Home LIFESTYLE Technology


Whether you love photography, are Insta-happy or planning a trip – you are going to love this idea. This one’s a game-changer, and as my son and I are budding photographers, we love this concept.

Did you know and have you ever considered renting gear? Yep, I’m talking ‘try before you buy’ cameras? Well, this is a thing! Ted’s Cameras is my go-to store for all things film and has always been. They’re leaders in the field and are very well versed. I’ve always found the service to be outstanding too. Their rental program now offers consumers even more bang for their buck. If you love photography, this is an excellent solution. You can try out amazing camera gear while taking those awesome Insta-worthy shots on a trip.

Here are 5 great reasons to rent cameras 


1. Reduce trip costs by trying out a better kit – for a cheaper price

Get your camera costs down while travelling – consider renting

There are plenty of costs associated with traveling. Think accommodation, meals, sightseeing, tickets for tours and more. The costs all add up. As a photographer, you may not be able to afford to buy a camera outright at first. So, renting is a great way to try out the latest gear, lenses, tripods and bags before investing.

2. You can rent gear that suits your travel destination and needs

Choose a camera that suits your destination and travel goals

Let’s say you usually use a DSLR. These cameras can be bulky and heavy to lug around. For example, you could rent a mirrorless camera. These rival the quality of DSLRs but they’re much lighter. They are a very popular choice for travel photographers. If you are going on Safari or planning to do lots of sightseeing you may need a camera with greater zoom. It would be sad to venture on an amazing trip only to discover photos aren’t the best after the fact.

Mirrorless Cameras – Ted’s Top Picks:

3. You can experiment with specialty lenses

Lenses can make or break a picture. Learn more about them through renting.

Photography can be a big learning curve for newbies. Finding the right lenses is one thing professional photographers know. Getting good at picking the right lense, will take your photos to the next level. These can be pricey though. It’s hard to justify buying a lens that you won’t use on a regular basis. This is where renting comes in handy. Depending on where you are going on holiday, you could rent a specialty lens. You could try a macro, tilt-shift or super-telephoto lens and find delight in how good your photos look. You’ll become even more creative too. For example, you could play around with fish-eye lenses. These capture dramatic landscapes or cityscape images. For travel, consider a versatile all-in-one zoom lens. Enjoy a creative challenge, and bring at least one “unusual” lens, like a fish-eye.

Lenses – Ted’s Top Picks:

4. You can leave more expensive gear at home

Leave good gear at home and take a rental kit

If you’re a professional photographer, you may have invested thousands of dollars in your kit. You can think of renting as a backup system. If you don’t want to risk losing or damaging expensive gear, leave it locked up at home. Otherwise, consider renting if your gear is being repaired. Rental equipment is a great way to keep working in the meantime.

5. You can add travel accessories to your kit

Traveling? Make sure you get the right camera gear. Consider renting and save big. 

Of course, no kit is a ‘kit’ without an incredible range of accessories. The best one to consider is a travel tripod. These are sturdy enough to hold a mirrorless or DSLR camera. They also fold down into a compact size, so they are easy to travel with. Like all tripods, they help with camera shake. That way you can meet every photographer’s goal – which is crisp, blur-free photos.

Ok, I’m going to say it: Walking around with a professional photography kit makes you look well, ‘cool.’ But there’s no point in looking cool if you haven’t got a camera bag to set that kit off. This is kind of like wearing the perfect suit with the wrong shoes. Yeah, style is important when it comes to photography. The bags also have a purpose. They protect your gear while exploring those amazing streetscapes and destinations.


Tripods & Camera Bags: Ted’s Top Picks:

Ready to rent?

Head over to Ted’s Cameras to learn more about their rental program. Put together the camera kit you’ve always dreamed of. Impress people on Instagram and love your passion for photography even more.

Sponsored – In Collaboration with Ted’s Cameras. *On a personal note, Ted’s are excellent. I’ve used their services many times. Their gear and customer service is outstanding.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinEmail

Here’s a staggering stat: According to ASIC, the average Aussie family spends more on mobile phone bills than they do on childcare. If you’re a modern data-guzzling consumer like me, you’ll know how critical these nifty little (and not-so-little anymore) contraptions are now.
Us parents are hooked. The kiddies are hooked. The whole world is hooked.

stevepb / Pixabay

Think robot

Our phones are never far from us. They’re strapped to our hands and popped in our pockets permanently, as we go about our day. They’re thrown into handbags and backpacks the country over.
They’re with us every hour of every day, every week of the year.

Do you have phone FOMO?

We have phone FOMO too (Fear of missing out on our your phones.)
If you’ve ever lost your phone in the house, or left it at home after venturing out – you’ll understand the kind of withdrawal I’m talking about.
We so take our phones for granted. These little workhorses grind at the centre of our lives daily and we probably don’t give them enough love or credit.
They must feel so used, but then we are paying a pretty penny for the privilege of having them in our lives.

FirmBee / Pixabay

There’s great news for phone owners as a result of some market trends. These can slash your phone bill and put good dollars back into the family budget. Here are today’s tips on how you and your phone can live even more harmoniously together.

Don’t renew that phone contract

We all know the danger of the ole’ phone contract. I’ve been there. I know the sadness that comes with realising you are locked in and stuck with a too-expensive plan and with a tired old phone. This is always such a grave realisation. A lot of consumers have become wiser now. Personally, I’m a BYO phone person now because I learnt that lesson the hard way.
Here are a few ways you can stay out of a contract:

  1. Buy a phone outright and bring your own SIM
  2. Don’t renew your contact, keep the phone longer and then add your own SIM

Note: People are holding on to their phones for longer. The average iPhone is owned for 30 months now. This is up from 24 months in 2015.
Here’s the benefit of doing this:
Halve your payments with one super simple money-saving step! All phone companies offer SIM or prepaid plans – so this is super easy to do.

helloolly / Pixabay

Here’s what to do next

  1. Phone companies will call when your contract is up and encourage you to renew.
  2. Don’t say yes.
  3. Instead ask what your options are and whether you can move to a SIM Only or their Best Prepaid Plan.

Unsplash / Pixabay

Shop around

For extra points – shop around – the networks are all on a par now
There is huge competition between phone companies for your business. Most plans come with unlimited calls and SMS in Australia now. This is good and gives you one less thing to worry about.
The real focus is on how much data you get in your plan.
The prepaid SIM market is full of introductory offers, which give more data value. Smaller phone companies like Boost Mobile and Amaysim generally offer better data inclusions than bigger companies.

FirmBee / Pixabay

A common mistake

Many consumers choose Telstra because it is assumed they have better coverage.
In the past, Telstra was better but now other phone companies have caught up. Independent research shows Optus and Vodafone cover the same networks as Telstra (within a couple of percent anyway).

Parental controls

Here’s one standout addition to phone plans. At the end of last year, OVO Mobile introduced their ‘pocket money’ plan. For $10 a month, about the cost you’d want to pay for a first phone service, you get unlimited SMS (so your child can never run out – and not be in contact) and a small voice allowance.
The plan also comes with a 1 GB of 4G data, which is suitable for beginners.
Smart mobile phones are essentially internet connected computers so, cleverly, OVO’s plan comes with a parental lock facility. Sign up and you’ll get access to an app. You’ll be able to shut the phone off automatically, at the same time every night to avoid arguments. You can meter the time they have to play games on phones.
Finally, and importantly, those dark recesses of the internet are blacklisted. Impressionable minds can’t accidentally stray to unsuitable places on the web.

Pexels / Pixabay

Get entertained

Finally, for sports lovers and the like, there’s another new trend in phone plans. Some come with free entertainment options.
If you have AFL or NRL fans in your family, you’ll know all about it. Telstra offer free (on top of your plan) NRL & AFL seasonal game videos in the NRL and AFL seasons. Further, you won’t be charged for the data you use watching the games.
Optus has a similar scheme for the EPL, English premier League. Their plans allow unlimited streaming of a number of internet radio stations – including Pandora and Spotify – for example.

tpsdave / Pixabay

Get the goodness

These simple steps will drastically reduce your phone bill, while keeping everyone happy:

  • Get out of contracts
  • Don’t get sucked into getting a new phone that basically does the same as the one you’ve got.
  • Focus on the data you’re getting in a phone plan
  • Look at data you can get for free if you love entertainment
  • Be aware of the child-friendly options available

FirmBee / Pixabay


0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinEmail

Read more about social selling. The hot new trend taking on a world of its own.

Boredom is dead

We are all guilty of it. We tap away on our iPods, tablets and smartphones every moment of every day. We are doing it while munching on toast at breakfast, waiting for a latte at a train station, while sitting on the loo and even while watching our favourite TV show. We’ve become a nation of addicted, multi-tasking, digital-devotees and boredom is old school.

Even grandparents are ‘hip with it’

A face-to-face conversation has been replaced with a like on Facebook; Yeah – your friend’s kid (the one using icecream as moisturiser) is a scream and it’s a cinch to let your friend know via a simple click during your busy work day. A play date is arranged via SMS. You’ve got your mother on instant messaging and the kids have trained up granddad on Skype and he’s cooler than other granddaddies out there now. While nothing beats a real life hug, technology has afforded us all a highly convenient means of interacting and keeping in touch more frequently, in an era that is busier than ever.

We are shopping in our slippers

And that’s not all. We are doing everything via tech from shopping for groceries online to pre-planning an event and buying that perfect outfit online via sites like Etsy and Ebay. We can run our lives in our slippers while watching a soap and sucking on a slurpie. Sofalising is so much fun…
Definition: sofalising – Socialising with people online via social networks, usually while lounging on a sofa, rather than meeting up in person.

Social Selling

OmarMedinaFilms / Pixabay

Hot tip
If you love your mobile that much (because your life is on it) consider checking out the awesome and fashionable cases at Protection Lab. That’s where I bought mine and with a five-year old grabbing it hourly – trust me, this has been worth money considering hubby and I bought our iPhones outright and not on a plan. My husband (a tradie) is equally chuffed with his – since he’s on ladders with ‘his life’ hooked to his belt!
Here’s a thought: 
Jump on your newly protected mobile and pitch something on Pitchi.com with it. Now there’s a win-win scenario. Plus – there’s extra protection. If you’re on your mobile – your kid can’t be on it too. Double whammy protection. Nice…

We are learning and mastering new stuff

We are also getting super smart. If we want to know how to make sushi we will jump on YouTube and learn the exact method to do this and we will do so via a real master and sushi chef. This year I learned the exact process for painting a kitchen in high-gloss from an experienced painter. I avoided all the possible mistakes that could have been made if I attempted this without this Youtube tutorial.
Excuse the cliché, but the world really is our oyster now and we can have it all now, today, this moment, in the next 60 seconds…

The world is about to change for the better – again!

But it gets better and there’s a company who is about to change how we shop forever. Recently, an Australian-based site called Pitchi.com joined the big leagues with a fresh and innovative twist on the traditional concept of marketplace sites. This site introduces an unconventional approach to the traditional concept of buying and selling online by using video to represent products. The concept is to create a Pitchi, which is a 60-second video pitch of the item you wish to sell. It can then be shared across various social media platforms and has the potential to go viral if viewers like your pitch. More information on the concept can be found at the sites Wikipedia page.
Pitchi is like YouTube, Twitter and Ebay all wrapped up into one neat and simple package and since I am branching out into ecommerce myself, I’m excited because as a highly visual person, selling online this way is exciting, super fun and can be done at turbo speed!
I just joined Pitchi and sign up was very easy. You can join quickly using your Facebook account or create a simple user account. There is also an app called Pitchi on the Go on Google Play (Android) and also Apple (iPhones) so you can buy and sell from wherever you are. Yeah, while the kids are munching on their toast you can make some money to buy them some Christmas presents. Nice work mum…
Note: Stay tuned HERE for an update here on my first Pitchi. Coming soon….
Love the concept of social selling? Consider making some more money this way: How to have a successful garage sale

Here are simple tips on how to do social selling and create your first Pitchi

Decide on how you want your Pitchi to be

Is your video gonna be funny, moving, or maybe serious? The key to creating a good video to sell your item is to know your strengths and play with them. If your sense of humor is to die for then make sure you show the world.

Polish the sales pitch

Don’t forget that you are, first and foremost, selling a product. So polish that spiel and start capturing your video to feature your product in the most creative way possible. Do that and you’ll be counting your profit in no time.

Create an awesome video pitch

Keep in mind the basics of taking a good quality video like the lighting and the audio. Make sure that your surrounding is well lit and your microphone is getting audio without interference. Play with whatever you have. If you’re shooting with a smartphone, make use shoot in plenty of light to ensure best quality.
Look out world. Social selling is fun! Pitchi is here. What do you think of this awesome new social selling platform? Be sure to place your comments below.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinEmail

If you are looking for a brilliant way to manage your money, read on to discover a savvy safe spending tool, which helps to stop your money from cheating on you.

Fancy schmancy smart TVs

I’d love a new television. One that does whizz bang things like reading my mind and serving up brilliant tailored snippets of entertainment and news based exactly on my taste. In the future, it would also be great if my TV (perhaps a robot) followed me around the house while I do my housework, made me a coffee and even helped put my kids to bed. I hear a savvy young Melbourne-based student is working on this for my actual retirement age (in 20 years or so) and I want to meet her now and hurry her project along.
Psst: Us mums want to retire like today, this minute…like – now.
We’re tired.
But since technology can’t help us just yet, I’ll personally settle for a simple 70-inch smart TV for a wall and with a remote control that hasn’t been smashed up before it fell behind the sofa. It would also be great if the remote came with batteries and a plastic cover for keeping those batteries in.
Four year olds – hmmm….

I don’t like paying even half of full price

Problem is, after checking out the latest and greatest deals both online and in store, I’m unwilling to pay current prices for these glistening contraptions. For such an old-fashioned machine that is the TV, (even with the supposed fancy-schmancy ‘smarts’), I still find the prices too high for my budget.
But then, what kind of well-meaning, hard-earning, lover-of-savings-blogger would I be if I ever dared pay full or even ‘less-than-full’ price?
Nope. I’ve done my research I’ve decided – I’m officially a Smart TV Scrooge.

Bank balances

My bank balance won’t have a bar of any overpriced consumer-shenanigans either. While I prefer to log into my online bank account and find a full and plump looking figure from those savings I’m making, I admit that we (the family and I) have taken a hefty hit recently from the home renovations that are our current reality.
Note: You can read my floor sanding horror story here if you’d really like the dirty and dusty details of what happened over the holidays.

Cheating words

Then there are those cheating words banks use, which are silly really.
You know the words?
Like when you grab the little ATM receipt and it says ‘available funds.’ What that receipt is falsely telling us time-poor and hungry-for-cool-stuff consumers, is that there’s much more money in our accounts than there actually is, and that we can go sick and go shopping!


These ‘balances’ lead us shamelessly down a path of false economy and straight into the malls of marketing-enhanced and rip-roaringly cool retail stores full of goodies, gadgets and dazzling consumer delights.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario to prove my point

This is what can happen and what does happen to consumers daily:

  • Jimmy checks his account online on his phone
  • He sees he’s got a stack of money
  • He buys a new cool pair of Vans
  • By the time he gets home a bunch of direct debits have come out
  • He realises he couldn’t afford the Vans at all
  • He’s forced to eat noodles for dinner
  • He can’t afford to put petrol in his car the next day
  • He’s late for work
  • He gets in trouble from his boss

See how bad this could get for Jimmy….?
Look. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with Vans or noodles. It’s just that most of us don’t like to unwittingly push our funds to the limit like this because that just leads us down a crappy path – like what happened to Jimmy.
Thank goodness that poor guy wasn’t real 🙂

Your money is on the move

So, while you think you may be looking at a stationary figure on a screen or on an ATM receipt – beware:
Even while you are watching the figure on the browser that is your bank balance, your funds are being sucked up and spat out behind the scenes. The usual and numerous bills from utility, mobile phone companies and supermarkets are working hard, and pouncing on purses and wallets daily – in a silent, frenzied and money-eating ‘bank attack’.
Click refresh around 4pm and you’ll see what I mean…
Oh, and don’t forgot the fat stack of bills that might be sitting under the local paper on your kitchen bench.
They are an even bigger silent killer…

It’s not your fault

But don’t worry – we’ve all been there and it’s not your fault. Seriously, blame anyone but yourself. I do.
And remember: There’s always a snazzy little app that can fix anything these days.

Get savvy with your spending

Even though technology hasn’t served me up my robot yet for helping with the housework, there is help at hand for the daily, shameless ‘bank attack.’
Try out this great little app called ‘Safe Spending’ from the smart people over at Money Brilliant. If you really want something cool and schmancy, get this app and use the savings you make to pay for a Smart TV!
Your money will never run away with you, from you or into the arms of someone else again.

Here’s what this baby can do

This brilliant app will do away with spreadsheets and the arduous task of checking bank accounts altogether. Punch all your bank accounts into this baby (to connect them up), as well as credit cards, loans, superannuation and investments. Then shortly, you’ll have a full picture of your finances all in the one place.
Oh, and if you’d like to check your money while doing the housework or indeed if you’re out and about shopping for a new pair of shoes, the app also works on Apple Watch!

Source: Money Brilliant

Here’s what it does

  • Takes your income
  • Subtracts your future commitments (Bills)
  • Subtracts your saving Goals (You set this)
  • Subtracts what you have spent

And ta da!!! The result?

Drum roll please…
You’ll get a final figure or rather the ‘bottom life’ of what you can safely spend and happily today, this minute – right now!
Using this app, Jimmy could buy the Vans and maybe even take himself out for a steak dinner.
Nice one Money Brilliant 🙂

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedinEmail