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3 things to do so car troubles wont blow out your budget


Photo credit: Kasiaflickr

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Owning a car is one of the most expensive purchases we make.  For me, I don’t see a car as an asset (unless it’s a rare and/or collectible).  It’s an ongoing expense, a depreciating asset.

(Make sure you keep reading to see the offer I found!)

It’s a big investment to have your own car and the running costs are sometimes overlooked. When you sit down at look at the numbers, it’s quite surprising how it all adds up. RACQ have reported that it can cost over $400 a week to own and drive a new car Ongoing costs include

  • Car registration.
  • Insurance
  • Motor vehicle clubs eg RACQ
  • Fuel
  • Interest on loan
  • Servicing
  • Spare parts/repairs/tyres
  • Depreciation

These  costs are quite substantial to your budget, yet for most they are an essential – Makes even more sense that we take care of our cars doesn’t it!

For most of us it starts off well where you save and save and save for that first car and then we tend to get stuck in the cycle of trading in.

As a car owner you want to ensure that you always get the best possible price for your car at sale time AND you also want to keep it in great condition mechanically so you don’t get any nasty surprises. And with cars those surprises can be very NASTY on your bank account!

1. Servicing

How many mechanics to change a spark?

Photo credit: Onnweb

When money is tight, one of the first sacrifices tends to be vehicle servicing.

In the long term, this can turn out to be a really costly sacrifice.

Some good reasons to keep this expense in your budget…


  • Regular servicing of your car is likely to find problems early and therefore hopefully be cheaper to fix.
  • a well maintained car is more efficient, you’ll save money on fuel
  • if you ever need to claim on warranty you need to show your service record
  • At sale time good service history helps with getting a good price

Here is an idea of what those big expenses can be if you don’t regularly service.

  • Engine exchange – $3,500 – $6,000
  • Cylinder head gasket – $700
  • Radiator –$200 – $350
  • Water pump –$500

2. Tyres


Photo credit: Subliminal

Looking after your tyres will help keep you safe on the roads and it will alsohelp with saving money on fuel. You can find the required tyre pressures for your vehicle inside the cars manual or on a plate usually on the inside of the drivers door.  It’s really easy to do with the new air pumps that are around. Pop the required amount onto the pump, plug it into your tyre and it will go to that setting for you!

At a cost of around $400 a year, they are something to take care of.

And then there is wheel alignments. I have mine done twice a year to maximise tyre life.

3. Keep your eye out for discounts

Look at ways to reduce the costs of servicing and tyres.

It’s been perfect timing actually. As you may be aware, I’m using Shop A Dockets in my every day life to see how effective and helpful they are and it’s been a cool way to find a mechanic in my area and also test their services at a DISCOUNTED rate! (Love a bargain!)

If you are looking for a new mechanic or even looking for some better pricing with your servicing, you can try what I just did.

Jump onto their website and type your suburb and select automotive into the search box and away you go!

Screenshot 2015-03-26 10.54.53PS for Brisbane friends!!

BRIDGESTONE Nundah has an AWESOME saving currently.


Screenshot 2015-03-26 11.15.56



3 money apps to help you keep an eye on your spending

16638666687_b70a47e5df_kAccording to Forbes magazine more people have mobile phones than toilets.

“Six of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones – but only 4.5 billion have a toilet, according to a U.N. report.” (more information here)

It certainly seems that our lives are relying more and more on the cell phone and I’m often asked about apps and the best way to track spending.

As with any app though, it requires you to have the discipline to put the information in and with these kind of tracking systems it really needs to be done daily. Make sure you check with your online banking services and see if they have an app for you to use, most of them do these day.

Personally and for the people I coach and mentor the most effective way for tracking spending and connecting to what and why you have spent – is to write it down. The brain engages many more neural pathways when writing and this has been scientifically proven to enhance our ability to retain and connect with the information. (New York Times Article Handwriting)

That said I’ve pulled together a list of the apps that I have used. They’re pretty easy and each one has good bits and not so good bits. I’ll leave that up to you!

1. Pocketbook – FREE


What I LOVE about Pocketbook is it’s simplicity and its ‘safely spend’ alert. It automatically categorises your spending from your bank accounts, has a look and detects what your future bills will be and allocates you a spending budget. And it’s graphs and all that groovy stuff to keep you on track.

Website –

2. Track My Spend – FREE


This app was created by ASIC’s Money Smart division (government) and is a really great way to track your spending on the go. You can create favourites and tags that make it faster to track. It also categorises your NEEDS and WANTS.

Website –

3. Toshl Finance – FREE version or $1.99/m or $19.99 /y


Website –

This one has it all. Expense tracker, budget keeper, bill organiser, use across multiple devices, pass code. It’s also got characters and sounds to me interested!

Do you use an app? What do you like about it? Let me know below.


EE 15: Selling in Business – Desperation vs Inspiration

We are in business to serve, to earn a living and to create a lifestyle we desire and this requires us to sell our products and services.

How is it possible to have an inspirational ‘sales conversation’ vs one that comes from desperation?

Is our clients buying decision based on our sales ability or something else?

Join in our discussion and post your comments below!


The Odd Couple – Indian and Ice Cream

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Oh it’s been one of those weeks!!

And this is going to be a bit of a double post all about food – my favourite foods too – Ice Cream and Indian!!

I’ve had so much going on the last couple of weeks both in my business and as a mum.  And you know what? I just haven’t taken the time (or had the time!) to sit down and get organised.

And that always costs me in both time and in money.

Instead of getting all glum about it and beating myself over the head for not having things in order – I took a chill pill and backed off myself.

And that was pretty hard to do actually – do you find that hard to do to sometimes?  Just lay off yourself with all the ‘gotta do this’ and ‘gotta do that’.

I’m much better at it now though and I stop the beat up process pretty quickly.

For us, it’s nearly the end of the school term and my kidlets have been so very, very awesome with their learning this term.  They’ve really put in great efforts with everything and I wanted to take a PRESENT MOMENT to be with them to celebrate that.

The word celebrate can sometimes conjure up those thoughts of ‘we can’t afford it’ and for us, we are currently in savings mode getting ready for moving costs that will be upon us soon.  However, I’m also really mindful that being in the savings zone CONSTANTLY isn’t much fun.

And lucky for me, I’ve been reminded about Shop A Dockets.

And double lucky for me, I have a tech savvy 11 year old who found out that Shop A Dockets has an app!

How convenient is that!! 

2015-03-11 17.51.01

I remembered having seen a Baskin Robbins offer on the back of my dockets from Woolies earlier in the week – but of course when I had this spontaneous celebration thought, I didn’t have the docket with me.

Not to worry – we typed our Suburb and in and swiped across the top to find Fast Food and there it was – the Baskin Robbins offer.

Now I wouldn’t normally choose Baskin Robbins, because ice cream for 4 would normally cost us $23.60 – that’s a lot of money for a treat. (BTW … Have a crack a the caramel praline cheesecake, very nice!!)

But with this offer it was $13.80. A random, spontaneous treat was much easier to manage within my budget at this price.

Oh and the app … I can save this voucher into my ‘Docketbook’ and it’s there for easy reference.

And that leads me to thinking about dinner.

Why do they have to eat dinner EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!! Mums, you know what I’m talking about!

I’m down my last $20 for the week (pay-day tomorrow, thank goodness!) and I can’t be bothered feeding the troops.

I’ve got some celery and peanut butter in the fridge – will that do?!

Nope, that won’t do and now I’m salivating at the thought of Indian for dinner – and yes, you guessed it – there’s a voucher for that!!

2015-03-18 19.48.57Going to feed the family, something yummy and not deep fried for $19.95.

Later… I‘m a bit of a curry snob and was a little bit hesitant with this one. But I have to say it was delicious and really great value.  Thank you very much Miss India – Shop A Docket REDEEMED (and it will reactivate again tomorrow!).

NOTE TO SELF: Check Shop A Dockets for gym memberships – Those Baskin Robbins deals are going to be the end of me!!

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Click here to follow Shop A Docket on Facebook


Skin Care From Grandmas Pantry


Who’d a thunk it …?!

I’ve actually been well trained from the age of 12 to take excellent care of my skin. My was obsessed with me taking care of my skin, an obsession that at 43 I’m grateful for.

It was the one thing I remember mum not worrying about spending money on. She always had money for me to have top end products for my skin it was one of the things that was never skimped on. I reckon over the years, I alone have contributed over $20,000 to the cosmetic industry – that’s just skin CARE products by the way. Wow, now I see that as I type, that’s a lot of money!

Being a mum myself now, my 11 year old is becoming conscious of her skin. All those years watching me I guess. It’s not something we’ve ever really talked about until now.

I’m really aware of how over the years our manufacturing process of goods as changed and I’m always reading labels to check what’s in products. My rule is that if I can’t pronounce it, I’m not putting it on my skin.

If I can guide my daughter in any way, I want her to be conscious and to be mindful about what she is putting on her skin.

We were having a look around for natural alternatives and have found one that we’ve been using for a couple of weeks now and I must say – it’s better than anything I’ve ever used before.

Good old Baking Soda – I remember seeing this in my Grandma’s pantry, bathroom cabinet and under the sink. Many uses it has!


Now this one caused a bit of controversy when I posted it on my Facebook page.

Here’s the thing, as with any of this stuff you can find positives and negatives. I always do a test on my skin first and make sure there is no reaction and I always do a bit of research myself to come to my own decision. I encourage you to do the same. I can find lots of information about the negative long term effect of top brand cosmetics as well as negative effects about natural alternatives. And there is lots of information about positives for both as well.

Your body, you choose.

From an economical point of view:

Baking Soda – $2.68 500g

Citric Acid – $11.65 1kg

Coconut Oil – $13 1litre

And that’s going to last a really, really long time.

How much do you spend on skin care? Do you use you own remedies? Please let me know in the comments below!

Further info … yes bicarb has a high pH, so lower it with some citric acid and coconut oil.

  • High Alkaline pH 8.3 (safe zone is 5-9)
  • Citric Acid 
  • Coconut Oil Low Alkaline
Photo Credit: Jessica Fiess-Hill