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Less Clutter More Cash - now available

Do you feel like you have too much stuff? Is your home full of things you never use? Would you like to swap them for cash? We did My wife and I have sold more than 300 items online as we downsize and we've learnt a bit along the way. I've put some of our best tips into this handy ebook. I hope you can use these tips so you too can have less clutter and more cash. Enter your email address below to receive the book for free. Less Clutter More Cash Get my new ebook for free. PS. This will subscribe to the But Wait There's Less email list, so you'll know when the new updated version of the book is available. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Recent posts

Personalised plates. Money waster or clever idea?

One of the themes of this blog is buy less spend less, work less, stress less. Some things are essential. Others are far from it. Like personalised licence plates. I've never fully understood the desire for them. I get that people like to express themselves. But it still feels like a waste of money. I took a deep dive to find out how much people pay for this self-expression. The plates website says each plate "has a character behind it and a story to tell" . Let's have a look at some of the 'stories' being told and what they cost. Colour This is the "colour" category of plate (though the owner chose white on black). Buyers can choose a combination of 3 letters and 2 or 3 numbers. Why has this person chosen to make a word like camera? Are they a professional photographer - or do they like the irony if they ever get caught on a police speed camera? I'm not sure, but at $485, it's an expensive joke. Theme Another motorist is spending $485 to ann

How much super will we have?

Will we be OK in old age? How much will we have? One of the great things about living in Australia is superannuation. Our employers are required to pay into an investment account for our retirement. In recent times, my wife and I have been in several conversations with friends who are wondering (or worried) if their balance will be enough. That's what inspired this article. Great question It's a great question to ask, especially around the age of 35 to 40. At that point, old age is less of a distant abstract concept. It's becoming a medium-term reality. At 35 the number of years of living off super is possibly more than half of your remaining years. At 40 you may consider yourself about half way through your working life. Looking at your balance, it's easy to think that twice that balance may not be enough.  Read on, because I have good news for you. It's better than you might think As I've mentioned in earlier posts, compound growth means the investment grows f

Offline

Yes, by now we all know that smartphones and social media are doing us harm. How do we harness the benefits of them without the destructive effects. The book Offline makes 5 main points. If you've only got a minute, here they are: The addictive design keeps us on online platforms longer. The 'brain hacks' disrupt our brain's ability to function. Humans need "real" interaction, and social media does not deliver this. Technoference (digital over-riding direct interactions at the play ground, coffee shop, dinner table) result in something valuable being lost. Speed of the transformation is astounding. 75% of people are connected, with almost half using social media. We have no idea what the long-term effects of this real-life experiment will be. Going a bit deeper, here are some of my highlights from the book. So what are side-effects? According to various studies, the effects can be grouped into the physiological (poor sleep, neural re-wiring, and increased str

Why own a car, when you can go get?

That's the slogan of one company providing an alternative to car ownership. Here's our experience with them. Why not just have our own car? Another time I'll write a full post about that, but suffice to say that car ownership is a pain in the neck. The servicing, the maintenance, the repairs, the parking, the traffic, the registration, the insurance, the cleaning... For my wife and I, about 98% of our transport needs can be done on foot, by bike, by train, bus or ferry. Maybe 99% if you include rideshare. So we choose to avoid the pain (and cost) of car ownership. However, car use (I think of it separately from car ownership) can be handy in certain situations. We had one of those situations last weekend. Here's how it went. Booking a car My wife signed up for GoGet , and booked the car online for the time window she needed it. As a first-timer, she received her little membership card in the mail. On the day of the booking, GoGet sent her a reminder email about 20 minut

Space Invaders - a deeper look

Here in Australia, there's a new TV show -- Space Invaders. The expert team visits ordinary families and help them declutter their home and improve their lives. Just one episode in and it's already a must-watch for me. Meet the Team "Declutter Guru" Peter Walsh is accompanied by renovation expert Cherie Barber and treasure hunter Lucas Callaghan. Their mission is to help households remove clutter, renovate the decluttered space and maybe find some treasures along the way. Episode one Empty-nesters Julie and Pete were in need of help. Julie's birthday presents lived on the dining table as there was nowhere for them to go. The spare room had barely enough floor space to walk in. The main bedroom was not much better. Pete's clothes were stored in the living room. Julie herself admitted "each thing I recognise and love - but as a whole it's just become a bit of a mess" . So what did they lose? Julie's nine racks of clothes were reduced to three.

The rule of 72

Here's a superquick way to work out how much money your investments might make. No need for fancy exponential maths . Just simple division and some doubling. Maybe you can even do it it your head. The rule of 72 Years to double = 72 / growth rate That's it. Pretty simple. Just 72 divided by a number. Working out the double-time So a 2% investment would take 36 years to double in value. (72 divided by 2) At 6% it would take 12 years, and at 8% it would take 9 years. How many doubles? Let's say someone is investing $50k for 36 years. At 2% , it would double once. Result $100k . At 6% , it would double three times. (36 years divided by 12 years). Three doubles means it becomes 100k, 200k, then $400k . At 8% , it would double four times. (36 years divided by 9 years). Four doubles means it becomes 100k, 200k, 400k, then $800k . This is astounding I was stunned when I first came across this. I probably still am. It's amazing to think that moving from 2% to 6% changes things

Documentary: Less is Now (review)

Joshua and Ryan (The Minimalists) have a new documentary Less is Now . Their key message - life is better with less stuff - remains the same. This time around they've interviewed regular people, and looked into the causes of our consumerism - and how it hurts us. Here are some of my highlights: S‫imple vs Easy They're not the same. Easy is going with the flow. Buying whatever advertising tells you to. It takes work to be intentional but it's worth the work. Haste makes waste The idea of anything we want being "on your doorstep within 24 hours" sounds convenient. But convenience can be our enemy . "If I can get you to purchase before you can think, I'm gonna get you to buy stuff you don't need". Manipulation Selling is OK - we want the grocery store to sell us food. But what people are pushing is not always compatible with what we need. Corporations are there to make money, make sales, and make more of both. Marketers are "really impressive&

Ever wanted to write a novel?

In 2020 two of my friends each published their first story. That's actually a bigger thing than I first thought. Eighty-one percent of people want to be an author. So how many actually do it? In any given year it's not even close to 1 percent. So what happens to the other 80 percent? Sometimes it's the confidence to go for it. Sometimes the right inspiration hasn't hit. Sometimes people need advice on story-writing or editing - or don't have the technical know-how. One way or another they find a reason not to do it. One huge reason is "I just can't find the time" - and it's fairly valid. Writing a book is actually quite a lot of work. Where to find the time? Sure, if you're super-driven you could do it in your after-work time. But it takes severe dedication to punch out a novel after working a 40-hour week. Staying up late, or getting up early, or giving up weekends. My two friends who published novels this year both took some time out of the

The Happiness Curve

Ever felt your life-satisfaction dip as middle-age approaches? It's not just you. It's quite normal. Here's how it works and what we can do about it. The title and the cover of the book give away the main point. As humans we tend to be less happy in the middle part of adulthood. Even if we're successful we can still get dissatisfied. Of course this is an average. It is "possible to be satisfied in middle age" - but it is harder. While genetics, circumstances and voluntary actions are crucial to explaining life satisfaction, there seems to be an aging component also. It's all relative This graph from the book shows average happiness (darker points) compared to expected happiness (measured five years earlier). For instance, the average 22-year-old's happiness is just above 7. But when asked for a prediction as 17-year olds, their average answer was 7.7. Clearly our expectations are high. Experts call this "optimism bias" and it appears to dec

The magic of compound growth

Compound Interest. Described by Albert Einstein as the 8th wonder of the world. Many people don't fully grasp its power and miss out on the magic. Here's a quick example For 30 days, would you rather (A) get $100 per day, or (B) get 1 cent doubled every day (ie. 2 cents on day two, 4 cents on day three, 8 cents on day four). Quickly. What's your immediate answer? On intuition, lots of people go for Option A. Why? Because $100 sounds so much more than 1 cent. How do they compare? Do the maths, and Option B wins by miles. By Day 15, the 1 cent per day has grown to $163.84 per day. Over the first 18 days, Option B accumulates $2621.43 (compared to $1800 for Option A). It just snowballs from there. By the final days, Option B is getting millions per day and ends up with a total of $10.7 million. Meanwhile the total for Option A is just $3,000 ($100 x 30 days). (Sidenote: Even if Option A was $100,000 per day, option B would still win.) Life in slow motion Investing can be much