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"Best speech ever": Roger Federer's hilarious address to graduates

<p>Roger Federer has gone viral for all the right reasons after giving a hilarious and inspirational speech to a group of graduates. </p> <p>The Swiss tennis legend addressed the 2024 graduating class at prestigious Ivy League university Dartmouth, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his charity and philanthropic pursuits since retiring from tennis in 2022. </p> <p>The 25-minute speech has been widely dubbed as "the best speech ever" online, as he quipped about the highlights of his illustrious career while sharing sage advice for the new grads.</p> <p>“Hello class of 2024, this is so exciting,” Federer began while wearing a college gown. </p> <p>“I’m so excited to join you today, really you have know idea how excited I am. Keep in mind this is literally only the second time I’ve ever set foot on a college campus. But for some reason you are giving me a doctorate degree."</p> <p>“I just came here to give a speech, but I get to go home as 'Dr Roger'. That’s a pretty nice bonus, 'Dr Roger' just has to be my most unexpected victory ever. Thank you.”</p> <p>After stating he will “try my best not to choke”, Federer went on to give a hilarious and heartwarming speech, complete with a number of life lessons.</p> <p>The 42-year-old shared that he left school at 16 and never went to college, but had recently “graduated tennis” with his retirement making international headlines. </p> <p>“I know the word is ‘retire’,” he said. “‘Roger Federer retired from tennis’. Retired. The word is awful."</p> <p>“You wouldn’t say you ‘retired’ from college, right? Sounds terrible. Like you, I’ve finished one big thing and I’m moving on to the next. Like you, I’m figuring out what that is." </p> <p>“Graduates, I feel your pain. I know what it’s like when people keep asking what your plan is for the rest of your life. They ask me ‘now that you are not a professional tennis player, what do you do?’ I don’t know and it’s OK not to know.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8FaLe5NGlt/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C8FaLe5NGlt/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Among his advice, Federer insisted that “effortless is a myth”, referring to a word that was often used to describe his appearance on court, and urged the graduates to prioritise working hard. </p> <p>“The truth is, I had to work very hard to make it look easy,” he said. "I spent years whining, swearing, throwing my racquet, before I learned to keep my cool.”</p> <p>He also spoke about one match in particular, perhaps the most memorable from his career.</p> <p>“I tried not to lose. But I did lose,” he said.</p> <p>"Sometimes big. For me, one of the biggest was the finals at Wimbledon in 2008. Me versus Nadal. Some call it the greatest match of all time. OK, all respect to Rafa, but I think it would have been way, way better if I had won."</p> <p>“Losing at Wimbledon was a big deal because winning Wimbledon is everything.”</p> <p>Before wrapping up his speech, the sporting legend ended with some practical tennis advice after he asked Dartmouth president Sian Beilock to pass him a tennis racquet.</p> <p>“OK, so for your forehand, you’ll want to use an eastern grip,” he said.</p> <p>“Keep your knuckles apart a little bit. Obviously, you don’t want to squeeze the grip too hard.</p> <p>“Switching from forehand to backhand should be easy. Also, remember it all starts with the footwork and the take-back is as important as the follow-through."</p> <p>“No, this is not a metaphor. It’s just good technique.”</p> <p>Federer then ended his address with a wholesome message for the graduates, saying, “I will never forget this day and I know you won’t either.”</p> <p>“You have worked so hard to get here and left nothing on the court. From one graduate to another, I can’t wait to see what you all do next. Whatever game you choose, give it your best. Go for your shots. Play free. Try everything."</p> <p>“And most of all, be kind to one another and have fun out there.”</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pqWUuYTcG-o?si=i4Pi8XY2JRYkyhd1" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram - Dartmouth</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Gina Rinehart's financial advice for Anthony Albanese

<p>Gina Rinehart has offered some free and unsolicited financial advice to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in the wake of his divisive Federal Budget. </p> <p>Australia's richest woman, who has no experience in politics, suggested cutting the fuel excise and halting immigration would have a greater positive impact on the economy, as opposed to the Albanese government's measures to curb the cost of living. </p> <p>Rinehart has been critical of the $300 handout to combat energy bills regardless of household income, and believes that a big-spending budget is not the best way forward.</p> <p>Rather than tax Australians more to hand the money out again through handouts and welfare, she said lower taxes overall was a better way forward.</p> <p>Ms Rinehart said cutting fuel tax, which the government has rejected as too expensive, was one option.</p> <p>“I have advocated strongly for the government to directly reduce costs of living for Australians by cutting their fuel excise taxes, which would spread not only to car users, but all products that require transport,’’ she told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/gina-rinehart-tells-anthony-albanese-to-cut-fuel-excise-migration/news-story/bb84ef69e8a19506e7e3ae3e1f678e7c" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>news.com.au</em></a>.</p> <p>“I have also advocated for cutting other taxes, payroll tax, stamp duty and license fees, that not only would bring down the cost of living, but were supposed to have been cut when GST was introduced decades ago."</p> <p>“Big spending, big government costs all (which I advocate against), and adds to the costs of living."</p> <p>“Recycling taxes paid is very inefficient, the taxpayer is actually better off paying less tax, and spending their income as they prefer.”</p> <p>Ms Rinehart, who has racked up a net worth of over $46.5 billion AUD through her investments into mining, has previously suggested a better way is to cut taxes and allow people to keep more of what they earn.</p> <p>“To help people suffering the most on low incomes, such as veterans, pensioners and uni students, if the government really cared about these fellow Australians struggling with high costs, they would remove the onerous government paperwork and their unfair limits on pensioners, veterans and students working hours, each of whom face higher effective tax rates than me if they choose to work above a very small threshold of hours,’’ she said.</p> <p>“Letting Australians who want to work, work, would be not only better for those Australians and their families, but would save the need for the government’s very expensive policy of hugely increased immigration, to allegedly bring in more workers.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Darren England/EPA-EFE & LUKAS COCH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock Editorial</em></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

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Nat Barr quizzes Jim Chalmers over one major budget flaw

<p>Nat Barr has quizzed treasurer Jim Chalmers over one major flaw in the federal budget. </p> <p>On Tuesday night, Chalmers <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/biggest-winners-and-losers-of-the-2024-25-federal-budget" target="_blank" rel="noopener">handed down</a> his third federal budget that prioritised cost-of-living relief, with one major initiative saving Aussies big on their next energy bills. </p> <p>All Australian families will get $300 off their annual electricity bill, while small businesses will also get a $325 rebate for their bills.</p> <p>Chalmers joined Nat Barr on <em>Sunrise</em> on Wednesday morning to discuss the initiative further, as the host pointed out one major flaw in the government's plan. </p> <p>“If you’re earning a million dollars, why do you need a $300 power rebate?” Barr asked.</p> <p>But Chalmers said wealthier Australians weren’t the focus of the rebate, as everyday Aussies struggling with the rising cost of living were sure to benefit. </p> <p>“It is primarily for people doing it tough — you know, millions and millions of Australians are under cost-of-living pressure,” he said.</p> <p>“We’re trying to help. So more help is on the way for millions of people under the pump. Whether it is a tax cut for every taxpayer or energy bill relief for every household.”</p> <p>Barr asked Chalmers if people earning $1 million were “under pressure”, but the treasurer said offering specifically targeted assistance was logistically impossible.</p> <p>“Once you go beyond (pensioners), you have to design a whole new system because the energy retailers that we use to provide this help, they don’t have income information for people,” he said.</p> <p>“We deliver this relief via energy bills, via the retailers. There’s not a system that allows you to slice and dice that beyond providing it either to people on pensions and payments.”</p> <p>Barr's comments were echoed online, with many slamming the logistics of the rebate on social media. </p> <p>"I'm sure Gina Rinehart is stoked she's getting $300 back on her energy bills," one person commented. </p> <p>Another added, "If this stupid government gives me $300 off my energy bills it goes straight to charity. Join me if you can afford it."</p> <p>A third wrote, "Feel like there should be an exemption in the $300 energy rebate for anyone who has ever slept under a doona with the aircon on."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Biggest winners and losers of the 2024-25 Federal Budget

<p>The unveiling of the federal budget by Treasurer Jim Chalmers was marked by a dual focus on addressing cost-of-living pressures and strategically investing in Australia's future – and was predictably met with <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">both praise and criticism. </span></p> <p>Reflecting a delicate balancing act between providing immediate relief to vulnerable segments of society and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability, the measures to alleviate cost-of-living pressures and support key sectors appear commendable, yet concerns persist regarding the adequacy of support for welfare recipients and the potential implications of immigration policies on international education. </p> <p>Read on for the high points, the low points, and all the biggest winners and losers of the federal budget for 2024-25.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST WINNERS:</strong></p> <p><strong>Low and Middle-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>At the core of the budget lies a commitment to alleviate the financial strain on low and middle-income earners. With the implementation of stage three tax cuts, Australians can anticipate a welcome increase in their take-home pay. These cuts, announced earlier in the year, are projected to inject an average of $36 per week into taxpayers' pockets by 2024-25. Notably, this initiative is expected to benefit 84% of taxpayers and 90% of women, signalling a targeted effort to support those most in need.</p> <p><strong>Parents:</strong></p> <p>In a move towards greater gender equality and financial security, the government has extended superannuation payments to parents on paid leave. This initiative aims to bridge the superannuation gap and provide approximately 180,000 families annually with additional financial support during crucial early parenting stages.</p> <p><strong>Households and Small Businesses:</strong></p> <p>Acknowledging the escalating energy costs, a $300 rebate on energy bills was announced for more than 10 million households. It was this facet of the budget that drew ire from Jacqui Lambie, Federal Senator for Tasmania, who was furious over the "bizarre" decision, which sees funds being spent on high-income earners such as herself at a time of rising inflation. 'We don't need $300, I can assure you,' she said to a post-budget panel on <em>ABC's Insiders</em> on Tuesday night. "That [funding] should have been passed forward. I find it bizarre."</p> <p>Additionally, small businesses stand to benefit from a $325 boost to alleviate power bill pressures. The extension of the instant asset write-off and the abolishment of 457 nuisance tariffs signal the government's commitment to supporting small businesses and fostering economic growth.</p> <p><strong>Aged Care Workers, Renters, Women, Last-Minute Travellers, Music Festivals, and PBS Patients:</strong></p> <p>The budget also addresses various sectors of society, including aged care workers, renters, women, last-minute travellers, music festivals and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme patients. Measures such as wage increases, rent assistance, healthcare subsidies and support for cultural events underscore the government's multifaceted approach to addressing societal needs.</p> <p><strong>Students:</strong></p> <p>Recognising the financial challenges faced by students, the government has taken steps to ease the burden of student debt. By wiping out $3 billion in student debt and overhauling the indexation of HECS debt, thousands of Australian students stand to benefit. Moreover, the introduction of payments for compulsory work placements acknowledges the financial strain faced by students pursuing vocational and tertiary education.</p> <p><strong>BIGGEST LOSERS:</strong></p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">International Students:</strong></p> <p>In response to concerns about housing shortages and migration pressures, the government has signaled a crackdown on the influx of international students. Universities will be required to match enrolment growth with adequate housing infrastructure, potentially limiting opportunities for international students seeking education in Australia.</p> <p><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Welfare Recipients:</strong></p> <p>Despite calls for a significant increase in JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments, the budget falls short of implementing substantial changes in welfare support. While some targeted assistance is provided to individuals facing barriers to employment, broader calls for income support reform remain unaddressed.</p> <p><strong>High-Income Earners:</strong></p> <p>While the budget aims to provide relief to low and middle-income earners, high-income earners may experience a less substantial boost to their incomes compared to previous projections. This recalibration reflects the government's commitment to a fair and equitable distribution of resources.</p> <p><em>Image: ABC</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What just happened to Bonza? Why new budget airlines always struggle in Australia

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-douglas-2932">Ian Douglas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/seena-sarram-1469656">Seena Sarram</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>The history of budget jet airlines in Australia is a long road <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/travel-news/grounded-five-of-australias-biggest-airline-failures-20221216-h28pzn.html">littered with broken dreams</a>. New entrants have consistently struggled to get a foothold.</p> <p>Low-cost carrier Bonza has just become the industry’s <a href="https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/bonza-flights-cancelled-as-aircraft-repossessed-20240430-p5fnjf">latest casualty</a>, entering voluntary administration on Tuesday after abruptly cancelling all flights.</p> <p>Losing the airline would be heartbreaking for the 24 regional Australian locations that were <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">not connected directly</a> by any other airline. It would also mean even less competition in a heavily concentrated domestic air travel market. Over 85% of routes are operated by just <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">three airline groups</a>.</p> <p>But Bonza hasn’t just fallen into this situation by chance. Strategic missteps likely played a key role from the very beginning.</p> <h2>What went wrong</h2> <p>First, running an airline is an expensive business – any cost savings airlines can find are extremely valuable.</p> <p>Bonza chose to enter the Australian market with a very small fleet of <a href="https://skybrary.aero/aircraft-family/b737-series">Boeing B737</a> jet aircraft. But these had no operating cost advantage over the B737s already flown by Qantas, Virgin and Rex. Bonza’s small fleet also lacked any scale advantage in scheduling aircraft or crew.</p> <p>Second, to sell tickets, Bonza adopted a radically different “<a href="https://flybonza.com/media/bonza-gets-wheels-up#:%7E:text=Bonza%20is%20the%20first%20airline,uniform%20including%20custom%20Bonza%20sneakers.">app first</a>” approach. The only place customers could search for and book tickets directly was the official Bonza app. But this meant potential customers using conventional search tools – such as search engines or booking websites – often couldn’t find Bonza flights.</p> <p>The fact Bonza <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/business/qld-business/gold-coast-airport-sweetheart-deals-raise-concern-for-bonza/news-story/5ecdfe749b7c8a636cfe740ee0359ba3">struggled</a> to gain traction on its routes to Gold Coast airport, which handles a sizeable 250,000 domestic passengers each month, underscores this issue with the company’s approach.</p> <p>And third, although it served a unique range of locations, Bonza’s flight schedule across its network was far from optimal. In some cases, routes were flown only <em>once weekly</em>, compared to much more frequent gateway city services on Rex and QantasLink.</p> <p>For European airlines like easyJet or Ryanair, less-than-daily flights to smaller tourist destinations might be viable. But these airlines have the scale and connectivity to offer customers alternative pathways across their networks. Unlike Bonza, small regional routes are not at the core of their business model.</p> <h2>Making an airline succeed</h2> <p>Bonza isn’t the first Australian budget carrier to fail, and likely won’t be the last. Why are so many new entrants doomed to fail?</p> <p>Making a jet airline succeed hinges on optimising three key factors – market scale, airport access, and geography. For would-be budget airlines, Australia offers a brutal starting ground on all three.</p> <p><strong>Market scale</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.icao.int/sustainability/Pages/Low-Cost-Carriers.aspx">Low-cost carrier</a> and ultra low-cost carrier airlines have successfully gained strong footholds in Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. But these markets are orders of magnitude larger than Australia.</p> <p>The US, for example, offers airlines a market of <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/183600/population-of-metropolitan-areas-in-the-us/">large cities across a large area</a>. New York’s population is approaching 20 million, Chicago 9.6 million, Houston 7.1 million, and Miami 6.1 million.</p> <p>The population of the European Union is close to 450 million. And if you include the UK, there are over 30 cities in Europe with populations over 1 million. Australian carriers have only a handful of cities on that scale.</p> <p>Australia lacks both the population density of Europe, and the range of secondary airports that European low-cost carriers have leveraged to access nearby markets and to drive down operating costs.</p> <p>After more than a year of operation, Bonza had only achieved an overall market share of <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/domestic-airline-competition-report-february2024_0.pdf">about 2%</a>.</p> <p><strong>Airport access</strong></p> <p>Airport access is the next key barrier facing low-cost and ultra low-cost market entrants. The main routes between large Australian cities are all in a corridor along the east coast, and the largest flow into Sydney.</p> <p>Use of Sydney airport is heavily constrained, both by the incumbent operators who <a href="https://australianaviation.com.au/2023/07/sydney-slot-system-a-threat-to-bonza-owner-hints/">hold most of the slots</a>, and by regulations that artificially limit the flow of aircraft at peak times to just 80 movements (take-offs or landings) per hour.</p> <p>In contrast, London Heathrow, another constrained two-runway airport, delivers a capacity of <a href="https://www.caa.co.uk/media/dwfgyk53/estimating-the-congestion-premium-at-heathrow.pdf">88 movements per hour</a>.</p> <p>Completion of the new Western Sydney Airport will provide some relief from this capacity constraint. But it will not alter the fact Sydney Airport operates under an imposed constraint on operations.</p> <p><strong>Geography</strong></p> <p>Geography is the third constraint in Australia. Unlike Europe, the US, or Southeast Asia, most of our major cities are in a line on the east coast. There is no hub to connect our major cities with smaller regional points.</p> <p>Towns that are too distant for convenient rail or road links often have populations that are too small to support viable – let alone frequent – flights to the larger centres.</p> <p>Some regional routes are successfully serviced by small “<a href="https://nbaa.org/business-aviation/business-aircraft/turboprop-aircraft/">turboprop</a>” aircraft. Operating these incurs a higher cost per passenger than the passenger jets connecting the major cities. But it makes no sense to fly larger aircraft on these routes if the planes are half empty.</p> <h2>A big loss for regional Australia</h2> <p>The combination of Australia’s small population, the capacity constraints imposed on Sydney Airport, the presence of strong incumbent airlines, and our linear east coast market make new entry difficult.</p> <p>Virgin Blue occupied the space created by the collapse of Ansett. But Impulse, Tiger, Air Australia, Ozjet, and two versions of Compass were unsuccessful market entrants. Even Air New Zealand – which has the fleet, brand strength, and market access to support entering the market – chooses not to operate domestically in Australia.</p> <p>Understanding why new entrants fail offers little consolation to underserved regional towns in Australia. But given Bonza’s small footprint, capital city travellers looking for more competition on the major east coast routes will hardly notice a change.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228995/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-douglas-2932">Ian Douglas</a>, Honorary Senior Lecturer, UNSW Aviation., <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/seena-sarram-1469656">Seena Sarram</a>, Lawyer and Casual Academic, UNSW School of Aviation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Bonza - PR Image</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-just-happened-to-bonza-why-new-budget-airlines-always-struggle-in-australia-228995">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Battling to make ends meet? Financial planning expert offers 5 tips on how to build your budget

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p>Every day seems to bring new headlines about rising costs. <a href="https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/nigerias-big-unions-call-indefinite-strike-over-fuel-prices-and-the-cost-of-living-20230926">In Nigeria</a>, unions are threatening to strike amid soaring fuel prices; the country’s inflation rate <a href="https://www.cbn.gov.ng/rates/inflrates.asp">hit 25%</a> in August. The amount it costs to fill a food basket in South Africa <a href="https://pmbejd.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/PMBEJD_Key-Data_September-2023_27092023.pdf">keeps climbing</a>. Ghanaians <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/multi-day-protests-over-economic-crisis-grip-ghanas-capital-2023-09-23/">took to the streets</a> of Accra in late September to protest about the cost of living.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/retail-distribution/consumer-behavior-trends-state-of-the-consumer-tracker.html">recent study by the audit and consulting firm Deloitte</a> found that 75% of South Africans were concerned that the prices for everyday purchases would continue to increase, while 80% of consumers across all income groups expected the prices of groceries, household utilities and fuel to rise.</p> <p>This stark reality means budgeting may be more necessary than ever.</p> <p>If you don’t know how to create a budget, then you shouldn’t feel bad – most adults aren’t taught how to create one. And most people don’t budget, because they see it as restrictive or unsustainable. But it need not be: once you appreciate that a budget can work for you, it can be a financially empowering exercise. It’s a cornerstone of financial planning because it ensures you are living within your means and helps you remain in financial control.</p> <p>As a financial planning academic, I focus in <a href="https://researchprofiles.canberra.edu.au/en/persons/bomikazi-zeka/publications/">my research</a> on improving financial wellbeing and promoting savings behaviours through interventions such as budgeting. Here are five guidelines for creating a budget.</p> <h2>1. Apps vs spreadsheet</h2> <p>A good place to start is to choose the format of how you’re going to budget. There are several <a href="https://www.sanlamreality.co.za/wealth-sense/setting-up-a-family-budget-that-works/">online templates</a> and apps you can use for budgeting. For instance, <a href="https://www.22seven.com/">22Seven</a> has gained popularity in South Africa due to its compatibility with several financial institutions, including the country’s big five banks. Similarly, <a href="https://www.the-star.co.ke/business/kenya/2021-01-25-budgeting-using-mint-app/">Mint</a> is a popular budgeting tool that is used in Kenya and Nigeria.</p> <p>If you prefer to put pen to paper, some online templates come with <a href="https://www.wonga.co.za/blog/free-budget-template">free printable budgets</a>. Creating your own <a href="https://create.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/articles/how-to-make-excel-budget">Excel spreadsheet</a> is an equally good approach.</p> <p>What matters most is using a tool that you can commit to.</p> <h2>2. Itemising your income and expenses</h2> <p>A budget essentially shows how much you’re spending in relation to how much you’re earning. So once you have selected your budgeting tool, you need to fill in your income and itemise how much you’re spending on each expense in a month. A budget can be considered a cashflow statement because it allows you to track money coming in (income) and money going out (expenses).</p> <p>If you are living within your means, your budget should indicate a surplus – more cash inflows than cash outflows. So budgeting provides an accurate account of your short-term financial position.</p> <h2>3. A realistic account of expenses</h2> <p>When you look at your financial statements, fill your expenses into your budget honestly and accurately. Don’t cheat! Since everyone’s financial situation is different, your budget will also be unique.</p> <p>Even though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to budgeting, it should still consider all of your expenses (both regular and intermittent). A general rule of thumb is that if it’s deducted from your account then you should treat it as an expense. This includes payments for housing, medical insurance, fuel, dining out, credit card repayments and even bank fees.</p> <h2>4. Save first, spend later</h2> <p>Now you’ve seen how much you’re spending. Either it’s too much – and you can plan where to cut back – or you have savings at the end of the month.</p> <p>When compiling your budget it’s important to demarcate how much will be in the form of savings. What’s more important is getting into the habit of saving before you spend instead of saving after spending. If you spend first then you’ve deprived yourself of the opportunity to save for a rainy day.</p> <p>Furthermore, <a href="https://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/10231/1/Microsoft_Word_-_submitted_version_3rd_June_201.pdf">research</a> has shown that getting into the habit of saving has a transgenerational effect: it can be considered a cultural value that is passed on from one generation to another. So think of saving as paying yourself first. Once you have done so, you won’t feel guilty for treating yourself because you’ve already done the financially responsible thing by putting your savings aside.</p> <h2>5. Considering assets and liabilities</h2> <p>Once you’ve become comfortable with consistently budgeting, you can take it up a notch by including your assets (everything you own with an economic value) and liabilities (everything you owe) to determine your overall financial position.</p> <p>You can get a clearer picture of your overall financial wellbeing by compiling a list of all your assets, for example your savings and <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/home_equity.asp">home equity</a>, in relation to liabilities (such as bank loans). Knowing your long-term financial position can indicate how financially resilient or vulnerable you are. In the event of a financial emergency, you will know which resources you can draw upon to meet an unexpected expense.</p> <p>By creating a budget (and sticking to it), you can protect yourself and your household from financial shocks. Consider the alternative. Imagine you haven’t budgeted and set savings aside. If a financial emergency were to arise, your next best bet would be to borrow the funds you need. You’d have to come up with a plan to repay what you’d borrowed while also building your savings.</p> <h2>A healthy habit</h2> <p>Getting into the habit of budgeting isn’t easy, especially if you haven’t done it before or you’re intimidated by the process. But, as the expression goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Think of budgeting as taking a small but important step towards reclaiming control over your finances and improving your financial well-being.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214861/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bomikazi-zeka-680577">Bomikazi Zeka</a>, Assistant Professor in Finance and Financial Planning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/battling-to-make-ends-meet-financial-planning-expert-offers-5-tips-on-how-to-build-your-budget-214861">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Beyond the spin, beyond the handouts, here’s how to get a handle on what’s really happening on budget night

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Three weeks from now, some of us will be presented with a <a href="https://budget.gov.au/">mountain</a> of budget papers, and just about all of us will get to hear about them on radio, TV or news websites on budget night.</p> <p>The quickest way to find out what the budget is really doing will be to listen to the treasurer’s speech, or to peruse online the aptly-named “<a href="https://treasury.infoservices.com.au/page/budget2023">glossy</a>” – a document that last year was titled “<a href="https://archive.budget.gov.au/2023-24/overview/download/budget_overview.pdf">Stronger foundations for a better future</a>”.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=1000&fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=237&fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=600&h=848&fit=crop&dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=30&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/589444/original/file-20240422-23-vkinrm.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&q=15&auto=format&w=754&h=1066&fit=crop&dpr=3 2262w" alt="Cover of 2023 budget glossy" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Glossies are used to make each budget attractive.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://archive.budget.gov.au/2023-24/overview/download/budget_overview.pdf">Commonwealth Treasury</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>But they will tell you exactly what the government wants you to hear, exactly as it wants you to hear it.</p> <p>If you are looking instead for the truth – what the government is actually trying to achieve and what it is holding itself and its officials to, I would suggest something else, tucked away on about page <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">87</a> of the main budget document.</p> <p>It is required by the <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2004A05333/latest/text">Charter of Budget Honesty Act</a> introduced in 1998 by Peter Costello, the treasurer under Prime Minister John Howard.</p> <p>On taking office in 1996, Costello set up a <a href="https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20101119021633/http://www.finance.gov.au/archive/archive-of-publications/ncoa/execsum.htm">National Commission of Audit</a> to examine the finances he had inherited from the Hawke and Keating governments, presumably with an eye to discovering they had been mismanaged.</p> <p>But the members of the commission weren’t much interested in that. Instead, they decided to deal with something more fundamental.</p> <h2>Budget as you wish, but explain your strategy</h2> <p>Governments were perfectly entitled to manage money in whatever way they wanted, and they were perfectly entitled to spend more money than they raised (which they usually do, it’s called a <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/deficit.asp">budget deficit</a>).</p> <p>What the commission wanted was for governments to make clear what they were doing, and to spell out the strategy behind it.</p> <p>Only part of it was about being upfront with the public. The commission also wanted governments to be upfront with themselves – to actually develop frameworks for what they were doing, rather than doing whatever they felt like.</p> <p>The commission recommended a <a href="https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20101119021633/http://www.finance.gov.au/archive/archive-of-publications/ncoa/execsum.htm">Charter of Budget Honesty</a>, which among other things requires officials to prepare independent assessments of the finances before each election, requires budget updates six months after each budget, and requires <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook45p/TaxExpenditures">tax expenditures</a> (tax breaks) to be accounted for like other expenditures.</p> <p>And it requires the publication and regular updating of a <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3227/CBH_Fiscal_strategy.pdf">fiscal strategy statement</a>.</p> <h2>Where treasurers hold themselves accountable</h2> <p>The <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">fiscal strategy</a> can be thought of as an exam question set by the student who is being examined – something along the lines of “this is what you say you want your budget to achieve, please set out the means by which you plan to achieve it”.</p> <p>It turns out to have been exceptionally effective in getting governments to organise their thoughts, make budgets at least try to achieve something, and let the rest of us know what they are trying to achieve.</p> <p>Every few years, treasurers change the strategy, as is their right. Treasurer Jim Chalmers says he’ll change it again this budget, to de-emphasise the fight against inflation and to more greatly emphasise the need to <a href="https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/jim-chalmers-2022/transcripts/press-conference-washington-dc-0">support economic growth</a>.</p> <p>His statement will tell us what’s behind his actions in a way the glossy words in his brochure and speech might not.</p> <h2>The strategy that has signposted 26 years</h2> <p>Previous statements have signposted all the important turns in what the budget is trying to do.</p> <p>The first, in <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589686/original/file-20240423-16-rncqg3.PNG">1998</a>, committed Costello and Howard to achieving a budget surplus on average over the economic cycle and whenever “growth prospects remain sound”.</p> <p>Making that commitment more difficult was another “not to introduce new taxes or raise existing taxes over the term of this parliament”.</p> <p>Two years later, after the government had won an election promising a new goods and services tax, that commitment was <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589692/original/file-20240423-18-q843xn.PNG">changed</a> to “no increase in the overall tax burden from its 1996-97 level”, a condition met by calling the GST a state tax.</p> <h2>Hockey and Morrison wound back spending</h2> <p>The Labor budgets from 2008 <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589702/original/file-20240423-18-mikx6f.PNG">loosened</a> the tax target to the <em>average</em> share of GDP below the reference year, which they changed to the higher-tax year of 2007-08.</p> <p>The first Coalition budget under Treasurer Joe Hockey in 2014 changed the target from tax to spending, pledging to bring down the ratio of <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589705/original/file-20240423-16-9spkdy.PNG">payments to GDP</a>, and pledging a surplus of 1% of GDP by 2023-24.</p> <p>Any new spending would be more than offset by cuts elsewhere, and if the budget did receive a burst of unexpected revenue it would be “banked” rather than spent.</p> <p>In 2018 Treasurer Scott Morrison reintroduced tax as a target, that he spelled out precisely. Tax was not to increase beyond <a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589706/original/file-20240423-16-b7gj5d.PNG">23.9%</a> of GDP.</p> <h2>During COVID, Frydenberg spent big</h2> <p>In 2020, in the face of a COVID-induced recession and soaring unemployment, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pushed the old strategy to one side.</p> <p>They would spend big now to keep the economy afloat so they wouldn’t have to spend more bailing it out later, and they wouldn’t return to their old concern about the deficit until the unemployment rate was “<a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3228/fs2020.pdf">comfortably below 6%</a>”.</p> <p>So well did they succeed that in 2021 Frydenberg made the momentous decision to keep going, abandoning the promise to return to worrying about the deficit when unemployment fell below 6%.</p> <p>Instead he promised to keep spending big until unemployment was “<a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/589709/original/file-20240423-16-9pmpaf.PNG">back to pre-crisis levels or lower</a>”.</p> <p>The decision propelled unemployment down to a 50-year low of <a href="https://www.datawrapper.de/_/wPfXO/">3.5%</a>.</p> <p>Along with high iron ore prices, that one change of strategy has probably helped deliver Chalmers two consecutive budget surpluses – the one he announced last year for 2022-23, and the one he is set to announce this year for 2023-24. More of us have been in jobs <a href="https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/commonwealth-monthly-financial-statements/2024/mfs-january">paying tax</a>, and fewer have been out of jobs <a href="https://theconversation.com/half-a-million-more-australians-on-welfare-not-unless-you-double-count-227342">on benefits</a>.</p> <p>It’s a powerful demonstration of the real-world difference budget decisions can make, and the way in which the <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3225/8787.pdf">fiscal strategy</a> tells the story.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228387/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/beyond-the-spin-beyond-the-handouts-heres-how-to-get-a-handle-on-whats-really-happening-on-budget-night-228387">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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What to expect from the federal budget

<p>There's just three weeks left until Treasurer Jim Chalmers unveils the federal budget.</p> <p>With the cost of living crisis still a major issue across the country, we can expect to see some policies aimed at alleviating the pressure. </p> <p>Some policies, have already been announced and here are a few others that we can expect to hear from Chalmers on May 14. </p> <p>Stage 3 cuts announced in January, will form a key part of this year's budget, which will direct more benefit towards low- and middle-income earners – although Australians on high salaries will still receive a tax cut.</p> <p>The decision was made to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures and partly address the bracket creep. The cuts lower the threshold for the lowest two brackets (so they pay less tax on that income), and raise the threshold for the highest two brackets (so they need to earn more to be taxed at a higher rate). </p> <p>This means that someone with average income of around $73,000 will get $1504, but how much you actually receive will depend on your income. </p> <p>The new version of the stage 3 cuts will come into effect on July 1.</p> <p>Superannuation will be paid on government-funded parental leave, with the change due to kick in for parents with babies born after July 1, 2025.</p> <p>They will receive a 12 per cent superannuation on top of their government-funded parental leave, with around 180,000 families expected to benefit from it. </p> <p>The figures will be included in the May 14 budget. </p> <p>Although nothing has been officially announced,  there will likely be HECS-HELP debt relief for current and former students. </p> <p>"I think there's a range of areas where we need to do much better with the younger generation, and HECS is one of them," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on radio on April 18.</p> <p>"We've received a review of that... and what that has said is that the system can be made simpler and be made fairer.</p> <p>"We're examining the recommendations and we'll be making announcements pretty soon on that. We, of course, have a budget coming up."</p> <p>There have also been some hints from the government that energy bill relief will continue in this year's budget. </p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," Albanese said, citing the existing policy that gives eligible families up to $500 off their power bills and eligible small businesses up to $650.</p> <p>"Our government understands that for small business – as for Australian families – energy bills remain a source of financial pressure," he said.</p> <p>"That's why the energy bill relief package I negotiated with the states and territories delivered up to $650 in savings for around 1 million small businesses, along with 5 million families.</p> <p>"And as we put together next month's budget, small businesses and families will again be front and centre in our thinking."</p> <p>Energy bills are also set to go down, or remain stable for the most part from July 1. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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Your passport to salon-quality haircare on a budget

<p dir="ltr">There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking out of the hairdressers to proudly show off your new cut or colour, and your hair is the softest it's ever felt. </p> <p dir="ltr">While this post-salon feeling is second to none, it's hard to recreate at home to avoid spending big bucks at your hairdressers more than you need to. </p> <p dir="ltr">And then begins the seemingly endless journey to find a shampoo and conditioner that works for your unique hair type without breaking the bank. Trawling down the aisles of supermarkets and chemists in search of these elusive products can often raise more questions than answers. </p> <p dir="ltr">What ingredients should you be steering clear of? What brands are better than others? What problem area should you be targeting? Does more expensive actually mean better?</p> <p dir="ltr">And so on and so forth, forever. </p> <p dir="ltr">Until, an unsung hero swoops in to save the day. </p> <p dir="ltr">After absolutely perfecting affordable makeup, Revlon have made their foray into haircare, with Revlon Professional having the answer for everyone’s individual hair care needs while keeping the prices low.   </p> <p dir="ltr">Revlon Professional have a shampoo, conditioner and hair mask to cover everyone, with their systems covering everything from hydration and volume to colour protection, restoration, curly hair maintenance and more. </p> <p dir="ltr">I tried out the Revlon Professional RE/START Hydration system over two weeks while on holiday to really put it to the test.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1X1n6AI9FP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C1X1n6AI9FP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Revlon Professional Australia (@revlonprofessionalaustralia)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">While I was testing out the three-step system, I was exposing my hair to chlorine pools, salty ocean water and relentless humidity. On top of this, my poor hair has suffered years of abuse (at my own hands), and has been bleached several times, draining my hair of any natural moisture.</p> <p dir="ltr">I have tried dozens of ultra hydration products to make my hair look marginally better than a hay bale, and have yet to find my holy grail solution. </p> <p dir="ltr">I was expecting the Revlon Professional range to do what every other product does: give me maybe 12 hours of softness before my hair goes back to looking like a tumbleweed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Obviously my years of trying every product on the market has made me jaded, because the  RE/START Hydration system was so much more than I ever expected. </p> <p dir="ltr">Over two weeks of trying out the products, I used the shampoo, conditioner and mask about four times. After the first time of using them, I was completely shocked at how hydrated my hair stayed until it was next time for a wash. </p> <p dir="ltr">Unlike other products on the market, the RE/START Hydration system keeps your hair hydrated for days, all while looking clean, healthy, shiny and untangled, without weighing your hair down. </p> <p dir="ltr">At last, I have finally found my holy grail products and I will sing their praises from the rooftops. </p> <p dir="ltr">Whatever your hair concerns may be, Revlon Professional has the answer for you, all while keeping your wallet in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">But don’t just take my word for it. The Revlon Professional ranges are available at <a href="https://www.adorebeauty.com.au/b/revlon-professional.html?p=2">Adore Beauty</a>, <a href="https://www.ozhairandbeauty.com/brands/revlon-professional">Oz Hair &amp; Beauty</a> and Revlon’s <a href="https://www.revlonprofessional.com/">official website</a> for you to find your own holy grail products, and have salon fresh hair all year round. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Airline selling international flights for under $400

<p>Looking to jet off to Europe without breaking the bank? Well, now might be your chance! Budget airline Scoot has just unveiled an irresistible March sale, offering one-way flights to various European and other international destinations for less than $400. With more than 60 destinations on offer, travellers from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are in for a treat.</p> <p>Scoot, known for its affordable fares and quality service, is the low-fare subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. The airline kicked off its one-week sale on Tuesday March 19, much to the delight of eager globetrotters. From Greece to Japan, and from Singapore to Indonesia, there's a plethora of destinations waiting to be explored.</p> <p>Among the highlights of this enticing offer are flights to Singapore starting from a mere $198, Athens from $355, Osaka from $315, and Denpasar from just $189. With such competitive pricing, it's no wonder travellers are scrambling to secure their seats.</p> <p>However, with great deals often come limited availability. While Scoot has not disclosed the exact number of seats up for grabs, travel experts advise acting fast. Graham Turner, from Flight Centre, <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/scoot-launches-march-sale-with-flights-to-europe-from-395-c-14009924" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cautioned 7News</a> that while the deals are fantastic, they're likely to be snapped up quickly. "There won't be a lot," he warned, while stressing the importance of doing thorough research before making a booking.</p> <p>It's essential for travellers to note that the fares advertised are all one-way and do not include additional charges such as taxes, checked baggage, WiFi, in-flight entertainment, food or flight changes. Despite these add-ons, the base fares remain incredibly competitive, making Scoot's March sale an attractive option for those seeking budget-friendly travel options.</p> <p>If you've been dreaming of am international getaway, now is the time to turn those dreams into reality. But don't delay – Scoot's March sale is set to run only until Monday night March 25, giving travellers just a limited window of opportunity to snag these incredible deals.</p> <p>So, whether you're yearning to wander through the historic streets of Athens, indulge in sushi delights in Osaka, or relax on the pristine beaches of Denpasar, Scoot's March sale has something for every traveller's taste and budget. Don't miss out on this chance to explore Europe without breaking the bank!</p> <p><em>Image: Scoot</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Five tips for developing and managing your budget – even in tough economic times

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p>There’s nothing quite like a new year to prompt us to take stock of our lives, our health, our goals – and our finances. Many people will start a new year by contemplating how best to budget, plan and save. This is always a good set of aims, but it’s especially important in the inflation-prone and unpredictable economies we’re seeing <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/268225/countries-with-the-highest-inflation-rate/">all over Africa and the world</a>.</p> <p>Budgeting is especially key. It is the most effective method to <a href="https://www.thebalancemoney.com/how-to-make-a-budget-1289587">monitor income and expenditure</a>. <a href="https://www.uslendingcompany.com/blog/key-differences-in-writing-a-household-budget-vs-a-personal-budget/">Personal budgets</a> can help you to monitor your resources in pursuit of larger financial goals. Budgeting also offers <a href="https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v46/acr_vol46_2411998.pdf">more opportunities</a> to save money, reduce your debts and live a comfortable life. It can even <a href="https://prucomm.ac.uk/assets/uploads/blog/2013/04/Personal-Budgets-review-of-evidence_FINAL-REPORT.pdf">improve your mental health</a>.</p> <p>But where should you start? What questions do you need to answer in creating a budget? Here are some tips that I’ve learned – not just as an economist, but as a research cost analyst and someone who keeps a budget too.</p> <h2>1. Understand the broader economic conditions</h2> <p>It is imperative that individuals keep themselves aware and up-to-date on the realities of their country’s economic landscape. You don’t have to be a professional economist, but keep an eye on new developments like free business registration, small business development funds and printing of new money notes. What is the current exchange rate? What’s the political landscape and what international factors, like the price of crude oil, are at play? You should also watch the inflation rate and have a sense of unemployment trends.</p> <p>This economic awareness will prepare you to draft your own budget and you’ll have a sense of when external factors mean it’s time to revisit your plans.</p> <h2>2. Review your income sources</h2> <p>The ability to earn income is critical to sustaining livelihoods. Having a definite source of income is the bedrock of budgeting.</p> <p>Some important questions you should ask about your income – and how you might budget with it – include:</p> <ul> <li>What is my current income?</li> <li>What do I use my income for?</li> <li>Am I able to save, given my current income?</li> <li>What proportion of my income do I save and what proportion do I spend?</li> <li>Do I have the capacity to earn more than this?</li> <li>How can I improve my income?</li> </ul> <p>Your answers can help you to identify gaps or untapped potential. Those with irregular or unpredictable income should factor in the element of time-gap in their income, for effective budgeting. Time gap is when they are not earning income. And everyone should make allowance in their budgets for uncertainties like health issues, social engagements, inflation, unemployment, recession and price shocks.</p> <h2>3. Appraise your expenses</h2> <p>Expenses can be broadly categorised into “variable” and “fixed”.</p> <p>Fixed expenses recur within a short period: housing, food, transport, medical costs, electricity, utilities, toiletries and clothing. Variable expenses are more long-term and irregular, such as investment in property or interest-yielding assets, and the purchase of machinery.</p> <p>The main essence of revising our expenses is to analyse and possibly improve our spending habits. In reviewing our expenses, we can consider issues such as:</p> <ul> <li>What is the proportion of consumption-savings ratio from my income? This is how much do I spend compared to how much I save.</li> <li>What are my regular expenses?</li> <li>What are my fixed, capital or investment expenses?</li> <li>What are my extraordinary expenses that need modification?</li> <li>Have there been emergency or extraordinary expenses?</li> </ul> <p>A careful response to the issues raised above offers an occasion to re-evaluate the pattern and direction of our expenses. For instance, overspending, unplanned or extraordinary expenses can be identified. This can lead to an optimal, efficient reallocation of available resources.</p> <h2>4. Stabilise your finances through savings</h2> <p>Savings have been <a href="https://klinglercpa.com/bedrock-principles-for-saving-money/">described</a> as a financial stabiliser, given their potential to cater for urgent needs and create opportunities for investments.</p> <p>Of course, savings have more value when they grow faster than the rate of inflation. Inflation erodes the value of savings. For instance, an amount of 300,000 naira (US$676) saved to purchase an autorickshaw today may be impossible in two months’ time with an inflation rate of 10% when the tricycle price rises to 330,000 naira (US$744). The reverse is the case when there is deflation.</p> <p>Therefore, it is advisable to improve the value of savings through investments in interest-yielding assets such as stocks, shares, bonds, microfinance and production.</p> <p>That’s not to say it’s always easy to save. Many income earners spend as they go, not seeing savings as part of their budgets. Harsh economic realities can also make it difficult – sometimes seemingly impossible – to save. But it’s not impossible: savings can be made in small amounts, through a daily, weekly or monthly contribution to collections, cooperative schemes or microfinance affiliations. For instance, a point of sale business in Nigeria can permit a daily contribution of 500 naira (US$1.13) over 25 work days, giving an average saving of 12,500 naira (US$28.18) per month.</p> <p>The Point-of-Sale business started in Nigeria in 2013 when the Central Bank of Nigeria introduced the agent banking system. A POS agent operates and processes transactions through a POS service provider. Providers of such services include banks, microfinance banks and fintech companies.</p> <h2>5. Run a flexible budget</h2> <p>Once your budget is created, remember that it’s not set in stone. It should be flexible if anything changes in your life. For instance, an amount saved to buy a car can be invested in a promising venture buying shares through public offerings or private placements in multinational organisations like Nestle or Unilever.</p> <p>Also, health emergencies or career advancement programmes can require taking some money out of our savings.</p> <p>In all, budgeting should be flexible enough to incorporate exigencies, especially when catering for the current situation will culminate into a greater good.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/195590/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/oluwabunmi-adejumo-1370664">Oluwabunmi Adejumo</a>, Lecturer/Researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/obafemi-awolowo-university-2843">Obafemi Awolowo University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/five-tips-for-developing-and-managing-your-budget-even-in-tough-economic-times-195590">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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The cheapest places to travel in 2024

<p dir="ltr">With the cost of living continuing to rise, many people are looking for cost-friendly ways to travel the world in 2024. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some destinations are more economic than others, with these somewhat overlooked holiday hotspots showcasing the best of travelling without breaking the bank.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re looking for a new adventure this year, these corners of the globe are the cheapest places to travel in 2024.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>The Philippines</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The underrated gem located only a few hours northeast of Australia is one of the cheapest destinations in Asia, it's a wonder why more tourists don’t visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">Not only is it home to over 7,500 picturesque islands, six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an endless chain of pristine beaches, it's also very affordable with resort accommodation under $100 a night is not hard to find.</p> <p dir="ltr">On top of accommodation, day tours and activities (snorkelling, for example) will set you back around $30 to $40.</p> <p dir="ltr">Flights are also reasonable in cost, with return flights from Sydney to Manila coming in around $600 per person. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Turkey</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Travellers can get to Istanbul from Melbourne and back for approximately $1,300 per person, to visit some of the world’s most historical sites. </p> <p dir="ltr">Turkey is a paradise for those travelling on a budget, with mouthwatering meals can be found regularly for as little as $5, and even less for street food.</p> <p dir="ltr">To make it even better, striking accommodation in the historic Galata region can be as low as $50 a night. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Hungary</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Hungary is regularly dubbed one of Europe’s cheapest tourist destinations, with  accommodation, dining and entertainment costs significantly lower than the neighbouring countries.</p> <p dir="ltr">Expect to part with $60 to $100 a night for a pretty-as-a-picture hotel in the city centre, around $10 to $15 for meals in restaurants, and anywhere between $7 to $30 for activities. </p> <p dir="ltr">There are also tourist passes available that make these costs even cheaper. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Albania</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Located on the western part of the Balkan peninsula, this destination is often overlooked by tourists, making it an ideal budget-friendly destination. </p> <p dir="ltr">The stunning country is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites and turquoise beaches, all while keeping your budget in mind. </p> <p dir="ltr">Beachside accommodation can be found for as little as $70 a night, with prices comparable to Turkey for restaurant meals. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p> </p>

International Travel

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Give the gift of luxury on any budget

<p dir="ltr">As the weather starts to warm up, a lot of us are kick starting our summer holiday and Christmas plans. </p> <p dir="ltr">While trips away and what’s on the menu for Christmas lunch are obviously vitally important, it's also good to get a jump on buying Christmas presents for your loved ones. </p> <p dir="ltr">It can be hard to think of a thoughtful gift for that special someone, especially when that person may seemingly have everything. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, L’Occitane’s Christmas gift giving guide has you covered. </p> <p dir="ltr">Featuring everything from affordable stocking fillers, to the most luxurious product packs, the L’Occitane 2023 Christmas collection is certain to have something for everyone. </p> <p dir="ltr">For those looking to really spoil their loved one, they have limited edition sets for the ultimate pamper experience. </p> <p dir="ltr">This year, L’Occitane have three collections on offer, each featuring heavenly scents and full-sized products for $129 each. </p> <p dir="ltr">For those on a tighter budget, or those looking to add in a little extra something special as a stocking filler, L’Occitane’s iconic mini baubles are back for another year. </p> <p dir="ltr">The baubles feature a range of mini products in varying scents for $25, giving each person a chance to fall in love with their new favourite product before committing to a full size version. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ClnauzdvCFO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ClnauzdvCFO/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by L’Occitane en Provence | ANZ (@loccitaneanz)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">L’Occitane has a whole range of stocking fillers available, such as hand cream packs, deluxe Christmas crackers, and much more. </p> <p dir="ltr">For those who simply can’t wait until December 25th to unwrap their L’Occitane goodies, the luxury brand has brought back their deluxe Advent Calendars for another year. </p> <p dir="ltr">With both the Classic and Deluxe beauty advent calendars on offer, enjoy a little luxury everyday of December until Christmas Day.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxIEHK7PDpG/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CxIEHK7PDpG/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by L’Occitane en Provence | ANZ (@loccitaneanz)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">You can feel good about gifting L’Occitane goodies for Chrstmas this year, as the brand continues to make improvements to the materials they choose to package their products in. </p> <p dir="ltr">This year, L’Occitane has reduced the use of single-use materials by a further 8%, as they make it their mission to create a positive impact for both people and the planet. </p> <p dir="ltr">So when it comes to picking the perfect present for your loved ones this festive season, look no further than the luxuries of <a href="https://au.loccitane.com/">L’Occitane</a> to give the gift of indulgence to those who matter most. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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What is ‘budget Ozempic’ that’s all over social media? Can it help me lose weight?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-pace-1401278">Jessica Pace</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Social media is lighting up over what influencers are calling “<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2023/09/09/budget-ozempic-tiktok-trend-how-its-contributing-to-the-laxative-shortage/?sh=1f54511b1569">budget Ozempic</a>”. These are drugs normally used as laxatives and stool softeners, but people are taking them to lose weight. The demand is so high in the United States, there are reports this is contributing to <a href="https://www.wsj.com/health/wellness/laxative-shortage-diet-weight-loss-5a15bf02">shortages</a> in pharmacies.</p> <p>These laxatives are just the latest alternatives influencers are touting for the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-09/ozempic-maker-novo-nordisk-becomes-biggest-company-in-europe/102812584">blockbuster drug</a> Ozempic.</p> <p>So, does “budget Ozempic” help you lose weight? Any weight loss is likely to be temporary and using these laxatives long term may be dangerous.</p> <h2>Ozempic is in short supply</h2> <p>Ozempic contains the active ingredient semaglutide. It is a prescription-only drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. One side effect of taking it is significant weight loss. This has led to so many people trying to obtain the drug there have been <a href="https://www.tga.gov.au/safety/shortages/information-about-major-medicine-shortages/about-ozempic-semaglutide-shortage-2022-and-2023">shortages</a>.</p> <p>Instead, some people have turned to more easily accessible over-the-counter alternatives to try to lose weight. That includes <a href="https://theconversation.com/natures-own-ozempic-or-berberine-is-all-over-social-media-but-does-it-really-help-you-lose-weight-206855">berberine</a>, which has been dubbed “nature’s own Ozempic”.</p> <h2>What is ‘budget Ozempic’?</h2> <p>“Budget Ozempic” is different to “nature’s own Ozempic”. It is the polymer polyethylene glycol 3350, or PEG 3350 for short.</p> <p>Chemically, it’s similar to other polymers used as ingredients in cosmetics, drug delivery, <a href="https://www.chemistryworld.com/features/raiders-of-the-lost-pigments/3007237.article">archaeological preservative paints</a>, soaps and even <a href="https://navyrecognition.com/index.php/naval-news/naval-news-archive/2023/june/13261-northrop-grumman-hits-production-milestone-with-trident-ii-d5-s-2000th-rocket-motor.html">missile fuel</a>. It’s not to be confused with ethylene glycol, which is used in antifreeze.</p> <p>Medically, PEG 3350 is mainly sold in Australia through pharmacies in <a href="https://australianprescriber.tg.org.au/articles/managing-constipation-in-adults.html">laxative and stool softening</a> products. It is also used to clean out your bowels before a colonoscopy.</p> <p>The products are referred to as <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/medicines/medicinal-product/aht,22630/macrogol-3350">macrogols</a>. Brands include DulcoSoft, Movicol, OsmoLax, ClearLax and ColonLYTELY.</p> <h2>How can it cause weight loss?</h2> <p>PEG 3350 is known as an <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/laxatives/#:%7E:text=Osmotic%20laxatives%20draw%20water%20from,brand%20names%20Duphalac%20and%20Lactugal">osmotic laxative</a>. It uses osmosis – how your body manages the balance of electrolytes in your blood serum – to soften your stools and treat constipation.</p> <p>When you swallow a drink with PEG 3350 the polymer isn’t absorbed by the body. Instead, as it passes through your intestines it draws water to it, making your faeces much more watery.</p> <p>Because it draws more water out of your body than you put into it from the drink, your weight goes down. That is, it just makes you dehydrated.</p> <p>This means any weight loss is likely to be short-lived; when you next drink, your body will retain more of the water to replace what was lost. To have any significant and sustained weight loss you’d need to take a lot of PEG 3350 every day. And at most, you would only lose a few kilograms.</p> <p>This is different to how <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/assets/medicines/42ccacc2-2326-42ad-ad14-abd6010499a4.pdf">Ozempic</a> works. Ozempic is similar to a family of hormones in your body called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29364588/">incretins</a>. These have a number of actions that control both blood sugar levels and weight. For example, they slow how quickly food is absorbed from the stomach and decrease appetite, both of which help with sustained weight loss.</p> <h2>Dangers and side effects</h2> <p>PEG 3350 can make you <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dehydration">dehydrated</a>. You may feel dizzy or light-headed, have a headache and have a dry mouth, lips or eyes.</p> <p>The concentration of electrolytes in your blood, such as salt, may also be too high (known as hypertonic blood serum).</p> <p>Hypertonic blood serum can affect the shape of your red blood cells, making it harder for them to carry oxygen around your body. This results in symptoms that include fatigue and tiredness, and those other symptoms of being dehydrated. In extreme cases it can result in <a href="https://psmf.org/story/emily-jerry/">death</a>.</p> <p>Incorrect levels of electrolytes can lead to other serious problems, affecting your heart and muscles. It can also lead to seizures, confusion, and coma.</p> <p>It can be dangerous to take PEG 3350 if you have heart disease, if your doctor has put you on a sodium-restricted diet, or if you already have an electrolyte disorder, such as <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/potassium">hyperkalaemia</a> (high potassium levels).</p> <p>These products are also dangerous for elderly people, those with kidney problems, and in very young children.</p> <p>Common side effects include anal irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, cramps, pain, and swelling of your abdomen. Some people can have allergic reactions.</p> <p>If you use laxatives, including PEG 3350-based products, for a long period of time (over a period of weeks or months) then you may experience <a href="https://www.eatingdisorders.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Eating-disorders-and-laxatives.pdf">withdrawal symptoms</a> if you stop taking them suddenly. These include constipation, bloating, weight gain and fluid retention.</p> <h2>In a nutshell</h2> <p>Overall, if you’ve been struggling with weight loss, then PEG 3350-based products are not a safe and effective solution. Any weight loss you experience will be temporary and may put your health at risk. Safer and more effective solutions are available.</p> <p>Eating healthily and exercising regularly are important first steps for anyone who wishes to lose weight. Otherwise, your GP or local pharmacist can help you with both lifestyle changes and medication options to help with weight loss.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213457/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, Associate Professor of the Sydney Pharmacy School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jessica-pace-1401278">Jessica Pace</a>, Associate Lecturer, Sydney Pharmacy School, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-budget-ozempic-thats-all-over-social-media-can-it-help-me-lose-weight-213457">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Shop around, take lunch, catch the bus. It is possible to ease the squeeze on your budget

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/laura-de-zwaan-180752">Laura de Zwaan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p>It’s no secret that the cost of living has increased substantially over the last year, with rises of between <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/employees-annual-living-costs-highest-record#:%7E:text=%E2%80%9CLiving%20costs%20for%20employee%20households,per%20cent%20was%20in%201986.">7.1 and 9.6 per cent</a> for all households. So what can households do to manage these increases?</p> <p>It might sound simple, but starting with a budget is the best approach. Even if you already have a budget, price increases mean it will need to be updated. For those new to budgeting, it is just a list of your income and expenses.</p> <p>Make sure you match the frequency of these so you are working out your budget over a week, or a fortnight, or a month. There are plenty of budgeting apps and websites that can help, such as the <a href="https://moneysmart.gov.au/budgeting/budget-planner">Moneysmart budget planner</a>.</p> <p>Once your budget is up to date, you can see your financial position. Do you have a surplus of cash – congratulations! You can save that money to help you in an emergency.</p> <p>But what about if you have less income than expenses? You need to work through a process of figuring out where you can cut back.</p> <p>Some expenses are easy to cut back on:</p> <ul> <li> <p>If you have multiple streaming services, drop back to one at a time. Check for any other subscriptions you might be paying for – if you are not using them frequently, now is the time to cancel. You can always resubscribe when money isn’t tight.</p> </li> <li> <p>If you are spending a lot of money on take out or paying for lunch, find cheaper alternatives such as eating at home and packing a lunch using cheaper ingredients. Switch to tap water for normal drinks, and take a travel cup of coffee with you.</p> </li> <li> <p>Check and see if public transport is cheaper for you. If you are using a lot of fuel and paying for parking, public transport could be a better option.</p> </li> <li> <p>Groceries can be a huge cost for families. It is always worth shopping around to not pay full price. Understand unit pricing and buy the products you use when they are on special. It might be necessary to switch to cheaper products.</p> </li> <li> <p>Check if you are paying too much for your utilities like internet, electricity and gas. There are comparison websites you can use, including the <a href="https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/">Energy Made Easy</a> website. You can also make simple changes such as turning off lights and using a saucepan lid when boiling water that will reduce your usage.</p> </li> <li> <p>Check other products you might be paying for, such as car, home and health insurance to see if you can save money by switching. Be careful with any life or disability policies. It is best to speak to a financial adviser before changing those as there can be implications for cover.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Other expenses, like housing, can be a lot harder to manage.</p> <p>Rising interest rates have pushed up mortgage repayments for homeowners. Mortgage interest charges have <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-03/record-high-living-costs-businesses-contracting-interest-rates/102296992">risen by 78.9% over the year</a> to March 2023. For many homeowners, their repayments are unaffordable compared to when they first took out their mortgage.</p> <p>If you are struggling to afford your mortgage, the first step is to talk to your lender as soon as possible. Moneysmart has <a href="https://moneysmart.gov.au/home-loans/problems-paying-your-mortgage">useful information</a> on what to do when you can’t meet your mortgage payments.</p> <p>You may also be able to <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/super/withdrawing-and-using-your-super/early-access-to-super/access-on-compassionate-grounds/access-on-compassionate-grounds---what-you-need-to-know/">access some of your superannuation</a> so you don’t lose your home, however bear in mind that this is a temporary solution and uses your retirement savings.</p> <p>Increased demand for rentals has seen average rents across Australia increase by <a href="https://content.corelogic.com.au/l/994732/2023-07-05/z2tcd/994732/1688600749Ly8Iv9wt/202306_CoreLogic_RentalReview_July_2023_FINAL.pdf">27.4% since the COVID pandemic</a>. Supply of rental properties is low, which means many people may not be able to find a suitable alternative if their rent increases and becomes unaffordable.</p> <p>It might be necessary to take on a housemate, or move to a cheaper location (make sure to consider additional costs such as transport). If your circumstances have changed suddenly and you cannot pay your rent, contact your landlord or property manager.</p> <p>If you are paying a lot in credit card or other personal debt repayments such as numerous Afterpay-style accounts, it could be a good idea to speak to a bank about consolidating.</p> <p>This can help move some expensive debt, such as that from credit cards, into lower interest debt and simplify your budgeting as there is only one payment. If debt is making your budget unmanageable, then you can call the <a href="https://ndh.org.au/">National Debt Helpline</a> or for First Nations Australians there is <a href="https://financialrights.org.au/getting-help/mob-strong-debt-help/">Mob Strong Debt Help</a>.</p> <p>A final option could be to increase your income by taking on more work. This can be a good solution, but if you already work full time it might be unsustainable. Two common side hustles to boost income are gig work, such as Uber driving, and multi-level marketing, which is selling goods like Doterra and Herbalife to family and friends.</p> <p>However, both are <a href="https://www.twu.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/McKell_QLD_Gig-Economy_WEB_SINGLES.pdf">low</a> <a href="https://eprints.qut.edu.au/216593/1/MLM_report_Print.pdf">paid</a> and in most cases you would be better off earning minimum wage as a casual employee.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210895/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/laura-de-zwaan-180752">Laura de Zwaan</a>, Lecturer, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/shop-around-take-lunch-catch-the-bus-it-is-possible-to-ease-the-squeeze-on-your-budget-210895">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"I'm not here to apologise": Dan Andrews fires up as Comm Games is scrapped

<p dir="ltr">Dan Andrews has fired up at disappointed journalists after making the shock announcement that the 2026 Commonwealth Games would be cancelled.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Victorian premier shocked the nation with the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday, saying the event would not go ahead due to funding issues.</p> <p dir="ltr">He said the government had considered “every conceivable option” to still hold the games, but new budgets revealed the event, which was originally tipped to cost $2.6 billion, would likely blow out the budget to $7 billion.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m not here to apologise for not spending $7bn to deliver an event,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s about, do you deliver it at any cost or not? And the answer is we’re not.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Journalists then quizzed Andrews on what the cost of abandoning the event would be, which he refused to answer but assured the costs would be “fully accounted for” at a later date.</p> <p dir="ltr">While he said he would not “speculate” on discussions, he confirmed “very little costs had been incurred to this point”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Regional Victoria were awarded the rights to host the 2026 event last year after no other countries in the Commonwealth Games Federation volunteered.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Games were set to be held from March 17th to 29th in the regional towns of Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Gippsland and Shepparton.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrews went on to say the state could benefit much more from allocating the hefty multi-billion budget to other areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Today it’s not about finding fault with those cost estimates,” Mr Andrews said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I will not take money out of hospitals and schools in order to fund an event that is three times the cost as estimated and budgeted for last year.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Andrews said he had informed the Commonwealth Games authorities the state would seek to terminate the contract and said the subsequent meetings had been “amicable and productive”.</p> <p dir="ltr">In lieu of the Games, Mr Andrews announced the government would deliver the legacy benefits of the “housing, sporting infrastructure and tourism” benefits through other policies, using funds from the allocated $2.6 billion budget.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Roger Federer breaks royal protocol with Kate Middleton

<p dir="ltr">Roger Federer is being scrutinised by royal watchers after an awkward moment with the Princess of Wales was caught on camera at Wimbledon.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kate had welcomed Federer and his wife to the Royal Box to watch the match between Elena Rybakina and Shelby Rogers on Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was when Federer greeted Kate to a standing ovation in front of the packed crowd, that he had made the controversial mistake of putting his arm around Kate as he said hello.</p> <p dir="ltr">Royal watchers have accused the eight-time Wimbledon champion of breaking royal protocol, as they believed this action caused Kate to “flinch”, and claimed that Federer was “overstepping”.</p> <p dir="ltr">As part of the royal protocol, it is improper for someone to touch a member of the royal family unless they offer their own hand in greeting.</p> <p dir="ltr">This extends to the royal children, who are expected to bow and curtsy to their own parents when in public, which prompted further questions for Federer’s actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">Despite people finding fault in Federer’s actions, the pair of good friends had laughed and enjoyed their time throughout the game.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It did seem that Kate and Roger were getting along pretty well,” <em>Seven News Europe </em>Bureau Chief Hugh Whitfield told <em>Sunrise</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Some might say that Roger, overstepped, the mark stepped, across the fault line by putting his arm, around Kate. They’ve known each other for a long time.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’ll be questions about whether he broke royal protocol. I think most people were just happy to see them enjoy the day.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

International Travel

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Kate Middleton takes on Roger Federer in astounding match

<p>Undoubtedly one of the best tennis players of all time, Swiss star Roger Federer may have just met his match with the Princess of Wales.</p> <p>While Federer has 20 grand slam titles to his name, the Princess managed to get a shot past the star, which was met with his response, “I think it was on the line. Amazing!”</p> <p>Kate also took the opportunity to grab some coaching advice from the former world No. 1.</p> <p>“Any tips on my serve at the same time would be very helpful,” she asked.</p> <p>However, Federer seemingly had no advice to offer the Princess, responding, “The serve looks good.”</p> <p>The duo were playing a doubles match on No. 3 Court – where Federer won his first match on the way to earning his first Wimbledon title in 2003 – to acknowledge the hard work of ball boys and girls at the tournament.</p> <p>A clip of their encounter surfaced on YouTube and tennis enthusiast Kate is heard saying, “It’s so good to see you, Roger,” before stepping out onto the court ahead of their match.</p> <p>After she got her shot past the tennis legend, who retired from the sport in 2022, Kate gave a celebratory pat on the shoulder to her doubles partner Joel Eboewe, a coach with the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, which offers free lessons to local children.</p> <p>During their visit earlier in June, the pair accompanied the ball boys and girls in training for the 2023 tournament which commences Monday, 26 June.</p> <p>Federer himself started out as a ball boy in Basel in 1993 at just age 12, but it seemed as though he may have forgotten a thing or two about what goes on beyond playing the game.</p> <p>As tennis balls bounced around at his feet, Federer – with an estimated net worth of $820 million – asked, “Is that supposed to be me picking them up?”</p> <p>Kate also appeared slightly confused, with the royal being told that she was not allowed to catch a ball until it had bounced off the back wall.</p> <p>Every year, about 1,000 children aged 11 to 13 from schools near Wimbledon participate in training sessions, with a lucky quarter of them selected to take part in the tournament.</p> <p>For those being tested, Kate had a message to share, “With all the discipline and everything you’ve learned, you’ll be able to take it into so many other parts of your life; things like confidence and that feeling of pride with being on any of the courts is such a big moment.”</p> <p>Kate and Federer were due to participate in a charity tennis day in 2022, but the Princess pulled out after the Queen’s funeral.</p> <p>Federer has become friends with the Royals and the Middletons, with the tennis legend even spotted at the wedding of Kate's sister Pippa to James Matthews in 2017.</p> <p>He has also visited Prince William and Princess Kate at their home in Anmer Hall in Norfolk and has given Prince George a private tennis lesson.</p> <p>Wimbledon ball boys and girls manager Sarah Goldson said, “We’re proud of the young people who dedicate so much time and effort to their role which plays an integral part in delivering successful championships.”</p> <p>As patron of the All England Club, Kate will present the trophies to the winners of Wimbledon 2023.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

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Shop Smarter and Save Big: Unbeatable Deals on Appliances, Home items, and More in the EOFY Sales!

<p>The end-of-financial year sales are one of the biggest shopping events of the year here in Australia. Our favourite brands across various categories slash the prices by huge margins so that we consumers can grab a bargain. </p> <p>This event takes place every year, and this time round, it may be one of the best yet, with unmissable bargains including the highly-rated <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.canningvale.com%2Ftowels%2Fcollections%2Froyal-splendour%2F&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Canningvale Royal Splendour Towel Sets,</a> which has over 2,500 5-star reviews! Reviewers shared their thoughts: “Love my new towels - they feel like a bit of luxury - great thickness and fluff. Very pleased” and “Beautiful soft lush towels very happy with purchase”. Even the talk-of-the-town Calming Blankets’ best-selling <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.calmingblankets.com.au%2Fproducts%2Fweighted-blanket&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">adult weighted blanket is $100 off, reduced to $99</a>, so grab it while you can. </p> <p>When it comes to fulfilling your shopping needs, there's no better time than now. Why wait? By seizing this opportunity, you might just save yourself a pretty penny or two. We understand the challenges of navigating sales and limited timeframes to find the best deals, which is why we're here to lend a helping hand. Our expertise lies in uncovering the most enticing offers across various categories as we approach the end of the financial year.</p> <p>Whether you're looking to upgrade your tech and appliances, revamp your home bedding and towels for the colder weather, refresh your wardrobe for the new season, or even explore new beauty products, we've got you covered. Our extensive knowledge enables us to provide you with a comprehensive list of the best deals.</p> <p>So, without further ado, let's dive into our curated selection of deals for you to flick through below. </p> <h2><strong>Home </strong></h2> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/BeddingSets_byToaHeftibaUnsplash_HERO.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash</em></p> <p>We're approaching the peak of the cold weather, so If your bedding still seems better suited for keeping you cool rather than providing cosy warmth, now might be the perfect time to make a change. While you're at it, why not consider swapping out some home decor pieces as well? Give your space a winter makeover by adding touches of cosiness and incorporating warm colours. </p> <h3>Myer </h3> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%2Fbedroom-sale%3Ffacets%3Dmv--product_type_filter--quilt20covers%252Cmv--product_type_filter--sheets202620pillowcases%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off selected quilt covers and sheet sets</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%2Fsale-tableware%2Fdinnerware--sale%3Ffacets%3Dmv--mfname--heritage%252Cmv--mfname--maxwell202620williams%252Cmv--mfname--robert20gordon%252Cmv--mfname--salt26pepper%252Cmv--mfname--vue%252Cmv--sale_type--402520off%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">50% off Dinnersets by Maxwell &amp; Williams, Robert Gordon, salt&amp;pepper and more</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%3Ffacets%3Dmv--mfname--royal20albert%252Cmv--mfname--royal20doulton%252Cmv--mfname--waterford%252Cmv--mfname--wedgwood%252Cmv--sale_type--252520off%252Cmv--sale_type--302520off%252Cmv--sale_type--402520off%252Cmv--sale_type--502520off%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off a great range of Wedgewood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Waterford</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%3Ffacets%3Dmv--mfname--sheridan%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off the original price of Sheridan</a></p> <p><strong><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">House</span></strong><strong style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">:<br /></strong><a style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;" href="https://www.house.com.au/collections/sale" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 75% off House-wide EOFY Sale</a></p> <p><strong>Koala:<br /></strong><a href="https://koala.com/en-au/eofy-sale" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 30% off site wide </a></p> <p><strong>Canningvale:</strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.canningvale.com%2Fsale%2Fbedding%2Fbedding%3Fis_index%3D0&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40-60% Off in the Big Bedding Sale</a></p> <p><strong>Emma Sleep:</strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.emma-sleep.com.au%2Fsale%2F&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 55% off selected products</a></p> <p><strong>Sheridan:</strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sheridan.com.au%2Fsale.html&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off sitewide</a></p> <p><strong>Calming Blankets:</strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.calmingblankets.com.au%2Fcollections%2Fbest-sellers&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off sitewide</a></p> <p><strong>Bed Bath N’ Table:</strong> <br /><a href="https://www.bedbathntable.com.au/products/catalogue" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Clearance Sale Up to 60% off</a></p> <p><strong>Bed Threads:</strong> <br /><a href="https://bedthreads.com.au/pages/bed-threads-sale" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mid-Year Makeover Sale 15% off Everything</a></p> <p><strong>Freedom:</strong><br /><a href="https://www.freedom.com.au/c/best-selling" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Absolutely Everything on Sale</a><br /><a href="https://www.freedom.com.au/c/all-outdoor" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 55% off all Outdoor Furniture</a><br /><a href="https://www.freedom.com.au/c/all-rugs" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 40% off all Floor Rugs</a></p> <p><strong>Harris Scarfe:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.harrisscarfe.com.au%2Fcategories%3Fq%3D%3Arelevance%3Acategory%3Aquilts%3Acategory%3Apillows%3Acategory%3Acomforters-coverlets%3Acategory%3Atowel-collections%3AdealType%3AOnSale%3AdealType%3AFRIENDS%2520PAY%2520LESS&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40-60% off all Homewares &amp; Manchester</a></p> <p><strong>Dymocks:</strong><br /><a href="https://www.dymocks.com.au/books/promotion-winter-sale-june-2023/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Books for $9.99 in the Winter Sale</a></p> <p><strong>Booktopia:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Feofy-sale%2Fpromo3262.html&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 75% off top deals</a></p> <p><strong>My Deal:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mydeal.com.au%2Fsale%2Fstylish-bedside-tables&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Limited-time deals on bedside tables</a></p> <p><strong>Adairs:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adairs.com.au%2Fsales%2F&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Save up to 30% off</a></p> <h3>Tech &amp; Appliances</h3> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/06/EOFY_Jonas-Leupe-on-Unsplash.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash</em></p> <p>Tech and appliances are notorious for their hefty price tags, but their entertainment value or usefulness often justifies the investment. But, due to their high cost, it's wise to hold onto your bank card until the perfect deal presents itself, and that moment might be right now.</p> <p><strong>Myer:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%2Fappliances-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Great savings on Appliances by Breville, Sunbeam, Delonghi and more</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fhome--sale%2Felectronics-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Great savings on Tech by BOSE, Ultimate Ears, FitBit, Garmin and more</a></p> <p><strong>Dyson:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dyson.com.au%2Fdeals%2Feofy-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Save up to $450, plus receive complimentary gifts and additional accessories with selected technology.</a></p> <p><strong>The Good Guys:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fhisense-75kg-front-load-washer--hwfy7514&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$500 Off! Fisher &amp; Paykel 10kg Front Load Washer - $995</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fsamsung-75-inches-ls03b-4k-the-frame-qled-smart-tv-2022-qa75ls03bawxxy&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$1100 Off! Samsung 75" LS03B 4K The Frame QLED Smart TV 2022 - $2395</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Ftefal-easy-fry-classic-air-fryer-ey2018&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$100 Off! Tefal Easy Fry Classic Air Fryer - $99</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thegoodguys.com.au%2Fninja-intelli-sense-kitchen-system-ct682&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$30 Off! Ninja Intelli-Sense Kitchen System - $319</a></p> <p><strong>Appliances Online:<br /></strong><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/promo/clearance-sale" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Save on Appliances in the Clearance Sale</a><br /><a href="https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/product/tefal-cy8515-cook4meplus-multi-cooker" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$99 off Tefal Cook4Me+ Multi Cooker + Bonus Gift</a></p> <p><strong>Bing Lee:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.binglee.com.au%2Fcategories%2Fpromotions%2Fend-of-financial-year-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Huge savings in the Yenda Financial Year Sale</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.binglee.com.au%2Fproducts%2Fdyson-v10-stick-vacuum-394101-01&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$450 off Dyson V10™ Stick Vacuum, $649 (down from $1099)</a></p> <p><strong>Kogan:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kogan.com%2Fau%2Fc%2Fdyson-australia-a%2F%3Fdispatch%3Dfree%26order_by%3D-discount%26shipping%3Dfree%26page%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Save up to $450 on Dyson deals</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kogan.com%2Fau%2Fc%2Fawesome-eofy-sale-tvs-home-entertainment%2Fshop%2Fcategory%2Fled-tv%2F&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Save up to 55% off TV deals</a></p> <p><strong>Harris Scarfe:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.harrisscarfe.com.au%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dsmith%2520nobel%3Arelevance%3Acategory%3Akettles%3Acategory%3Atoasters%3Acategory%3Aair-fryers&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40% off all Air Fryers, Toasters &amp; Kettles by Smith+Nobel</a></p> <h3>Fashion &amp; Accessories</h3> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/06/EOFY_Priscilla-Du-Preez-on-Unsplash.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash</em></p> <p>Time to give your wardrobe an upgrade for the winter season. Think cosy layers, earthy tones, and clothes that will keep you toasty warm. Find everything you need in the sales below, and get ready to rock that effortlessly stylish winter look!</p> <p><strong>Myer:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fwomen--sale%2Fwomen-lingerie-sale%2Fwomen-sleepwear-robes-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40% Off Women's sleepwear</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fwomen--sale%2Fwomen-handbags-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">FROM $69 EACH Selected women's handbags and wallets by Marcs, Guess, Tommy Hilfiger and more</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fmen-sales%2Fmen-clothing-sale%3Ffacets%3Dmv--sale_type--302520off%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off a range of men’s fashion</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fmen-sales%2Fmen-shoes-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">NOW $119 EACH Selected men's shoes by Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, GANT, Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Florsheim and Wild Rhino</a></p> <p><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fkids-sale%3Flabel%3D%26facets%3Dmv--mfname--bauhaus%252Cmv--mfname--milkshake%252Cmv--mfname--sprout%252Cmv--mfname--tilii%252Cmv--product_type_filter--coats202620jackets%252Cmv--product_type_filter--knitwear202620sweaters%252Cmv--sale_type--302520off%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">30% off the original price of Kids' jackets, jumpers and cardigans by Milkshake, Sprout, Bauhaus, Tilii and Jack &amp; Milly</a></p> <p><strong>The Iconic:</strong>  <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theiconic.com.au%2Fwomens-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 70% off women’s Mega Sale Event</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theiconic.com.au%2Fmens-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 70% off men’s Mega Sale Event</a></p> <p><strong>Cotton On: <br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fcottonon.com%2FAU%2Fco%2Fco-sale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Sale up to 50% off original prices</a></p> <p><strong>Bonds: </strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fbonds.com.au&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40% off storewide</a></p> <p><strong>Seed Heritage:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.seedheritage.com%2Fsale%2Fwoman%2F&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off all sale styles</a></p> <h3>Health &amp; Beauty</h3> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/06/Jocelyn-Morales-on-Unsplash.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash</em></p> <p>There's nothing quite like treating yourself to something that enhances your health or beauty. If it boosts your confidence, it's definitely a smart investment. After all, you deserve to feel as good as you look, and that's something worth going for!</p> <p><strong>Myer:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fsale-beauty&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 40% off beauty brands</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fsale-beauty%3Ffacets%3Dmv--sale_type--402520off%252Cmv--mfname--calvin20klein%3Flabel%3D%26facets%3Dsv--category--18167%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40% off Calvin Klein fragrances</a><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myer.com.au%2Fc%2Foffers%2Fsale-beauty%3Ffacets%3Dmv--sale_type--402520off%252Cmv--mfname--revlon%26pageNumber%3D1&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">40% off Revlon</a></p> <p><strong>The Iconic:<br /></strong><a href="https://www.theiconic.com.au/beauty-all/?campaign=lp-wmksbh-taf20-2423" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 70% off Beauty products in the Mega Sale Event</a></p> <p><strong>Sephora:</strong> <br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sephora.com.au%2Fsale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">15% - 50% off Selected Styles only</a></p> <p><strong>Adore Beauty:</strong><br /><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.adorebeauty.com.au%2Fc%2Fspecials%2Fclearance.html&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 50% off Clearance beauty</a></p> <p><strong>Shaver Shop:<br /></strong><a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=204849X1683982&amp;xs=13&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.shavershop.com.au%2Fsale&amp;xcust=sen_eofy_sales_2023" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Up to 80% off</a></p> <p><strong>Oz Hair &amp; Beauty:<br /></strong><a href="https://www.ozhairandbeauty.com/collections/summer-clearance-sale" target="_blank" rel="noopener">EOFY Up to 70% off sale</a></p> <p><em style="box-sizing: border-box; color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;">Editor's note: When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, Over60 may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial reviews, and we only write about products we feel comfortable recommending to our readers. Thank you.</em><span style="color: #212529; font-family: -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif, 'Apple Color Emoji', 'Segoe UI Emoji', 'Segoe UI Symbol', 'Noto Color Emoji'; font-size: 16px; background-color: #ffffff;"> </span></p>

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Energy bill relief to benefit just one Aussie demographic

<p>Nearly half a million older Australians will receive hundreds of dollars in energy bill relief as the federal government looks to battle rising power prices.</p> <p>Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth revealed that all Commonwealth seniors health card holders will be given up to $500 per household.</p> <p>The 490,000-plus recipients will include an extra 16,320 people granted access to the card after the federal government introduced higher income thresholds for eligibility in November 2022.</p> <p>The new income limits are $90,000 for singles and $144,000 (combined) for couples.</p> <p>The government claimed this would benefit 52,000 older people by 2026-27.</p> <p>Rishworth explained the energy relief would be available from July 2023.</p> <p>The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its final determination on May 25, with a revised price increase higher than the March draft that saw a 20 to 22 per cent rise.</p> <p>AER chair Clare Savage said it had been a “difficult decision” but high wholesale energy costs continued to hike up retail prices.</p> <p>“No one wants to see rising prices, and we recognise this is a difficult time, that’s why it’s important for consumers to shop around for a better deal,” she said.</p> <p>Following the AER’s announcement, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton appeared on <em>Today</em> and said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had “lied” to Australians about energy prices.</p> <p>“Let’s be very clear about it, he promised on 97 occasions your bill would go down by $275,” he told <em>Today</em> host Karl Stefanovic.</p> <p>“I think the government’s completely underestimating how much families and small businesses are hurting at the moment.”</p> <p>The bill comes shortly after the Australian Energy Regulator revealed electric prices were set to increase by 25 per cent for about 600,000 customers across three states from July 1.</p> <p>The federal government’s latest budget committed to $3 billion in financial support for those struggling to pay their power bill.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

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