Monday, July 21, 2014

Gambling. My Story. There's Many Ways to Get Help Campaign.


This is an important article. If you have a gambling problem, please refer this link, There's Many Ways To Get Help.

I take a look at my bank account often. Generally these looks and an audible *sigh* go hand in hand.

I'm definitely not a person in dire straits though. There are worse bank accounts out there than mine, of this I am certain.

These days, I am debt free, but that doesn't mean things can't get better. For one thing, less shoes magically appearing under my wife's side of the bed. That would greatly help my bank account.

My dog deciding to get a job would also be fantastic. Perhaps she could star in her own TV series. It could be called "Things you shouldn't eat". Good idea or am I barking mad?

Gambling is a current daily problem for many
On a serious note though, the major annoyance in my life is Gambling ads.

Now, I'm not about to let you all know that I have a terrible gambling problem, far from it. I think I have enough will power to ignore the betting ads, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't see some form of gambling advertising or the odds for some type of event.

I am sports mental. I read a fair bit of sports news and I also have the Fox Sports channel.

I estimate that I see at least five gambling ads a day. Hell, just when watching YouTube I am bombarded with a gambling ad at the start of almost every video.

WE ARE BEING BOMBARDED!!!

We can't even look at the sky to get away from a gambling ad!!

Yes, that's right. One gambling company decided to fly a giant Jesus hot air balloon in the sky in an arrogant stunt. I mean, seriously.

I admit I have a sports betting account. But this is where my concern lies. I'm a person who would only ever have a bet around the Melbourne Cup, just like many other people in Australia.

Now, with everyone owning smart phones and so many ads on the telly every single day, it’s so easy to get sucked in just like I did.

$5 on my beloved Adelaide Crows to win?! Yeah, I’ll take that bet because it is so easy for me to just pull out my phone and push a button.

It's super easy and so quick to gamble your money away with the flick of a finger.

What's also concerning is the big gambling sites that offer free money if you become a member. This is where I got caught. Free money for someone like me was enough for me to see what was going on.

So I signed up and didn't win a single thing.

What's more is that after the first few bets, a few more came along. I stopped when I was $100 out of pocket. That was enough for me.

I'd hate to think how much other people are down. My will power is good enough to quit at $100 down. Are other people as strong? Is the constant bombardment of advertising on the telly today too much? And is it causing more problems than there ever was?

Pull up a chair kiddies, it's story time

I can remember being about eight years old working with my Grandpa at the dog tracks. I'd help sell entry tickets and my Pop would train and race dogs.

I never saw him have a single bet. All I saw was him talking with his dog mates.

Mingling with his mates over a beer or two, laughing about how much better his dogs were than the others.

Sure, gambling was the main thing the dog track was about, but it was so much more than that.

It was about Aussie blokes having a good time out and about, not sitting in their lounge room watching sports channels and putting a bet on a lucky number.

Why can't gambling only exist in live venues? Why don't we just have that? Why not make it hard enough so people have to pull themselves out of their pyjamas and go to the local pub or footy oval to place a bet? I wish it wasn’t so easy for people to hand over their hard earned money to large overseas betting agencies.

We are never going to get rid of gambling. There is no point in trying to eradicate it completely and I don't want to do that.

But I would like to take gambling advertising off my screens, out of my newspapers, and away from my Fantasy AFL sites.

I don't care about the odds or how much money I could win betting on a draw in the World Cup.

All I want to do is crack open a tinnie with my mates and tell them how much better my team is than theirs.

So, to all the betting companies - get all the gambling bollocks out of my face and let me go about my own business without trying to sell me yours.

The constant gambling ads are being thrown too far down our throats on a daily basis. I want these agencies to get their dirty fingers out of our pockets and let us make our own choices.

What do you think about advertising and gambling? Keep them out of our homes and smartphones?

If you would like helping information with a gambling problem, visit this link today, There's Many Ways to Get Help.

And if you or someone you care about is experiencing problems with gambling, there are many ways to get help. For free, confidential support call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858 or visit gamblershelp.com.au to find the support that’s right for you.

- tork

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cost Cutting Tips For Car Owners


This is a guest post from the Motor Accident Legal Service, a one stop shop for people involved in accidents involving motor vehicles.


Buying a car is exciting and many people talk about the deal they got and the price they paid for weeks after the new automobile arrives in the driveway, but the real cost of a car is not the one-off purchase price; it’s the ongoing expenses. Here’s some helpful information on how to keep those costs down.

Tune It Up

A well maintained vehicle runs more efficiently than a poorly maintained one and this pays dividends in the long run. If you ensure your vehicle is serviced well and regularly, not only will it use less fuel keeping your petrol bills under control, but you’ll also reduce wear and tear on the rest of the vehicle. This means less replacement parts like new tyres or brake pads, less often. Make sure you remember to check your tyre pressure too; driving on tyres with low tyre pressure can make you use more fuel than you need to. On the subject of tyres, ensuring your car’s wheel alignment is straight also helps keep your car’s running costs down, not to mention the improvement such an adjustment will have on your car’s wear and tear – both engine and rubber bits will thank you.

Drive Cheaply

It’s true – there is a cheap way to drive your car, and an expensive way. The cheaper way is to drive your car smoothly, avoiding stop-starts and sudden halts. Driving in a jerky manner has been found to add as much as 30% to a car’s fuel bill. It also costs you less to drive your car more slowly. In fact, it’s estimated that for every 8 km/h you accelerate, your fuel consumption rises a corresponding 7%. It’s also important to slow down to avoid a car accident or injury. Even though there are helpful services such as Motor Accident Legal Service to help you out if you get in an accident - you should always try your best to avoid one.

Gas Caps

Almost 20% of cars have faulty or missing gas caps and while this presents a safety hazard every time you stop your car for fuel, it also harms your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. A new gas cap costs less than $20 on average and not only will you reduce your fuel costs, but you’ll cut down on the fumes released by your car as well, so it’s the green thing to do.

Go Easy on Your Brakes – And Clear out Your Boot

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop your car when you need to, but avoid actively riding the brake. Riding the brake pedal can add as much as 35% to your car’s fuel consumption. It also wears out your brake pads which add to the maintenance costs of your car. Clearing out your car boot is another way to cut the cost of running a car. For every 45 kilos carried around in your car boot, your vehicle loses 1-2% of its fuel efficiency, so clearing out the trunk every week or so makes good sense.

There are many ways to keep your car running costs down and while each small saving may seem very minor, these tips for car owners can make a big difference to the overall cost of owning a car.

Do you have a motoring cost cutting tip you’re particularly proud of? Share it in the comments box below.