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Miracle Spray recipe

Clean up on homemade Miracle Spray

Wouldn’t you love a cheap, enviro-friendly cleaning product that you could use all over the house? Some MyBudget staff have been trialing homemade Miracle Spray from the Simple Savers Facebook page and their feedback is a big thumbs up. They say it works as well as store-bought cleaners on tiles, glass shower screens, toilets, benches and floors, plus it doubles up as a pre-wash stain remover.

Miracle Spray (makes two litres)

Ingredients

  • 1.5L water (1 cup of it boiled)
  • 300ml white vinegar
  • 60ml dishwashing liquid
  • 25ml eucalyptus oil
  • 3 dessertspoons washing soda (‘Lectric’)

Method

Dissolve washing soda in 1 cup of boiling water then pour all ingredients into a 2L container and gently swirl to mix. Transfer into spray bottles. As with all cleaning products, keep Miracle Spray out of reach of children.

For more homemade cleaning product recipes, try Kidspot.

MCG makes food more affordable

AFL tries to make footy food more affordable

It’s great news for footy fans living in Melbourne that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has elected to slash food and drink prices for the 2015 season. Prices have dropped to 2005 levels in an effort to make a family day at the footy more affordable.

Hot chips have gone from $5.60 to $4, a meat pie from $4.80 to $4, hotdog from $6.50 to $4, chicken schnitzel burger from $10 to $7.50, soft drinks from $5 to $4, water from $5 to $3 and salad from $11.50 to $8. Unfortunately, no other stadiums across the country have indicated that they’ll be following the MCG’s lead.

Even with the price reductions, buying food at the footy can make for an expensive day. At the Adelaide Oval—where food prices have not been reduced—a family meal of a hotdog, chicken burger, two meat pies, a serve of chips and four bottles of water would cost more than $50. Why not dodge those costs by bringing your own food and drinks from home? Stadium rules are fairly generous: no glass, alcohol or open soft drink containers.

The AFL has also introduced other affordability measures. Booking fees have been reduced at some stadiums and kids can often attend for free.

Suzanne and her daughter on Daydream Island

Suzanne Isbester: 10 years with the MyBudget family

Suzanne (right) with her daughter

This week’s blog is dedicated to Suzanne Isbester, MyBudget’s first employee to celebrate 10 years of service with the company. In recognition of this special milestone, I’m pleased to share my memories of meeting Suzanne and I’ve asked her to reflect on what a decade of service means for her.

I remember interviewing Suzanne in 2005 and being impressed by her professional achievements, first in South Africa where she was in charge of asset lending for a major bank, then at the Commonwealth Bank in Australia. (Keep in mind that MyBudget had only eight employees in 2005!) I was also struck by Suzanne’s sincerity and genuineness. I could see that her incredible knowledge of the banking industry was complemented by an incredibly caring heart.

Suzanne reflects on it this way: “When I saw the ad for MyBudget, it was all about helping people. I thought ‘I can do that and I think I’ll enjoy it’. In fact,” continues Suzanne, “if it wasn’t for me getting the job at MyBudget, I probably would have gone back to South Africa. I was feeling sad and homesick, but joining MyBudget was like joining a family.”

Suzanne became MyBudget’s first dedicated debt negotiator and today she is a personal insolvency specialist. “I love helping people and seeing how their lives change,” says Suzanne. “I had one client who told me their dream was to buy a bus and tour around Australia. I told him ‘Ok, if that’s your dream, let’s do it.’ Well, he’s touring around Australia right now and he regularly phones in and updates me where he is. Stuff like that happens all the time and it makes me happy to know our clients are happy.”

From the whole MyBudget family, we thank Suzanne for her amazing skills and dedication. We look forward to many more years together.

Change your driving habits and save

Are your driving habits costing you money?

One of our readers Paul wrote to us: “This may seem silly, but I’m usually a lead-foot who likes to be the first away at the lights and ahead of the pack. Since I’ve cut back on accelerating so hard I seem to save quite a few litres in petrol. Two litres per week multiplied by 52 weeks at an average of $1.30 per litre = $135.20 annual savings.”

Paul’s findings are confirmed by the experts in Canberra. Subtly changing your driving habits will save you fuel and money.  The Department of the Environment’s top 10 tips include:

Save energy and save money on your heating bills

10 ways to reduce your winter heating bill

Is the thought of your winter heating bills giving you chills? The average Australian household spends 40 per cent of their power bills on heating and cooling, plus 21 per cent on water heating. That’s nearly two-thirds of your household’s energy costs, which means any savings you make in those areas can really reduce your utility bill.

How to keep your airfare low

Fly high, pay low

Budget airlines are now providing low airfare options on some of the most popular routes from Australia. When you compare budget fares with those of premium airlines, the savings can be astounding. One of the ways budget airlines keep prices low is by paring back many of the passenger services that full-price airlines provide as standard. We take a look at what those extra costs are and ways to avoid them.

Rising cost of raising a family

Cost of kids keeps rising (video blog)

Household budgeting is more important than ever with a study revealing that the cost of raising children in Australia has gone up 50 percent in less than a decade. According to the report, the cost of bringing up two kids in a middle income family has reached a whopping $812,000. In this month’s video blog, I share some ideas for keeping family costs under control.

Tammy May’s June 2015 video blog