How much your old Barbie could be worth


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How to cash in on Barbie-mania, why 30 is the sweet spot to buy a first home, and Dan sets a new standard for "Yeah, nah...can't afford it". Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Time to dig deep for Barbie gold

Australia is reaching peak Barbie-mania as Barbie the movie, starring Australian actor Margot Robbie, launches in cinemas this weekend.

how much your old barbie could be worth

Industry insiders are tipping Barbie could earn 10 times the film's $US100 million production cost.

Renewed interest in Barbie certainly isn't hurting the doll's maker - Mattel.

Stocks in Mattel are currently trading at $US22, up from $US16 in March.

Barbie's return to the silver screen (over 15 other Barbie movies have been made) is also expected to boost the value of vintage Barbie dolls.

Before raiding the kiddies' toy collection with hopes of making a motza, be aware that a much-loved Barbie sporting frizzy hair and crayon-embellished make-up won't make the grade as a collectible.

The big money goes to limited edition dolls and Barbie figurines who've never left their box (let alone Barbie Land).

A 2010 "She said Yes" Ken and Barbie boxed set is currently listed for sale on eBay with a price tag of $145,825 (postage extra).

Unusually, Ken features a beard, and as we all know, Barbie likes her man clean-shaven.

A deposit on a home versus a bearded Ken? It's a tough choice. But maybe not for the 100,000 Barbie doll collectors worldwide.

Is 30 the sweet spot for buying a first home?

If you're not in your first home by age 30, the odds of never buying a place start to climb steeply.

That's the finding of a new report from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

It says home ownership rates for people aged 30 have fallen from a high of 65% among those born in the late 1950s to around 45% among today's 30-year-olds.

The concern is that as the current crop of 30-somethings grow older, they are even less likely to buy a first home.

AHURI says the chief hurdle is stumping up a first-home deposit.

That's seeing mums and dads come to the rescue, but it doesn't have to mean draining the family kitty.

According to AHURI, a $10,000 helping hand can almost double the probability of a young adult buying their first home.

Allowing an adult child to live in the family home can also make a valuable difference.

Every year a young person lives at home, as opposed to renting, increases their likelihood of buying a home by 30-40%.

Dan sets important spending example

Admitting you can't afford something isn't easy at the best of times.

But sharing the news with 7 million Victorians is next-level honesty.

So it's hats off to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who this week pulled the plug on hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Having crunched the numbers, the Victorian state government realised the Games would cost over $6 billion - more than double the estimated economic benefit.

While the news is disappointing for athletes and Victorians, it's a powerful reminder that sometimes we just have to admit we can't afford a big ticket buy.

Yet, Finder research shows one in five Australians admit to spending beyond their means to save face or to keep up with the Joneses.

Maybe Daniel Andrews will inspire more of us to say, "Yeah, nah...I can't afford it."

Farewelling 'free' subscriptions sees Aussies save $600 annually

Ever forgotten to cancel a free trial? Almost one in five of us have according to Finder.

The catch is that many subscription services automatically roll over from a free trial period onto a paid plan.

As household budgets tighten, savvy subscribers are clamping down on freebies that eventually burn a hole in hip pockets.

NAB research shows one in three Australians have cut back on subscription TV, music streaming and other subscriptions, saving an average of $52 each month or $624 each year.

NAB Personal Banking Executive Kylie Young, says "Signing up to a new streaming service to take advantage of a free trial period can be great, but when you 'set and forget' it's just as easy to 'set and regret'."

She adds, "Regularly checking what you're signed up to can help you work out if you're getting the best value, whether there is a cheaper plan available or an option to split the cost with a partner or housemate."

Buy now, struggle later

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) says almost two-thirds of people seeking financial counselling are grappling with BNPL debts.

The use of BNPL has ballooned over the past year, with soaring numbers of people using BNPL to pay for basics.

Seven out of 10 financial counsellors say their clients commonly use BNPL to buy food.

FCA CEO Fiona Guthrie, says, "BNPL was never intended as a way to pay for everyday living expenses."

She adds that BNPL debts can easily snowball, "leading far more people to seek financial counselling."

The Federal Government has announced that BNPL providers will be required to comply with modified responsible lending obligations. The finer details are still being worked out.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.