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Five-fold Friday: How bread and movies outsprinted inflation; Credit card intoxication; Where's my return?;Top 10 tax tips for Brits in NZ; "Frankenpants"

Five-fold Friday: How bread and movies outsprinted inflation; Credit card intoxication; Where's my return?;Top 10 tax tips for Brits in NZ; "Frankenpants"
<p> Frankenpants</p>

1) Saving/Spending

I'm a sucker for a catchy headline so when this one landed in my email "Is your bread rising?" I couldn't resist opening it.

I love bread but I've recently stopped buying it because prices, to my thrifty mind, are out of control, at least for what you get. I was ressured to learn that my penny pinching mind isn't playing tricks on me, this time. According to the number crunchers at Stats NZ, bread prices have gone up a whopping 443% since 1981, well beyond CPI.

The bread chronicles published by Statistics NZ date back to 1914 and the analysis makes for interesting reading (really!). Back then it was assumed that a typical household ate seven 2lb loaves a week. How many mouths were they feeding back then? They'd be hard pressed keeping tummies full at today's prices.

Check out the data here . While you're at it, have a look at cinema prices.  Ahhh, $2.50 Tuesdays. The good ole' days.

2) Credit and Debt.

New Zealand's credit card debt and addiction is relatively tame compared to other countries. We have about NZ$5.4 billion on the plastic. Australians by comparison are running close to A$50 billion. Accounting for their bigger population, they spend put about 2.5 times more on credit cards than we do. Interest rates there are said to be at 20-year highs.

Easy credit is a dangerous thing. Look at Brazil where newfound wealth and the push for consumerism has the population hooked.

The Central Bank expects that by the end of the year 28 percent of Brazilians' disposable income will go toward servicing debts, compared to 16 percent in the still-recovering U.S. and single-digit figures in other developing nations.

3) KiwiSaver

Last week I looked at Fidelty Options fund, one of the highest returning KiwiSavers funds on the market since conception. For balance sake I decided to check out the other end of the ranking scale to see what I could find. AMP's Moderate Fund came up number 27th among its moderate peers for three-year performance, not that you'd know that from looking at their published performance figures.

AMP boasts of a 4.9% per annum return over the past three years going back from  March 2011. However, our adjusted performance, which accounts for fees and expenses, knocks it down to 2.5% per year for three years. It's expense ratio may not be one of the highest but neither is it one of the lowest at 1.34%.

AMP has 12 differents KiwiSaver funds under its umbrella and the best performing one by far is the Conservative fund which as an adjusted performance rate of 5.2%

4) Taxes and Death

Moving countries creates all manner of tax trouble that is easy to put off put impossible to avoid, that is unless you're a multi-national. Procrasination won't serve you well in the end. 

For our British born readers now domiciled here, check out the following top 10 tax tips for your kind.

5) Books

I had a touch of job envy after learning that the Observer has a designated ethical living columnist. Staring down on my now fuzzy wool pencil skirt purchased for $10 seven years ago (second-hand) and sandwiched beside a  towering bag of coffee bean grounds from my favourite barista in Auckland, I reckon I could give this job title a try out, for a week maybe.

I haven't done my research but it would seem Ms Lucy Siegle is the genuine article. She's just published a book exposing fashion industry crimes against the environment and other social injustices that run rampant in the textile business. Her own self-styled fashion apparently consists of layers upon layers of hand me downs and seconds.

Fashion snobs will want to give this book a pass. Tales of  "Frankenpants" and abused silkworms look to have given Guardian Weekly reviewer Hephzibah Anderson nightmares.

Frankepants are jeans made of Genetically Modified cotton.

The following has no financial relevance whatsoever. It was just too good not to share. HT the ex.

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Prefer this song of theirs, might be my age


Excellent too. I can't think of any duds they've made....Ben Ottewell has a solo album out, if you didn't already know.…


One possible reason behind the high bread prices.


Nothing to do with Hadley Cells, nothing to do with desertification migrating from the ITC north and south, nothing to do with drout.

The catch-22 is tragic - they could help themselves if they were better off, say the cornucopians. Those cornucopians, of course, choose to ignore the 10:1 oil-to-grain calorie ratio in their own bread - and the fact that there isn't enough around now to underwrite the nourishment.

Yes, too true, stressed societies often throw up less than desirable leadership, we can reasonably predict a lot more ahead. Heck, look at us.............

Nothing wrong with recycling Amanda - just a matter of getting back on your bike.  :)

Maybe Scarfie or I can build you a pedal-operated bread-maker?  It's not as silly as it sounds: Somewhere in his last few posts, the Archd points out that the conversion to electricity and back to work, is a waste (but a commonly-held mindset).



Of course there is the problem that a lot of countries import their water via food. Water is up there with the oil issue as you well know PDK. 

1000 tonnes of water to grow a tonne of wheat. Be interesting to know how much oil.

Not sure about the cyle powered bread maker, my as well go to the armstrong model:)

But I did see this when investigating how to crush my malted barley.

I have actually gone off the grains, the problem is Phytates which block the absorption of minerals. I figure beer doesn't contain many though:)


It's a lot cheaper watching movies at home. I only go to the cinema for 3D movies.


The Main Reason for the accelerated cost of Bread ---is that Companies that Bake and Sell Bread (eg Goodman Fielder) in New Zealand --source their Wheat/Flour by Contract with Australian Farmer Groups.  So when Australia has a drought and the market Price goes high the Oz Baking Companies continue to buy at the higher prices to sustain the  Farmer so they survive for the next year.   The NZ Grain/Wheat Farmer gets locked out ---unless  he/she is lucky enough to supply a local NZ Flour Mill --who in turn can supply a Locally NZ Owned Bakery. There are not many of these NZ Owned Bakeries left. NZ Farmers can grow excellent wheat and most of them are in Canterbury --and we Out Yield Australian Farmers with our Wheat ---because of our reliable rainfall and if not Irrigation is available. This Australian ownership/takeover of the Baking Industry has been taking place over the last 10 years.

There may also be another smaller factor and that may be the Supermarkets applying a higher margin of profit to Bread.