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Changing it up in 2013; Conquering your fears; Entrepreneurship defined; Active income; Variable Power pricing coming soon

Personal Finance
Changing it up in 2013; Conquering your fears; Entrepreneurship defined; Active income; Variable Power pricing coming soon

By Amanda Morrall

Welcome to 2013. For me and many people I know personally, 2012 was a big shake up.

Relationships were tested, jobs changed, businesses launched, motivations questioned and ideas planted.

With the first month of the year almost over it's a reminder of how quickly time passes and the importance of putting into place changes, habits and new structures that will help us move in the direction of our goals - and dreams, so they don't end up on the scrap heap of lost hope.

These soft-sided underpinnings of personal finance are no less important than our practical money management skills. With this in mind, today's Take Five focuses on some of these themes.

1) Reflection

With many still in holiday mode, it's a good time to reflect back on 2012 and consider what worked, what didn't, the high points, the low points and overall success. It's an up and down journey to be sure but on balance, I think most of us strive for more good than bad across all sectors of life. This guest post on explores areas of new opportunity for 2013 and how to strengthen your resolve.

2) What are you scared of?

Fear is quite often the single biggest obstacle standing in the way of meaningful change. American optometrist/personal finance blogger contemplates fear and its adverse impact on improving our financial situations.

3) Entrepreneurs

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur and what distinguishes the successful ones from the wannabe? This blog from polls a number of on-line personalities for their opinion with some rather interesting results. Here's a sampling:

An entrepreneur to me is someone who creates something that can help others to accomplish their goals. And in turn they are making it into something that earns an income for them, and for other people. So it’s someone that’s really passionate about helping others and creating opportunities for them to do something that helps them to accomplish their goals. – Leslie Samuel,

I believe an entrepreneur is someone that’s willing to take risks, someone that’s willing to make opportunity for themselves by identifying some of their strengths and their passions and essentially how they can take those passions and create solutions for people, and also derive a revenue stream from that. – Jeff Rose,

To me, an entrepreneur is someone with passion, vision, confidence, and the willingness to constantly adapt to change in order to successfully serve his or her unique market. – Stephanie

4) Early retirement income strategies

On the more practical side, looks at some early retirement income raising strategies to help propel those truly motivated to give up working life over the finish line by the tender age of 40. Good luck!

5) Variable power pricing

It's unlikely that shaving your power bill will tip the early retirement scales but reduced household spending is never a bad thing. Stuff business reports here on Genesis' plans to introduce variable power pricing geared to incentivising more households to unplug during peak hours. Bring it on.

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

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Are you aware that "SMART" meters are not for the benefit of consumers. They are designed to work with "SMART" appliances.

Over time, people replace  their old appliances with new ones, and these new ones are able to talk to the SMART meter. The SMART meter can then report back to the electrical supplier as to what appliances you have turned on at home. If the system gets overloaded then the supplier can turn your appliances off and then on again when the load falls off. They try to do it in a way that you will not notice. For example if you have a tumble dryer running, they will turn the heater off but leave the dryer tumbling. You will think everything is running normally and wont be aware the heater has been turned off.

Thats why they are SMART.


Really?  I wasn't aware of that.  I'm not sure I like the sound of that! 


I knew that SMART meters were designed to get a more accurate reading of power usage, so power companies can ensure they're billing for every last unit of electricity used.  I didn't realise that it would interface with SMART products though....


How do you identify SMART appliances?  Are they usually labelled? 


Hi Mozart

When TV7 used to be on air they had some really good documentaries. On of those documentaries was all about SMART meters and that is where i got my info from.

Some of those documentaries apear on YouTube such as "Food that made billions", "Justice, What is the right thing to do?" and so on. Maybe the one on SMART meters is on there aswell, i havent looked.


I had two meters. One for normal and one for ripple control.

The cost per unit on ripple was only marginally less but i had to pay a rental fee (line charge) for the second meter, which meant i was not saving at all, so it was a con job. I removed the ripple meter for a cost of $50. That was a few years ago now.

As i saw it the ripple meter was for their benefit and not mine. They could turn my hot water on and off to suit them and not even a worth while saving for me.


"the importance of putting into place changes, habits and new structures that will help us move in the direction of our goals - and dreams, so they don't end up on the scrap heap of lost hope."

The only way to achieve that is to get rid of this cosy two party system. We all have the power to create change. We can start by turning our back on both National and labour. Vote for a third party, ANY third party. If you really want those things you mention then this is where you must start.





Ivan, "Yeh, Right"

For decades now people have voted National to punish Labour. Then next time voted Labour to punish National. What a wasted vote.

It will be more effective to punish them both at the same time.

On the other hand if there are enough blind voters like you then there is no hope of a better future