Happy New Financial Year!!

1 July is now upon us! If you’re like me and like to lodge your tax return early, I’m sure you know about e-tax. If not, find out more here and download it.

$$$onny Bill William$$$

The continuing story of Bungalow Bill Sonny Bill Williams is surely tiring Bulldogs fans and destabilising the club to the nth degree (as evidenced by the poor recent form of the team on the field). As is usually the case with these tense conflicts between player and club, Sonny Bill believes that at $525000 per year, he is being undervalued. An interesting observation made by Bec and Buzz in the Sunday Telegraph is that during an interview with New Zealand’s NZTV, he sported a jacket with a shiny dollar sign emblazoned on his chest – pretty much where his heart would be.

I don’t like the Dogs all that much – almost solely because of where I live, but in the midst of modest club heroes such as Steve Mortimer, Daryl Halligan and Hazem el Masri, they’ve had a history of players whose minds haven’t been with showing loyalty and passion for the jumper that they wear. When Willie Mason left the club last year, Sonny Bill came out and criticised his former teammate for his lack of loyalty. Now the boot’s on the other foot and I can hardly imagine that his teammates would not be wondering what’s at the heart of his grumbles – genuine discomfort or selfish greed.

I don’t care what happens with this whole saga. But it is very disappointing to say the least that people like Sonny Bill Williams are so wrapped up in money in a time where most working class people are struggling to afford the costs of life. Seems like he doesn’t deserve a hundredth of what the Dogs are giving him, let alone the whole lot.

Whatever the outcome is, he needs to pull his head in and stop showing the rampant and unrepentant greed that is all too often associated with high paid sports stars. It’s nothing that children should be aspiring to.

Read this News Limited story for more information on his interview with TVNZ.

Pensioners stealing toilet paper to save money

Yesterday I was wondering just how desperate these times of increased costs of living were making pensioners. Reports are suggesting that some pensioners in Melbourne may be skipping meals simply because they can’t afford to buy food other than a partly subsidised $5 lunch at the Carlton Senior Citizens Centre. The centre has also reported the loss of rolls of toilet paper from the bathrooms.

It’s quite disturbing. I can’t blame these poor (pun not intended) elder citizens of our society who are not being adequately helped through this period of economic strain by our Government. Brendan Nelson’s idea of diverting petrol tax earnings to pensioners seems all the more worth the effort.

Source: The Melbourne Leader

Nelson: Use petrol tax to boost the pension

Opposition Leader Dr Brendan Nelson suggested tonight on an interview with Today Tonight’s Anna Coren that $1 billion of unbudgeted earnings from petrol tax should be diverted to pensioners, who struggle on only $273 per week in the midsts of the increased costs of living.

Seems like a worthwhile idea to consider, especially after the outcry that was heard following the Federal Budget a few weeks ago regarding the lack of funds for pensioners. I don’t know much about the typical budget of a pensioner, be they aged or disabled, but I can’t imagine they’d have the same spending liberties that those of us in employment would be privy to. I do recall seeing a story on one of the current affairs shows where a couple of celebrities were given $273 to live on for a week and they couldn’t make it past 2 or 3 days. It seems to indicate to me just how much the older folk in our country need to tighten the purse strings to make ends meet – no wonder some put a bit of it in poker machines at registered clubs to see whether they can make a bit of money there.

(Source: News Limited)

Paying $10 for goodness knows what

SomethingStore.com takes online shopping to a whole new random level – if you’re a US resident, simply pay them $10 and they’ll send you a random item from their inventory. The items range from Starbucks gift sets to CDs to beard trimming sets, and they’re generaly reasonable items that the buyer (or relative thereof) could use. Hopefully some enterprising entrepreneur might take the idea and run with it here in Australia – I’d certainly send them a 10 and see what turns up at my house.

(h/t Download Squad)

Do you bother with fuel discount dockets?

I used to use them, but now I couldn’t care less. The idea of dockets that give you a 4c/litre discount is in its fundamental state ridiculous and not worth the bother of scouting out a Coles or Woolworths to save a few dollars.

I know that every family shops, and the chances are that one will accumulate several of these dockets over a month, but the way I see it, the fact that there are independent service stations that often have the cheaper petrol negates these dockets and should consign them to the bin (unless, of course, there are good Hot Docket offers on the back of the dockets, but at the same time there is a website for Hot Dockets whereby these vouchers can be printed).

Let’s pay a visit to fuel price watching site Motormouth, which provides users with alerts as to where they can find the cheapest petrol. As of the time that I’ve written this post, the cheapest prices in Sydney are found at independent servos – see the search results below (because of my formatting the prices don’t show up, but I can assure you that these are the 6 cheapest outlets in Sydney). No sign of Coles or Woolies whatsoever. A separate search shows that you will still be paying a few c/L more if you hand over your discount docket (142.5c/L at Croydon, with the 4c/L already subtracted, is the lowest). I know that it’s Thursday and the prices will go down, so I’ll pay another visit to Motormouth on Tuesday and redo the searching. I highly doubt there’ll be any difference.

The post itself is fuelled (pun intended) by a report suggesting that Coles Express is the most expensive petrol retailer and wqas found to be selling its fuel 14 cents above the average price in Melbourne yesterday. See this Macquarie News story for details.

Sefton Petrol cnr Hector St & Waldron Rd 2162 Chester Hill 08/05/08
2:42 PM
140.9
Independent corner Canterbury Road and Fo 2194 Campsie 08/05/08
1:00 PM
143.7
Budget corner Princes Highway & Terry Street 2044 Tempe 08/05/08
1:10 PM
143.9
Total Fuel Lot 30 Old Campbelltown Rd 2566 Minto 08/05/08
2:41 PM
143.9
Independent Marion & Edgar 2200 Condell Park 08/05/08
12:03 PM
143.9
CMR Express corner Fairfield Road & Malouf Street 2161 Guildford 08/05/08
1:37 PM
143.9

Maccas millionaire…

A great story about a young adult who has decided that a lottery win doesn’t mean that he will abandon what to some would be a rather pitiful job and live off his newly acquired riches. Brit Luke Pittard only earns slightly less than $13 an hour at McDonalds (where it’d be rather rare to see a part timer in his mid 20s given the reputation that McDs has as a provider of a first job to younger teenagers), but sees the value of working hard as opposed to letting money comfort and relax one’s mind. Story courtesy of News Limited.