rebecca borg – Michmutters

Australian woman saves $30k through ‘cash stuffing’ trend

Millennials struggling to build their wealth have flipped the idea of ​​having a cashless society on their head by reviving a saving technique that originated well before their grandparents’ era.

“Cash stuffing” is the latest money-saving trend growing in popularity in Australia, after it educated hundreds of young people in the UK and US on how to successfully budget.

Also known as the envelope method, cash stuffing involves withdrawing money – typically your monthly earnings – from your bank account and allocating it to a folder which represents a specific spending category.

Folders may represent weekly shopping budgets, holiday savings, fuel costs, mortgage repayments or bills.

The “cash stuffing” hashtag has accrued over 532 million views on TikTok, while sites like Amazon and Etsy have too jumped on board, selling folders, stickers and stationery specifically made for the trend to help kickstart the saving journey.

Daniel Jovevski, CEO and founder of budgeting and debt management app WeMoney, says the saving technique has re-emerged as Australians learn to cope with the rising cost of living.

“Cash stuffing or what budgeters call the ‘Envelope Method’ is back in vogue. This is largely driven out of the requirement to budget now more than ever with envelopes or pencil cases being the primary tool for people to squirrel money away,” Mr Jovevski told

“Tougher times with inflation and cost of living pressures have brought back this old but effective method as consumers combat increasing petrol and food prices.”

Caroline from CAROCASH, commenced her cash stuffing journey last year after learning about personal finance expert Dave Ramsey’s envelope system, which closely mirrors cash stuffing.

The small business owner told that she has since saved almost $30,000 using the system.

“I saw how by dividing up your income into separate envelopes, you can save up and prepare for annual bills, holidays, medical and of course for savings,” Caroline said.

While Caroline insists that she is not a financial adviser, she has shared with others how simple the technique can be by documenting her journey on her YouTube channel.

How does cash stuffing differ from internet banking?

Simply put, cash stuffing is a physical method of internet banking.

Rather than splitting your weekly earnings into separate online banking accounts as some budgeters do, those using the cash stuffing method split their income into physical folders.

However Mr Jovevski said there is a psychological aspect to cash stuffing that most don’t experience through online banking or paying for transactions using their credit or debit card.

“This trend has deep behavioral benefits with prominent behavioral scientists identifying the method as helping people increase their “pain of paying”, meaning when we pay with cash we feel a little pain when we see the amount of money leave our wallets or envelopes,” he said.

“Contrasting this against tap-and-pay, where you don’t really see the physical movement of cash, it makes it easier to spend as all the friction has been removed.”

Caroline admitted that this was her situation prior to jumping on the cash stuffing bandwagon. Her de ella old spending habits de ella meant she would unknowingly use all her income de ella on other purchases prior to paying her bills.

“By doing the Cash Envelope System, you budget out your pay and then physically see the money grow or see where your money goes,” she said.

The benefits of cash stuffing

As the cost of living continues on an upward trend, Australians are becoming more conscious of their spending limits and habits.

The search phrase “what is budgeting” has jumped in interest by more than 65 per cent in the last year on Google Search whereas “budgeting apps” has been the most searched query in relation to the word “budget”.

And with budgeting the entire purpose behind cash stuffing, Caroline said there’s no other reason as to why someone who is struggling to manage their savings shouldn’t give the technique a go.

“Benefits include changing spending habits and your mindset on spontaneous spending, living within your means and being prepared for bills,” she said.

Other benefits Caroline mentioned include not feeling the need to get a credit card or use Afterpay and having less financial stress once you’ve mastered your budget.

“The more friction we have in paying, the less we spend and the easier it is to stay on track with our budgets,” Mr Jovevski added.

Being aware of the risks

While it’s great to have cash in hand, it doesn’t come without a heightened risk of losing your money. This may be through theft, fire, or simply misplacing it.

One way Caroline has overcome the threat of mishandling her hard-earned cash is by saving up to a certain amount before banking it, and then using “prop” or “fake money” to represent the savings in her account.

“As a graphic designer myself, I was able to create some fake play money for larger denominations – starting from $250 all the way to $10,000 – that we do not officially have here in Australia,” she said.

“Once I reach $1000 in cash, I swap that with a prop note and get the $1000 back to the bank.”

Another disadvantage associated with cash stuffing is its inability to earn interest as well as the time it takes to separate your money into folders and record the value in a spreadsheet or notebook.

“While there are plenty of upside benefits, the trade-off is additional work,” Mr Jovevski said.

“You have to consider if the cash-stuffing method aligns with the outcomes you want to achieve with your budget.”

end tips

One question that a lot of people ask Caroline is “how do you work out how much to budget for?”.

The savvy saver said she works out how much her bills will cost her on a monthly or yearly basis and then divides that amount by the number of weeks she has until it needs to be paid.

“Say you get paid weekly and you have an annual bill that is $700. You divide 700 by 52 which equals $13.50. That is what you would put aside each pay to have that bill “fully funded” in a year when it is due,” she said.

With a little bit of extra time and preparation, Caroline said anyone can give the saving technique a try.

“Honestly, just give it a go. There’s no schemes or tricks. All that is required is a little more than your time; time to go to the bank or ATM for the cash withdrawal, and time to sit down, make a budget and divide your cash into envelopes.”



Aramex delivery driver gets bogged in front yard of Sydney home

A Sydneysider returned home to an unexpected – and most definitely unwanted – delivery service on Thursday night.

In a photo posted to a Sydney Reddit forum, an Aramex delivery van appears to be bogged in a homeowner’s front yard, damaging their lawn.

Tire tracks suggest the driver was attempting to use the lawn to do a three-point turn.

But when the vehicle was put in reverse, the wheels looked.

“Delivery driver is stuck in my front yard. They weren’t even delivering to my place – tried to use my lawn to turn around,” the caption accompanying the post read.

While the homeowner is unaware of how long the van was in their yard prior to them returning home, it wasn’t until four hours after the original post that the Aramex franchise owner attempted to free the van.

“The owner came and they have dug a bunch of bigger holes, but still can’t get the van out,” the homeowner posted.

The attempt to remove the van shocked one viewer of the post, who suggested an alternative method to removing the vehicle.

“Please tell me I have let the pressure out of the tires and tried that before digging into your grass,” they said. “It makes the tires wider and distributes the weight.”

However, attempts to remove the van didn’t stop there, with the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, telling that further damage was done when the company attempted to use a second vehicle and some wooden planks to tow the they go out

As for whether Aramex will reimburse for the damages, the homeowner said the delivery service owner told them that their insurance doesn’t cover a “driver driving where they are not supposed to”.

The franchise owner instead left the homeowner his phone number and offered to pay for the damages out of his own pocket.

The van remains at the property. The homeowner hopes it will be removed on Friday.

The post has attracted almost 100 comments, as Reddit users tell of their own trying encounters with Aramex – a global delivery brand with a website that says it has “29 regional franchises and over 900 franchise partners” across Australia. has contacted the company for comment.

One commenter said: “(They) left my parcels, multiple times, on the front door of an apartment complex in a busy area, without even bothering to ring the doorbell.

“I only realized it was delivered when I went to check the website… By then it had been left outside for half a day. It was stolen of course.”

Another said: “Every time I end up with an Aramex parcel it goes missing.”

While a third posted: “Seen facility footage of their drivers treating parcels like actual garbage.”

Read related topics:sydney



A Virgin Airlines passenger sparks debate for breaking ‘unspoken’ rule

A woman flying from Sydney to Melbourne has triggered debate online, after she shared her awkward middle-seat experience where another passenger sitting on the aisle of her row took more than their fair share of space.

In a photo posted to Reddit, the woman on the aisle seat is seen crossing her leg into the middle passenger’s section, with her foot tucked under the middle seat in the row before them.

According to the post’s caption, the woman on the aisle also allegedly removed the middle passenger’s arm from the armrest.

“She’s in the isolated seat. She pushed my arm off the armrest and plopped her feet in my space. The middle seat already sucks enough,” the caption read.

The post has acquired more than 550 comments, causing a stir online over plane etiquette and who has the right to the space.

One thread that received a lot of attention was a Reddit user’s explanation of who has the right to what part of the seat in a three-seat row.

“Window gets an armrest and a wall. Middle gets two armrests. Aisle gets an armrest and a little bit of extra leg. We’re not animals! We live in a society!” they commented.

“This is the way. The few times I’ve flown, I just naturally surrendered the arm rest for the middle seat,” one reply read.

“The armrests in the middle belong to the middle. This is global unspoken plane etiquette,” a third said.

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Others responded to the post with ways they would have handled the situation, including repeatedly going to the bathroom, stretching their legs over the aisle passengers and calling a flight attendant.

“Simple. Ask this person to respect your space. If she does not want to, ask to be moved to another seat because your neighbor is not respecting your space, ”one user commented.

“That’s where you rub your leg against hers and when she looks at you appalled, you can say, ‘Oh sorry. Was I invading your personal space?’” said another.

But not all commenters felt sympathetic towards the middle-seat passenger, seeing the post as her making a “big deal” out of an easy-to-solve situation.

“Can’t we just communicate anymore? Instead of acting all passive aggressive, kindly ask her to move her foot from her. Problem solved in 5 seconds without making a big deal of it. Never understood these posts,” one person responded.

“Just politely ask them to mind their space. Why take a picture and just continue to sit uncomfortably,” replied another.

Plane etiquette has become a hot topic as flights return to their pre-Covid capacities, with mask wearing, sanitization and social distancing where possible joining the list of already-existing unspoken plane rules.

While masks are no longer required in airport terminals, they are still mandatory on most flights and are only permitted to be removed if a passenger is eating or drinking.

For those who forget their mask, most airlines offer travel packs that include a mask and sanitization wipe which can be collected prior to boarding.

As for plane etiquette that existed prior to Covid-19, passengers are reminded not to kick the seat in front of them, wear headphones if listening to music or on-flight entertainment and to leave their shoes on.

“Take showers, brush your teeth, leave the perfume off, don’t eat stinky food (caesar salad and tuna fish I’m talking to you!), and bring headphones. Trust me,” a US flight attendant said in a popular Facebook group.

“These things sound basic, but (if not implemented) add to stress on crowded plans.”

Read related topics:MelbourneSydney



Carlo Bonomi, Italian vocal actor for claymation Pingu dies aged 85

Tributes are flowing for Carlo Bonomi, the actor behind the voice of children’s claymation character Pingu, after he died on the weekend at the age of 85.

Remembered for his “noot noot” phrase, the Italian vocal actor passed away in Milan on August 6 with the cause of his death unknown, publication AF News reports.

Australians knew Bonomi for his “Penguinese”, the language spoken in stop-motion series Pingu which aired six seasons between 1986 to 2006.

Bonomi was the unscripted voice behind all the show’s characters for four seasons, before he was replaced by vocal actors David Sant and Marcello Magni when the show was renewed for seasons five and six.

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Pingu is about a young penguin who sometimes gets up to mischief on his family’s polar ice cap in Antarctica.

Fans have praised the late actor for his service as a children’s entertainer by sharing pictures and videos of Bonomi online.

“RIP Carlo Bonomi, thank you for your service in children’s entertainment and for giving my childhood some light to shine in the dark,” one fan posted to Twitter.

“May the Noot Noots never fade from our memories.”

Meanwhile American cartoonist Travis Bickerstaff said Bonomi’s legacy will live on through others.

“If you’re wondering if this will be the end of Pinguit’s not,” Bickerstaff wrote.

“Other voice actors in the Pingu franchise had carried on Bonomi’s legacy, since he established the ‘Penguinese’ language for the series.”

Bonomi was also well-known in Italy as the voice behind the announcements played at Central Station and Florence Santa Maria Novella Station, which were used up until 2008.

He also played a part in a number of Italian shorts, including line animation The Line, The Line.



Fake engagement rings the new trend for brides

As weddings make a comeback post-Covid and cost-of-living pressures bite, couples are getting savvy about that all-important thing – the engagement ring.

Before the pandemic, many women set their sights on the idea of ​​the perfect ring, typically a big rock with an expensive price tag.

However, as couples look to break social norms and rein in spending, they are seeking an alternative.

Fake rings are making a comeback not just for fashion purposes but also to symbolize the promise of marriage as more people propose with them.

Jewelery company Sterling Forever posted a reel to Instagram explaining why more men and women are now proposing with fake rings.

The video outlined how more couples were jumping on the trend to avoid mistakes such as sizing issues and the receiver not liking the ring, as returning or exchanging it can be costly and difficult.

The reel concluded with the idea that once engaged, couples could go out and buy the perfect ring together.

While it may seem controversial, particularly for some unsatisfied receivers who were proposed to with a fake engagement ring, there’s plenty of support for the practice.

“I think this (idea) is so much better but honestly the fake ring could be like a ring pop or even a paper ring with a love note hidden in it, much cheaper and super cute,” one commenter said in response to the post .

Another replied: “I’d rather have a ‘fake’ and then we can save the money for something more important,”

And a third responded: “Why buy me an expensive engagement ring and an expensive wedding ring? Y’all see them (petrol) prices and the price for bread, just give me one ring.”

Other viewers of the video came up with their own suggestions as to why women may prefer fake rings over the real deal, including for practicality, for not losing an expensive ring and to avoid feeling guilty after a proposal “accident”.

“I feel like people also do it in case they lose it at the proposal sites, lots of them being at beaches or hiking spots,” one Instagram user suggested.

While the trend may be more popular now, some commenters said their parents used a similar approach in the past for personal reasons.

“My dad got my mom a garnet ring. It’s her favorite de ella and her birthstone de ella, with ‘will you marry me’ and the date engraved. They went shopping for her ring de ella together and I think it’s pretty. I always wanted to inherit it,” one young woman commented.

“My dad proposed to my mum with a minnie mouse ring so she wouldn’t feel pressured and I think it’s the cutest thing,” said another.

But not everyone saw the convenient nature of the fake ring trend, with some saying it goes against the purpose of an engagement ring as a symbol of everlasting commitment.

“If she doesn’t like the ring, she isn’t the one,” one commenter said.

“That’s stupid, a real man should know what his wife likes and what kind of jewelery she wears,” posted another.

“There’s no such thing as a fake engagement ring, there is only a fake stone,” a third said.

But a fake engagement ring isn’t necessarily a sign of lesser commitment, as some proposers purchase a ‘promise ring’ or cheaper alternative, with the goal of buying a better one that meets their partner’s wishes later on. Other fake rings are homemade.

No matter the ring choice, couples who have already jumped on the buying a ring together trend said the experience is one they highly recommend.

“Choosing the engagement ring together is a whole amazing experience and shows a very high level of commitment, that’s what me and my fiance did,” one commenter said.

Another said: “My fiance and I shopped for my ring together and it was the best thing ever. We fell in love with (the) ring together.”



Sydney Pork Rolls charging customers 20 cents to cut roll in half

The rising cost of living has reached new heights at a Sydney pork roll store, after a customer spotted an unusual surcharge on the sandwich bar’s menu.

A photo posted to Reddit shows Vietnamese restaurant Sydney Pork Rolls’ extensive list of surcharges for extra fillings and a bag.

A roll from the store ranges from $5.50 and $8.50 in price with additional meat, ham or an egg to set the customer back an extra $1.50 while a second bag costs 10 cents.

But at the bottom of the list is an odd surcharge for a standard request, with the Haymarket shop charging customers an extra 20 cents if they request to have their roll “half cut”.

It’s a menu item that has baffled pork roll fans as some question why there’s an extra cost for a “two-second” service.

“Which way to cut in half?” one Reddit user commented. “Longways? Sideways? Across ways? So many questions here.”

“50 cents to ask why it costs 20 cents to cut,” posted another.

Meanwhile others thought of ways to get around the additional expense.

“Ask for it to be cut into thirds, must be free as it’s not on the price list,” one comment read.

Another said they might consider halving it themselves with their own butter knife.

The uncanny surcharge also had commenters crunching the numbers to see how much extra money the business could make in an hour.

“With a two-second cut … that equals $360p/hr. I’m getting into the sandwich biz,” one comment read.

“They should ask ‘would you like to cut it in half?’ like a fast food worker upselling (by) asking if ‘you want fries with that’,” said another.

Others have justified the additional cost explaining it could be due to the restaurant using more packaging to divide the roll.

“Getting it cut in half means the two halves are wrapped and packaged separately. It’s completely reasonable to charge extra,” a Reddit user posted, defending the expense.

Sydney Pork Rolls in Haymarket has been contacted for comment.

The roll half-cut surcharge joins a list of several other odd additional costs Sydneysiders have spotted around the state recently.

A Sydney airport cafe was reportedly charging $1.50 extra if a customer wanted more tomato in a toastie while others have noticed the price of babychino’s increase from $1 to $2.50 in other cafes across the state.

Some hospitality services and small businesses are also charging their customers extra by a small percentage if they pay for their items by tapping their debit or credit card opposed to inserting or swiping.

“Local cafe great before lockdown (sic) in Western Sydney, now surcharges if you pay with debit card,” one Sydneysider tweeted.

Venues can also charge a public holiday surcharge or weekend fee where prices are increased by a percentage on those days.

According to Australia’s consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), businesses can charge surcharges at their own discretion so long as the terms surrounding the surcharge are explicitly stated and don’t come as a surprise to the customer.

“The menu (or price list) must include the words ‘a surcharge of [percentage] applies on [the specified day or days]’ and these words must be displayed at least as prominently as the most prominent price on the menu (or price list),” the ACCC said.

There is no limit as to how much extra a business can charge in additional costs.

Read related topics:sydney



Interest rates: Peter White urges borrowers to beware of the hidden dangers associated with refinancing following RBA rate rise

A leading loans expert is urging mortgage holders to be wary of the hidden dangers associated with refinancing as the big four banks look to entice more customers with “cheap deals” following this month’s rate rise.

Peter White AM, the managing director of the Financial Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), is asking Australians who are considering whether they should switch up their home loan to proceed with caution, warning that “cheaper isn’t always better”.

The director’s message comes after the Reserve Bank of Australia increased the cash rate by 50 basis points for the fourth time in as many months on Tuesday.

With the base rate now standing at 1.85 per cent, Mr White is asking borrowers to be on alert as major banks look to lure vulnerable customers who are struggling with their repayments to sign up to its services.

“Some banks at the moment are offering cheap variable rates to new borrowers only. This is a trap,” Mr White told

“For the lender it’s about using a marketing budget to generate more customers, knowing that most customers will stay as it costs to change again.”

It’s all part of a “vicious cycle” lenders use to draw customers into borrowing from them, Mr White explained, where new customers are blindsided as the rate on offer doesn’t always mean the customer will be better off in the long term.

“There is a hidden danger at times like this that is rarely spoken about,” Mr White said.

“Banks will be looking to attract those considering refinancing as new customers, and will offer cheaper variable interest rates that are significantly below their fixed rates, which are rapidly climbing. This is a case of ‘buyer beware’.”

Cashbacks and exclusive rates at discount prices for new customers are some of the lures banks are using to attract new borrowers.

Both come at the cost of disadvantaging the lender’s current customer base as their higher interest rates make up for the lower rate offered to new customers.

“Borrowers should be aware that next time around they will be the existing customer facing higher rates and will be disadvantaged during rate increases,” Mr White said.

“It’s an old game to lure new customers with a perceived advantage only to be taken advantage of with the next move.”

Additionally, some banks use a tactic where they attempt to give you a better rate after you’ve agreed to another offer.

“If they were serious about looking after you they would have offered this when you first approached them, so ignore this offer and don’t be distracted as this will cause you even more headaches, and makes the process even more complex,” he said .

While Mr White advises borrowers to refinance with caution, saving on your home loan isn’t entirely off the cards.

Rather than focusing on the big four banks, Mr White recommends looking at what second tier banks such as Suncorp, and non-banks such as Bluestone, have on offer.

“Going with the major banks is often the most expensive way forward and may not be in your best interests due to constraints and other factors specific to you,” Mr White said.

“Remember the big banks can only sell you their products, and their aim is to look after themselves and their shareholders, not to act in your best interests.”

It’s also advised that borrowers go through a mortgage broker, rather than directly through a bank. Brokers are free to use as they receive commission from lenders once they sign a customer up to a service.

They also have access to a range of offers that aren’t always available to borrowers who go through the back directly and can find a rate and repayment schedule that suits a borrower’s needs.

“A finance broker is obliged to act in your best interests and sometimes this means explaining that the best option may be not to refinance,” Mr White said. “(They’re also) charged by law to act in your best interests, whereas banks are not.”



Cost of living: New data from Foodbomb exposes foods hit hardest by inflation

As the consumer price index (CPI) tips over 6 per cent, new data reveals how much staple pantry items, fruits and vegetables have soared in price over the last six months.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 5.9 per cent in the last year due to high freight costs, supply constraints and strong demand.

As a result, consumers and businesses have gone to extreme lengths to cope with the country’s cost of living crisis as empty shelves, sky-high price tags and costly grocery bills become the new normal.

Recently there have been some unusual methods Australians have used to slash costs and make-up for insufficient stock, including broccoli stalks being broken off and left on fresh produce units and KFC switching lettuce for cabbage in its burgers.

So with the effects of inflation felt and seen right around the country, food experts from Foodbomb crunched the numbers to assess which foods are having the greatest impact on consumers’ hip pockets.

Research shows that broccoli, iceberg lettuce and baby spinach have been the most expensive items in short supply within the last six months.

Broccoli has increased by a staggering 130 per cent, with a box previously worth $42 now costing stockists $95 each. This increase is then passed onto consumers per kilo.

Meanwhile, the price of iceberg lettuce hiked from $4 to $10.80, at a 151 per cent increase. A bag of shredded lettuce also rose for $7.50 per kilo.

As for baby spinach, the price for a 1.5kg box more than doubled, rising from $16.50 to $38.50.

While these prices have caused trouble for consumers and businesses in the past, offering some hope is Mouhamad Dib, the company director at MD Provodores.

He told that despite the increase in costs observed recently, the inflated price tags on these leafy vegetables won’t be here to stay.

“The cost of fertilizer from the farms, to labor shortages and transport costs has amplified pricing across all sectors,” Mr Dib said.

“But with spring around the corner and summer days behind it, we hope to see some prices come down. Lettuce leaves are definitely still in short supply, but broccoli and baby spinach are getting better.”

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for staple pantry items and animal products which are taking a hit as a result of global events and supply chain issues.

Oil unexpectedly soared in price with 20 liters of sunflower oil doubling from $30.60 to $66. Whereas the cost of canola oil is triple the amount, with some suppliers selling the same quantity for as much as $92.10.

It’s bad news for egg lovers with the war in Ukraine preventing farmers globally from sourcing feed grain which has in turn slowed egg production.

As a result, wholesale prices for a one dozen carton of free-range eggs have risen from $2.60 to $4.45. Caged eggs have also seen a similar increase however, they aren’t selling out in supermarkets as quickly due to the shift in demand for the cage-free range.

Foodbomb predicts that egg supply will run tight for the next 18 months as feed supply becomes increasingly difficult to source.

Salmon and chicken breast are also among some of the other animal products in short supply while selling at a higher cost, now ticketed at $40kg and 9.50kg respectively.

Similar to the egg situation, consumers can expect the price of chicken meat to remain high for the next 12 months.

Anthony Ponte from the operations and procurement department at wholesaler Melba Fresh told that these price increases are a reflection of the market.

“(Prices) are going up because the supply is going down, while the demand is staying the same if not increasing. As a result, we’re getting less sales and it’s getting harder and harder to source produce,” he said.

“We’ve been looking everywhere, interstate and all kinds of places, just trying to get our hands on products. It’s been very hard. We have to split what we’ve got between orders, but you still ultimately end up disappointing everyone.”

Mushrooms also make Foodbomb’s top 10 list of expensive items in short supply with a box now priced at $50 each. Lebanese cucumbers, $11 per kilo, and cabbage, $14 each, come in at ninth and 10th place.



Real estate: Property investment firm under fire for ‘cringe’ email celebrating rising rent repayments

A property manager has come under fire after appearing to boast about upping rent in an email to tenants.

Property investment firm Ironfish sent an email to its customers last week stating the highest weekly increase and average rent increase in Melbourne in June.

“Achievement in June: Biggest rent increase – $225 per week,” the email states, before adding that the company leased 1,103 properties in the last financial year.

The email also includes two references, one from a landlord and another from a renter, which suggests there was no target demographic for the email.

A renter who received the email posted a screenshot to reddit, with the caption: “My rent just went up $400 a month and the agency sent me an email bragging about it.”

The email is accompanied with a photo of two young children jumping on a bed, having a pillow fight with smiles on their faces.

It’s caused a stir online, with both tenants and landlords disapproving of the email, and many left shocked after reading its contents.

“As an owner and provider that’s cringe. If my real estate (agent) boasted like that I’d be out,” one user said.

“I received the same email and had the same disgusted feeling, and I’m an owner (just not with them),” said another.

“That’s just disgusting. They are literally celebrating ripping off desperate people. It’s just deplorable,” a third commented.

Meanwhile others have raised concerns about how much the rent had increased by.

“Can they actually do that large an increase? I mean legally? What do they have in your lease on how it’s calculated? Fairly sure Tenants Victoria may have a bit more to say about it,” one user commented.

“How can a $225 rent increase be justified?” another user questioned. “Heck, even $98 is a lot.”

“So nuts. Ours tried to raise it by $90 a month which I thought was ridiculous and we just said no and they agreed to stay the same if we signed a 12-month lease,” another said. has contacted Ironfish for comment on the email.

According to Consumer Affairs Victoria, landlords are not allowed to increase rent during a fixed-term agreement unless stated otherwise, and have to give tenants at least 60 days’ notice.

The law doesn’t state how much a landlord can increase weekly repayments by however it should be changed in line with the consumer price index, average rent prices, by a fixed percentage or by a fixed dollar amount.

Renters also have the right to challenge their increase if they believe their repayments have been raised too high.

Despite the sharp increase stated in the email, data from CoreLogic suggests Melbourne has the cheapest rental market with a typical home costing a renter $480 a week.

The rising cost of living, low vacancy rates and increasing interest rates are some of the reasons why landlords are choosing to hike weekly rent repayments.



Aldi Special Buys: Aldi mums obsess over Crofton defrosting chopping board

Aldi shoppers are obsessing over the discount supermarket’s latest “magic” Special Buys kitchen item, with stock selling out in parts of the country.

Members of the Facebook group Aldi Mums, which has more than 235,000 followers, are flocking to Aldi stores in an attempt to get their hands on a Crofton defrosting chopping board which is on sale for $16.99.

The multipurpose board is not your traditional chopping board, as one side is specifically dedicated to defrosting meat and other frozen items in a matter of hours.

There’s also a garlic or ginger grinder on the top of the board as well as a built-in knife sharpener.

The product description says that the board’s aluminum plate “assists in quickly and evenly defrosting frozen foods” while its drip line “catches moisture and reduces mess as food thaws”.

From defrosting lamb cutlets to thawing a kilo of mince, Aldi mums are raving about the product online which could be why some Sydney and Brisbane stores have sold out of the Special Buys item.

One Aldi mum used the board to defrost an entire turkey while it was still in the fridge.

“I had a bit of a panic after the fresh whole turkey I ordered for Saturday’s Xmas (sic) in July was delivered frozen with the advice of allowing a minimum of two full days to defrost fully before cooking,” she wrote to the group.

“Cue minor panic and the defrost board – result – a whole 6kg turkey defrosted in one afternoon, approx. five hours – turned each hour – this is a game changer!!”

The multipurpose board isn’t just used to defrost meat, with some finding it thaws other frozen food in a matter of minutes.

“I got one the other day and used it last night to defrost a few slices of bread. It took at least five mins (sic),” one member of the group commented.

“Got one for myself and mum today after a post on here a few days ago… the FOMO (fear of missing out) was real!!!” said another.

“It’s magic,” a third wrote.

But not all are convinced, with some skeptical about the board’s ability to defrost meat without batteries or a power source.

“Can you tell me how that’s better (or how it works) than just putting it on an ordinary rack or on the bench. Genuine question,” one group member asked.

“Is there something in the board that makes defrosting meat somewhat quicker than leaving it on the kitchen sink to defrost for a few hours?” questioned another.

For those wanting to know the secret behind how the product works, aluminum is a great conductor of ambient heat which is what gives the board the ability to thaw meats safely and efficiently without power.

Aldi’s defrosting chopping board may be trending among Aldi fans, but defrosting boards have been around for some time.

There’s also a range of brands available online for those who may have missed the boat on the Special Buys product.

As for those trying to find alternative thrifty ways to defrost meat, these members from the Aldi Mums Facebook group had the following recommendations.

“I use a metal baking tray, without non-stick coating, and it defrosts meat quickly,” an Adelaide mum said.

“I use a high standing cake rack. Perfect!” another said.

“I’ve always defrosted my meat on the edge of my stainless steel sink. Works to treat every time! I learned it from my grandma!” said a third member.

The 25cm by 36cm defrosting chopping board is still available in some Aldi stores and will be out on shelves while stocks last.