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While miners are earning record wages, many are blowing their money and wasting a good opportunity. Australian Mining spoke to one miner and compiled a list of some of the worst examples.
1. “21yo female in a FIFO administrative role, earning total package of approximately $80,000. Treats her wage as totally disposable and spends it entirely on clothes etc. After talking to her about investing for her future her only comment was that this type of money is easy to come by and she wasn’t worried.”
2. “A middle aged man who had been in the mining industry since he left school. Lives in the moment, no kids not married, lives out of his car, has no possessions and has not invested in his future as he believes he will always earn in excess of $130,000.”
3. “All mines have a zero tolerance to alcohol and drugs, and each morning workers are breath tested before entering site. If they register over 0.05% blood alcohol they are terminated.”
“The culture of some FIFO miners is that termination doesn’t matter and they can easily get a job elsewhere. A 38-year-old man decided to have a few too many drinks one night, blew over the next day, and got sacked. He said at the time that he didn’t care, but he found he couldn’t find a job for a while, and put his wife and three kids through a hard time.”
4. “Young people moving to mining communities like Mt Isa, have just left home, earn a large wage but have never been responsible for their own finances. They spend up big on cars, motorbikes, and boats but do not realise the cost of living in these communities is so high. The average rent is $500p/w for a small flat and a weekly site at the caravan park costs around $300-400. After a few years these people usually leave the area to go back near their families, without making the most of their financial opportunity.”
5. “Once a year our superannuation company attends site and gives a talk to whoever turns up. This is usually only admin people as the operational miners are never taken off-line because it will mean loss of production. These are the people who are most likely the ones that inevitably blow their money because they have not been offered the education to make healthy financial decisions and think about their future.”
6. “A single female in her late 20’s moved to Mt Isa, not a miner but working a lower paid government job. On her single wage she bought three houses over a two year period, when she left she sold each one for between 1-2 times what she paid for them, then reinvested that money into other property in the next boom location. It was a good example of a small wage earner making smart financial decisions.”
7. “I have not seen or heard of much genuine effort or demonstration by mining companies to educate their workers to make healthy financial decisions for themselves or their communities.”
“Miners are lucky enough to be earning a good wage in such tough times, but some workers don’t appreciate just how good we have it.”
North Brisbane Home Loans mortgage professional Patrick Cranshaw told Australian Mining it was important resources companies did more to offer financial advice and education to their employees.
He said while some workers would not need or want the advice, it was important the option to have training was made available.
“If you don’t know what you don’t know, how can you make any informed decision about your financial future?” he said.