Karen Newton started from nothing. With a debilitating neurological illness, she couldn't work and lost everything.
Her saviour was a special loan with no strings attached.
Karen got the money from No Interest Loan Schemes, NILS, run by community-based groups like Anglicare, neighbourhood welfare centres and the Salvation Army.More stories from Today Tonight
"I didn't even have a bed. I got $1500 to buy a bed and a comfortable chair I desperately needed for the pain I suffer," Karen said.
The Salvo's Tony Devlin says they're for people struggling on a low income and desperately need home essentials.
Repayments are automatically debited from their accounts at an agreed rate, but with no interest.
“Things like fridges, washing machines, car repairs, dental or medical procedures and aids. Don't go to a fringe lender that's an important message, come and see us," Tony said.
So how can you make money grow? What is the secret to getting rich?
Using ASIC's online Money HealthCheck quizz, Today Tonight tested how parents Lorraine and Shawn Swart, and student Stephanie Watson, managed their money.
Lorraine and Shawn and their two children have one income, a mortgage, and a few thousands dollars in an offset savings account to reduce their home loan principle.
So how do they rate in terms of money health?
“We've brought our super over here from the UK. We've put our life insurance in place, got our wills in place. But it would be good to have a better plan to put some more money regularly back into the super," Shawn said.
Overall, Shaun and Lorraine rate very well.
Stephanie Watson, 24, is a student working odd-jobs and paying rent. Stephanie has $500 in her savings account with no debts.
“It just reminded me of things that I should keep in the back of my mind day-to-day like tax, like super, like insurance. The best thing is to just not to tempt yourself, so at the moment I'm not buying magazines or walking into stores or going online and reading travel blogs," Stephanie said.
Stephanie's going well, but she could get rich, easily.
Peter Switzer, founder of Switzer Financial Planning, says people who create a budget first of all are on the stepping stones to managing their money more effectively.
“If they can find $6 a day, they can find about $42 a week across 52 weeks a year. Just simplifying it, it's about $2000. If you put $2000 into super over a 10-year period between the ages of 21 and 30, that will be about $20,000. That then rolls over about 8 per cent and by the time you retire it is going to be about half a million dollars. But if you keep doing it from the age of 30 until you retire, that half a million will become $1 million dollars," Peter said.
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