Amanda and interest.co.nz share their personal money saving strategies and tips. Your tips?

Amanda and interest.co.nz share their personal money saving strategies and tips. Your tips?

By Amanda Morrall

For my column today, I thought I'd do something a little different. I decided to poll my colleagues for their top three savings tips and personal finance wisdom seeing as we're all so focussed on money and the bottomline, each in our own unique way.

Here you go:

1) Banking and finance editor Gareth Vaughan:

  • "Marry well.'' Sure, it helps to marry someone wealthy but financial compatibility is what our banking guru is getting at here. Partnering with someone who is financially savvy or at the very least financially self aware and cost conscious will help to save money and build wealth faster because you're not working at cross purposes. I endorse this tip big time.
  • Keep your credit card limit low. "Just say no,'' to the credit card companies continual offers to bump up the credit limit. That way you won't be tempted to spend beyond your means or have a consumer blow-out that will leave you with a long legacy of debt.
  • "Haggle with your bank.'' Don't be fooled by the advertised rate. There is way more give than what banks let on when it comes to borrowing rates, particularly for a mortgage. Sharpen your negotiating skills, stand your ground and get the best possible rate you can by playing the banks off each other. If you're too shy, and or nervous to do this, recruit someone who isn't. 

2) Managing editor Bernard Hickey:

  • Make mortgage repayment and debt reduction your top priority. "The pre-tax return you'll get on it surpasses the best going saving rate by far.''
  • How? Don't be a mindless consumer;stay home more often; make holidays more economical by arranging house swaps instead of booking hotels; find pleasure in the small stuff and experiences you don't have to pay for.
  • Give up the car and bike. BH is an avid cyclist and has been riding the same bike for seven years. (His previous bike was stolen otherwise he'd still be riding that one). He reckons he saves $2,500 a year in petrol, thousands more on a gym membership and seldom get sick because his fitness levels have improved exponentially since he gave up the car. Nice one B!

3)  Parliamentary reporter Alex Tarrant (in his own words):

  • Don't let the hairdresser book you in for the next appointment - they seem to want to cut my hair every month. Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow, and make the next appointment yourself.
  • Make bigger dinners so they become lunch the next day too - means you can buy with a bit more economies of scale.
  • Stock up when things are on special. We've got about ten packs of muesli bars in our pantry and a lot of tomato paste.

4) Senior analyst Craig Simpson:

  • Always buy house brand at the supermarket.
  • Never pay full price, "for anything." Wait for the sale price.
  • Always pay the highest interest rate bearing debt first.

5) Interest rate analyst Suhaimi Mohamed

  • Pay yourself first. Always divert a portion of the pay cheque directly into a locked in savings account so as to avoid the temptation to spend.
  • Make your own lunch. In the year and a half I've been working with Suhaimi I haven't seen him once with a take-away lunch or coffee He always packs his own.
  • Bottom shelf it. Because the highest priced items at the grocery shop are placed at eye level, Suhaimi suggests you avert your gaze and look up or down to get the bettter deals.

6) Publisher David Chaston

  • Walk to work. An avid tramper, and walker, our esteemed publisher always legs it to work. 
  • Buy new and "drive it into the ground.'' David is an advocate of buying a new car, to take advantage of the warranties and free service, then keeping that car until it quits. 
  • Take the bus instead of a taxi. I couldn't get any more tips from David as he didn't want to miss the bus as he rushed out to a business meeting. Big savings there too.

7) IT specialist Amir Bashir 

  • Never borrow to buy. Amir has been saving to buy a new car, refuses to put it on plastic.
  • Go out, "less." Amir, as our resident Gen Y, admits that socialising and going out are a financial liability but hard to avoid at a certain age. A compromise to not going out is cutting back.
  • Leave the plastic at home to avoid the temptation of drinking and debting - when you run out of cash.

8) Personal finance editor Amanda Morrall

  • Invest in your well-being. I think this is probably my No.1. When you're happy, healthy and feeling good about yourself and life, you're way less likely to spend because you don't feel the compulsion to do so. Plus staying healthy in old age will become hugely important in the future if you want to avoid excruciating health care costs as the public purse shrinks. 
  • Take stock of what you have and look after it. I'm a selective shopper. I don't like cheap stuff that will break down so I save up for the things I know I'll enjoy or get value from long-term. I also have a 24-hour policy and never buy on impulse. I regularly try to take stock of what I do have, so I don't dwell on what I don't have. Gratitude will serve you well in personal finance and in life in general.
  • In addition to saving money, make money. Find a way to earn money on the side by cultivating a passion, skill or interest and monetising it. Find your flow.

Miscellaneous tips we came up with:

  • Growing your own vegetables or else shopping at the green grocer or independents. 
  • Use the library.
  • Use your local mechanic instead of going to the dealer. 
  • Make a shopping list and stick to it. Don't shop when you're hungry. Try to make a meal plan for the week.
  • Barter and exchange services with friends and family.  
  • Home heating. Cost it out, gas could be cheaper than electric. A well insutated home will help reduce the power bill. Check out the EECA website to see if you're eligible for a discount.

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

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

44 Comments

Excellent advice mist42nz. thanks!

Garreth..eh ..uh ...you shifty sod you...! marry well...eh...?
Amanda I've decided not to go out for a drink with the team come Christmas , as I think it would be my round from the get go.
It's great to hear Suhaimi's got a packed lunch as I know how effective that can be.
I was disappointed at Bernard stopping short of saying.... stay home rub your hands by the computer while reading interest. co. to keep warm and informed.
Craig S....is a retail managers dream
And of course your good self
Find a way to earn money on the side by cultivating a passion, skill or interest and monetising it.
My wife says she won't pay...end of story.

Christov..........you found me out......as I do my fair share of retail therapy.

Well I'll get rid of the bike but I refuse to get rid of the car.  I can't possible get rid of the car and bike!
 
And I prefer to make money on the middle where I can keep my eye on it.

agreed, i wont buy a new car until or unless my refrigeration business gain some profit.

save money by not getting married
just visit a lady of the night now and again.
that way you don't have to pay out 50% of everything that you have accumulated over the years.
if i get a new partner and we part then she will be getting 50%of nothing.

Gummy's Top 3 saving tips & personal development :
 
1 :  Learn to garden ;  grow herbs , salad greens and flowers , at home . They don't need much space , even grow in pots . They're cheaper , fresher , and more personally satisfying from your own patch of soil ...
 
2 : Getcha specialist books from Amazon . The libraries only stock the basics , and retail booksellers are expensive . Head up river for knowledge , go the Amazon route .
 
3 : Buy less of what you want , but buy better quality . Whether clothes , groceries , books , whatever . Often the good stuff doesn't cost a whole lot more than budget brands . Several pairs of good quality shoes beats a wardrobe full of Warehouse brands . Why punish yourself eating budget weatbix every morning , when top quality Vita Brix ( made in Auckland ) doesn't cost much more , and a pack lasts for weeks . An Austalian made Cyclone garden spade or fork is triple the price of a Chinese made product , but lasts a lifetime , instead of two weeks .

Yup , good point , to use some cheap Chinese made tools to tackle a knarly job ......
 
...... having said that , I have a very cheap 18V cordless drill at home , which is a bloody marvel ....  sometimes you strike a little gold with a cheapie ......

It's Friday.....YaY..!
This is a parody of David Chastons early relationship with Bernard.
  A missionary who had spent years showing a tribe of natives how to farm and build things to be self-sufficient gets the word that he is to return home. He realizes that the one thing he never taught the natives was how to speak English, so he takes the chief and starts walking in the forest.
He points to a tree and says to the chief, "This is a tree."
The chief looks at the tree and grunts, "Tree."
The missionary is pleased with the response. They walk a little farther and the padre points to a rock and says, "This is a rock."
Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, "Rock."
The padre is really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears rustling in the bushes. As he peeks over the top, he sees a couple in the midst of heavy... activity. The padre is really flustered and quickly responds, "Riding a bike."
The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blow gun and kills them. The padre goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and kind to each other, so how could he just kill these people in cold blood that way?
The chief replied, "My bike."

Ha!
Nice one. Although I'm deleting it before David gets to see it...
cheers ;)
Bernard

Happiness....!

..... the young blonde housewife goes into the doctors surgery , with both her ears severely burnt ....... after the doctor enquires , how she came to burn both ears , she explains ......
 
" I was ironing my hubbie's shirts , when the phone rang , and I intinctively picked up the hot iron and stuck it to my right ear ! "
 
...... " ... so , how did you burn the other ear ? "
 
" They 'phoned back ! "

Cheers GBH.....like it and the great thing is , there's no end to them.

right on the edge there Ivan......but is good yes..!
Did I tell you of the chaste Blonde with a stutter...?, by the time she said she was she wasn't.

Christov,
 you heard the one about the man making love to a a dead woman under the bridge in the park?
 A  man ran out of a park in Paris and straight to a gendarme, sir, sir there is the most horrible thing happening in the park. There is a man making love to a dead woman under the bridge, in the park. The gendarme horrified said, no, no, never.The man said, please sir ,please sir, you must come and let me show you, so the  gendame follows the man to the park. There under the bridge is a man making love to a dead woman. Horiffied the gendarme goes up to the man and say's, sir I know it is Paris and spring, I know the smell of fresh flowers is in the air, but I must ask you to stop, how could you make love to a dead woman in the park, its horrible. The man looking up said no sir "she's not dead she's just, English.
 Oh Im so sorry said the gendarme, I should have guessed, my apology,please forgive me..

ta A.J.......a ring of truth there too......I recall one having moved once....I said sorry, she said what for..?....I said oh , I uh... thought I hurt you. 

I'm looking at used cars at the moment, so David's "buy a new car" idea is unexpected. Surely the high initial outlay more than outweighs any benefit from maintenance?

Absolutely. As soon as you take it out of the showroom, you've done a bundle.
 
Why not learn to apply your own spanners?  It's not rocket science.

1. clear debt.
2, be self-sufficient (it keeps you out of debt). This included being self-sufficient in energy.
There's no need for a '3', if you're doing '1' and '2'.
 

Yep - grow your own vegies and anything else.  Eat seasonal produce and when its cheap, bottle it, pickle it, sauce it or anything else that you can do with it.
 
Make your cleaners and toothpaste. Takes about 5 mins once a month.  Your laundry and teeth will never be cleaner.
 
If you want good health don't eat crap food that is loaded with preservatives and other nasties. No sense eating cheap to spend it at the Doctors in poor health later on.
 
Always get best quality when selecting spouse or partner - you'll get years and wont have to replace costing you a fortune :-))).
 
Get the best accountant you can get (Not one who just does the books) plan where you are and where you are heading well in advance and have short, medium and long term goals.  Get your own Staples Tax guide and make sure you read it and get a new copy when any new tax changes are made by Govt.
 
Play around with online interest calculators on mortgages especially the ones where you can add in principle repayments weekly, fortnightly, annual lumps sum etc.
 
Rent out spare bedrooms and get the debt paid faster on your home loan.
If your elderly and living on your own and short of money - get a flat mate or live with your kids if you can.

Have an emergency fund and when you have to use it pay yourself back with interest!
Two very good websites on this subject are cheapskates.com.au and simplesavings.co.nz 

Use youtube!  I have managed countless diy projects after researching the large number of how to do it videos posted. This ranges from reconditioning the lawn mower, putting in new toilet, tiling, changing car oil - including resetting the bmw service schedule, improving my butchering.......... And on it goes. Lastly but not least....follow much of the advice the regular wise heads post on this site!

Top advice there rastus....youtube......it's all there no matter how obscure the project you want to tool about with it's there.
how to shear an Angora goat..?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DhGyqrNAVE
How to butcher a pig....?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA7-KCBPvss
How to send smoke signals...?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR58I55XwFM
 How to rustle sheep.......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eut3NPAgVrQ&feature=related
Russell the sheep...?

LOL....I must try that with my old fridge....
regards

1) Have a spreadsheet of the weekly / monthly income and bills, my one goes back 9 years....best thing I ever did.
2) Those Latte's, buy a decent second hand coffee maker on say Trademe, I got one at $120 that retails for $400, I make a coffee for before work and thermos the second for when I get there.......I'll admit its not quite as good but $1.50 v $5 a day I can live with and way better than instant....or take the unit to work if you have the space.....
3) avoid having pets, huge drain on finances, often when least expected....cost more to see a vet than your GP....
4) When you get (yes ok fat chance) a pay rise immediately put it an auto payment in to go to the mortage....you wont miss what you never had.
5) If you are going to build a new house do one of these, https://earthship.com/  probably applies to the Amanda types than the DavidC types....but virtually no heating and recycling most things makes running cost very low.....
6) Car tyres, avoid the  hype and the attempts to trade you to "better" tyres, go for a budget but known new brand radial....dont bother with aligning the wheels every time either....
7) Drive at 90~95 kmh and not 100+, 10% slower saves 14% petrol...no oops sorry officer if you go a bit to far over what you meant to do either.
8) Get a GPS a 4.3in Garmin is < $150....let it plan your routes even for ways you think you know are best.....try them to make sure....Many garmins can also run the free NZ open source maps....good for tramping and off roading  or kayaking.
9) Rastus is right youtube rocks for DIYers...want to string a guitar? off you go, use a wood router? off you go....that site is mind boggling....
10) use open source software where possible....its usually way cheaper....Open Office for instance may not have all the bells and whistles but its good enough and its free....
11) If you have whitebox PCs specify 80+ bronze or Silver power supply units, look for the ones with 3 or 5 year warrantees ....dont over spec the wattage though.....they will only really efficient at 75% ish load.  If you are running 8 to 10 hours a day they will easily pay that extra back in 3 years......
12) Use a hot water bottle rather than heat the bedroom (much)....
14) Insulate the house...ceiling first  then walls where you can, councils sometimes do low interest finance for this.
15) Eat at home, even the McDs of this world are over-priced and of dubious good...I'd rather eat once a month at a decent restaurant then once a week at the lard joints.
16) Some power companies like Meridian do a payment system of a flat amount per month throughout the year, helps avoid nasty shocks in the winter months and if you pay too much they will give the money back on the aniversary....I got $900 back last  year....
17) If you have broadband Internet haggle with the company, right now they seem keen to keep you so find the best deal and ring your existing and ask to them to match it.
regards

Ivan - you just move to problem one step. Electricity can be made now - PV is now 'cheaper' than grid-power, but conductors, insulators, battery materials, and the portability of storage, is not in the Fossil oil league. Not even in the gate to the ball-park.
 
And we still have the need for bitumen, fertiliser, heavy transport, tractors..... have you any idea how much battery would have to be carried on a 4x4 tractor pulling something? More weight that it can pull, for anything but short periods.
 
We left the warning late - too late really. You don't grow, past peak, and we are seeing the fiscal manifestation of that now.

True that electic trucks are near useless but there are other options out there to replace fossil fueled industrial expansion. The free power could be put through a hydrogen electrolyser and put into h2 powered vehicles for those heavy jobs. The best electrolysers are currently only 30% efficeint but if power was free/supercheap that wouldnt matter. 
We dont even need fuel cell heavy vehicles to use the free power electrolyser combination. Once a diesil engine is started with conventional or biodiesil hydrogen can be subsituted for diesil with a couple of small engine modifications. Diesil engines can also be used generate power to run the electrolysers. This means a water tank can be added along with an electrolyser to allow a standard truck to reduce the ammount of hydrogen needed from an external source.
A switch to Organics covers the fertilizer issue and Bio-bitumin is a new bit of tech from the germans will keep us with roads.
The only problem with the idea is the power source that was mentioned it was cold fusion so I wouldnt hold your breath for that one. Distributed power generation and Virtual Power Plants will get us to the situations metioned above far before the alchemists manage to crack the cold fusion nut.

Hydrogen is only a vector, it doesn't scale, the safety issue is interesting, abd the EROEI is abysmal. Organics is the way to go, but doesn't scale to replace BidAg and 7 billion mouths.
 
And it's all got to be done with a re-jigged fiscal system which can handle a permanent recession. I admire optimism, but realism is better.

Hydrogen is the future, fuel cells in many forms will be our engines, powerplants and batteries, EROEI will get better with time as both electroylser efficiency increases and electricity gets cheaper in real terms, my point was if the energy was free then the return on energy wouldnt matter. Solar panels are getting so cheap at the moment Im considering buying and electrolyser, getting 10kw of solar (any extra can go back in the grid) and a hydrogen car in the next five years to offset my travel costs.
As for organic production it can equal conventional farming yields in every class and does better in the long term because builds resielence into the soil so it can resist drought and erosion, improves animal health, improves human health, and isnt dependent on a peaking fossil resource to sustain itself.
 

However NZ is small so a niche player....and organic is a niche.....There are organic shops about and their produce is supplied by a farmer...so there is a demand and if that means you enjoy better margins....even my local super has an organic section and its been there years.....I cant see them "wasting" floor space if it didnt earn them $.

Im an organic farmer and my biomass returns are higher than the former "conventional farmer" could ever get. Your hand isnt tied behind you back with organics you just need to get use to using a different set of tools (Breeding and feeding for worm control, Legumes for nitrogen fixing etc).  Also Organic isnt a fad, its been the dominant method since the agricultural revolution in the neolithic period some 9000 years ago, if anything chemical farming would be the fad as it has only been around since the 30s and is really starting to fail us as we face more climatic extremes and increases in oil prices.

 Im not an organic zealot, I just love fixing nitrogen with legumes rather than pay a fert company to kill or retard my soil biomass and getting a premium for my work. You would be suprised how much you can boost your fertility with clover alone.
You sound like you are applying fertilizer at responsible rates but you will still be damaging the biotic life it the soil to some degree, the acidity point you made in the last couple of paragraphs sounds right (im no expert) but urea and superphospate are gonna acidify the soil anyway.  Instead of solid urea why not try Less N spray as it would reduce the damage to your soil (you could also just add water to your effliuent and spray it on, cheap and is a booster of the natural bacteria)  and rock phospate (depending on where your ph is) will help your biomass production... biomass aint all worms (soil bacteria is at least as important as worms).  You wouldnt even have to think of yourself as moving to organics as a new middle road is being cut by the biological farmering movement, you can keep the pesticides and antibiotics you just dont add fertilizer types that retards biomass.
Local Reps... lol ....so trustworthy..?... im sure they dont get paid for how many worms they count. They were probably uneasy because you werent adding enough of their product to kill the worms... bad for business.
On the question "If the waste is methane harvested, does that reduce the feed value for the biomass?" No not at all, there are currently many biogigesters being trialed in conjuntion with solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) (60% electrical efficiency + 30% thermal) to generate some of there power and heat for their dairy sheds. This will both offset energy requirements and provide mitagation credits. To full circle the discussion the SOFC run on natural gases, biogas, diesel, and you guessed it...pure hydrogen. 
Since ive Linked in back to H2 check this mule 
http://inhabitat.com/new-holland-unveils-nh2-hydrogen-fuel-cell-tractor-...
... but according to steve only bill gates and the ritchers will be the only ones driving them though...i can see it now

Nice work on op, nice work on sharing info. I run my Sheep, Beef and Deer farm on dry hill country so organics is easy comparitively to dairy organics. If I was running the dairy farm i wouldnt do it organic, just to much money involved, but I would (as you do) farm smart.
You definatly want grid connect over battery. Functionally the grid would be the battery with Meridians 1for1 retail price feed in tarrif (nz sustainable energy association one for a cent less than that incase a privatized Meridian changes its mind). I would cover the shed roof with them at the price they are now ($2NZperwatt) youll get a least 11%+ return, add the biogigester plus a fuel cell and you will have a nice Virtual Power Plant as an earner along with the GHG mitigation credits you be intitled to.

Hydriogen will never amount to more than an arbitrage...ie converting static energy (electricity) to transport energy.  The Q is is this method the most efficient and is it affordable. The answer to the former is debatable, the latter takes $20k car and turns it into a $200k car...even EV turns a 420k car into $65k and we have has that techloogy under serious develipment for at least a decade.
The eroei is unlikely to ever get to 8 to 1, and its H2 so has no carbon so isnt energy dense.
Energy will never be free....in effect fossil fuel is but its millions of years stored and we will use it all up (effectively) in < 150 years.
I agree on solar panels getting cheap, that could be because the USA has blocked chinese imports so the factory output has to go somewhere, their stupidity is our gain. The dis-advantage of these is the level of technology they need to be produced ie complexity of society....I dont think you will see a hydrogen car inside 10 years probably 20 and like I said on EVs they make no sense let alone H2 cars.
Ive yet to see anything that suggests organic farming can get anywhere near fertilizer powered production....however fertilizer and pesticides are only part of teh equation, you still need substantial [bio-]deisel to get food to the table. I suggest you need some research because everything Ive looked at just does not support your claim.  By all means show me some URLs...
Now long term, yes I can agree on organic, is good for the soil and is the way we ill have to go...no ifs no buts. However organic wont support 7 billion...and indeed you miss the other bit on food production, water, thats in overshoot.
So far from your post I see "dreamy" thats not bad as at least you are thinking on what you will need to do unlike many others who go for denial....the biggest think is understand everything is interlinked and there are multiple dependancies, miss one say water and the rest of the idea(s) doesnt work.
Those URLs would be nice.
:)
regards
 
 
 

I totally agree with you on EV hence why im bullish on H2, URLs... do better research mate, im not here to give you all the answers for free. Everything I said is true and out there on the net so its easy to get. I have been following the development of the H2 economy (fuel cells in cars, power systems and as batteries) closely for 6 years, yes the industry has a way to go but has come a long way and is getting more effiecient and cheaper all the time.  As for your 10-20 year timeline for the H2 car the first one will be on the market in by 2015 and heres two URLs for free to back that tidbit up.
http://www.insideline.com/toyota/2015-toyota-hydrogen-car-will-cost-5000...
http://www.caradvice.com.au/177707/toyota-fuel-cell-hybrid-car-coming-in...
 
 
 
 

I think that H2 or even natural gas trucks are not likely due to lack of energy density....NG is something like 4 times as less "dense" so we are talking BIG fuel tanks....and one of those in an accident is a big mess....a very large handgrenade...
However there is nothing stopping us changing how we do things, and in fact we will forced to.....for instance trolleybus lines exist, these could be used to power trucks, I mean they dont have to "micro" deliver ie forget corner shops (though that might work), just big pack and saves we walk/bike/public transport to (most of us wont be affording cars).
regards

Those are issues but there are developments being made, a company are putting chicken feathers that have been burnt in the absence of oxygen inside tanks and have been able to increase storage capacity of and h2 cars fuel to the point where it has the same millage as a standard car. With electolysers and solar panels, trucks could make h2 as they went about their day to offset the need to refuel. Add to those two current fixes to the good old gas station and Im pretty sure they would get around. As for the hand grenade, kevelar tanks in h2 vehicles are almost impossible to breach. Dont know about your disutopian cornershopless PakNSave trolly bus future but dont discount the hydrogen economy  it is our only hope to maintain any quality of life we currently enjoy.

ouch...."it is our only hope to maintain any quality of life we currently enjoy"
I pretty much replied to H2 earlier...the answer is almost certianly H2 wont be for you and I, Bill Gates and the top say 5% of earners, yes......an example would be a tesla sportscar, I think its about $200kNZ...I couldnt even do $20k....and the HP on that means the real cost is way more....
"trucks could make h2 as they went about their day to offset the need to refuel."
Now I know you have no engineering background....
The point on trolley bus lines are its low tech, does main routes economically and is available today. 
"currently enjoy" If we go back to say the 1960s we used far less energy per capita....Im not aware ppl were unhappy.....I's argue they may have even been happier....ie better living standards....just simpler.
The point is we cant live as we do, but that does not mean we cannot live well, for instance www.earthship.org is simply brilliant.  Lttle need for public water in or sewage out and even power needs is limited............really it shows how much we have built [badly] relying on cheap energy which is no longer cheap. Such houses would use say 10% of what a house does now....think of the savings on bills and even rates if thats doable and it seems to be. From that, even when petrol gets to $5 a litre if you rother bills are marginalised you can still afford a car For instance my power bill is around $2000 a year, and my petrol bill about $1000, if I cut my power needs by even 50% petrol will go to $4 a litre and I wont care.........ie spend the money where it gets the best return.
regards
 

People in the 60s might happier but that was because thay were just stupider, or at least so ill informed they could form a ballanced opinion on what the should be doing. Hence we are now in the position we are in... stuffed.  Earthship great idea and Im interested in doing those sort of developments myself, with houses using 10% of the energy they currently do that will free a lot up to push through electrolysers and turn into H2. Also less demand for electricity will push price down and thereby the price of the H2 generated.
You are right about trolly buses its just I would prefer a Mad Max senario to a Trolly bus future. They are probably not too different,  didnt they have a trolly bus gate in Mad Max 2? 

Ivan I will believe it when I see it.....so give me some key words that you remember and I'll google....might be on youtube (often is)  hopefully it isnt fusion....
I will watch with great interest........most evenings I watch things on the top docomentary channel.
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/
To start with,
a) electricity isnt portable....ie
       1) a ready transport fuel and 
       2) at a price we can afford with our economy the way it is....
fossil fuel is simply dense and cheap....
b) Scale, if fusion works assuming its fusion, but it doesnt really matter what it is, lets just assume it exists.  Then we have to build generation plant of a scale you wouldnt understand, thats not a thing against you btw, I dont grasp how big either.....its mind boggling....but really it needs to be an emergency program on the scale of WW2 and it will be a multi-decade effort.   Just take NZ, we are lucky we have hydro thats about 65% of or power needs but not ransport power needs...So we'd have to build a marsden plant only I suspect 4 or 5....that would take us 5 probably 10 years I suspect.
c) The cost of this, the USA almost went broke funding WW2    If you look at the Govn debt that is generally taken on for wars its huge but until the Great Depression and today unique to wars....so we are broke and about to collapse under the burden...and here we are with what ever source it is and need to fund its building, we need billions and that flows around the world.  For instance I think the cost just to give the USA a national grid was 2 trillion?  So its not just the source, its deploying it and wanting to.
Beyond that we eat fossil fuels in terms of fertilizers and pesticides, but yes transport fuels would be a huge thing to "solve"......
The issue coming from that is we have 7 billion and we need to get that down or with sucha solution stop it rising or even such a source we\ill be swamped in 35 or 70 years...(doubling time at 2% global popualtion growth, ie 14billion and then 28 billion)
Now there are a lot of things we can do for instance www.earthship.org has the most interesting low running cost house Ive yet seen....so we can do a lot, but it needs to happen...
There is also huge concern on having enough water...its probable that even an energy source would only buy time......food and water limits would get us somewhat later.
regards
 
 

Maslow's Law, (I call it..... Misers law...helps to remember, but not the basis)...
Needs not wants....be nice, be considerate, be sensible.
 
According to Maslow, self-actualising people share the following qualities:

  • Truth: honest, reality, beauty, pure, clean and unadulterated completeness
  • Goodness: rightness, desirability, uprightness, benevolence, honesty
  • Beauty: rightness, form, aliveness, simplicity, richness, wholeness, perfection, completion,
  • Wholeness: unity, integration, tendency to oneness, interconnectedness, simplicity, organization, structure, order, not dissociated, synergy
  • Dichotomy-transcendence: acceptance, resolution, integration, polarities, opposites, contradictions
  • Aliveness: process, not-deadness, spontaneity, self-regulation, full-functioning
  • Unique: idiosyncrasy, individuality, non comparability, novelty
  • Perfection: nothing superfluous, nothing lacking, everything in its right place, just-rightness, suitability, justice
  • Necessity: inevitability: it must be just that way, not changed in any slightest way
  • Completion: ending, justice, fulfillment
  • Justice: fairness, suitability, disinterestedness, non partiality,
  • Order: lawfulness, rightness, perfectly arranged
  • Simplicity: nakedness, abstract, essential skeletal, bluntness
  • Richness: differentiation, complexity, intricacy, totality
  • Effortlessness: ease; lack of strain, striving, or difficulty
  • Playfulness: fun, joy, amusement
  • Self-sufficiency: autonomy, independence, self-determining.[9

Read the lot....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow
Me....I say.....in a nutshell.
1. Avoid debt.
2. Avoid debt.
3. Avoid debt. If in debt pay it orf 1st.
Ain't got it, cannot afford it, don't spend it.
Buy only to save life, health and sanity.
Buy only what commonsense tells you, you need, not want.
live long and prosper...spend when got it.....
keep it out of the mitts of others till then..
 
Spock out.

Fantastic list there Alter Ego. Thanks for posting. 
Peace out.:) Amanda
 

Strategies and tips....join the Labour Party or the pinky Normans and have a say in how much pork they will give you in exchange for your vote in 014...or join the Nats and carry out the same scam...
Why work for a living when you can sell your vote...and steal other people's money...
Or brown nose Bollard and become a bank so you can 'print' your own fat profits on pushing credit.

Hey Amanda ... I thought you guys at Interest.co.nz  would be part of the pavement -cafe-society  , upwardly mobile "coffee on Jervois" types, that dont seem to do any work and have lots of time on thier hands .
Reading your piece , its nice to know you are all quite ordinary folk like the rest of us .
For the past 30 years , I have taken my own packed lunch to work , I drink Instant coffee, look for sale priced items, and go to movies on Tuesdays .
My wife and I paid off our first home mortgage fifteen years ago, we buy only low mileage used - cars for cash and pay off my credit card in full before due date.
I am able to save 10 % of my taxable income and  I sleep well at night .
When I left school we got conscripted and then everyone got a trade or skill , or went to Uni if you were well off . I went to college at night .
We are often resented for being the Baby boomers who have allegedly lived of the fat of the land , but the truth is we have battled and  saved , scrimped and worked hard , unlike the current generation who want to work less hours for more money 

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