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Working from home during coronavirus shutdown? These hacks may help keep ease the pain of your home office


  Kitchen bench tops and dining room tables around Australia have become workspaces as office workers have been advised to work from home in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.   Where the opportunity to work from home in your PJs might have once seemed like a treat, the rapid shift to working from home — if that is even an option for you — is challenging.Suddenly, you may find yourself working in the same space as your family, bent over a laptop instead of sitting or standing at a dedicated workstation with ergonomic equipment.   The combination of long hours on a laptop on the kitchen table can be both physically and psychologically stressful over the long haul.   "It's worth investing some time thinking about how to make this work to protect your physical and mental wellbeing," said Jodi Oakman, who leads the Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors at La Trobe University.   Here are some tips and hacks that may help you make your ...


Loan comparison rates - do you understand them?


  When you are looking for finance to purchase a home, a term you will encounter is ‘the comparison rate’.    Many people don’t find out what this means, instead, simply relying on their mortgage broker or banker to organise the best deal possible. However, it pays to understand what it is about because that term ‘comparison rate’ has made a major contribution to tidying up home financing.   You see the term ‘comparison rate’ in advertisements and in product disclosure statements of financial institutions, along with the fixed or variable rates being offered. Essentially, a comparison rate is a rate that all lenders by law (made compulsory in 2003) must display next to their advertised interest rates to prevent financial institutions advertising low interest rates, and then hitting consumers with high hidden fees   In effect the comparison rate is a way to help consumers identify the true cost of a loan. By havin...


Noise! It's hard to escape and it could be doing you harm


  Whether it is sirens and car alarms, the whine/roar of jet aircraft, a chainsaw, mower, or whipper snipper being used for long periods, or your neighbour’s loud party, chances are urban noise pollution is or has driven you at some time to distraction. And as much as we seek it, finding real quiet seems almost impossible. Unfortunately, that is not a good thing.    According to an article that appeared in The Independent, constant noise can be hazardous to your health, affect your physical and mental state, and possibly even disrupt children’s learning. The article said that a variety of studies showed noise pollution has been linked with high blood pressure, deafness, a significantly increased risk of stroke and heart disease, fatigue, and a broad assortment of mood disturbances. It mentioned that 20 studies had found negative effects of either aircraft or road traffic noise on children’s reading ability and long-term memory. The studies found that...


Strategies to raise the funds for becoming a property investor


  As managers of rental properties, as well as being sales agents of property, we are often asked by people who would like to become property investors - how do people enter the field of property investing in the first place? With property values heading upwards again and interest rates being at record lows, the potential for capital gain makes property investment most appealing. If you have a plethora of funds, becoming a property investor is going to be easy. Most property investors we know, however, did not have the luxury of an easy entry and some have said it took sheer grit and determination to raise the deposit for the first investment.   SOME STRATEGIES   If becoming a property investor is a serious item on your wish list, here are a few ideas gleaned from others.   1) Become serious about saving: That means economising. Create a plan to save a certain percentage of your income and stick to it. That may mean cancelling the gym club membership or other...


A lesson from the bushfires: Are you underinsured?


  Among the many things highlighted by the recent tragic bushfire season has been the importance of adequate property insurance.   According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 23% of all Australian homes have no insurance, while 83% of the remainder are underinsured.   If you are underinsured, your insurance policy will not cover the cost of rebuilding. It can leave you in a situation of a major shortfall with resulting financial hardship as you will simply receive a payout for the amount covered.   Many insurance companies offer calculators on their website which help you work out how much cover you may need. It is also important to consider additional costs such as demolition and debris removal and fees for architects and council.   The Insurance Council of Australia makes the following points: • Don’t put off reassessing the value of your home and contents, vehicles and any outbuildings you have, and the level of cover...


Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaning Method


  So, your kitchen is full of stainless steel. It looks modern and sleek but when you have a closer look you can see your beautiful stainless steel appliances are dirty with smear marks across them. This is a very common problem and there are many different ways to clean and maintain the shiny look of your appliances whether it be using olive oil, vinegar or just regular detergent these tips below will have your stainless steel appliances looking as good as new.    The classic clean   That’s right, its the go too cleaning products, the good old water with detergent. Regular detergent combined with warm water is a great everyday option for cleaning stainless steel. Use your water and detergent mixture to clean the whole stainless steel section of your appliances. Once you have cleaned with your solution you should use a glass cloth which can be bought from any local supermarket and polish the stainless steel.   The Windex method   That’...