Other advice

Service

Service in some way helps the world, and mankind, and helps yourself, but ought to be done in a selfless way, in attunement with God, without any desire for the fruits of action. This can be accomplished by keeping the mind at the point between the eyebrows.

Study of good books

Study of good books, particularly spiritual books written authors who have realized God. It is helpful to read through a passage once without interruption, including pausing to reflect on what you read, then read through it again, marking, taking notes, reflecting, inwardly digesting what you read, and considering how you can practice and make those thoughts become a part of your life.

Sell things that you don’t need.

If you haven’t used something for a long time (use your discretion for how long a long time is, maybe say a year), then you may want to sell it. Online selling is a great way to do this and there are many sites to do so.

Financial management

The bank I am with is ME Bank, which has the best interest rate on the market that I can find, and doesn’t invest in any fossil fuels.  I used Market Forces to find out about them and compare with other banks. However, interest rates are pretty low, so I have moved most of my savings to a mutual fund, called Australian Ethical Investment. My funds are in an emerging companies funds, which offer a high rate of return with a higher risk (but the risk-adjusted-return  metrics seem to be more favourable).

Bills

Find better deals for other things you pay bills for such as your mobile phone provider and your internet service provider. My mobile phone provider is Yomojo, which will recommend the best plan for you based on your past usage. You can adjust the amount of voice, text and data from a monthly usage amount with a fee or pay as you go. Shop around for a bank that provides high-interest savings accounts and term deposits. Extra features may be useful (depending on your circumstances) such as online banking; no exit-fees, lock-in contracts, minimum deposits and so on.

Money saver programs with matched funds for savings

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart page gives many tips on how to manage and save money. Simple savings tips on that website are here. I think I have covered all the tips on saving energy and water. Other tips on saving on groceries, saving money with a friend, clothing and other items, wedding, banking and habits are provided.

The site also links to a Saver Plus program that gives you $500 for saving $500 over 10 months with $50 minimum monthly deposits. I have signed up for it. To be eligible, you need to have a Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, have a regular income, be at least 18 years old, have a child (5-18 years old) or attend vocational education yourself, and the money that they match is used on educational expenses. You deposit a minimum of $50 a month for 10 months into an ANZ savings account which has a 3.7% interest rate. After the end of the 10 months you get the extra $500, which you must use it for educational purposes.

Other tips

Reuse paper, e.g. as toilet paper. You can reuse plastic bags for bins and grocery shopping–washing well as appropriate. Many supermarkets such as Coles accept plastic bags for recycling–but bear in mind that it is better to reuse things as much as possible before recycling. Alternatives to plastic bags for grocery shopping include backpacks, wheeler travel cases, and environmental or green bags.

Repair clothes, shoes, watches, and other things. You can do this yourself, or by taking it to a local store that will do so, e.g. a dry cleaner for clothes (as they often also do clothing repairs, a shoe repairer for shoes, a watch maker for watches. For faulty items, ask for a refund.


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