What Lessons Should We Learn from the "No-Gifts" Royal Party?

Over the centuries, there are lots of proper “do’s” and “don’ts” that can be learned from the royal family. Whether you love the English throne and all of the rules and regulations that come with it, or you relish in watching the old traditions morph into newer, more with the times rules, then the “no-gifts” royal wedding can teach us a thing or two about change!

"No-Gifts" Royal Party

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot, it was not only an historical moment, but it was also gateway to change! Here are just a few things that we can take away from the royal wedding’s “no-gifts” policy and how we can implement change in our own lives! 

All the Parties

When you, or your friends, become parents, your child (and you, of course) are going to be invited to a LOT of children’s parties. Your group of friends is all having kids, and that means several kid’s presents every year. From your wallet, to your friends’ kids. 

If you’re a first time budgeter, you can start to budget all of those presents into your monthly budget. OR, you can set an example with your child and your family. When it comes time for your child’s birthday, you can advertise “no gifts please” on each and every invitation. 

By not having gifts to distract all the children, your child won’t end up with a room filled with things, but instead, can focus on something new. Their guests. The party. And even setting goals! This also breaks up the cycle of you buying gift after gift, year after year! 

Goal Setting

Something else we can learn from the royal party is that we can do something else with our important gatherings other than get presents. We can set goals, we can accomplish them with the help of our friends and family, and we can change the way we operate simply by saying “no gifts please”!

Here are a few things you can accomplish beyond receiving gifts at your next big gathering:
  • Donate. Instead of receiving presents for yourself, your child, or your new spouse, you can collect donations to the charity of your choice. Set a fund raising goal, then instead of gifts, you can ask your guests to donate to a good cause. 
  • Reduce Waste. More and more, individuals are trying to cut down on their wastefulness. Presents, plastic gifts, and wrapping paper can all add up to a lot of useless waste. Not opting for gifts can help you achieve your goal of trying to add less trash to our planet!
  • Focus. Receiving and giving gifts is a time honored way to show someone else that you care about them. This year, however, you can show you care by giving something more valuable. Your time. Your focus. Your love. Using action as a way to spread joy!
By separating yourself from the idea that parties, gatherings, and big events SHOULD include gift giving, then you can clearly start to make a difference. Whether you’re making a difference for yourself, your family, or a close friend, you can start to change expectations surrounding parties. 


If you want to achieve financial freedom, you have to learn where you can cut costs, where you can save more, and you will learn some harsh lessons along the way. Removing the expectations of gifts can teach us the real reason why we have asked all of our closest friends and family to be with us!

If you have children, then this may be an extremely important life lesson for them, if not for yourself. By asking for donations, or having your guests actively set a goal with your child in lieu of presents, then you are teaching yourself and your family about the importance of ACTION. 

For Instance, if your child wants a trampoline, then instead of presents or just GIVING your child a trampoline, your child can actively save up to achieve that goal! Using their chores, their party, and all of your collective resources to earn that trampoline. This instills action, goal setting, working for their achievements, and so much more!

All the Lessons We Can Take Away from the “No-Gifts” Royal Party

There are lots of truly important things we can learn from the royal “no-gifts” party. Whether we want our children to learn about setting and achieving goals, whether we want to reduce senseless waste, or whether we want to save money and break the gift cycle, there are so many things we can start to change! All it takes is action.

Lending Club Returns

Many peer to peer loan investors count on clear and accurate reporting from the P2P platform to validate their P2P investing strategies. In this post, I would like to discuss Lending Clubs rate of return reporting, how investors should interpret this piece of data and how it is useful in assessing the success or failure of your investment strategy. If you are a Lending Club investor then this is certainly something that you want to be familiar with and monitor on a regular basis. 

Lending Club calculates what they call Net Annualized Return for all investor accounts. They define this as “an annualized measure of the rate of return on the principal invested over the life of an investment”. In layman’s terms, this means the rate of return on an annual basis of the account balance. If the actual return is 10% in 6 months, then the annual return would be 20%. If the actual return is 30% over two years, then the annual return would be 15%. 


Since loans are always being added or paid down, and interest is received, the calculation can be very complicated. Annualized figures are normally based on average daily value of and account. Therefore, it is very good for every Lending Club investor that this information is provided. Having to do these calculations oneself would be a very difficult and time-consuming part of lending club strategies

Rate of return is also impacted (usually very significantly) by loans that default. Since the remaining principal is lost, the effect on rate of return is large. Loans generally default before most of the payments have been made so investors need to be aware of this possibility.

One way Lending Club has of help investors recognize the potential impact of loan defaults is a piece of data called Adjusted Net Annualized Return (ANAR). ANAR projects loan defaults and determines what the rate of return will be if those loans actually do default. To understand how this is determined, you must know that Lending Club tracks loans by status: Current, Grace Period, Late 16 to 30 Days, Late 31 to 120 Days. For each of these categories Lending Club has determined the likelihood of the loan defaulting. This is based on all previous loans that have been in those categories. When calculating ANAR, these percentages are included, thus adjusting the ANAR. 

For newer portfolios the ANAR can be significantly impacted by loans in any of these categories, even Grace Period. While the risk of default is low (about 25%), if the account has not had a lot of repayments then losing even 25% or the principal of one loan can make a difference. Fortunately, the investor can adjust the amount deducted from the balance in the calculation of ANAR. They do not need to use the default experience values provided by Lending Club. Many investors adjust these values and make changes over time.

Want to know more about investing on Lending Club and how to be successful? There is a wealth of information available on their site for new and experienced investors. In addition, you can learn more about P2P lending investing from Peer Loan Advisor. They are a team of professionals who are highly experienced in this type of investment. 

Can You Afford To Start Your Own Business?

If your current salary just isn't enough, it can be tempting to think that starting your own business and reaping the full rewards is all it will take to lead the lifestyle you want. However, before you make the big leap into going from being employed to being self-employed, it’s important to know whether your finances will allow for it. Here are some things to check before you begin. 

Have You Got Savings? 

No matter what type of business you want to start up, having money in your personal savings account is crucial. Even if you don’t need it to fund the business itself, you might need it to fund your own day to day living; there’s not many businesses that can make money right from day one – it often takes a little time (and in many cases a lot of time) to become established enough to provide a salary.

Start up business 

Have enough savings for a number of months (six would be ideal) so that your personal finances won’t suffer. You should also have enough saved to cover key upstart costs. Getting a professional website set up and marketing costs money you will need to pay out of pocket or through a loan.

What many people do to minimize costs which works rather well, is to start their new business as a ‘side hustle’. This way they still have their regular income, but they can also work on their new business in the evenings, early mornings, or at weekends. Once the new company is more established and making money, they quit their first job and work on their new one full time. It’s hard work, but it means you are financially secure. 

What Do You Need? 

If you've got the financial backup to start, or you’re happy to work two jobs at once, then you need to look into what your business is going to need. Do your research on websites like Peggy Webster to read an executive summary of what to do after creating your business plan. What is the next step? Computing equipment is always going to be important, but you might be able to utilize what you already have at home.

Other equipment that is more specialist will involve an investment, of course. However, if you take your time and do your research well, you should be able to find low cost options that work wonderfully for you. If you need tools to create circuit boards, for example, you’ll find that you can get them at a great price from Altium without compromising quality. Use forums, reading reviews, and ask questions to ensure you don’t spend more than you need to for the best on the market.

What Do You Know? 

When you start your own business it’s crucial that you sell products or services that you are an expert in. That way, you can become more established more quickly, since you can prove that you are an expert in your field to potential customers or clients. You will also save money this way since you won’t have to pay for any additional training or a higher education course. Instead, you can wow your clients with your resume, and build an effective brand for yourself from day one.

5 essential money podcasts to listen to in 2019

By now you've probably heard about the phenomenon that is podcasts, even if you haven’t become a podcast addict yourself just yet. From politics to true crime and even comedy, there’s an endless span of topics for listeners to choose from. 

But what about podcasts for anyone wanting to delve into personal finance? Unsurprisingly, there’s no lack of listening options. Tom Watson, Money Writer over at mozo.com.au, has shared five of his top money podcast picks you’ll want to tune in to this year.  

Planet Money 

Length: 20 minutes 

If you’re already immersed in the world of podcasts, chances are you've come across one of NPR’s (National Public Radio) shows. And for anyone with an interest in money and the economy, Planet Money is the pick of the lot. 

money podcasts

The twice-weekly podcast takes listeners into the wider world of economics, with a variety of wacky and interesting topics including a glimpse into espionage and collusion in the raisin farming industry and a history of the minimum wage. Trust me, they’re both excellent! 

This is a great podcast to pique your interest in the way money permeates so many parts of life, plus at 20 minutes long each episode can be easily digested during your commute. 

Breaking Banks 

Length: 55 minutes 

Open banking, blockchain, digital wallets. Don’t worry if these terms mean nothing to you, because the Breaking Banks fintech podcast will bring you up to speed in no time. 

The weekly podcast runs through the latest and most interesting developments in the world of banking and financial technology, and is essential listening for any banking and fintech junkies. But if you’re just getting started, don’t worry, it’s equally digestible for anyone curious about the future of banking and finance. 

Stacking Benjamins

Length: 70 minutes 

Money and personal finance can be subjects many people just don’t want to think about, let alone listen to an hour-long podcast on. But there’s one show that makes these topics not only light-hearted, but often laugh-out-loud funny - Stacking Benjamins. 

With a new episode every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, hosts Joe and OG take listeners through issues such as retirement, real estate and managing debt in a way that makes it feel like you’re just listening to friends - while you’re actually learning about personal finance! 

The Dave Ramsey Show

Length: 40 minutes

Hosted by businessman and author Dave Ramsey, this podcast tackles the practical personal finance topics that crop up in everyday life, such as setting up a budget and saving up for a car. 

Dave takes calls from listeners with real questions about their financial lives and dishes out straightforward advice to help them get back on track. And with new episodes almost every day, it’s easy to pick and choose the topics that interest you the most. 

Freakonomics Radio 

Length: 55 minutes

You may recognise the name - that’s because Freakonomics Radio is from the same guys who wrote the best-selling 2005 book Freakonomics. Like Planet Money, this is a podcast aimed at providing a deep dive into socio economic issues you’d likely never think about yourself. 

With topics such as ‘How to be happy’ and ‘The stupidest thing you can do with your money’, host Stephen Dubner takes listeners on a different 55 minute journey each week with commentary from a range of experts and academics. 

About the writer: Tom Watson is a Money Writer and banking expert at financial comparison website mozo.com.au. A self-confessed podcast lover, Tom is passionate about sharing tools and information with others to help kick start their own personal finance journeys.