The most dangerous money trends on TikTok


Telstra shares dip on job cuts news, banks failing to help embattled home owners, and the most harmful personal finance trends on TikTok revealed. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

Telstra axes 2800 jobs, leaves shareholders nursing losses

Once the darling of investors, this week saw telco giant Telstra announce plans to axe 2800 jobs, with most of the roles to go by the end of 2024.

the most dangerous money trends on tiktok

It amounts to almost one in 10 Telstra employees losing their jobs.

Telstra CEO Vicki Brady says the job cuts will help the company make the investments needed to deliver improved connectivity for customers.

It's a claim that has raised a few eyebrows.

Telstra holds the unenviable position of topping the list of complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in the first quarter of 2024, attracting over 6700 complaints, almost double the number lodged against runner up Optus.

Telstra shareholders don't seem happy about the job cuts either.

Telstra Group (ASX: TLS) shares sank to a multi-year low of less than $3.50 on the close of trade on Thursday.

It's a far cry from the glory days of 2015, when Telstra stocks were trading for almost $6.

That said, the telco continues to be a solid dividend payer, with a dividend ratio of 5.11%.

Most harmful personal finance trends on TikTok

We could all do with extra cash right now.

But when it comes to online advice to pocket more income, be careful who you turn to.

A report from BestBrokers has identified the most deceptive and harmful personal finance trends going viral on TikTok.

It turns out side hustles are all the rage, with over 3.3 million posts wearing the #sidehustle hashtag on TikTok.

BestBrokers says some of the most popular posts promote starting a business that is simple to run and can generate up to a six-figure income without doing any work.

Smell a rat so far?

Other top trending personal finance topics include earning passive income, and making money through willpower, spiritual practices, and "manifestation" - in other words, thinking rich to become rich.

While Aussie finfluencers are required to have an Australian Financial Services Licence, there are no such requirements in plenty of other countries, where finfluencers are free to spruik whatever they choose.

For the full report head to the BestBrokers website.

Struggling home owners get no joy from lenders

The last quarter of 2023 saw close to 53,000 home owners apply for hardship relief with their mortgage - a 54% jump on the same period in 2022.

But lenders aren't making it easy for customers struggling with repayments.

An ASIC review of 10 major lenders found some banks make accessing financial assistance so difficult that over one-third of customers give up applying for help.

ASIC Chair, Joe Longo, says, "In the worst cases, lenders ignored hardship notices, effectively abandoning customers who needed their support.

"For people who reach out to their lender to signal they need support, this can be devastating."

ASIC has put lenders on notice to lift their game.

ASIC Commissioner Alan Kirkland says anyone worried about falling behind with loan repayments should contact their lender, and if you get no joy, lodge a complaint with the bank.

The urge to splurge costs us up to $3800 annually

Small treats are leaving a big hole in our bank balances.

Research by Finder shows the average Aussie spends around $2278 a year on impulse buys, everything from chocolate at the checkout to beauty products.

Gen Zs are most susceptible to impulse buying, spending $74 on unplanned purchases each week, or about $3848 annually.

Finder's Rebecca Pike says impulse spending is often associated with smaller purchases like snacks and drinks, but it can also be seen in big-ticket items like a last-minute holiday.

"When times are tough, some people tend to 'treat' themselves more as a way to lift their spirits," says Pike.

"But this habit can become a headache, especially if they are living beyond their means."

Pike adds that the uptake of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) could be linked to impulse buying.

Two in five Australians have used a BNPL service in the past six months, and Pike notes BNPL can make out-of-reach purchases seem affordable.

How to sell your home for $112,000 more

As power costs soar, home owners who 'green' their properties are reaping the rewards - and not just from lower electricity bills.

Energy efficient houses are selling for a price premium of $112,000, while units can command an extra $70,000 according to a recent Domain report.

Homes with eco-friendly features such as solar power or double glazed windows also attract 16.7% greater buyer interest, and sell faster.

Adding solar panels to a home can be a pricey project. However, low cost measures can make a difference.

Insulating a home can cost between $12 and $48 per square metre, and deliver a 20% reduction in energy consumption. It could be worth thinking about if you're planning to put your place on the market.

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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.
Jack Klaassen
May 27, 2024 9.58am

Just heared about "pump and dump". In fact this is happening in realestate (selling land) where they sell land in phases. By releasing a few blocks look at the response and up the price again. This is how the afforablity gets out of hand. Land gets so expensive our kids cant afford it any more to build their home.