Thursday, December 06, 2018

Alert: Telstra Bill - Arrival Notification

I've just received six emails with the same subject "Telstra Bill - Arrival Notification" to various email addresses. I have no services with Telstra.

I thought I'd issue this heads up to let people know there may be some form of phishing attack happening aimed at Telstra users.

Do not click on the links in the email.

If you're interested in your bill go to the Telstra site using your browser and then log onto your account.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.OnlineConnections.com.au
IT support.

My initial scan of the URL using Google's malware service did not indicate any reports. This may indicate this is a new phishing scam of some type.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Petrol price alert - unleaded petrol increasing to 149.9.

Last night I noticed one Woolworths Petrol station had increased their price to 149.9. I like to wait until at least two Woolworths Petrol stations increase their price before letting others know. When multiple Woolworths Petrol stations increase their price this usually means prices are starting to increase. Today a second Woolworths Petrol station increased their unleaded price.

Checking prices yesterday a small number of BP and Caltex petrol stations had also increased their prices.

How quickly prices will rise is anyone's guess, but now is a good time to start watching petrol prices. Usually prices can take at little as two days to increase, but more often than not around four days. One time prices took over a week to increase to the new high. I use the Woolworths Fuel app to keep an eye on prices around me.

If you're using the 7 Eleven fuel app to lock in a low price for another week, it's hard not to lock in too quickly wasting the opportunity if the prices stay low for longer than expected. Use PetrolSpy to keep an eye on 7 Eleven fuel prices around Melbourne. Also remember, you can lock in a price when you're in another area and not just around your area. I've locked in 7 Eleven prices from the other side of Melbourne and once whilst sitting in an aeroplane at Sydney airport. PetrolSpy may not be accurate and it's best to recheck prices using the 7 Eleven fuel app.

For those wondering how come the last price increase went up to 169.9, but this time the price is only increasing to 149.9, the reason is the terminal gate price (think wholesale price) has dropped considerably. When prices increased last the average terminal gate price for Melbourne went up to 147.1 on the 12th of October. The average terminal gate price for Melbourne is currently 117.5 and has not yet bottomed out.

Prices usually go up 25-30 cents per litre so we'd expect prices to peak around 144.9 to 149.9. A welcome relief from the 169.9 of the last increase.

At times when prices peak it is not uncommon for some areas around Melbourne to increase to the new peak, whilst for a while, prices are still dropping in other areas. With the average terminal gate price still dropping, it will be interesting to see what happens to petrol prices around Melbourne in the coming week.

Kelvin Eldridge
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Late payment for Google Adsense November 2018.

Today I noticed the payment from Google Adsense for November 2018 hadn't occurred. This is quite unusual as Google Adsense regularly pays around the 21st or 22nd of the month. I started to wonder why this could be.

What I don't realise, from my Australian perspective, is in America Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of the month which was on the 22nd of November. Then we have Black Friday. Both of these days may be bank holidays.

If Google were to pay on the night of the 21st of November (my payments are usually received between the 22nd and the 24th of the month) and the money was transferred, if Thanksgiving and Black Friday are bank holidays, and the weekends are bank holidays, that's four days the money leaves Google's accounts and four days the money sits in the banks' accounts. That's a large amount of money not earning interest for Google or it's customers.

So perhaps, just perhaps it's prudent at this time of year for Google to delay payment and make best use of the funds, or perhaps it's just a delay.

Whatever the reason, it was good to learn a little more about the traditions of Thanksgiving and Black Friday that I hadn't known before.

Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, November 19, 2018

Bulleen District early voting centre for those in Doncaster, Bulleen, Templestowe and Templestowe Lower.

Went the the early voting centre today to vote for the forth-coming Victorian election. For the Bulleen District the early voting centre is located Suite 5, Level 1 90-94 Tram Road Doncaster VIC 3108.

If you're going to visit this early voting centre please be aware that even though the building has parking, the parking is not accessible to the general public as there's a boom gate and no way to contact anyone to get in. Why the VEC and the government selects places without easy parking makes me wonder.

The nearest parking is located at Officeworks which isn't particularly fair to Officeworks, but that's just the way it is. There's a considerable hill to and from the voting centre from Officeworks so keep this in mind if hills are a problem to you.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lower petrol prices around Truganina can be locked in using the 7/11 Fuel App.

I was travelling back from Western Victoria on Monday and knew that I'd arrive back in Melbourne with close to an empty tank. The problem was the cheapest prices around the 132 cents per litre were around Laverton and the price closer to home was around the 145 cents per litre.

Detouring any more than a short distance is a bad strategy when trying to save money on petrol as what you gain at the pump, is likely to be lost in petrol usage and vehicle costs. However the good thing about the 7/11 Fuel App is you don't actually have to go to the 7/11 petrol station, you can oten lock in the price some distance away. The 7/11 Fuel App selects the lowest of the nearest five 7/11 petrol stations and the nearest five change if you close and reopen the app as you drive along.

Coming back along the Western Highway, before reaching the Metrolpolitan Ring Road, I felt there was a small chance I'd be able to lock in the Truganina 7/11 petrol price. I tried locking in the price just before the Western Freeway turned south near Caroline Springs. No luck. The best price was around 145. As we neared the section marked with the pink circle below, where the Western Freeway curves left and heads more to the east near Derrimut, we were in luck. The 7/11 Fuel App found the Truganina petrol station which had unleaded petrol for 132.2. The price was locked in and I can fill up closer to home at the local 7/11 store when it's more convenient.


The savings will be around 13 cents saving around $6-$7 when I fill up.

For those interested the apps I used to help identify the lowest prices was the PetrolSpy app and the 7/11 Fuel app to double check the price. Whilst the PetrolSpy app showed 131.9, the 7/11 Fuel App had the price of 132.2, which is the price that was locked in. Differences in prices like this can occur because prices can get updated at different times by different apps. The 7/11 Fuel app's price for Truganina dropped to 131.9 the next day. You never know which app will be the most accurate, but since you can only lock in the price shown in the 7/11 Fuel app, that will end up being the price that can be locked in.

By using the fuel apps on this latest trip I was able to plan where to fill up and saved around $10-$15 on petrol. It isn't a large amount, but these amounts do add up over time.

Kelvin Eldridge
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Victorian Stamp Duty Calculator has now been integrated into the Mortgage Repayment Calculator Australia

As I review the web apps I create I need to decide if the web apps are best being left standalone, or if it's best to integrate the web apps together.

The Victorian Stamp Duty Calculator appeared as a menu item on the Mortgage Repayment Calculator Australia and also linked back to the Mortgage Repayment Calculator. In effect the Victorian Stamp Duty Calculator appeared as an option.

I've decided for simplicity to now have all four of the calculators appear as menu items on the Mortgage Repayment Calculator Australia. All calculators were written at a time when people were looking for properties so they relate well together.

The Victorian Stamp Duty Calculator appears still as the Stamp Duty menu option.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.MortgageRepaymentCalculatorAustralia.com.au

News.com.au site published an article indicating water mist could hydrate the skin. The article appears to be misleading and could be considered a hoax.

I read yesterday on the News.com.au site an article titled "Scientists claim this one thing will boost hydration" and goes on to say it's water. More specifically mist. At the end of the article are number of mist hydration products are listed with their prices.

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/human-body/scientists-claim-this-one-thing-will-boost-hydration/news-story/50867e602c4ac6cd2645151705c0a581

This article is a HOAX like those HOAX emails you receive.

HOAX emails take certain believable facts but in the end what is purported isn't true. The information misleads people who then go on to spread the information as if it's true. Whether the sharing of information is forwarded as an email or passed on in conversation.

What is staggeringly unbelievable is the article appears in a reputable news site. News sites pride themselves on the integrity of their journalism.

I was interested in the article because if water mist is a good way for women the hydrate their skin for up to six hours that would be very good. All women need is a misting bottle and some water, even better if the water is distilled. There are products that women can buy that are listed in the article. Sadly it is not that simple.

I did some searching and found articles from the mentioned Aichi Medical University in Japan which lead me to the following article which is the result of the research.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/srt.12648

What is important to note in this research is the water droplet size for the mist that made the difference in the tests is known as a water nanodroplet. A water nanodroplet in this case being 0.5 μm, or half a micron in size.

In essence the size of the water droplets is incredibly small so the droplets can penetrate the skin. These droplets would be invisible to the naked eye. If you can see the mist when you spray it, then the droplets are not small enough.

I found this chart on particle sizes I thought may be of interest.

https://www.coloradoci.com/bin-pdf/5270/ParticleSize.pdf

The article indicates the water nanodroplets were produced by an air conditioner and further reading indicates this was probably a desiccant air conditioning system.

The HOAX aspect of this article is the information is believable, backed by science, and provides products that can be purchased that would appear to align with the science. However, it is unlikely any of the products shown would produce water nanodroplets of the size required to penetrate the skin.

Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Days Between Dates calculator update to show years, months, day and number of years between dates.

As I was creating the Car Running Cost Calculator I found I also needed to know the number of years between two dates. I decided since this calculation was useful for myself it may be useful to others.

I'd already created the Days Between Dates calculator so adding the years and years, month, days values to the Days Between Dates calculator felt like the appropriate place to display these values.

The Days Between Dates calculator now shows the number of years between two dates as well as the years, months, days between two dates.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.daysbetweendates.com.au

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Woolworths Petrol prices with discount matching Costco petrol when Costco open.

I must admit I've never really been able to tell if the major petrol stations like Woolworths Petrol and Coles Express match the surrounding petrol stations, or the surrounding petrol stations match Woolworths Petrol and Coles Express.

Then recently I found something unexpected happening with the Woolworths Petrol station in Epping. The Woolworths Petrol station price for unleaded petrol was unexpectedly changing by a considerable amount some days. At first I didn't know what was happening but then a pattern started to appear. When Costco Petrol was open Woolworths Petrol would lower their price to roughly match Costco Petrol price if you had a Woolworths Petrol discount voucher.

The following screen captures show the price change. The first screen capture was taken at 10:24 pm on Monday the 29th of October 2018. The second screen capture was taken on Tuesday the 30th of October 2018 at 9:08 am.



When Costco Petrol was closed on the Thursday night the price for unleaded petrol is 157.9 at Woolworths Petrol and when Costco Petrol is open on the Friday morning the price for unleaded petrol drops to 148.7 at Woolworths Petrol. If you take the Woolworths Petrol discount voucher off Woolworths Petrol price is closely matching the Costco Petrol price. This isn't a once off occurrence as I've watched this price matching occur many times.

Whilst this still doesn't answer the question of which companies match with petrol prices, in this case it's very apparent Woolworths Petrol is matching Costco Petrol's prices.

For consumers who are in the Epping area or passing through, knowing Woolworths Petrol is price matching Costco Petrol during Costco Petrol's opening hours means you know that best times to buy petrol at Woolworths Petrol Epping. It also means there's no need to get a Costco membership just to buy cheaper petrol.

A tip for drivers is if you're driving down the Hume Highway returning from a long trip and need petrol, getting off at Cooper Street, filling up and using Dalton Street to get back onto the Metropolitan Ring Road if heading east, could save a few dollars in petrol whilst not adding overly to the driving distance. It will of course be a slower drive. Getting off the Hume and then back onto the Hume is not such a good saving as it will add around 6 km to the trip and use approximately a dollar of extra petrol. When petrol is at it's peak this still could be a reasonable saving.

Woolworths Petrol in Braeside also appear to change their prices to match Costco Petrol, but the price fluctuation is nowhere as much.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

Thursday, October 25, 2018

New Car Running Cost Calculator web app now available.

For a long time I've wanted to create a web app that would enable me to calculate the cost to run a car per kilometre. I've been recording most of the costs associated with my car since I purchased the car in 2008.

Cars cost money, big money. If you know how much a car costs to run per kilometre you can make informed decisions about your choices. For me it's been very instructional doing what if calculations on different car usage scenarios. I've learned a few things even though I've only been using the Car Running Cost Calculator for less than a day.

If you're interested in working out how much it costs you to run your car per kilometre, or even per year, you can check out the Car Running Cost Calculator at www.CarRunningCostCalculator.com.au.

So what things have I learned?
  • Based on my usage the car has cost me around 51 cents per kilometre.
  • Surprisingly trying to save money using public transport instead of your car actually increases the cost per kilometre.
  • Within reason, the more you use your car the cheaper it gets per kilometre.
  • The less you use your car the more it costs per kilometre, which makes the cost of public transport appear more attractive.
  • Registration has cost me around 5 cents per kilometre.
  • Petrol has cost me around 13 cents per kilometre.
Will I change my behaviour based on what I've learned?

In most cases the Car Running Cost Calculator confirms what I already suspected but couldn't easily prove. In a number of scenarios I compared using public transport to using a car, in the past I've felt public transport had a price advantage. Public transport definitely has a considerable time and convenience disadvantage, often taking two to three times longer for a journey, but if I have time, time's not a cost to me. I'm also quite happy taking public transport. However, now I'll be able to better check the public transport cost versus using the car and often the car will not only be quicker, more convenient, but it will also be cheaper.

I should state for clarity that often when I drive there can be two people in the car. The number of people is important as the cost of using public transport goes up by the number of people, whereas in a car the additional cost per person is likely to be under 10%.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.CarRunningCostCalculator.com.au


Thursday, October 18, 2018

New BMI Calculator kg to help calculate BMI (Body Mass Index).

One of the aims I have with the web apps I create is to make sure they're used by as many people as possible. Sometimes it may be necessary to test a new domain to see if the new domain gets better traction.

In this case the BMI formula site has been used as the basis of the BMI Calculator kg site. Both still exist and only time will tell whether it is better to use one site, the other site, or even both sites.

You can find the new web app at http://www.BMICalculatorkg.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.BMICalculatorkg.com.au

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Petrol price alert. Petrol increasing to 169.9.

It looks like that time again when we see the petrol prices in Melbourne hike again. It looks like the new high price will be 169.9, although there's one petrol station that's increased the price to 171.9.

At times like this it's not usual to see some stations still decreasing prices whilst other hike their price You never really know what's going to happen except that over the next few days prices will restore to the high price, most likely around 169.9.

It could have been worse. With the average terminal gate price around 145.5 and the usual price increase of 25-30 cents, the price could have easily reached the mid 170s. The average terminal gate price has been going down lately so hopefully that has been a factor for prices not going over the 170 mark.

As usual if you're using the 7 Eleven fuel app watch the 7 Eleven fuel prices and lock in a good price in the next few days.

Kelvin Eldridge
Petrol Prices Melbourne
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

PS. If you'd like to receive an email alert to let you know the petrol prices in Melbourne is hiking, you can now subscribe to the mail list on the Petrol Prices Melbourne site.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

You can now subscribe to a Petrol Price Alert email.

I keep an eye on the petrol prices in Melbourne for myself, family and friends. When the price is starting to hike I let people know.

So I can let more people know I've decided to add a mailing list to the Petrol Prices Melbourne site. After around five seconds a pop-up form will appear which will let people know they can subscribe to the mailing list of they want to.

Each time the petrol price in Melbourne hikes, I will send out an alert using the mailing list.

Whether or not people will be interested in this option I don't know. Only time will tell. However for me it's great as I save time as only the people who really want to know when the petrol price is hiking in Melbourne will make the effort to subscribe.

Kelvin Eldridge
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

Thursday, September 27, 2018

ASIC business name renewal from ASIC Messaging Service a fake/scam or legitimate?

Ever get a gut feeling that out of those many scam emails you receive one may actually be legit. Well that happened to me. I've received quite a few emails "reportedly" from ASIC recently. Seven to be precise this past month. All look like the following. Yes this is a fake email. Every month business owners are targeted by scammers using fake ASIC emails.


There were seven such emails all in the same form with the same salutation "Dear Sir/Madam". Since ASIC knows my name and none of the emails had my name in the body of the message, all the emails felt like fakes and thus scams.

I decided to log onto my ASIC account and check the status of the domain name. The problem is it took me ages to find the correct place to log on and even longer to find the renewal date. Yes my business name is up for renewal in the coming weeks.

I went back to the emails and found one had the correct date. The problem is the email had the salutation "Dear Sir/Madam", there were links that don't work and no mention of the business name in the body of the email. These would normally be signs of a fake/scam email. ASIC are doing such a bad job with their emails it's very hard to know the fake from the real email.

Even worse the ASIC website is a terrible site to find where you need to log on. ASIC use a different site which can be found at https://asicconnect.asic.gov.au. I've not provided a link as I'd suggest trust no one, not even me, and go to the ASIC connect site by searching Google or Bing for "ASIC connect". Make sure the site is a subdomain of asic.gov.au.

Once you get to the ASIC connect site you still need to find the renewal date. After logging on you need to select the business name you're interested in checking. You can find the business names under the Business Details tab.

My biggest concern with the renewal of the business name was missing the actual renewal date and then incurring possible late fees. In the past I've not received an ASIC notice in time due to postal delays and there was no consideration from ASIC. Thank goodness I found the renewal date before it occurred.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au

Costco petrol price compared to other service stations.

There is no doubt that Costco petrol stations influence the price of petrol in their immediate area. However that influence isn't always as great as you may think and it also depends on where we are in the petrol price discount cycle.

Recently I checked the Costco petrol station at Moorabbin using Petrol Spy and the price shown was around 136. I decided since I'd be going past the Costco petrol station I'd fill up. The nearest petrol station was around 141. Being a Woolworths the discount voucher would bring the price lower, but not quite as low.

Costco petrol stations don't display prices on boards like other petrol stations, so the only time you know the price is when you get to the pump. With 4-5 cars in each lane before you, the wait is long but you feel it is worth it. I pulled up at the petrol pump after waiting for some time to find the price was 141.7. A bit disappointed, I thought that was a lesson well learnt. A couple of hours can make all the difference in the world of petrol so it's always best to double check prices.

As it turned out there was a Woolworths Petrol station close to the way home in Burwood with unleaded petrol for around 138 and with a discount voucher, that would have been 134 and 7 cents a litre saving. A further saving of nearly $3. Now we're not talking much money, but the savings over a long period of time add up.

There were a couple of good lessons learnt with the visit to the Costco petrol station in Moorabbin so for me the outcome was good.
  1. I've never seen a busier service station on a normal day so expect delays.
  2. Check prices again closer to when you're buying.
  3. The Woolworths Petrol station in Braeside often matches the Costco petrol station in Moorabbin and can be used as a guide.
  4. The Costco petrol station in Moorabbin is established whereas the Costco petrol station in Epping isn't and the Epping Costco offers lower prices at the moment.
  5. At the bottom of the fuel discount cycle Costco petrol stations may not be the best prices.
  6. At the top of the fuel cycle and following the peak, it's worth checking the Costco petrol station prices using a fuel app such as Petrol Spy, but keep in mind Petrol Spy isn't the most reliable fuel app. Again check prices of surrounding petrol stations.
Overall this was a worthwhile exercise. I had wanted to check out a Costco petrol station and see how they worked. It also was a reminder to double check my information. The Costco petrol station price wasn't really bad, in fact it was quite reasonable, it's just that I could have done better without much effort. The longer queue at the Costco petrol station and the slow traffic along Boundary Road were both unexpected and need to be taken into account.

Kelvin Eldridge
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

Sunday, September 23, 2018

McDonald's Monopoly rare pieces for 2018

For those interested the News.com.au site had an article detailing the rare monopoly pieces for McDonald's Monopoly.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/these-are-the-valuable-maccas-monopoly-pieces/news-story/456586db59774410d55ce400e50751be

For those who just want to know the rare pieces they are:

Marlborough Street
Piccadilly
Whitehall
Old Kent Road
Regent Street
Fleet Street
Park Lane
Euston Road
Fenchurch Street Station

Now if you're upsizing from a small meal to a larger meal to get Monopoly pieces, keep in mind for a major prize you have more chances winning tattslotto than getting one of the major prizes in Macca's Monopoly. You have a 1 in 45,379,620 chance to win first prize in tattslotto and 1 in 168,000,000 to win 1 year Europcar hire, or a $10,000 Bay Leather Republic voucher, or 1 in 68,000,000 to win $5,000 Flight Centre Gift voucher, a 1 year BP fuel gift card, or a Suzuki Vitara RT-S automatic, prizes which look insignificant compare to winning first division in tattslotto.

With a single game entry in tattslotto costing around 71 cents it does take many upsizes to pay for a 12 game ticket. It may be wiser to save your money and your waistline and put the money on a tattslotto ticket, or not.

Kelvin Eldridge

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Opt out of the government's My Health Record before it's too late. November 15 2018 is the cut-off date.

If I recall correctly the government initially had the My Health Record system set up as opt in. In software development opt in is the way to go. People only opt in if they want to. However the less desirable approach many businesses and less desirable software developers use is you have to opt out.

As opting in was not successful for the government they decided to change to the opt out approach. That way by default they get more people participating and the service looks more successful. If the My Health Record is really something people want, opt in would work.

None of us have any idea of how the government will use and who they will share our data with. It's no longer our choice to opt in so if you don't want the government collecting and your information potentially accessible with who knows which groups, governments or individuals, you should make the active decision to opt out or opt in.

Opting in is as easy as doing nothing. Opting out requires you to go to the government's site, providing some information. One thing that further concerns me is you can get an email confirmation. However providing an email simply provides additional matching information that can be kept on record. This type of cross matching has been used by businesses for years. Remember those businesses that asked for your postcode for research purposes. Yep, that potentially helped match your credit card details back to your location uniquely identifying and tracking you. So even something as obscure as a postcode can be used in ways you don't anticipate.

For me personally I'll be opting out. If I need medical records or history I hope my medical professionals will have that information available for me and if not, perhaps it's time to get a better medical practitioner.

To opt out of My Health Record visit https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/opt-out-my-health-record.

Click the Opt out now button
Select Me
Click Next
Enter your identify information

As an example of something simple in this process which doesn't make sense is you enter your driver licence and Medicare details. However, separately they also ask for your gender. Why? Surely your driver licence and Medicare details should be enough and details of your sex shouldn't be required. When additional information that is not required is requested it begs the question why?

Review your information
Submit
Print a copy of your information for your records

Finally, before you can submit you have to answer a short questionnaire on why you are opting out. You can't simply submit at this stage. I selected the option "No reason" and did not provide any further details. Unfortunately additional information like this can be used in ways we can't anticipate.

Whilst some people may consider I'm concerned, the reality is for me it's simple. Systems should be opt in. When any organisation forces you to opt out by default they're acting in their interests and not yours.

Kelvin Eldridge
www.JustLocal.com.au


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Melbourne petrol prices increasing to new high of 169.9 cents per litre.

The first signs of the petrol price hike are now occurring taking the price of unleaded petrol to 169.9 cents per litre in Melbourne.

This was almost totally predictable. It is often said it is a coincidence that petrol prices increase around school holidays. The last increase left me a little perplexed because the increase wasn't the usual 25-30 cents per litre from the current low. The increase was under 20 cents. That is something I hadn't seen in the time I've been monitoring petrol prices over the last two years and writing these posts.

Why was the last price increase last time so low?

Whilst I can't be certain, but by having a low increase, with the usual discounting of petrol the price would drop enough just in time for an increase for the school holidays. Had the price been increased to 164.9 or 169.9 which would have been in the 25-30 cent price increase last time, that would not have enabled prices to drop sufficiently for the prices to increase just before the school holidays. Just my opinion. Perhaps it just a coincidence.

Time to now monitor petrol prices and consider filling up in the next few days if this price hike continues. There's still plenty of scope for prices to continue to drop as the price is still often 4-8 cents above the Gate price. Woolworths Petrol at Lilydale and Clarinda have today increased to 169.9.

Don't forget the new Costco Petrol in Epping continues to influence the Woolworths Petrol price at Epping. Woolworths Petrol Epping price without the 4 cents/litre discount is currently 139.7.

Also watch the 7 Eleven prices and use the app to lock in a low price for another week. But as usual don't jump the gun too soon.

Kelvin Eldridge
https://www.PetrolPricesMelbourne.com.au

UPDATE: 22/09/2018
The first petrol stations lifting their prices had the price of unleaded petrol going to 169.9. The next petrol stations have taken the price to 167.9 and 167.9 is becoming the new high price.

Monday, September 10, 2018

$50 energy bonus. Victoria energy compare.

The Victorian government is giving away money, $50 to be exact and it's pretty easy to get your $50. All you need to do is to go to the Victorian government's energy compare site and start the process to compare your current energy bill with other providers. Along the way you get the option to claim your $50.

What I've done is below is document the steps I took to claim the $50.

Visit https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au

Select Electricity
Select Home
Select I have a recent bill
Select your current retailer
Enter postcode
Do you get energy concession
Do you have a smart meter data file to upload. Select No. 

NOTE: I tried to upload a file but it failed with unrecognised format. Best to enter details from your recent bill.

Do you have solar panels. N0
Tick Disclaimer Agreement
Click Next
Answer Energy questionnaire
Enter Your Energy Usage

Your electricity offer screen appears. 

At this point on the right is a green box which reads “Claim your $50 Power Saving Bonus” and click on the link "click here".



The click here link takes you to the $50 Power Saving Bonus

Scroll down the agreement information
Tick the Disclaimer Agreement box
Click Next
Select I don’t have a PDF bill
Confirm your electricity account details (using your last bill)
Click Next
Tick I’m not a robot
Click Submit

That's it. Take a note of your customer reference number that appears. You never know when something may go wrong. You'll receive a confirmation email. In about a week I received another email letting me know I'd receive the power bonus in 2-4 weeks.

It's important to keep in mind the time it takes to get the bonus if you are moving house. You could be gone before the bonus arrives and redirecting mail costs nearly half the bonus. If you're moving house it may be best to move and wait for the first bill. Of course there's a risk you don't get the first bill in time and sometimes when people move the first bill can take an exceptionally long time to arrive. Electricity bills are usually done every 90 days, add the time to receive the bill and you're getting close to the end date of the offer.  Gas bills take less time as the billing period is around 60 days. The government's offer ends 31st of December 2018.

Also go back and complete the energy comparison and enter your information from your bill. In many cases you’ll find there may be a better offer. Make sure you double check the results that are presented.

The one issue I did have filling in the information was whether or not to include GST in the price. The forms do state to exclude GST. In addition I made an error with the service to the property amount. It does say total amount whereas initially I entered the daily amount. Hopefully those tips may help you fill out the forms and find cheaper providers.

Kelvin Eldridge
http://www.cheapestelectricityprovider.com.au


Update: This site may be good to help determine your electricity distributor.
https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/electricity/electricity-distributors

Update: The $50 check has been received.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Mortgage Repayment Calculator now called Mortgage Repayment Calculator Australia.

One of the very handy calculators I've written is a mortgage repayment calculator. I used a domain with hyphens and frankly, the level of traffic has been low. That means people aren't getting to benefit from using the calculator.

Normally when a domain/calculator doesn't get used I tend to let the domain go. In this case however, I've personally found the mortgage repayment calculator and the features provided to be very useful.

For example you can work out your mortgage repayments, how long it would take to pay off a given mortgage given a known payment amount, and interestingly, if you're renting, how much of a mortgage the rent payments would cover. All useful information for those looking at purchasing a home. The mortgage repayment calculator also links to the Victorian Stamp Duty Calculator which is handy for determining government charges.

Right now interest rates are seeing a 0.14%-0.16% increase from the major banks. That doesn't sound like much but with loans in the many hundreds of thousands of dollars, even a small percentage change can add $500-$600 or more a year. Using the mortgage repayment calculator you can easily see how the interest rate change affects your home loan.

The mortgage repayment calculator is now called Mortgage Repayment Calculator Australia and can be found at www.MortgageRepaymentCalculatorAustralia.com.au.

Kelvin Eldridge