Tag Archives: budget

Sarcasm At Its Best – Letter To A Budget Airline in Australia

I thought this was priceless

 

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Budget airlines seem to have a knack for copping flack from their passengers — but you’ve never seen a complaint quite like this before.

Passenger, Jay Mancuso from South Australia, flew low-cost carrier, Jetstar, back to Australia from Bali recently and contacted the airline with a rather unusual gripe. Here’s his hilarious letter to Jetstar on Facebook and their just as witty response.

Dear Mr & Mrs Jetstar.

Hello, my name is Jay, and you guys gave me and my beautiful new wife a lift to Bali the other week to get married. Twas a lovely occasion and I believe you also gave about 60ish of our guests a lift also. Apart from the cramped seats, all went very well.

Now, I have read with interest several attacks on budget airlines, such as yourself, in recent years. Today I’d like to become one of these people (insert eye roll here).

On Friday evening at Denpasar international airport, my wife (still getting used to that) and I checked in at your Jetstar desk. Tired and grumpy (no one likes leaving holidays) we walked through the immigration stuff and wasn’t till we were “on the other side” we noticed that we were incorrectly allocated our seats. Prior to travel, I booked and paid for extra legroom, being a big fella, in seats 1a and 1b. Alas, we were allocated 15c and 15b. What?! That’s outrageous, I thought. I continued to the gate and talked to a lovely lady there who said the seats were double booked. But they changed our seats to 2a & 2b. Oh well, not much I can do from here.

Disgruntled as we were, we walked onto the plane and a wonderful lady, Abbey, flight manager, asked us why we had our tickets changed. I explained. Abbey then moved us to front row opposite and apologised profusely.

BUT! It didn’t stop there. Abbey had the nerve to tell us that she was incredibly embarrassed about our mix up, gave us both a Jetstar comfort pack (love the toothbrush) and a warm little blanket for the journey. Wow, of all the insolence. Then, THEN just after take off, would you believe she continued her torrent of niceness, and told us to select a beverage and some food FREE of charge!!!!!

Landing in Adelaide at 6:00am she then still gave us a huge friendly smile and apologised once again.

This is not the behaviour one expects when travelling with a low cost carrier and it must stop! I expect far less of your staff and I think Abbey needs a good talking to.

So, in finishing. To dear Abbey, flight manager on board flight JQ128 ex DPS -ADL on Friday night the 25th November 2016, I salute you. Your customer service and attention to detail was exemplary. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, you turned our frowns upside down. Jetstar, give this girl a sticker of excellence. It’s conduct like this that ensure we will be flying Jetstar again. (But can we please have a Dreamliner plane for the Adelaide to DPS run?)

Yours in good fun.

Jay Mancuso

 

Jetstar penned this reply:

Hi Jay,

Thank you for your post and congratulations to you and your new Mrs!

I’m sorry to hear of the issues with your seating, but so glad Abbey could turn it around for you and make sure you had an awesome flight. We go to great lengths to try and provide passengers with excellent customer service so it’s always helpful when a customer takes the time to tell us exactly what we’re getting right.

 

It’s also really rewarding for our team to have their work recognised in such a thoughtful way. I’ve passed your comments on to Abbey and her managers and I know they’ll really appreciate your thanks.

I’m sorry if I’m just pushing it too far, but I’ve also requested for a refund to be processed back to your credit card for the cost of the extra leg room seating, just as a further gesture of goodwill (how annoying can we be?). We’ll process this within 15 business days.

Thanks again for your great post and all the best to you and your new wife. We hope to see you both on board again soon :)

Cheers — Mrs Jetstar (Emma)

 

Source: Escape.com.au

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Wasted Money – Hard Earned Tax Money Disappears

 

 

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This is a list of budget cuts I received by email. I personally thought it made very interesting reading. For some.

 

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It was headed as Paul Ryan’s proposed budget cuts and savings in the next ten years. This is inaccurate. I checked Snopes to find this is article is only partially true.

 

 

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The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 was sponsored by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, not Paul Ryan.

Snopes summary.

‘ This itemized list of proposed budget cuts is real in the sense that it was encapsulated in a bill (H.R. 408) known as the Spending Reduction Act of 2011, a plan to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion through fiscal year 2021, and the specific amounts of savings to be gleaned by eliminating each item on the list come from a Republican Spending Committee report of January 2011. The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 was introduced to the House of Representatives in January 2011 and referred to committee, where it has remained ever since; it has not been passed or ever put to a vote.’

You can read more on this on the Snopes site

 

Now that I have got that out of the way, the thing that caught my eye was the list that was proposed for cutting the budget. 

Number 12 on the list was one. I mean they keeping shoving climate change down our throats and they are able to cut congressional printing and binding by 47 million. Hell that’s a lot of trees. Whats the matter with using technology to send information and save all that paper. Can they not read from an iPad?

Just look at this list and see what some of your hard-earned Tax money is going towards. It’s a laugh (sarcastic of course). No it’s not funny and we should keeping an eye on who ever proposes these ridiculous and stupid costs to the Tax Payer (you).

The List that is accurate.

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings.
* Save America’s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland — $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation —  $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program — $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies — $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicative education programs — H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon, eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy — $20 million annual savings.
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding — $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy — $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund — $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid — $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half — $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% — $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovation Program — $70 million annual savings.
* Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program —  $125 million annual savings.
* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization — $530 million annual savings.
* Beach Replenishment — $95 million annual savings.
* New Starts Transit — $2 billion annual savings.
* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts — $9 million annual savings
* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants — $2.5 billion annual savings.
* Title X Family Planning — $318 million annual savings.
* Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million annual savings.
* Economic Development Administration — $293 million annual savings.
* Programs under the National and Community Services Act — $1.15 billion annual savings.
* Applied Research at Department of Energy — $1.27 billion annual savings.
* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership — $200 million annual savings.
* Energy Star Program — $52 million annual savings.
* Economic Assistance to Egypt — $250 million annually.
* U.S. Agency for International Development — $1.39 billion annual savings.
* General Assistance to District of Columbia — $210 million annual savings.
* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — $150 million annual savings.
* Presidential Campaign Fund — $775 million savings over ten years.
* No funding for federal office space acquisition — $864 million annual savings.
* End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act — More than $1 billion annually.
* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget — $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
* Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees — $1 billion total savings.
* Prohibit taxpayer-funded union activities by federal employees — $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of — $15 billion total savings.
* Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress. Untold savings could result from this.
* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies — $1 million annual savings.
* Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — $12.5 million annual savings
* Eliminate Market Access Program — $200 million annual savings.
* USDA Sugar Program — $14 million annual savings.
* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — $93 millionannual savings.
* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program — $56.2 million annual savings.
* Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs — $900 million savings.
* Ready to Learn TV Program — $27 million savings.
* HUD Ph.D. Program.
* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.

* TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

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Saving tip Today

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Budget Better

Free online tools like Mint and Level Money help you better track your spending, save money and figure out where you can make cuts

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20 Meals From Costco For $120

I read this from a website called $5 meals .
If you are on a budget this has some great ideas.

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Fiscal Cliff in two short lessons

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This was sent to me today. I thought it was excellent because I was getting rather confused. This makes it easy for my uncomplicated brain. I think I am worried.

Fiscal Cliff put into much better perspective

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My Favorite – Meat Loaf.

This is one of my favorite meals. It is also one of my husbands favorite, although I don’t think I cook it quite as well as his Mother but I think that is the story with most husbands. No one cooks like Mum.
This meal is cheap to make, tasty, you can make more than one at a time and freeze one and most family members like meat loaf. It is great with potatoes, corn, sweet potato, asparagus anything that takes your fancy. Per slice it is not too many calories.
If you are on a strict budget this is a great choice. You can put cold meat loaf on sandwiches or in a plastic container with salad for lunch. If there is only two or three of you, the leftovers can be reheated for the next nights meal.

INGREDIENTS
Serves: Prep: 8min Cook: 1hr 5min Total: 1hr 23min
1 pound extra-lean ground round beef
8 ounces ground turkey breast
3/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup whole kernel corn
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium ketchup
1 teaspoon sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, turkey, salsa, bread crumbs, onions, corn, egg, garlic, chili powder, cumin, pepper, and salt. Mix well. Form into a loaf. Place in a 9″ x 5″ no-stick loaf pan.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, and sugar. Spread over the top of the meat loaf. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat loaf reads 160°F. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes, or until the top browns slightly. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Notes
To freeze, remove the cooled cooked loaf from the pan. Wrap with a double layer of freezer-quality foil. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake the foil-wrapped loaf at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until hot.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING
CALORIES 149.7 CAL
FAT 3.5 G
SATURATED FAT 1.1 G
SODIUM 268.3 MG
CARBOHYDRATES 9.6 G
TOTAL SUGARS 3.1 G
DIETARY FIBER 1.5 G
PROTEIN 20.3 G

SOURCE: Prevention.com

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Are You In Debt ?

If you are in debt then you are one of thousands, well actually millions. Just because you are one of millions, that are living on someone elses money, it’s not ok. You need to address this problem NOW, because trust me, the economy is not going to get better in the near future. If you want to protect what you have, start doing it now. Your salary is buying you a lot less than it did one year ago and the need to look after every cent you earn is now essential.

If you feel you are unable to take care of your debt problem on your own and cannot afford to pay a financial advisor then many Charities and church establishments offer free debt counseling. Counseling will help take some of the burden from you and look at things from a different perspective. Make use of the help, if you need them, use them. Once you get back on your feet, a donation would probably be very appreciated.

If you feel you can go it alone then here are some budget tips that will be helpful to you.

BUDGET TIPS

  • Draw up a realistic budget: To do this write down your income including wages, benefits and other income as well as ALL your expenses.
  • Ensure your expenditure includes: Insurances, holidays, house improvements and savings.
  • Stop using credit: Paying cash is a perfect way to know exactly what you are spending your money on.
  • Once you have drawn a budget, stick to it: Resist the temptation to buy now and pay later.
  • Plan for the future: Create a new savings account to save money for future expenses and allows your balance to increase.
  • Stock up on the essentials: Toilet paper, shampoo, soap, laundry products when they are marked down in price.
  • Shop close to closing time; Many shops and bakeries offer discounts for food in the hours before they close.
  • Buy Cheaper: If you shop at the farmers markets in the weekends you will pick up better quality and often cheaper fruit and vegetables and fresh-baked goodies.
  • Leave your wallet at home: Unless you are specifically going shopping try leaving the wallet at home.
  • Turn your air conditioner off: If your fuel is low turning the air conditioning will help reduce fuel consumption.
  • Refrain from buying that delicious cappuccino every day: Now this is a hard one for me. Cut it down to twice a week.
  • Empty the refrigerator: Before buying more food eat everything out of the fridge you will be surprised what you can make out of virtually nothing.

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10 Great Money Tips

1. Invest Now. Even if you start saving $5.00 a week or $100 dollars a month, for the next 20 – 40 years you will have generated large sum of money. You will have a lot more in savings than if you have just started investing in the last 10 years. The reason why is, that compound interest gives you the helping hand that you need.
Rule is: Start early in your working life. Encourage your children to put away part of their pocket-money in an investment account. It is a great habit to get into.

2. Pay yourself first. You have probably heard this many times. It means before you pay anything, put that investment money away into your account. Pay everything else out of what is left. Have the investment portion of your income automatically taken from your paycheck and put into your investment account.
The saying is what you don’t see wont hurt.

3. Keep away from High interest on debt. That means get the lowest interest rate credit card that you can get, if you must have one. If you are sticking to a debit card for your transactions that is wonderful. “The only problem is that Debit card transactions are not reported to the credit bureaus so if you don’t us your credit card you will have less payment history – which hurts your FICO credit score” Suze Orman.

You only need to use your credit card every few months to keep your FICO in good shape. You may never borrow again, but it is a good back up just in case. Your FICO score can affect auto insurance premiums and in some cases wether a landlord will rent to you. Some employers will also check when vetting job apllications. It appears that credit unions generally have the lowest interest on cards. You can go to creditcardconnection.org

4. Check your insurance. Do you need the policy you have. You generally need Health, disability and term insurance. Life insurance is one that I believe you need while your children are young. As you get older and financially established, I don’t think life insurance is of any use, especially if your dead. You can better use that money in your investment account. Extended warranties and investment linked policies are also believed to be not a good investment.

5.Budget. Keep track of your expenses. I know the iphone has a budget application on it so that you can put your expenses down immediately so it’s not forgotten. A budget gives you a record of what you are spending and where. It is suprising how much you can save or do save by doing this one thing. You will be amazed at how you can survive on less.

6. Invest in anything – something. The banks – not a good idea. Your money will get chewed up with bank charges and basically zero interest on your money. Find someone to lead you in the right direction. Bonds, Stocks, investment funds. You can also join investment clubs that will teach you more on the subjects.

7. Have an emergency fund. If you get into a situation where you need cash quickly, having a fund for those times is such a good idea. Usually it will cost, to get money out of any investment before its due date and often will take a few days. To have a cushion fund is an excellent idea.

8. Always keep up with the news on the economy. Learn the tell-tale signs of good and bad investments. I listen everyday, I make my own mind up, as sometimes you have to separate the propoganda from the truth. In this economic time I think we need to be very aware of what is going on. Move your money if you are not comfortable. Get some advise on the subject before you do though. Second opinion is always a good thing.

9. Take time to think about large purchases. For large purchases take a week at least to make your decision. You may find that after that time you really don’t need it or don’t desire it anymore.

10. Tax. Go to someone professional and find out where and how you can reduce your tax. Most people don’t take the time but it can be worth it. You maybe surprised what you are able to claim.

For more saving information: Simply Fantastic – Living Better On Less

Teach your children when they are young to spend less, live on less.

If you don’t do different nothing will change

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Banana Squash Soup

I found this recipe while perusing the web and I thought it looked great. I havent tried it yet but will do so I am passing it on to my followers. If any of you try it let me know how you like it.
The website( where this recipe comes from.)

Banana Squash Soup
Have a better photo of this recipe? Submit it and we will replace this photo with yours.
“Last weekend our sister-in-law gave us half of a ginormous banana squash. I’ve never been a huge fan of squash so I wasn’t very excited. Luckily yesterday I decided something needed to be done with it before it went bad, and came across a recipe from fabulousfoods.com that I adapted. This is now my favorite soup. It is simple and the ginger gives it a kick. I hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think.”

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 lbs banana squash, remove seeds and the rind (we used approximately 1/4 of a large squash)
1 green apple, peeled and diced (granny smith worked well)
1/2 onion diced
2 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and chopped very small (roughly 1 in cube pre-chopped)
3 Tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup half and half cream

DIRECTIONS:
Saute the banana squash, apple onion and butter. Add salt and pepper. Once they begin to soften (~10 min) add the ginger and continue to saute for another 2 min. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for ~45 min. Add the cream and blend until smooth.

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Budget Busters

By Lesley Voth

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So you wish there was more money at the end of the month. Do have trouble budgeting and staying on your own predesigned spending plan? Well, welcome to life. Here is a list of 20 things that could be siphoning money out of your wallet. So much money is spent without thinking about it, but look at this list and next time you encounter one of these budget busters you’ll be conscious and able to conserve. Here’s wishing you more money at the end of your month…

1. Eating out
2. Using your credit card
3. Not sticking to your grocery list
4. Letting your bank account get overdrawn and having to pay penalty fees
5. Not paying your power bill on time – always paying the “late” fee
6. Buying magazines you don’t need or don’t read
7. Buying shoes when you don’t need them
8. Buying scratch lotto tickets. Chances of winning something – Nil (Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math)
9. Unnecessary visits to the hairdresser
10. Massages (Mmmm a massage right now would feel soooo good, Oops I’m slipping)
11. Buying books instead of going to the library
12. Putting fuel in your child’s car. They need to learn responsibility. If you do it they’ll only learn that they can count on you.
13. Paying your children’s speeding fines. If they don’t have the money, they can work it off with community service. That’ll teach ‘em.
14. Getting a speeding fine yourself. (What were you thinking? Speeding uses more fuel, too)
15. Forgetting to check the oil in your car – Engine blows up. (Enough said)
16. You put a dent in your car – extra insurance costs
17. Using dryer sheets in the dryer – not necessary
18. Injuries – doctor bills
19. Going through red lights – Fined. (See #13 & #14)
20. Vending machines – empty and costly calories. Pack a lunch.

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