Sydney Trains

Opal savings

If you live in Sydney and have to suffer public transport, you’ll probably have your fair share of grips about the recently-introduced Opal Card. Overall, it’s not a bad system from a technological perspective, being the same as the ones used in the much-lauded Singapore and Hong Kong PT systems, but it is expensive. Still, as always, there are ways to save if you know where to look: Use loopholes The Opal fare system contains incentives, such as the Daily and Weekly caps, which can be exploited to reduce your overall spend. For example, you can make substantial savings if […]

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Easy (if not sexy) car maintenance

My car’s overdue for a service, but I don’t want to take it in ‘coz I know they’re going to charge me some ridiculous sum of money for what probably amounts to having an apprentice do an oil change and checking that stuff is working OK. If I’m unlucky, they’ll find something wrong with the brakes, shocks or whatever, and I’ll be up for kidney on top of the arm-and-a-leg. There are clever folks I know who can do their own minor services, but I’m not brave enough to do this myself, so I won’t recommend it to you (go […]

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Petrol: would you like pie with that?

I went to refill my car today, while claiming my free pie, it hit home just how complex this one little transaction had become. In the act of paying for the petrol, I: Paid with my credit card, accruing reward points with my bank Got my FlyBuys card scanned, earning yet more points Used a discount voucher from spending over $30 at Coles … and of course let’s not forget the pie, which was offered to give people incentive to visit Coles Express (i.e. Shell) instead of their regular petrol station. This is not unique to Coles either; Woolworths has […]

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More fuel economy tips

This is a quick addendum to my previous post about fuel efficiency. I recently read a story about John and Helen Taylor, a couple who hold several Guinness World Records for driving extraordinary distances on the least amount of petrol possible – for example, Melbourne to Rockhampton (2438km) on a single tank! One particular quote from the article* stood out for me: “If everyone in Australia saved just 10 per cent [on fuel], that would give Australia a saving of $5.2 million a day”! Now that’s a great example of how to make a big difference in the world simply […]

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Improving fuel economy for your car

With the cost of petrol (or gas, for our friends across the Pacific) ever rising, driving is becoming an increasingly expensive exercise. But of course there’s no avoiding it, is there? Getting to and from work, taking the kids to soccer practice, going shopping for groceries – we are all slaves to the tyranny of distance. And thanks to our “wonderful” government, public transport just doesn’t cut it. With that in mind, here are 3 very simple things you can do to squeeze the most out of every tank: Keep your tyres inflated – next time you fill up, stop […]