Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter, Working life

Does your super match your values?

The wave of climate protests (the Climate Strike a few weeks ago, and to a lesser extent the Extinction Rebellion last week) are a good reminder that although our current political masters (especially at the Federal level in Australia) are keen to do nothing, pretty soon a large mass of people who want action will be joining the electoral roll and voting. Oh, the politicians may claim they're

Consumerism, driving, Toxic Custard newsletter

Retail therapy

Just a quick few points while I work on a more complicated post that's (inevitably) transport related... Shopping bags Many major retailers are phasing out single-use plastic bags. Or to be precise, they're phasing-out free bags. Woolworths: 20/6/2018 Coles, Target, Big W: 1/7/2018 Aldi never gave away bags. K-Mart is phasing out free bags during 2018-19. This is not the f


ATMs are free – but not all of them

Believe it or not, sometimes I blog about things other than transport. If you want to look purely at transport posts, try this link. Commonwealth Bank (CBA) announced on 24th September that all their ATMs were free for use by customers of any Australian bank. The same day, the rest of the Big 4 scrambled, and matched that pledge... but CBA had the jump on them, and some of the others couldn't im

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

I bought an investment property

As you grow older, you find yourself doing things you genuinely had no idea you'd be doing. At least I do. Perhaps other people have all their plans worked out way further in advance. When I was growing up, we had little money, and I couldn't dream of owning my own home. At age 30 I found myself living alone for the first time, it still wasn't on the radar. It took me until 35 to get to the

Consumerism, Geek

New phone: Motorola G5 Plus

A reminder that despite how it may sometimes seem, not all my blog posts are about transport. If you want to view only the transport posts, try here. For convenience, this link is also on the menu at the top, under Transport. Over the years I've had many mobile phones. Here's an update to that old list: November 2013: Google Nexus 5 -- I did that Apple-like thing of preordering this befor

Consumerism, music, Toxic Custard newsletter

In the town where I was born

I don't have "get rich quick" schemes. I kind of have "get moderately well-off, gradually" schemes. The worst one has been buying shares. I got a tip that shares in Xero (the online accounting software company) would skyrocket. And they did, from about $6 to something like $40. But that was before I got around to buying them. By the time I bought them, they'd dropped to about $25. They subse

Consumerism, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

How do I pay the electrician?

A couple of years ago I got a ceiling fan fitted in the kitchen. The electrician was pleasant, competent, and did a good job. He said he'd send me an invoice. He never did. A couple of months later I emailed him and asked him to send it. He acknowledged the email and said he'd send it. He never did. A couple of weeks ago I got a ceiling fan fitting in one of the bedrooms. The electrici


Banking paperwork

I used to bank with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, who had a habit of sending me lots of letters on the same day, though gradually everything moved online. When I bought my house in 2005, I switched to St George (which morphed into Bank Of Melbourne), and it was mostly online. Now I've refinanced my home loan, and switched to BankWest, a CBA subsidiary. They're keeping up with their par

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

Charity and money

Years ago I decided I wanted to donate at least 0.7% of my income towards charity. Over the weekend I was doing my tax, and calculated it: for 2015-16 it's 1.32%. Cool. About half the annual total is Oxfam. Other regulars include Greenpeace, The Salvos (though I mean to check their latest position on homosexuality, as for a while there it was looking pretty medieval), Amnesty. The regulars,

Consumerism, Toxic Custard newsletter

New umbrella (again)

Excuse the radio silence. I've had a really bad cold this week. In our last exciting installment of my quest for a durable, reliable, compact umbrella, I was on my third Senz Mini. The first had been replaced under warranty, the second lost, and the third... sadly, it has started to fail me. As did M's one last year. Leaving aside the lost one, that's two in four years. That's really no b