Life Admin Life Hacks
About the podcast Life Admin Life Hacks
Tools, techniques and tips to tackle your life admin with efficiency. Dinah Rowe-Roberts and Mia Northrop introduce ways to save you time and money, create peace of mind and restore harmony in your household.
In this episode, Mia and Dinah tap into the expertise of coach Nicole Alesios to discover how your money mindset and archetype impact your relationship with money, your habits and decisions about money management, saving, investing and outsourcing. About Dr Nicole Alesios Nicole is an economist, money mindset coach and speaker who is passionate about helping people to have easier money conversations through money mindset coaching and also helping them set a clear and achievable strategy that is in alignment with their unique money personality. One of the biggest benefits of getting your life admin organised is that it can save you money, through budgeting and money monitoring, sorting out your tax and estate planning, and comparison shopping major household expenses. But money is an area where people bring complex feelings, childhood lessons and personality traits to the decision-making. Having the right app and a process will get you most of the way there, but recognising your behaviours when it comes to money is also important. In this bumper episode, we interview Nicole Alesios and discuss: the taboo that still surrounds talking about money, which can limit our financial literacy what your money stories and money mindset are the eight money archetypes Nicole uses in her work to describe your predisposition toward money. RESOURCES Nicole's website Nicole’s Money Personality Quiz Nicole's Instagram SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
Sharing the mental load
In this episode, Mia and Dinah dive into how to share the mental load, drawing on expertise from relationship expert and psychologist Dr Morgan Cutlip. About Dr Morgan Cutlip Morgan Cutlip has a PhD in Psychology, is a wife, mom to two kids and life-long lover of all things relationships. Dr Morgan's work centres on creative content development for My Love Thinks.com and delivering educational content for your relationships in a way that is not just professional but also practical. Dr Cutlip has been a featured relationship expert for Teen Vogue, the New York Times, Flo Tracker app and is the upcoming author of two books with Thomas Nelson, How to Love your Kids Without Losing Yourself and The Mother Load. In this episode we talk about: what inequity in the mental load looks like the impact this inequity has on other areas of your relationship how to explain the mental load without your partner getting defensive the difference between ‘within work’ and ‘between work’, and why you need to do both thoughts and behaviours that can sabotage an equitable relationship minimum acceptable standards and letting go of control taking initiative versus making requests for support how frequent check-ins with your partner are essential RESOURCES MyLoveThinks.com My Love Thinks podcast The 5 Love Languages SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
In this ep, Mia and Dinah talk to an expert about the life admin side of investing - it's a great way to build your wealth but also comes with paperwork and passwords. While anyone of working age has investments through their superannuation, in the last two years there’s been a surge of first-time share investors. About Sophie Dicker Sophie Dicker is an M&A consultant by day and the co-host of You're in Good Company (YIGC), a podcast that aims to make investing accessible to anyone, by night. Although working in finance, she had no idea about investing until her partner encouraged her to start. Her investing goal is to build the freedom to do things that she's passionate about - whether it be starting a business, donating to causes close to her, or taking time out of the workforce to start a family. The ultimate goal of YIGC is to build a community of like-minded people right alongside. In this episode we talk about: the challenges of getting into the property market in Australia and other factors leading to an influx of younger investors in the share market developing an investment strategy and the importance of understanding your money type and risk tolerance why you might want to engage a financial adviser and how to find one where to find information from experts to guide you on your investment journey micro-investing: investing small amounts regularly through apps like Spaceship and Raiz ETFs: a bundle of shares that provide exposure to a range of companies listed on the stock market, allowing you to diversify your investments more easily finding an online trading platform that works for you and testing out the apps managing the paperwork that comes with investing by adopting a folder structure to keep all the paperwork for purchases and dividends the importance of your HIN on CHESS statements and making sure you keep these in a secure place like your password manager managing your account and password with the share registry the process of setting up an online share trading account the benefits of developing a consistent investment routine setting up investment goals (short, medium and long term) considering auto investing - a regular direct debit into an ETF using your Hours of Power to do the initial research and education into investing so that ongoing investing can become a Ten Minute Timekiller task in the long run. RESOURCES YIGC podcast YIGC Instagram YIGC Investing Podcast Discussion Group on Facebook Invest Like The Best podcast How I build this with Guy Raz - podcast Livewire Markets Spaceship app Raiz app Stockspot SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
Life admin for new parents
In this ep, Mia and Dinah share their experiences and top hacks to streamline life admin for new parents. Conventional wisdom recommends parents-to-be focus their discussions and planning on housework and parenting. But there is a third dimension of domestic life to discuss and organise: life admin. Life admin explodes when you have a baby, just at the time you are sleep deprived and learning to care for a new member of your family. In this ep, Mia and Dinah discuss: that before you have children you have more leisure time, physical and mental energy and life admin is done independently or designed around two people. When a baby enters your family life admin systems need to accommodate another person. When the baby is first born it's really important to prioritise what life admin you need to do. Prioritising is about deciding what you won’t do, getting clear about what’s truly urgent or important and letting go of the rest that in different-sex couples there is a tendency for stereotypical domestic roles to kick in and that it's essential to have the negotiation early with your partner about who will do what in terms of housework, child care and life admin. It's important to get good at having this conversation as the discussion will need to be had again and again as the baby develops, its needs change, parental leave finishes and paid work resumes. Some of the life admin you can attend to before you have a baby: choosing your healthcare provider and managing appointments adding your baby to waiting lists for childcare meal preparation - planning for sleep deprivation creating a checklist of what to take to the hospital setting up a keepsake system securing all the baby equipment and supplies you will need updating your budget to reflect your new circumstances and be confident about how much time off from work you can take preparing or updating your will including identifying guardians for your children reviewing your life and income protection insurance identifying options for online shopping and meal kits for the first few months when leaving home can be challenging planning a babymoon! After the baby is born and you are on parental leave, the day and week lack the normal structure that work once provided. It can be helpful to create a schedule for the housework and life admin tasks and a daily routine for yourself and baby. When you return to work, routines and schedules support the smooth functioning of your household. As the baby develops your daily routine needs to shift as eat, sleep and play times will change from month to month. You need to embrace the idea that you need to redesign your life every three-six months as their needs change. Some of the other life admin hacks for after the baby is born include: lists! - checklists and to-do lists that are shared with your partner registering with Services Australia for the parental leave payment decluttering - developing habits to declutter as you go meal planning and bulk cooking - particularly when your baby starts solids keeping track of health appointments in a shared digital calendar starting a cloud storage system for filing important documents adding your baby to your private health insurance policy if you have one planning your social Life - hard but important - people priority vs event priority - lots of changes - need to be deliberate. RESOURCES Life Admin Hacks the book Episode 26: Optimising kid admin Episode 45 - Tracey Spicer on upskilling your kids to contribute at home Episode 51: Michael Grose on upskilling your kids to contribute Episode 54: Daycare and school transitions SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
066: 7 Steps To Comparison Shopping
With the cost of living on the rise, a key way to save money is to comparison shop your major household bills. In this ep we’ll help you get an understanding of the payoff to a methodical approach, seven steps to make your choices straightforward and point you to the best comparison websites. We start this episode talking about why you need to make the effort to comparison shop - not only to save money but also to give peace of mind that your product or service fits with your needs. We also chat about the frustration that most providers offer the best discounts and deals for new customers. This means you need to accept that you'll need to do the work if you want to save money. We also talk about the challenges of finding the time and the complexity of comparison shopping: We have more products that we need to choose due to the privatisation of services like utilities It can be complex to choose between the hundreds or thousands of products out there 'Satisficing' - achieving a good result as fast as possible by choosing something sufficient that satisfies you - will yield a better result than trying to find the best possible deal. We also talk about the elephant in the room: making the time to get the comparison shopping done. We recommend you set up a regular Hour of Power in your schedule to get more complex life admin tasks done, including comparison shopping. We talk through the seven steps that make choosing a better deal efficient and effective: Take stock Jump onto your online account or review recent statements – to gain an understanding of your current plan, assess your usage and sense of value If it's a product you're not that familiar with, listen to one of our podcast eps or dive into the relevant book chapter, where we break down the jargon and the typical product features Then think about what will make you happy. Is it saving $100 a year or $500? Is it getting more convenient service in some way? Or simply peace of mind that you have the right product for your needs? Decide on the goalposts upfront so that you know when you’ve scored. Set up your comparison table The next step is to create a table to set out the criteria you need to compare A comparison table makes it much simpler to pick the best offer, rather than tirelessly going through the features of each, one at a time You can use one of the downloadable checklists from our website or set up your own table. Compare three We recommend that you compare three options: your current provider and two others There are diminishing returns if you compare beyond a handful of alternatives, and the more options you compare, the more confused and dissatisfied you will be The key thing is to use the best comparison website to find the three offers to compare Where possible, you want to use the government websites, so for PHI and energy that is usually your best bet Choice, Canstar, Finder and Whistelout are the comparison sites we recommend the most but in our book we recommend which sites are best for which service. Make the 'keep me' call Sometimes your current provider can offer you a better deal. When you’re armed with the details of what competitors are selling, calling your current provider may be all you need to do to save money If your current provider comes to the party with a competitive offer, this might be the last step Call around If your current provider can’t offer you a better deal and the alternative isn’t obvious, or there are complexities you want to check, you’ll want to call one or both of the competitors you identified in Step 3 We recommend you jot down a script to guide your chat Try to call in when call centre queues are likely to be shorter - when they open, on evenings or weekends. Decide...and switch Go back to your goals and pick the offer that best meets them. There’s usually a clear winner If you’re struggling to make a decision, it can help to think about what you would advise a friend. Integrate and celebrate You’ll need to integrate this new plan or provider into your life admin systems and tools This includes things like updating your password manager, opting into paperless communication, direct debits and adding important documents to your cloud storage Take time to celebrate your achievement. 🎉 RESOURCES Life Admin Hacks the book Episode 33 - Comparison shopping in an hour Choice Canstar Finder Whistleout SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
Navigating aged care
At some stage, we all have to navigate appropriate aged care for ourselves or a loved one, so in this episode we turned to aged care expert Grace Petherick to demystify it for us all. Many of us are in the sandwich generation, and are the support people for parents as well as young children. Some of us are also of an age where we’re having to investigate aged care services for ourselves or our partner. This can be an overwhelming task because, let’s face it, the aged care system in Australia is complex, unfamiliar and bureaucratic, and if your family member is suffering poor health or has had a health incident, it's all the more anxiety-triggering. About Grace Petherick Global experience in service industries and the shock of accessing aged care for her grandparents sparked Grace Petherick’s passion to revolutionise an industry. It became clear for her that what her grandparents had suffered was unacceptable, and it was time to shake up 100 years of unchanged service standards in aged care. Her visionary and innovative approach has attracted extensive investor and media attention, including placing as a finalist in the current Telstra Business Awards and winning a City of Melbourne Innovative Business Grant, for her business Age Up Health. Our recent survey revealed that one in three of our listeners is doing life admin for a parent or elderly relative and that often includes researching aged care services. In this episode we discuss: how the aged care system is very complex and waiting lists can create a lot of stress for families that you shouldn’t wait until a crisis occurs to investigate aged care - as soon as everyday things feel harder you should consider investigating options the preventive measures you can put in place - allied health to improve balance, ramps and handrails the differing roles for Residential Aged Care - including temporary respite and rehabilitation after a hospital stay how to fund aged care - the first step should be the government website - My Aged Care you can also find information on aged care provider websites and there are paid aged care advisers you can access the range of services and products that Home Care Package funding can be used for including home modifications, cooking and meal delivery, supplements, companionship and social support - anything to keep you safe and well at home the assessment process for Home Care Packages - government assessors come to your home and consider what support/funding you are eligible for - a letter of support from a GP can be helpful after your Home Care Package is approved - means testing is conducted by Services Australia to determine what (if any) income tested fee you will need to pay (there is an income and asset test similar to that for the Aged pension - the maximum contribution you can make is $40 per day) after an assessment you receive a notification of your level of funding and estimated the waiting time until the funding will be available the wait list for a Home Care Package can be up to 9 months - while you are waiting you may be able to access CHSP or other organisations that may provide support - Carers Gateway and some providers provide limited free support while you wait after the funding comes though you need to select from one of 900 providers within 56 days or you will lose the funding 3 months before your funding is allocated you will receive notification and this is a good time to start selecting a provider things to think about when selecting a provider include: what support you need, what level of admin you are willing to do, how they manage workforce, consistency of workforce, costs (care fee, administration fee, other fees including setup fee, exit fee, surcharges, travel fees) that the comparison websites for Aged Care that exist are commission based - however Aged Care Guide seems to be most representative of the market My Aged Care is an online application system and you don’t need a power of attorney to represent your parents as long as your parent advises My Aged Care that you may act on their behalf. My Aged Care is a paper based system so will receive a lot of letters which you need to keep! RESOURCES Government website - My Aged Care Age Up Health What to do about aged care when on the National Waitlist How to compare Home Care Package providers Surprising ways you can use you Home Care Package funds Free Seminar on understanding and more easily navigating the Home Care Package system 1hr Free Care per week for anyone on the National Waitlist Book an initial free 15-min consultation with Home Care specialist Aged Care Guide Carer Gateway SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
064: Organising a wedding
In this episode we interview Ayla Toyokawa, certified wedding planner and founder of WedSites, about the key steps in planning a wedding. About Ayla Ayla Toyokawa is a certified wedding planner and founder of WedSites, an all-in-one project management platform designed for collaboration and streamlining the wedding planning process for modern couples. There are two types of life admin: Everyday life admin - occurs cyclically or seasonally - daily, weekly, monthly, annually Life event admin - occasional life events that trigger life admin. If your everyday life admin isn't humming then dealing with a major life event can tip you into overdrive. Weddings have always been a significant life event for people to manage and in the last two years since the pandemic kicked off, planning a wedding takes Olympic-level administration skills. In addition, some life events like getting married have an ongoing impact on your life admin and in our survey 27% of you identified planning a wedding as generating a significant amount of life admin so we thought we should talk with an expert. We discuss: setting a budget and vision for the day selecting a date and contemplating a weekday wedding to save money - in particular because there have been so many weddings delayed over the past two years booking a venue as a key first item as it is likely to be one of the biggest expenses. booking a photographer, videographer and wedding planner with enough lead time that the average couple will spend 200-300 hours planning their wedding selecting a dress which can take 6-9 months to be made or 4 months even if purchased in store the overwhelm of so many options and the risk of the comparison trap that the pandemic has reduced the expectation to have a large wedding being prepared to have a Plan B - like reducing guest numbers or changing the date having a wedding website - to provide all the information for guests that can change as things evolve using the RSVP process to collect guest information including dietary requirements, assistance with transportation to the venue, song requests, choice of plated meals, travel plans for overseas guests, RSVP to additional events using checklists to remember important tasks - checklists that might be helpful include wedding planning checklist, checklist for photographer of photos you want, questions for venue, packing checklist for the actual wedding day using checklists to help share the load with your partner and other members of the bridal party and family members wedding planning is a marathon so take breaks you as you need plan a regular time when you will talk with your partner about wedding planning. We also talk about the admin tasks that need to be done after the wedding including: thank-you notes for guests and gifts cleaning and/or selling wedding dress sharing photos with family members changing your name on all legal documents if you choose to change your name combining your finances if you choose to do that. keeping your marriage certificate in a secure place. RESOURCES Wedsites Webistes - blog post with wedding planning checklist SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
The 5 myths of life admin
There are challenges to life admin but they’re not what you think they are. In this episode, Mia and Dinah dispel the most common myths they hear that people tell themselves when it comes to life admin. We’ve been talking to people about their life admin for the last 4 years: one-on-one with friends and coaching clients, in corporate presentations that we give, and when we’re running workshops with groups. We hear the same myths mentioned again and again when it comes to streamlining life admin. It just takes willpower Willpower is about self-control, emotional regulation, being mindful to respond rather than react and make intentional choices Research has shown that willpower is finite, that it is depleted by self-control tasks during the day. So if you’ve had a day where you’ve had to exercise willpower to avoid certain things or to do certain things, then by evening you’re more likely to succumb to things you want to avoid. If you’re relying on willpower to get on top of life admin then doing anything in the evening is likely not going to happen as your willpower is too depleted. Mia and Dinah recommend: scheduling your Hour of Power for the morning or lunchtime making your important decisions during high-willpower moments. However, willpower is only required when a task or decision is hard. As you build your life admin skills and set up your environment to make things easier, then you won’t need to draw on willpower. The tasks won’t demand you to control your emotions and you won't feel that you're forcing yourself to do something unpleasant. It just takes more motivation Motivation is a reason for acting or behaving in a particular way. Mia and Dinah discuss the benefits of linking the time dedicated to life admin to your goals and values, so you can see the bigger picture. You need to reflect and ask yourself what it's costing you not to have this sorted and anchor the activities to what is important to you. They also discuss how they based each chapter of their book to support behaviour change based on the habit model from BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits - Behaviour = Motivation x Ability x Trigger (B = M x T) If you maximise your ability to do life admin, and are aware of the relevant triggers for certain life admin tasks, then you don't need to draw on a huge amount of motivation to get it done. Focus more on mastering skills and you won't have to summons motivation to do life admin tasks. I know how to do it well Most people overestimate their ability with respect to life admin. However, if you ask people when is the best time to do certain life admin tasks or the steps involved or the criteria you should focus on, they struggle to respond. Investing time in learning shortcuts, decision making criteria, better apps, better websites to consult, means you increase your ability and it's easier to make behaviour changes when it feels easy. I just need more time Pandemic lockdowns taught us that even given more spare time due to no commutes, no social lives, no extracurricular activities, not everyone tied up all the loose ends in their lives. Most people try to do life admin in an ad hoc way with no dedicated time slot You need to ruthlessly prioritise, delegate, share, and outsource and schedule a regular Hour of Power to make the time for tasks that require you to concentrate. This means you have less admin to do, are focused on valuable life admin tasks, and have a dedicate time slot to do it within where you can get in a flow state and achieve more. My paper system is ok If you are single and live alone and don’t need to consult with anyone about your time or need to share tasks then, paper systems are ok. However, if you continue with paper you are likely to play the CEO of your household and carry the mental load that goes along with that The key benefits of digital tools for to-do lists, calendar, passwords are: accessible from anywhere via your phone ability to file in one click from email to cloud storage shareable - others can contribute and provides transparency backed up in cloud reduces clutter environmentally friendly. RESOURCES BJ Fogg’s - Tiny Habits James Clear - Atomic Habits SHARE Please head to the Life Admin Life Hacks Facebook, Insta or Linked In pages to connect with listeners and share your thoughts, questions or suggestions.
About the podcast Life Admin Life Hacks
Tools, techniques and tips to tackle your life admin with efficiency. Dinah Rowe-Roberts and Mia Northrop introduce ways to save you time and money, create peace of mind and restore harmony in your household.