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What will they do next? Lazy savers; A crude awakening; Sleep deficit and productivity; Time on your savings side

Personal Finance
What will they do next? Lazy savers; A crude awakening; Sleep deficit and productivity; Time on your savings side

1) What's their move?

I always find myself amused by the New Zealand-Australia rivalry. I'm a Canadian by birth so I'm allowed to be. Being a former neighbour to the world's most powerful nation, I know something of these matters. Through history, Canadians suffered from a major insecurity complex. I believe we have George W. to thank for curing us of that as in ruining his country's international reputation, Canada came across as a saint by comparison, something we all took tremendous pride in as a nation. Shrinking violets no more, eh?!

But I digress. I laugh at the office jokes about sneaky underarm bowling, cheating, bullying, boozing and butchered English lobbied at my new neighbour across the Tasman. Then I try to reconcile that seething resentment with the fact that thousands of Kiwis flock to their soft sandy shores every month in search of a better life.

When the Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday lowered its Official Cash Rate by a meaty 50 basis points from 4.25% to 3.75% it underscored for me a few things: Their relative boldness (no pussy footing around for this lot) and their acknowledgement that all is not is well in Oz. (For other rates globally, click here).

What I am very curious to see now is how the banks will react given their previous thumbing their noses at the RBA's benchmark rate. It seems we'll have to wait to find out as bankers there are taking their sweet time deciding whether or not to give borrowers a break. The Age reports on the OCR aftermath here.

2) Lazy savers

Interesting story here from the Telegraph in the U.K. on how lazy savers are cheating themselves out of a potential 300% increase on interest on their money in the bank by not being more proactive about where they're putting it. Given the Official Cash Rate in the U.K. has been languishing at 0.5% for three years, it's no wonder.

Are you getting the best interest for your savings? Check our comprehensive section on comparative savings rates on term deposits here. Be cautious about the terms and conditions on those bonus savings accounts which will penalise you for raiding your account. David Chaston explains here.

3) A crude awakening

In an interview I did a few weeks back with Nicole Foss, senior editor of the financial website, she talked about her theories on Peak Oil and where the global economy is headed. If I can be so blunt as to summarise her views, both are headed down the gurgler. Others of course have a more bullish view.

Here's CNN Money with 4 ways to cash in on $100 oil.

4) Wake up sleepy head

I seem to have a vague recollection of sleeping in. Nothing extravagant, maybe 9 or 10 a.m. on the weekends.Those were the pre-child days.  Now, I seem to wake up naturally around 5:30 a.m. stirred in part by the sound of my dog scratching like Thumper and whimpering for attention.

I tend to think it's quality over quantity when it comes to sleep but there's a million studies and theories on this issue. Here's a sleep time blog from a programmer who underwent a radical sleep-makeover and found he boosted his productivity in a big way. I was interested to read that he was inspired in part by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, who also happens to be a runner. I also recalled reading an article from Vanity Fair about Murakami's daily writing routine, which begins at his desk at 4.30 am.

5) Time on your side

Because time is the one thing you can't get back, how you spend it is crucial. For those with time on their side, the savings advantage is massive; the beauty of compound interest. Here's one to drop in front of your tween at tea time.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter@amandamorrall

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The CNN Money thing is nuts.


What money isn't underwritten by the oil itself?


Fair enough, some will offload the parcel before the music stops (some can benefit at the expense of others) but it's a worse-than-zero-sum game from here on in. S&P is just a measure of lemmings, herd mentality, and flight-to-perceived-safety. Hardly a valid yardstick, one would have thought.




"Election planning in Fiji is being seen as an encouraging sign that the country is moving towards democracy, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says."

Hang on....apart from the name of the country...are those not the same words used by Neville Chamberlain! back in the 30s...


Ha! Sleep.  An article in the SMH the other day likened talk about sleep to dirty talk

William Dement did a google talk on it in 2008 that went on a bit but had some funny videos of dogs with a genetic sleep disorder where they would fall alseep at random. (eating / running etc).

I've been looking at a light box for one of my teen sons who has phase shifted dramatically towards being an owl and very hard to get up for school

After reading a lot about circadian rhythems I've bought into the theory that its important to wake at the same time each day.  Get up. Get that brain to recognize its daytime and rise and  shine time. Then, if you need catch up sleep, go back for a snooze later in the day. Or have a power nap.

Its taken me a loooooooonnnnnnng time to understand the need for sleep and how going to bed an hour early, if required, means the the next waking period is much more pleasant. And productive


I learnt about Canadian-American history on a Bus tour in Toronto some years ago. 

What I remember the most is that the Americans used to burn everything down when they took land in Canada. Once they burnt down some Canadian Parliament type building and it so incensed the British that they marched down into America from Canada specifically to burn down the White House, which they succeeded in doing.

I was totally amazed. I had no idea that this sort of History even existed.



Westpac has been great to me at matching term deposit rates from other big banks. Just need to ask!