Breasts and Botox: Aussies among world's top spenders

Breasts and Botox: Aussies among world's top spenders

Australians are among the world’s top spenders on plastic surgery – ranking in 23rd position – with more than 100,000 procedures performed in 2011, a study reveals.

At the top of the list was the United States, racking up a whopping 3.1 million procedures, ahead of Brazil with more than 1.4 million procedures in 2011, according to data from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. While the US ranked first in the number of procedures performed, it ranked fourth in procedures per capita, behind South Korea, Greece and Italy.

The results revealed some interesting trends in aesthetic preferences.

More than 40,000 Aussies went under the knife to have breast augmentation surgery, making it the most common plastic surgery performed that year. While the top non-surgical procedure performed was, Botulinum Toxin Type A, better known as botox, accounting for almost 70,000 jabs.

The US unsurprisingly has a penchant for breast augmentation, while three Asian countries – China, Japan and South Korea – ranked in the top-five countries performing rhinoplasties (nose jobs). Botox remained the top non-surgical procedure performed worldwide, while the top surgical procedure overall was lipoplasty, which is becoming ever-more popular as countries battle the obesity epidemic.

The global plastic surgery craze is showing no signs of slowing down with nearly 15 million cosmetic procedures performed around the world in 2011, it found.

The cost of beauty

A separate study has revealed that cosmetic surgery gave the US economy a lift to the tune of $10.4 billion in 2011. And while formal statistics aren’t collected in Australia, experts estimated that $850 million would be spent on cosmetic surgery last year.

Dr Jeremy Hunt, a plastic surgeon in Sydney and spokesperson for the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons told Fairfax he has seen an increase in the number of people seeking non-surgical solutions to ageing.

“If you look at the trends coming from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there is certainly an increase in the number of non-surgical interventions such as Botox and the use of fillers and I think Australia is embracing those products at the same kind of rate as the United States,” he said.

Most health insurance policies in Australia don’t cover the cost of cosmetic surgeries to enhance appearance, and patients will typically need to foot the bill – which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the procedure. You could take out a personal loan or use a credit card to pay for a procedure, but an automatic savings plan will help you reach your goal debt-free.

For instance, if you deposit $1000 into a high-interest savings account paying, say, 4.5 percent interest and add $250 per month you’ll reach a goal of $10,000 in around three years, assuming the interest rate remains steady.

By comparison, spending $10,000 on a credit card and making only the minimum repayment each month (around $200) at a rate of 14 percent could see you forking out an extra $13,567 in interest and take you more than 36 years to repay the debt in full.

Costs aside, remember that despite the best efforts of plastic surgeons to deliver a more youthful appearance, the ageing process is an inevitable reality.

 

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Learn more about savings accounts

Can you set up direct debits from a savings account?

It’s not usually possible to set up a direct debit from your savings account to cover ongoing expenses or bills, as savings accounts are structured around growing your wealth by earning interest on regular deposits, and discouraging withdrawals.

Some transaction accounts allow you to set up direct debits and also earn interest, though you may not enjoy as much flexibility as a dedicated transaction account, or get as high an interest rate as a dedicated savings account.

What is a savings account?

A savings account is a type of bank account in which you earn interest on the money you deposit. This makes it one of the easiest and safest investment tools.

Who has the highest interest rates for savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to know who currently has the highest interest rate is to use a savings account comparison tool.

Can I overdraft my savings account?

A lot of savings accounts won’t let you overdraw. Some will allow this feature but you’ll need to apply first. It’s best to read the fine print and check with your lender whether this is a feature they offer. It can be a helpful addition, but as your lender can charge you a fee as well as interest for going into negative numbers, it’s best to avoid overdrafting when possible.

Can you have a joint savings account?

Yes. Joint savings accounts can be useful for two or more people wanting to combine their savings to meet shared financial goals, including spouses, flatmates and business partners.

Some joint savings accounts require all parties to sign before they can access the money. While less convenient, this extra security can help encourage all parties to meet their shared financial goals.

Other joint savings accounts allow any of the account holders to access the money. These accounts can be convenient for financially responsible couples that trust one another implicitly. 

How can I get a $4000 loan approved?

While personal loans and medium amount loans don’t offer guaranteed approval, there are steps you can take to help increase the likelihood of your application being approved, including:

  • Fulfilling the eligibility criteria (providing ID, proof of residency, proof of income etc.)
  • Checking your credit history (you can order one free copy of your credit file per year, and make sure that there aren’t any errors that may be bringing down your credit score)
  • Comparing carefully before applying (making multiple loan applications can mean having your credit checked multiple times, which can look bad to some lenders and reduce your chances of being approved by them)

How do I open a savings account?

Opening a savings account is a relatively simple process. If you’ve found an account with a suitable interest rate, you’ll just need to get in contact with your chosen lender via a branch, phone call or hop online to begin the process. 

You may be required to provide:

  • Personal details, including identification (driver’s license, passport etc.)
  • Tax file number
  • Employment details

What is a good interest rate for a savings account?

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with savings accounts is to look for a rate that is higher than the CPI inflation rate. This number is constantly changing, so check the Reserve Bank of Australia’s page. If you aren’t earning interest above this then the value of your money will go backwards over time.

How to make money with a savings account?

Savings accounts make you money by earning interest on your savings. The more money you deposit, the longer you leave it in the account, and the higher the account’s interest rate, the more interest you’ll be paid by the bank or financial institution, and the more your wealth will grow.

To make sure your savings account makes money and doesn’t lose money, it’s important to maintain a large enough minimum balance that the annual interest earned exceeds any annual fees charged on the account.

Should I open a Commonwealth locked savings account?

If you have trouble saving money, a Commbank locked savings account could be a potential solution. A locked savings account won’t let you make withdrawals and as such, it can help you grow your savings balance if you keep topping it up. 

The Commonwealth locked savings account advertises high-interest rates and minimal maintenance fees, along with a host of other incentives that will encourage you not to touch the money. 

The account offers a higher interest rate for each month that you make limited or no withdrawals, as well as regular deposits. 

To qualify for a Commonwealth locked savings account with the advertised features, you will need to fulfil specific criteria such as:

  • Depositing a fixed minimum amount into the account every month.
  • Making a fixed number of deposits each month.
  • Making a minimum or no withdrawals each month.
  • Maintaining a minimum account balance.

How to open a savings account for my child?

Some banks and financial institutions allow parents to open a bank account for their child as soon as it is born, and start depositing funds to go towards the child’s future.

Children’s savings accounts generally don’t have fees, and are structured to help develop positive financial habits by limiting withdrawals, encouraging regular deposits, and earning interest on the savings, similarly to standard savings accounts.

Can you direct deposit to a savings account?

Yes. You can make one off payments or set up regular direct deposits into a savings account. This can be organised easily through online banking or by making deposits in a branch. Talk to your lender to find out the easiest way for you to set up direct deposits.

Can you set up a savings account online?

Yes. Several large and small banks offer online applications for savings accounts, and there are also online-only financial institutions to consider.

Online-only savings accounts are often less expensive than other savings accounts, though they may not offer the same flexibility, features, or face-to-face service as more traditional savings accounts.

What is the interest rate on savings accounts?

As banks frequently change their rates, the most accurate way to look at interest rates on savings accounts is to use a savings accounts comparison tool. When you look at the savings rate check what the maximum and minimum rates are. Often banks will offer you a promotional rate for the first few months which is competitive, but then revert back to a base rate which can sometimes be less than inflation. Ongoing bonus rates are often a safer bet as they will keep rewarding you with the maximum rate, provided you meet their criteria