Waste not want not is a saying that dates back to 1772. There are two meanings. The first is “do not waste as you might need it in the future”. Secondly, the “less we waste the less we will lack in the future”. It is […]
It is in your interest to know what is going on with your bank accounts. Not only bank accounts but all your financial interests. While some people trust financial advisers and accountants it is always in your interest to check any documents they give you or ask you to sign. Take your time and if necessary take them away and sign another day!
In early May I wrote a post about The Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry. I notice that it is now called The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. This is the royal commission that almost did not happen until the Liberal National Coalition under the leadership of Malcolm Turnbull changed their mind. I wondered whether Malcolm Turnbull, once a merchant banker, had a view that the banks could be trusted. If that was the case, he has had a surprise, given the bad behaviour of the banks and other parts of the financial industry that is being uncovered.
As of the 3rd May 2018 the commission had received 4501 public submissions, now there are 6320 (banking 64%; financial advice 10%; superannuation 10%). There are considerable concerns about the financial services industry, but mostly about the banks. People have entrusted their life savings with the banks and these have then disappeared into the ether. Take the couple who sold their property for $2.7m. They invested it all with Macquarie Bank who carelessly managed their money. Today, all they have left is $400,000. Where did it all go? Some of it went into the pocket of financial advisers and the rest through bad investment decisions their capital kept disappearing and disappearing. Did the bank care? Probably, the financial adviser has moved overseas or now lives in Bali and eating the cream that was skimmed off the top of each investment move.
When you are investing money, you must make sure, it is in your interest first and foremost. It is important to diversify. Don’t put all your money into the one investment option, like the couple who had $2.7m to invest. Many of us are not sophisticated investors, including me. But as I have researched the area I may be more informed than others who blindly trust the banker or financial adviser with that nice smile or welcoming handshake. That is not enough!
I always found it annoying that it was much easier to find the minimum monthly payment amount on my credit card than the total amount due for the month. I was pleased to see this month that the ANZ Bank is providing more information on their credit card statements. They give a minimum payment warning. This is now an Australian Government requirement.
Say you have a balance of $2,500 on your credit card. The monthly minimum payment is about $51. If you no longer use your credit card and continue to pay only the minimum amount each month, it will take a very long time to pay down the debt. Yes, around 23 years and 11 months before you are out of debt! Interest charges are around $6,800. This is, NOT in your interest. That little minimum monthly payment can get you deeper and deeper into debt. If you can’t pay off the monthly amount, then maybe it is time to cut up that credit card. It is time to reshape your thinking about what is important in life. Repair instead of replacing. Reuse instead of disposing. Repurpose – for example use a 2-litre milk container to store your home-made washing detergent liquid. Think about it! We all live in a happier space if we don’t have debt hanging over our head.
If you have fallen on tough times, then talk to the bank. It is time to work out the best payment plan and reduce the amount you will pay in the long-term – it is in your interest!
Life is full of lessons as we LEARN, PLAN AND LIVE. Some lessons I have learnt quickly, others I have taken a while to learn. It has been a busy week at our small castle – our home, this week. Every home should be a castle, our place of refuge, a place where we are warm, comfortable and happy. Our home is where we learn. We learn to take our first steps, we plan our dreams and goals, we live our life. We may go out to work, we visit friends, we go on holidays, but then we always come home to our castle – our home.
This past week my One&Only and I have worked on a project to update our chicken coop – Cluckingham Palace. I will take photos once the project is complete!
This weekend it is all about the royal family and Windsor Castle with the marriage of Prince Harry & Meghan. What an extravaganza. Royal wedding fever is taking over our lives. Over two Billion people will be watching! Yes, I will be one of them! I would not like to disappoint! I got out my tiara, the one I bought years ago, the fake one, when I was designing the Princess Chickens egg carton label. The tiara was used as the focal point. Even with its fake gems it looked quite good. The image below is the one I designed when we lived in Maleny (since updated). This is how I amuse myself in retirement! However, there will be nothing fake about the tiara and jewellery that will be worn by Meghan Markle for her wedding in about seven hours time. The royal family are taking care of the wedding bill. Prince William and Kate’s wedding cost $34m. My nieces wedding, 2 weeks ago, was very elaborate but did not cost even $1m. How much will Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s wedding cost? A right royal penny!
I came across the verse below during the week. Some good advice there. I only hope Meghan does not forget to return her borrowed jewels once the wedding is over. I think her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has taken a shine to Meghan so she may even get to keep her tiara!
In the meantime, I have to get ready for the wedding. Food to prepare, flowers for the table, crystal glasses, polish the silverware! The champagne is chilled! Tonight is not the night for living beneath our means!
Thoughts for Life
Live beneath your means
Return everything you borrow
Stop blaming other people
Admit it when you make a mistake
Give clothes not worn to charity
Do something nice and try not to get caught
Listen more; talk less
Take a 30-minute walk everyday
Strive for excellence, not perfection
Be on time. Don’t make excuses
Be kind to unkind people
Let Someone cut ahead of you in line
Take time to be alone
Cultivate good manners
Realise and accept that life isn’t fair
Know when to keep your mouth shut
Go an entire day without criticising anyone
Learn from the past
Plan for the future
Live in the present
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s all small stuff!
(Thoughts for Life – author unknown)
Do you know the politician who referred to news conferences as “feeding the chooks”? Yes, it was Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, former Premier of Queensland (1968-1987), and the longest-serving. Sir Joh had a simple view of the world as a farmer and he took his observations […]
The Royal Commission into the financial services industry has uncovered serious dishonest behaviour by the banks, financial planners and other financial institutions. The fraudulent behaviour in the financial services industry is very disturbing. Charging people a few years after they have died; poor advice from […]
More and more people these days have backyard chickens. I believe there are at least two reasons for this. Firstly, chickens give a valuable food source – eggs; and secondly, they are entertaining. Caring for backyard chickens is a great way to teach children about responsible pet management. While it is fun collecting the eggs, there is more to owning chickens than eating a great egg.
One of the downsides of introducing chickens into your backyard is not thinking ahead about the chicken’s welfare. I have heard of people having chickens that roost at night in a tree in the backyard. Chickens are vulnerable to predators and a responsible chicken owner will make sure that they have clean and safe accommodation.
As animal owners we must give proper care to our pets. This includes providing food and water; accommodation or living conditions; understanding your pets normal behavioural patterns; treating disease and injury and handling the chicken appropriately. Read more here.
If you buy eggs from the supermarket you may have noticed a sign explaining that there is an egg shortage. Such is the demand for eggs that the commercial production of eggs has given us the “battery hen”. With this comes many welfare compromises. The RSPCA and I believe that “hens deserve better”.
Yesterday the Federal Government introduced the start of a new national standard for hen density. For eggs to be labelled free-range there must be 10,000 hens or fewer per hectare (one square metre per hen). The hen density must be displayed on all egg cartons. The hens must have meaningful and regular access to the outdoors. More room, the happier the hen.
My backyard hens are happy with the amount of space in their coop and run. Their coop is big enough to take 12 hens, with a daily run outdoors. For four hens it is an ideal space. From around 7am in the morning they spend most of their day in the run with infrequent trips into the coop for a pellet snack or going into the nesting box to lay.
They have fresh food and water on demand; a clean and safe coop; kale (most days); grains scattered in the run early morning; treats such as veggies and/or meat morsels (leftovers from a roast) and dried meal worms – but not all at once or all on the same day!
Princess Carmella is in charge of our flock of four hens. The pecking order is well established, and she insists on having the best of everything for herself. When I put food such as the grain in several places she runs from one place to another to get her favourite grain “corn”. The two chickens I introduced 11 weeks ago know their place and step aside if Carmella moves in! However, as Golda and Melba are growing physically they are also growing in courage. It is the only way they will get their share of treats!
Carmella is an interesting hen. Every now and again she will make a sound like a duck. I wonder whether she grew up in those early months of her life with ducks in a nearby pen! Also, when she sees me during the day she will squawk continually, her way of asking for a treat. When this behaviour does not produce a treat, she soon accepts the situation and quietens down.
Right now, Lucy is moulting. It can happen at any time and it is important that she has more protein in her diet. The dried meal worms are good for this. Throughout the moult hens stop laying eggs. As Golda and Melba have not started their laying career our backyard eggs are few right now.
Caring for backyard chickens is rewarding, but it does take effort to be a responsible chicken owner. What I like about it is that it gets me outside. Every now and again my One&Only and I stop and stare, take a few minutes out of our day and watch their antics. Caring for chickens, like other pets, is good for our mental health. Read a short story about a man whose life was saved by caring for ex-battery hens.