Taking money advice from a loan servicer is sort of like taking health advice from a tobacco company. The advice might be valid, but there's probably a better source out there for you. Namely, one that doesn't profit from your bad habits.
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I once bought a rug. It was pretty, it was on sale, and I said what the heck, it's only $US20, and took it home and put it on my floor. Days later, I bought new pillows; the old ones didn't match the rug. Before I knew it, I'd also bought new plants, a chair, and a ton of other accessories. That $US20 spiraled into hundreds of dollars worth of new stuff. This is the Diderot Effect in action.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
A new scientific study into the shopping habits of consumers has found that most people return to the same stores with remarkable regularity. Over the long term, shoppers tend to have extremely similar visitation patterns with clear regularities across the population. In other words, when it comes to shopping, we're far less canny and selective than we think we are.
Last year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it would address mobile phone "bill shock" by revising the appropriate regulations, specifically the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code (TCP). Unfortunately, two proposals for the changes, drafted by the Communications Alliance, the "unified voice for the Australian communications industry", have been given the thumbs-down by the ACMA. As such, it's unlikely they'll be put into force by the original August 1 deadline.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) enforces consumer law in Australia. What are its key targets for 2012? Protecting vulnerable consumers (including the elderly and remote indigenous Australians), ensuring phone sale contracts don't get more complicated, keeping a close eye on the NBN and stopping companies using the carbon tax as an excuse to raise prices.