penalising the saver

August 3, 2013

The mini budget announcements have been drip fed to us over the last two days. One that has caused a bit of a reaction is the “deposit tax” whereby banks will be taxed 0.05% for deposits up to $250k. This will create a Financial Stability Fund for the government so when my bank goes bust, the Government will ‘repay’ my investments to me. Other countries have this in place, but it’s new for Australia.

So am I happy about the Government (or bank) taxing me for being a good saver? Well to be honest I don’t know. On one hand, I could look at it as a type of insurance. If I had $35,000 in savings, the deposit tax will be $17.50 — about the price of a nice lunch. But on the other hand, everyone is encouraging people to reduce debt and save for retirement. And the reward for saving is that we’re being penalised for giving our money to the bank.

So I am still undecided on the ‘bank tax’ but very grateful I am no longer a smoker because the new tobacco tax is worse! Their tax will increase by 12.5% per year for the next four years, increasing the cost of a packet of cigarettes by $5. Now that’s painful

bagging a bargain

March 10, 2012

Today I did the first of two big grocery shops before I move into my new house. I went to my local Aldi store and walked out with lots of cans, packets and bottles. Some people would not admit to shopping at a discounted grocery outlet but I’m happy to bag a bargain and am not concerned with the name of the shop.

They certainly don’t stock everything but Aldi did have quite a few of the basics. I’ve never heard of the brand but surely the contents of a $1.89 bottle of Spray n Wipe will be similar to its supermarket chain counterpart at $4.99. After all, they’ll both get dirty surfaces clean — surely? But I will have to visit one of the bigger supermarkets to buy the essentials: herbs, spices, baking products, and those speciality delights that we all love to eat.

It’s very exciting getting ready to play house again. A painter must have the same feelings of excitement when they stand with their brush in front of a blank canvas. Except my blank canvas is my new unit. I get to pick the colour schemes, place the furniture, hang the pictures, and organise the cupboards. And one must not forget the other grown up task associated with playing house — paying the mortgage.

finding a bank

February 3, 2012

It’s so much easier to get things done when you find an organisation that knows the meaning of customer service. In this case it was banking; and the service difference between New Zealand and their Australian owners.

Late last year when I was planning my move to Australia bank account & credit card was on my to-do list. I had rung XYZ bank and after listening to “press 1 for this”, “press 2 for that”, “3 for whatever”, I eventually found a person to talk to — only to be told they couldn’t help and I would have to wait until I got to Australia. Gee thanks for being so helpful — not! But I don’t give up that easily so I found their website, emailed them and within 48 hours my accounts were open. Snail mail arrived two weeks later but as we conducted all of the application process via email, the slow snail mail was of no consequence.

So thank you XYZ – your kiwi counterparts should take a leaf out of your book and learn the meaning of customer service. Now I’m about to buy an apartment here so I definitely know which bank will be my first port of call.