75%. A few days ago, the RBA has announced that there would be a further 0.25% reduction to the cash rate, taking it to a staggeringly low 1.5%. While most banks passed the May rate cut...
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When is your bank dropping your interest rate?

The recent interest rate drop from the RBA came as surprise to many experts. Since then, all major banks have announced that they are passing on the rate cut either in part or in full. The majority of the banks are dropping rates around 0.19% to 0.25%. With ANZ having the lowest rate drop of...
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10 ways to make the most out of Pocketbook

It’s 2016. If you are like most people, the new year brings a few resolutions for your finances – making more, saving for something big, or just generally wanting to get a little “better”. Our mission at Pocketbook is to make the process of getting better with your finances easy. So to start the year, I...
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Netflix is the new king of Australian TV subscriptions for digital natives

EDIT: We have adjusted our claims that Netflix is the leading subscription service today compared to Foxtel upon learning that business customers contribute to only 1% of their 2.8m customer base. We believe it is unlikely that Netflix has already achieved a total user base of 2m+ in Australia. However, given the nature of our sample, we believe our...
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The Rise and Rise of Uber in Australia

Uber launched in Australia 2 years ago, in October 2012. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s a quick recap. Uber is a car ride-sharing service backed by Google – it allows you use its app to catch a ride from one of its drivers. Just about anyone with a car can be a driver...
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Does The Opal Card Actually Save You Money?

Over the past few months, we have conducted a number of consumer investigations to help you save money without changing your lifestyle. Our Netflix and IKEA stories have been so well received that we’re continuing our series of investigations. Playing our role as the Mythbusters to your finances. With the roll-out of the new Sydney transit card,...
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How The Government Uses Data To Influence You [A Case Study]

Humor me with this: A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? If you answered, $0.10, you’d be surprised to find that it’s wrong. Seriously, do the (simple) math. The reality is that a majority of people get that question wrong....
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Why doing taxes on time can save you tonnes of money

There are few perpetual truths in the known universe. Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the price of a carton of milk will always go up, the music of The Wiggles hypnotizes kids. You may have also heard about death and taxes. While there’s the certainty of paying taxes, the process...
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Announcing The Pocketbook-Zookal Scholarship For Student Entrepreneurs

15 years ago, if you wanted to be a business owner, you needed a shop front. Then you needed to furnish it and hire people to help you out with it. To get the word out about your new business, you needed to go through these intermediaries – called the media – and pay them...
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Fraud Alert – Beware of Neweb Technologies Charging You $50

LATEST: This alert has been included by the Australian Government StaySmartOnline initiative with a high priority. You can also read the developments which lead to our alert in this news story. In October last year, we blogged about our fraud alert service – an added layer of protection for Pocketbook users. There’s a new global fraud that’s currently...
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Why You Shouldn't Pay Bills Late From March 2014

As of March 12 this year (just 4 weeks away), the Australian laws for credit reporting is changing. Most people (60% according to the Australian Retail Credit Association) don’t know about this change, and it is perhaps the most significant legislation change to your personal finances in your lifetime. So it’s worth sitting up and...
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Vote for Your Must-Have Pocketbook Feature Now

Over the past year, we’ve had close to 15,000 emails from our users like you. We love it – hearing all about what you love and most importantly hate about Pocketbook. 2014 is all about giving our users more of what they want. Making Pocketbook smarter and more suited to your lifestyle. This starts with...
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Mortgage stress: what you need to know before you buy a first home

Last year, Mortgage Choice released a report highlighting the prevalence of mortgage stress for first home buyers. An alarming 53% experienced mortgage stress. There are some evidence that it does get better....
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Best OzBargain’s this week – Dec 13

This week’s OzBargain deals are anything but run of the mill. We think of it as Ninja Santa. Some great hacks on big items as well as some small things that serve as great Kris Kringle inspiration. Let’s get to it – starting with a biggie!...
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Best OzBargain's this week – Nov 30

It’s the last few days of November. December is all about gifts and celebrations. It’s also about “out with the old and in with the new”. This week in OzBargain has all of the above. Let’s get into it....
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Rent or buy my house? – the property investor test

It’s an age old debate – rent or buy your house. The great Australian dream says buying is always better – it is the key to financial freedom. However, over the course of 2013, we’ve seen property prices skyrocket, particularly in Sydney. Median house prices have now reached $700,000, while average rental prices have stayed...
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Top 5 OzBargain’s this week – Nov 15th

It’s almost Christmas gift buying time, and this week in OzBargain perfectly reflects this. Plenty of gift ideas here for everyone, and some much needed party essentials along the way too! Let’s get into it....
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Pocketbook picks Melbourne Cup winner

Tomorrow is the race that stops the Australian nation, and every Australian and their dog will have a way of picking who the winner is. Every year, I tend to either get an autopick or follow what the top pundits say in the paper. Needless-to-say, I never ever win. This year, I’ve done something different....
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Top 5 OzBargain's this week – Nov 1st

We’re back with the best bargains this week from OzBargain. This week, there is plenty of travel and tech, starting off with something for the home handyman....
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Is Winning X-Factor Financial Freedom?

So tonight is the final of Australian X-Factor season 5. It’s been heck of a series, and unearthing Dami Im has been a revelation. There’s no doubt the huge marketing juggernaut like X-Factor and Idol has created stars, but do the winners actually find financial freedom?...
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Only 1 week left for your tax return… or not?

There’s one week left before tax season is over according to the ATO. And let me guess, you haven’t lodged. Unless you’re lucky enough to be included in ATO’s new push service. You’ll just have to suck it up and get your filing out the door. Or do you?...
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Pocketbook Security – Fraud Alert Service

Security is one of our top priorities at Pocketbook. To this end, we wanted to tell you about one of our services which you may not know about – Fraud Alerts....
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Top 5 OzBargain's this week – Oct 18th

Back again with the best bargains this week from OzBargain. These are the best bargains we saw this week. There’s a bit of everything, electronics, flights, women’s fashion. Something for the whole family!...
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4 great travel websites you may not know

I recently took a short trip to the other side of the world. I did it on a budget of less than $5,000 per person for 2 weeks, including flights and accommodation. All with the help of a few websites which you may not know about. If you’re travelling soon, you’d want to have a...
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Money tips with experts – MoneySmart week

Last week wasn’t all just about the Election. It was also MoneySmart week – a key initiative on financial literacy from the Australian Government....
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Top 5 OzBargain's this week – Sept 6th

OZBargain is something of an institution for many bargain hunting Australians. Many follow it religiously on a daily basis. To save you from sifting through all the offers available this week, we put together a summary of our top 5 this week....
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How will the federal election affect your money

The 2013 Federal Election is right around the corner this Saturday. You may be on the cusp of making your decision on who you should vote for. I know I am. Here is a summary of 4 ways which the election outcome can affect your wallet....
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6 ways to save $50 this week

Happy Monday! In any given week, roughly 60% of our users get a Safely Spend notification to tell them they’re close to overspending or have overspent. So here are 5 practical tips to save $50....
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5 ways to maximise your eBay sell price

I’ve been a huge eBay fan for over 10 years. I’ve bought a car, sold a lot of musical instruments and generally think “eBay” first when I want to buy something. It has always been a life saver for me when I’m running short on funds. Over the years, I’ve learnt a few things about...
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Tax tip – top 5 deductions to not miss

Tax time brings a bit of stress and angst for most Australians. So much work to prepare and then… oh the mystery of how much you’ll even get back. No wonder the advertising you see around tax time is all about speed – “next day returns” and “30 minute consultations” – however to get the...
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Pocketbook Mobile App – way better than your online banking app

We’re very excited to announce the release of the Pocketbook mobile app on iPhone. It’s been hard work for a few months, designing and building the app with the same ridiculous simplicity in mind as our website. We promise it will be the simplest spending and expense tracker, or budgeting app you’ve ever used. You may...
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Safely Spend – Ridiculously Simple Budgeting

In a recent guest post at Women In the Black, I referred to the TED talk where ad exec Rory Sutherland suggested that – the simplest way to help people save is with a red button on the living room wall. It’s all about the simplicity of the interface. So, in keeping to this thinking,...
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Editing categories – the feature you wanted!

Many of you have overwhelmingly asked for more flexibility with categorisation. You’ve asked for features like bulk categorisation, as well as renaming and deleting the categories in Pocketbook. We’ve listened!...
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Radio interview with 6PR in Perth

We had the privilege on Monday to speak to Jason Jordan (@jasonjordan) of Perth’s 6PR Here’s the audio PS. We’re still working on our radio voices. So please be gentle. Bosco...
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Want your bank in Pocketbook? Vote now!

You’ve asked us via our feedback tab why we haven’t supported your bank with feeds. We’re getting there as fast as we can. To help us prioritise, we thought we’d put together a little poll. If you’re passionate about your bank being included, and want to stop using our manual account feature, get your friends...
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Infographic – How we spent during Christmas

We implemented the Pocketbook Gift tag in time for Christmas presents last year. Now that December is well and truly dusted, the results are out! We decided to have a look at how we all spent during Christmas. You should find this interesting. Summary of findings We Aussies are all very generous gift buyers: –...
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Buying a Car with Pocketbook

I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, and in an effort to reward myself for making it. I decided to buy myself a car as a present. This time round, I wanted to be a little smarter with my purchase decision. Instead of just setting myself a spend limit on the purchase price, I...
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Saving on weekly travel is easy

Being frugal is pretty hard these days. Often there’s either too much information, or not enough – making it difficult to act. Public transport in Australia is exactly this. Too much information on train platforms, ferry stops and websites, and not enough information for me to figure out exactly how I can cut down my...
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Free Money for 6 Months

Guest Post by Tim Robinson I love a bargain. Who doesn’t? What could be better than a bargain? Free Money! Right now, I’m collecting free money almost every day. It’s not a lot, but it does add up. And I’m getting it just by buying my groceries, fuel, beer and other everyday necessities that comprise...
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Complete your financial picture with manual account setup

You’ve been asking for it. Now it’s all yours! To give you all the flexibility you need to compile the complete picture of your finances, we’ve created the manual account setup feature. It’s really simple. For all the institutions we’ve yet to support with live feeds, you can now manually set these up in 3...
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Helping myself with new years resolutions

With Christmas now in the rear-view and new years eve right around the corner. I’m starting to think about resolutions for 2013. I typically set myself 3 goals; one on health, one on finance and one on the other parts of my life. I’m usually very gung-ho for a couple of months, then the enthusiasm...
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Winning at Stocktake Sales in 3 steps

With Christmas around the corner, Boxing Day and stocktake sales are no doubt on your mind. That TV or fridge you’re saving up for… or that new work outfit for 2013. Though I don’t do it religiously myself, I have braved the crowds a few times. Often, I find that it is too easy to...
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We say Merry Christmas with the new "Gift" tag

We launched a cool new feature today just in time for the holidays. We know you buy gifts across multiple categories of spending. But whether it’s clothing, airfares, electronic gadgets, you still want it tagged as a gift for future tracking. So we’ve created the red “Gift” tag to help you see exactly how generous...
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Let's Play – Introducing Pocketbook Analyse

This week we launched Pocketbook Analyse, and I wanted to take some time to explain some of its features. We built the new Analyse tool based on your feedback. You told us you wanted to splice and dice historical transactions to better understand how you spend. This is a first step. The Spending Wheel As...
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Save money on petrol – planning is key

It seems like I routinely pay $50 for less than half a tank of petrol these days. And until my recent move off the corporate salary, I’ve never really analysed how much I spent on fuel. In 2010, Australian Bureau of Statistics found Australian households spend $51 a week on fuel. With petrol prices skyrocketing...
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Hate Bank Fees? – Deal With Them in Real-Time

Bank fees are sneaky! Whenever looking at my transactions online, I always find myself balling my fist and gesturing in rage. All these poorly reasoned and described fees! I wish there was a simple way to react in real time. Here’s a quick list of some fees I hate. ATM Fees: These are probably the most...
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Telling Friends About Pocketbook Is Now Easier

Personal finance topics like buying shares and saving for a house are common Sunday barbecue conversations with family or friends. Certainly, whenever there’s a cheap airline promo, emails make the rounds pretty quickly among my mates. Talking to our customers, we’ve learnt that Pocketbook is starting to creep into these conversations too. Users have recommended...
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Am I “normal” in the way I spend?

As I use Pocketbook to breakdown my spending habits, I can’t help but wonder; Am I ‘normal’ in the way I spend? Do I save enough? For peace of mind, I started to scour the Internet for answers. Here’s a few reference points I found that helped. Spending in buckets, not bucket-loads of spending In...
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