Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Living on a budget

Image from here
Finances have been tight at our place. Suffice to say we are back on the budget and living a small existence.

It has been a good reminder that living within your means is the only way to live.

You have to be careful of every cent you spend. Want versus need? Can you delay the purchase? We aren't buying anything new this year anyway, so you think we'd be better placed than we are. *Sigh*

It is such a bore but it is the little changes that add up to make a difference.

Take your lunch to work.

Drink water from the tap (no more Coke Zero for me).

Bake your own treats.

Turn your appliances off at the plug.

Use your washing machine, dish washer and dryer sparingly and always in the off-peak times.

Make your own cleanser, washing powder, shampoo and conditioner.

Read the newspaper online.

Use the library rather than buying books or magazines (blogs are a great alternative!)

Delay your haircuts.

Eat fresh food rather than processed food and cook from scratch rather than using ready-made meals.

Buy locally from markets.

Avoid library and video store fines.

Avoid using the car as much as possible - walk, cycle or take public transport.

What little tips do you have to stretch your dollar that bit further in a pay cycle?


Diminishing Lucy said...

Once a month I do a fresh shop only. Fruit and veg and milk. AND this forces me to use the pantry & the freezer for my meal plan. And saves us a whole weeks shopping money...

Mama of 2 boys said...

I am hearing you! Every cent counts. Your list is full of great budgeting tips. Some of which I also use. I only get my haircut once a year, shocking, but cost effective and it doesn't grow that quickly anyway.
We only have one car in our household, which equates to a huge saving, but I guess that's not practical for everyone. I also didn't replace our dryer when it blew up, which isn't always ideal, but I'm coping ok without it.
I guess I save quite a bit compared to other friends when it comes to the boys also. I don't buy them expensive branded clothing and always hold off when possible, to take advantage of the sales when they're on.

Cate said...

I like your avoid library fines one (recent personal experience?).
I remember the first time I bought a months worth of meat in one go, separated it into freezer packs, labelled and placed into freezer - only to have the freezer breakdown *that night* and all the meat defrosted :-(
Another good one to avoid is parking fines - once got a $70 fine two weeks before xmas - I could have cried!!

MissDMarie said...

Since I live in an apartment, I use the apartment gym instead of getting a membership. No need to "pay" for two.

Kirsten- The Foreign Domestic said...

Thanks for the tips! One thing that seems to sneak up on me are the overdue video charges.

Miss Pink said...

You mentioned lots and lots of great ones there. Many people don't think to turn appliances off when not in use. I guess they don't realise how much power "Standby" uses.
For us cloth nappies! They save us LOADS.

Anonymous said...

Lucy's tip is a great one. I have so much food 'in stock' that I never seem to get around to using.
My tip would be save all your recyclable yoghurt containers, egg cartons, and cardboard whatevers for kids craft. Craft materials are expensive, but if you use recyclable materials they're free. Throw in some spare buttons, wool, aluminium foil, used wrapping paper, leaves from the garden, and you've got a whole range of materials the kids can create with.

LIfe In A Pink Fibro said...

I love Lucy's tip! Might give me a chance to use up all that barley I seem to collect.

Great post.

Lizeylou said...

I am shaking my head in agreement while reading this as it sounds just like our house. I like the craft tip from therythmmethod ... will be reading all of these comments as I need a little more motivation - now if only I could stop buying magazines!!

ClaireyH said...

Soup Sunday is a great way to save some cash.

And Aldi. The place for nappies and wipes and cleaning products, when we are on a lean week I only allow myself to shop at Aldi.

Seana Smith said...

Hello, every so often we decide to 'eat the fridge and cupboards,' we just stop buying food until all the food in the fridge, freezer and cupboards has gone. I HATE throwing out food, and rarely do. And switching stuff off at the wall, great way to save electricity/the world.

Petra said...

Hi Chris, just discovered your blog through cookrepublic - not sure how I missed it till now, its great!

I can recommed a weekly veggie box from Flemington markets, it is cheap, fresh, time saving and gets everybody to eat more fruit and veg.
I have also recently sorted out Emma's clothes (size 2 & 3 I think), if you want them let me know.

Kymmie said...

Great tips Coo. I noticed that I do them all, but things are still tight. Mind you, I am buying a few new things this year! So perhaps I should stop that?

But I think the most important thing is to have a budget. And stick with it.

I'm amazed how many people don't have budgets!

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