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dugong-1 Saving money is good for the environment.

Moving to Cairns has been growing experience. Mostly enlightening, exciting and an adventure and at other times frustrating, hot, and well... frustrating.

Obviously the biggest change is nature gone wild being at your doorstep (also on your veranda and in your roof), however it's made me ponder "In who's backyard are we living in?"

While living in Sydney or any other major city around the world it's easy to feel distant from nature. Maybe it's why the National Geographic and Discovery Channel have become so popular i.e. in our DNA we are wired for a connection with nature, however until we urbanise Mars, we are still all here together living on earth.

The best things about Cairns is it's proximity to nature, and it's unspoilt, under developed beauty. I'd like to keep it that way so when you come up here we can share the beauty together.

The following are some of my personal favourite tips to save money and the environment; for your hip pocket and your children and their children's future.


  1. Have a reusable bottle water and drink more water (as you drink more water you will eat less and drink less sugary drinks)
  2. Eliminate your plastic bags from your life.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat. Running your hot water full time is expensive on your water heater, set to 1hr before your regular shower time.
  4. Ditch the dryer. Use a clothes horse or clothesline.
  5. Access electronic info instead of paper e.g. newspaper, eBook, electronic statements and digital fax.
  6. Ensure your residence is properly insulated (walls, floors, ceiling, doors and windows) or if you’re in the tropics your residence has high ceilings, shade and good airflow.
  7. Install energy efficient lighting, or even get skylight.
  8. Walk, and cycle more often
  9. Declutter and give your accumulated stuff to charities.
  10. Start a vegetable garden and compost. If space and time is an issue buy at the local growers.
  11. Use biodegradable cleaner “baking soda, vinegar, find ways to make your own shampoos, shaving creams, suntan lotions, face masks, insect repellent etc.
  12. Prepare your shopping list before you shop and shop at either 8am or 5pm to take advantage of the start or end of day discounts.
  13. Buy in bulk essentials, cook more home meals and have a plan for left over foods.
  14. Store your food smart i.e. keep potatoes and onions in dark (separately), biscuits in air tight container.
  15. Buy farmed fish and locally produced meats.
  16. Use coupons when dinning out and have more picnics.
  17. Find a hobby that uses recycled material and make own stuff e.g. gift cards, recycled furniture, decorations, jewellery etc.
  18. Unplug more often and chill out with nature and your spirit
  19. Capture rain water and use it when watering the garden, flush, etc.
  20. Embrace the share economy. Whether it be Share ride, House Swap, Open Shed, Student Edge Books, Go get, Vibewire, Pygg, Clothing Exchange etc.




Coins-underwater-in-a-water-pond-backgroundYou have to align your choices with your values. Then have a game plan to keep you on track and a checklist so to ensure nothing is falling through the cracks.

To identify your values ask yourself "What's important about money to me?" then ask what's important about that last answer to you? Continue till you reach your aspirations self.

After you have identified your goals, time frame and where you are today. You will have clarity about what is missing.

Start to then identify the evidence "aligned with your values" that you are making smart choices about your money i.e. if you said Security is your first value then ask yourself how much money you need to have in the bank "for the unknown" for you to feel secure. Then put that money aside or build it up. Then move onto your next value or an additional evidence you need to have aligned to your value.

There are many moving parts to people's values and finances, let alone the noise and distractions of others and the media. It's important to spend your time and efforts doing the activities you control rather than what you cant i.e. saving regularly vs market returns & economic events etc.

Create a checklist so that you can ensure you always stay on top of your "financial house". Do your chores and it will be well maintained and probably be a more enjoyable environment to live in.

Doing these are the basics of not only good financial management and planning they are also good for ones relationships and quality of life.

You get the direct benefit from spending time with loved ones and friends, exercising, eating healthily, improving your skills, and spiritual side. By being better by default you increase your chances of experiencing a better quality of life.

We cant change time but we can change what we do with it.


aussie slangSitting at home last Sunday morning, me mate boomerang
Said he was having a few people around for a barbie, said he might kookaburra or two
I said, "Sounds great, will Wallaby there?"
He said, "Yeah and Vegemite come too"
So I said to the wife, "Do you wanna goanna?"
She said, "I'll go if dingos"

The following is some financial jargon decoded and unpacked to keep you from looking like a drongo in the conversation, while turning those sausages, or making a salad at your next family/friend BBQ. 

Who knows you may impress them so much they may even ask you for some financial advice...

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IMG 20161010 WA0002I love to travel and I like to save too. 

In fact when you visit my office in Cairns you'll find a big world map on the wall, inspiring us of new places to plan for and to experience next.

In three weeks time we'll be heading to Hawaii (Big Island, Maui and Oahu). Its going to be epic!

So to the age old chestnut of a question. How to travel and also save?

Lets start with some guaranteed fun killers to our epic holiday and memories!

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Diving CairnsYes You Can, Start Living Your Dream, Sea Change, Tree Change.

The following checklist is essential for your success.

Have you ever visited a place, enjoyed the people, the activities, conveniences and surrounds so much, that you felt yourself saying "this is the place, where I can truly live my ideal life?'

In fact living the dream thanks to improvements in communication and technology, is much easier than you think.

Continue reading

ferrari 1111582 960 720I love analogies especially when there sailing, golfing or travel analogies.

Why? Maybe it's from past echoes from my days as a teacher but probably more likely because financial planing and finance jargon is so very boring and often complicated.
Today's analogy and life lesson is about vehicles and their ongoing care and maintenance.
The last service for my car was due at 36,000 km. By 37,980 km as of a couple days ago I still hadn't taken my car in for a service. That was until the air conditioning stopped. Now you might be thinking this is not an issue, but I live in Cairns and hot is an understatement.
During our summer up here; which it currently is, our lives are lived in air conditioned comfort. We travel between our air conditioned home, in our air conditioned car, to our air conditioned office, gym, shopping restaurant.... everything is done with air-con.
Trust me living without air conditioning is not an option; that is unless you like the the feeling of needing a shower after just stepping out it because you're already dripping with sweat.
Back to our vehicle maintenance life lesson.
At first I thought we could tough it out (wrong answer) and have the car serviced after my upcoming holiday (in a weeks time). Not an option was Roz's advice (A.K.A. happy wife happy life). So into the garage our car went. 
The car was serviced the next day and as expected they found a leak in the air conditioning. At this point I would like to add a huge thank you to Nick at Midas Cairns who was super helpful and makes me want to come back and get my car serviced, on time and every time in the future with them. Nick also pointed out that the the car is still under a new car warranty and arranged for the local dealer to fix my air-con ASAP. Thank you Nick.
So once again I learned another lesson from first hand experience. The important lesson of maintaining and servicing our our "vehicle". That is unless we prefer Box B i.e. avoidance which often also entails being hot and bothered and more costly to us in the long run.
The importance of vehicle maintenance on our journey towards living our ideal life.
Let's now compare our "wealth vehicle" to that of our car vehicle. Why? Because it's both a useful and empowering analogy, to remind us of the importance of ongoing maintenance.
The lesson? Regular maintenance, insurance and driving our vehicle responsibility ensures greater peace of mind, feeling of greater safety and control. While lax maintenance, inadequate insurance, lacking driver skills and responsibly directly increase our risks and potential for catastrophic consequences.
It's the same when it comes to our finances. Both require money, time and skill, however for the moment lets get back to our car.
Here are some questions you might like to consider if you're interested in taking a peak under your hood:
  1. Do you own a car?
  2. Do you service the car yourself and/or have it serviced at least annually?
  3. Do you maintain the car yourself (wash, vacuum, etc) minimum monthly?
  4. To what level is your car insured?
  5. What are the expectations of your car? (safety, efficiency, comfort, robustness)
  6. How have you purchased you car? (loan, lease, fully owned)
  7. Have you taken additional driver training courses?
 I believe how you answer the above will determine your next course of action
  1. You trust in our own skill, knowledge and experience, self insure and or do the work yourself.
  2. Be responsible by doing the basic work but delegate specifics to specialists i.e. insurance, mechanic
  3. Delegate 100% the job to some you can trust i.e. their profession and legal duty to do the work for you.
But here is when the rubber meets the road.
As important as maintenance and servicing is for our vehicles (cars and finances) and regardless of doing it all ourselves or not; the fact is that other cause of  over 90% of accidents and injuries on the roads are due to poor driver decisions.
Within this 90%;
  • 45% involve drug/alcohol,
  • 20% weather related,
  • 35% driver error.
One may argue this percentage also extends to our financial accidents, i.e. 90% of financial losses being investor decision. My estimation albeit there are no official statistical data confirming or denying the accuracy of these percentages.
  • 45% investor invincibility (enhanced performance expectations vs. actual abilities) A.K.A. "excessive borrowing with limited or nil cash flow",
  • 20% changing economic, legislative or market movements and
  • 35% poor decision making; 
So, be it for our convenience, or reaching a destination/ improving our quality of life, there are always additional risks we need to factor in. The biggest risk I suspect is by far is ourselves.
Finally, just as the role of a good mechanic is to sign off our vehicle is responsive, legal and road safe after their service, your adviser's role to sign off our finances are safe from disaster, legal, flexible and align to your lifestyle needs.
By applying the same approach to our finances we may just find our journey is safer, more enjoyable we reach our destination sooner, for both ourselves and those important to us.
This post was written by Peter Horsfield, as such they are his personal views. Peter helps you to focus on what’s most important, the right strategies at the right time. To learn more about How to become Financially Independent visit Peter Horsfield Smart Advice
Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.



Grand DesignsCreating our Ideal Life is a lot like embarking on our very own Grand Designs Adventure.

Time, Money, Laws, Planning, Relationships and morelike building you home are just part of the journey on our path to achieving financial independence and living our ideal life, worry free. 

Continue reading

ScalpelCreating and managing a financial plan requires both a measure of skill and art.

The following are the areas we look at when creating, implementing and maintaining our own financial plan and those we help.

The best financial advice is simple, specific, relevant and achievable.

So when creating my own financial plan and helping others, what are the foundational pillars I use to ensure we have the greatest chance of success?

Continue reading


Good financial habits and savings plans are founded on a having minimalist approach to life, at least when it comes to money. 

And it can be confussing!

On one hand, business leads and entrepreneurs alike are often heard saying "you cant cut costs to greatness".

It's their mantra to spend more and invest more to grow. 

On the other hand engineers, accountants and any other like profession and occupation, hold more minimalistic values and espouse that greater efficiencies are the key to business success.

I susspect at times they even get them selves into an exhilarating state of financial bondage with the profound realisation that "the less money we spend and need,the more money that stays in our pockets, and it will last longer  because we need less at the same time". 

The following are ten simple ways I have found to save money and eat my cake too.

Why? Because doing so has delivered not only me but also many others I've helped make great savings but also maintain a very comfortable quality of life on the journey to achieving financial independence. Most importantly minimizing experiences of financial worry along the way.

10 simple ways I have found to save money without the need to cut back on our quality of life.

  1. Change transaction banking accounts and credit card fees to a nil cost/fee account/provider.
  2. Change lender or products if you have a home loan. Compare rates and consider benefits of changing to an offset account.
  3. Review your insurance providers (life & general) and compare terms & costs vs. competitors terms & costs
  4. Review your utility suppliers (power, phone, gas) fees and services vs. competitors.
  5. Apply for a commission refund if not accessing advice on your retirement accounts.
  6. Claim your rightful deductions in your annual tax return.
  7. Spend your money more in alignment with your values. Challenge your spending that’s for show.
  8. Automate your finances. Save on late fees. Some provides give discount for paying on time while paying on time also improves your credit rating.
  9. Get a money jar for all you spare change then bank it when its full. 
  10. Take care of what you own. Saves money on maintenance and repair costs.

This post was written by Peter Horsfield, as such they are his personal views. 

About Peter Horsfield 

Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.



Successful people have this over their rivals; they know why, where and how to reach their goals sooner.

  • Are you on track?
  • How much do you need?
  • How long will it take?
  • What are my risks?

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Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 \(t/as Horsfield & Associates\) is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049, who holds an AFSL and Australian Credit License No. 236523.
Information published on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any person. Any advice contained in this document is General Advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a qualified adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances. Past performance of financial products is no assurance of future performance.