A New Year (Financial)


30th June 2013 coincided very neatly with the end of the weekend so a new week, new financial year and a clean slate.  Time to take a fresh look at the finances and goals – tax, superannuation, savings, mortgage payments and other debts.

Even though we constantly track what is happening with our money, it is good to take some time and look at the big picture.  Where are we now and where do we want to be in the future?

By the way, July 1st is also the first anniversary of the introduction of the carbon tax in Australia.  This says it all.

And the world is still spinning on its axis.

The Sun Rose Today


Despite all of the gloomy predictions about the impact of the carbon tax which begins today, the sun still rose  and life goes on.

The aim of this tax is to move Australia towards a more sustainable future and I support that wholeheartedly.

I have previously written about this topic and  my original post is here and Part 2 here.  I also wrote a follow-up post 3 months later which is here.

This is a You-Tube video I found today which is well worth viewing.  This is a compliation of comments from several prominent Australians.  Check the associated videos of the individuals speaking in more detail about their support of tackling Climate Change.

3 Months On….

1 Comment

It is now a little over 3 months since the details of the carbon tax were released and now the proposed legislation has been passed in the House of Representatives.  It is almost certain to to passed by the Senate and will become law in July 2012.

I am very pleased to see that something is finally being done to ensure that the biggest emitters of carbon in this country will be held responsible for their emissions.  This may mean that some of us end up paying more for some goods and services.

If you want to offset any perceived or actual increase in costs, now is the time to change your habits and consume less goods and services.  If you consume less you will pay less – it is that simple.

Things that you might consider include:

Drive less – plan your trips and combine errands.

Buy local products where possible – save on transport costs.

Reduce electricity use – dry clothes on the clothesline, do not leave appliances on standby when not in use.

Then there are bigger changes that will make a difference in the long-term.  A perfect example of this is the solar PV panels which we had installed nearly 12 months ago.  We are a household of 2 adults and we chose to install 20 panels on our north-facing roof.  Since they were connected to the grid we have had 3 credit statements from our electricity provider.  As well as paying $0.00 for our electricity we are on track to receive about $1,000 credit in the first 12 months of exporting electricity to the grid.

This has required us to make some changes to our habits.  We try to minimise our use of electricity during daylight hours so that we maximise the amount of power which goes to the grid at the feed-in tariff versus what we use at night which is billed at the standard tariff.  I have never made a habit of washing at night but that has now become my routine because it saves us more money.

Change of habit is what is at the heart of the carbon tax.  As a nation and as individuals we have to stand up and be prepared to make some changes.  Those politicians, individuals and businesses who refuse to change and are determined to selfishly continue on the same course are giving no consideration to the future generations.  I hope they will show some generosity of spirit before it is too late.

Meanwhile, I will continue to do everything I can to reduce my personal carbon footprint and encourage others to do the same.  Time to hang the washing out.  There is enough moonlight not to turn on the outdoor light.

What changes have you/will you make?  Are you interested in reducing your carbon footprint or just offsetting any extra cost?

Carbon Tax (Part 2)


I cannot believe some of the comments I have heard in the past 48 hours since the release of the first details about the proposed carbon tax.

Do people have no desire to leave a habitable place for their children, grandchildren and future generations?

The majority of people seem to only be concerned with the personal cost to them.  They should be asking about the future cost if this reform is not implemented.  The potential costs to our future are almost too great to contemplate.

The carbon tax is the first step towards developing a sustainable future for this country.

Please watch this video which explains the rationale and intent of the carbon tax in layman’s language.

If everyone who watches it can forward the link to 5 other people the message will filter through.  It is important that everyone understands what this is about.

To those people who feel that supporters of the carbon tax are ill-informed, ignorant and uneducated, I am sure Gail Kelly (CEO Westpac), Professor Tim Flannery (Australian of the Year 2007), Geoff Cousins (businessman and Telstra board member) and Ben Waters (Commercial Director, GE Aust & NZ) would be pleased to be described that way.  They are but a few of the prominent people from all walks of life who support positive action to address the complex issue of climate change.

This is an extremely important issue and I look forward to your comments.

Weekly Challenge – Week 9


Back to a slightly less controversial topic than last night’s post.  It is Monday and The Challenge continues…………it is now Week 9.

However, action for the planet does not need to be controversial.  Take a look at the list and you will see that all of the things I do every day make a difference – sewing clothes, re-fashioning garments, knitting dishclothes, re-purposing used furniture, giving away things that are no longer required and growing vegetables but to name a few.

1. Clean car inside and out -DONE

2. Finish making sandwich wraps for Miss O and Izz – DONE

3. Create a spreadsheet for future holiday packing needs

4. Make trackpants for Miss O and Izz – DONE

5. Send emails to book accommodation for New Zealand trip – DONE

6. Buy and plant seedlings for winter vegetables – DONE

7. Email friend to arrange to meet for lunch – DONE

8. Finish knitting dishcloth and sew ends in on first two – DONE

9. Make dressing gown for Miss O – DONE

10. Upload music to my iPod

11. Declutter and clean bathroom cupboard – DONE

12. Plan birthday celebration for Missy – DONE

13. Make an appointment to have our tax done – DONE

14. List 2 items on Freecycle – DONE

15. Clean kitchen windows – DONE

16. Book train trip  for New Zealand holiday – DONE

17. Follow up what I need to do to change my superannuation

18. Assemble the required paperwork for our tax appointment

19. Finish pinafore for Izz – DONE

20. Discuss 80th birthday celebration plans with my mother – DONE

21. Clean patio using high-pressure cleaner – DONE

22. Clean back wall of the house using high-pressure cleaner – DONE

23. Organise quote to have poinciana tree lopped and mulched

24. Plant seeds in seed-raising mix – DONE

25. Clean windows on southern side of house

26. Clean paths using high-pressure cleaner – DONE

27. Trace sewing patterns for my mother – DONE

28. Read 5 outstanding magazines & file or re-home – DONE

29. Clean out bottom drawer in the kitchen – DONE

30.Dust furniture in the front entry

31. Read  and re-home 5 more magazines – DONE

32. Thin out and re-pot bok choy seedlings

33. Sand and paint window frames in laundry and bathroom

34. Clean fronts of kitchen cupboards

35. Make a vinyl cover for the newly-created day bed

36. Buy birthday gift for Izz

I have crossed a few more things off the list, including the kitchen windows (and flyscreens).  I ended up listing about a dozen things on Freecycle.  Most have been promised so now to see if the people who have asked for them follow through and collect.  Some small items which are not worth the trouble of listing or people travelling to collect are in a bag ready to go to the op shop on Wednesday.

Perhaps, this week I will try to focus on the everyday things that we can all do to make a difference.  By incorporating some simple strategies into your life you will save money as well as doing your bit for the planet and the welfare of future generations.  The savings would more than offset the costs incurred that will possibly flow from the implementation of the carbon tax.

Carbon Tax


I make no apology for this post.  It is my own opinion – nothing more and nothing less.

Love it or hate it- the details of the proposed carbon tax in Australia have been released today.  It has yet to pass through the parliament but there is every indication that it will.

Debate, misinformation and half-truths abound but this is a tax on polluters – not individuals.  There will be some impact on individuals who may or may not benefit from the proposed forms of compensation.

I am thankful that after years of doing my best to reduce my individual carbon footprint that the big polluters in this country are also being called to account by being taxed on the emissions they produce.  If this means that it is going to cost me a little bit extra then I am more than happy to pay it.

Perhaps we should keep in mind the quote from the late John F Kennedy;

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

We should be asking what we can do for the planet, and consequently the future of our children and grandchildren rather than nitpicking over the details of who will be $10/week better or worse off.