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'out there' Money Saving / Budget tips

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Lees75
Thanks, I'm downloading the trial now!

Once you work it all out, you won't regret it! It is addictive! The forums are full of the most helpful people who repeat the same basic advice over and over and over- lol!

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greengoddess
I have started a new savings plan this year. I started the first week of the year and am saving a dollar for every week. By this I mean week 1=$1.00 week 2=$2.00 week 3=$3.00 etc... By Christmas I should have over $1000 saved!

 

This was mentioned a while ago on EB, and I think the consensus was that to make the most of the system, you should do it in reverse order... so starting with $52, then $51 etc so that the big gains sit in your bank account accruing interest for the longest period of time. Then again, it's hard to start in January after the CC bills etc, so easing into it with $1 probably makes sense.

 

Thanks for all the tips - love them. We're at the point of needing to use the envelope system or something more concrete as we always run out of money before the end of the month (we're both paid monthly on the same day), and whilst bills etc always come out at the start of the month, we do tend to spend a lot in the first week!! But I like the idea of the app as well.

 

And will definitely be doing the rounding down thing to put more money on the CC.

 

 

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Emerald

This is not out there but i found helpful.

 

I work out what my bills are per month/quarterly. I divide the figure by the weeks and transfer the money weekly out of my account onto the bill. That way when my bills come in they are either "nil owing" or in credit.

 

Ie- Mobiles $170 a month i pay $43 a week onto the bill. When the bill comes in for that month, i'm all paid up nil owing.

 

I have found this so much easier then paying bulk money when they come in. I've actually been ahead in my mobile bill recently by doing this.

 

I do the same for the kids activities. DD2 gym fees are $600 a term as she is in development squads. So i have a savings account where i transfer the kids sports fees into. I do this weekly so when the end of term bills come in for you to pay, you have the money already saved. Three kids with lots of sports equals lots of money needed.

 

This has been less stressful on us as your not getting bills like $600 for elect, $200 phone, plus sports etc.

 

Hope this make sense and helps others! Love this thread!

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bryce's-mummy
This isn't really out there but do a proper budget.

 

I have an amount for the mortgage, bills and then petrol/food/miscellaneous spending - such as clothes, hair cuts, presents etc.

 

 

Make it realistic there is no point budgeting $100 a week for food if you continually need to spend $150. Look for cheaper alternatives when possible.

 

 

Things like saving $5 notes or whatever don't work for me. I just save a set amount each week I don't have excess money in my 'spending' money to save.

 

Yep same here!

 

My budget is down to the literal last dollar- and I am close to going into deficit. HOWEVER I do spend about $3.50 a week on a coffee when I shop for groceries (only if I have some money left in my purse)- I always feel guilty spending it because realistically it could be a loaf of bread and a litre of milk! So that adds up to $182 per year. But then again- a weekly coffee is my only luxury!

 

Like PP I pay my bills weekly so that I am in credit (or don't have much to pay) on my bills when they come in. I also pay school fees upfront so that I reap a discount and each week I save $35 into a separate untouchable account for next years school fees.

 

I shop for Xmas in June at the toy sales and I buy clothes at the end of season for the following year.

 

I sell online all my kids outgrown clothes and toys they no longer play with

(I made $100 last week by doing this).

 

I also aim to get my meals (for three of us)- under $5 per meal. So far I have most meals costing under this amount. Nothing goes over $10 a meal. I also menu plan and use everything in my pantry. I also buy clearance food items when I can and I bulk buy things like kids snacks to save on overpriced individual packaging costs.

 

We no longer eat take-away and we don't go out for dinner anywhere. So a huge saving here.

 

I buy as much second-hand stuff as possible.

 

I buy ALL home brand stuff now- I also use less of things to reduce costs (washing detergents, soap etc).

 

I worked out that it's cheaper for me to put DS into vacation care during school holidays than it is for me to take him out! In fact- my out of pocket cost is less than $5 per day after rebates and they go on some great excursions. And yes, this includes all meals! He goes 3 times per week in school holidays!

 

I find 'free' activities for the kids to do where I can.

 

Not exciting and nothing unique but worth adding!

Edited by bryce's-mummy

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unselfish

opt out of christmas, and other similar optional events (valentines day, easter, and anniversaries for everything).

 

don't keep pets.

 

don't have children.

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GenWhy
Does anyone do the envelope money thing? You know, put the cash in an envelope for the week for groceries, coffee etc and that is the total budget for it? I use my card all the time, so was thinking that if I had the actual cash there, then it would make it more concrete for me, and I would be more careful with spending, as opposed to just putting it on EFT etc.

 

Yes I do this :) DH and I get an allowance each month that we use for any extras we want or birthday presents etc. I also withdraw the grocery money and once it's gone it's gone. I add up every single bill we have over a 12 month period then average that our per month after adding 5% to it to account for CPI and inflation. Then I direct debit or bpay that amount every month so we rarely receive an actual bill. We are usually in credit.

 

Also, we don't have any credit cards or redraw. Our budget is fairly strict so if we don't plan things at least 6 months in advance, the money is simply not available and we don't have the temptation to use credit. We have been paying an extra $50 on the mortgage each month which doesn't sound a lot, but we owe my parents around $20000 (was $45000) for bailing us out of our house being foreclosed on. So we try to pay them every spare cent we have. They're self funded retirees that own their home but are very cash poor as they had to retire very early to care for my grandparents and medical conditions of their own. Mum's cancer treatment wiped them out royally even with private health so I stress constantly about trying to pay them as quick as we can. We plan on giving them an extra 7% in interest to say thank you - especially considering it was our fault we made stupid financial errors.

 

I often get on the moneysmart.gov.au website and put in different figures for paying extra off the mortgage to see what it reduces the loan period to :ninja: one can dream lol

 

As soon as I start working we are setting up an account for my step kids to enable them to buy a car/tools for work etc. I'd love to be able to do it for our kids down the track too and the saving $5 notes and coins idea sounds great :)

Edited by GenWhy

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HGL

We save money by:

 

Offset account on our mortgage. Pays go in, all bills and groceries on credit card, CC paid in full each month. We save around $350 a month interest (but we do have a large balance in our offset) = $4200 pa.

 

We have a no annual fee (but no reward scheme) credit card. I've found rewards schemes in the the past useless and not worth the extra $ annual fee.

 

Meal planning - we plan all our meals a week in advance. Bulk shop for meat at a wholesale butcher and freeze in meal sized portions. Defrost the meat the night before. We have very little food wastage and never buy takeout (unless we plan it as a treat). We do tend to eat the same kinds of meals each week so it is a lot easier to keep the pantry stocked and turned over frequently.

 

Online grocery shopping - do find it saves money on the extras we'd probably pick up if we were browsing the aisles.

 

Clutter clean out - every 2 months clean out a room or cupboard and sell any unused stuff on Gumtree.

 

Petrol - fill up the car every week, whether it needs it not, on Wednesday, which is generally the cheapest day at my local petrol station.

 

Take lunch to work.

 

Don't have a car loan and drive a car that is 10 years old but mechanically sound.

 

Find local tradespeople running their own small business. My husband use to use big name plumber and electricians and never asked for a price estimate. Got majorly ripped off a number of times.

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IShallWearMidnight
I buy woolworths gift cards with my CC via the entertainment book at 5% off and use them to pay for groceries and petrol. We then get the air miles on the CC, which will pay for a flight back home next year.

We do this too, but I buy them in fornightly values, then DH and I carry one each for the month (we budget $600 for food and $200 for fuel, and carry a $300 and $100 card each)

A new card comes out on the first of the month, but often there will be a bit left over, so we end up with about an extra $100 for food per quarter (and that usually gets spent to stock FILs place when we visit) and a whole fuel card left over, which I then put towards clothes/non essentials, or even put it aside for big spend times such at xmas/birthdays when we get more groceries.

DH uses the points for his fuel cards, so we generally are below budget.

We tried lowering the amounts, but found we were wasting the excess, so now we justify any 'treat' items in the shopping as saving us from eating out.

 

I do the online surveys, and use my points to buy target cards. I earnt $200 last year, which was this years new clothes for the kids.

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lilmissmars

Which online surveys do you do?

I did them many many years ago but took 3 years to get a $20 voucher.

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IShallWearMidnight

I do the pure profile and your voice ones. Ill PM you the link :)

I spent maybe 15 mins a day doing them, usually while boobing or watching TV.

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Awesome101
opt out of christmas, and other similar optional events (valentines day, easter, and anniversaries for everything).

 

don't keep pets.

 

don't have children.

 

Fabulous idea! You could also not shower everyday/week/month, eat only rice for every meal, and live by candle light. Think of the money you would save!

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Justaduck
I have tried but failed at meal planning - I find that I spend less if I meal plan in the shops. I find what meats are on sale and base my meals around those items.

 

I always buy things like toilet paper when on special rather than waiting until I've almost run out and HAVE to buy it at what ever price it is at. This works if you have a bit of storage space.

 

This was me - we spent way more when I sat down and meal planned and went back to just working out meals as we went. I too buy things like TP on sale, DPs deodorant/my hair mousse/soap I will buy say 4 when they are half price. Nappies I will buy 2 boxes when they are on sale, sure it only saves $3/box but that all adds up.

 

I have Flybuys too and save the points for when we are short on cash.

 

My clothes are all from Kmart. I am wearing a skirt and top that cost me $13 all up right now.

 

Cleaning up DD and highchair is done with a facewasher, not paper towel. My washing size is the same regardless of how much or little is in there, so I don't waste extra water cleaning them.

 

I don't do the envelopes but have several online savings accts linked to my main acct - one for bills, one for Christmas/bday money/savings/savings that can be spent etc.

 

Don't have a budget planner but I bank with NAB and they have a Money Tracker linked to your acct - tells you exactly how much you have spent for the month on food/petrol/clothes/dining out etc

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I*Love*Christmas

DH & I use to have hecs debts. After they were paid off we kept paying the higher tax as we don't miss the money each week. At tax time we usually get about $10000 back between us. I know it would be seem impossible to save this and if we had the money each week we would spend it. But now we save it, can usually afford a good holiday and put some towards Christmas & birthdays as we have a lot of those second half of the year. We've been doing this for a few years and have nearly saved $40k.

 

The other thing I do is surveys which I think a PP mentioned. I am part of quite a few companies and do them randomly through the week. I like to cash them all in at Christmas time. I can usually get about $400-$500 worth of gift cards throughout the year.

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LittleMissPink
I log on to Internet banking after every single transaction and round down our account to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars, transferring the extra little bit into the home loan. Doing this is how we saved our deposit while both being students and how we're now well in advance on our home loan only six weeks in to it. You really don't miss that extra 2.98 etc, but man, does it add up quickly!

 

I love this idea :) Going to do this every day from now on.

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71Cath
I log on to Internet banking after every single transaction and round down our account to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars, transferring the extra little bit into the home loan. Doing this is how we saved our deposit while both being students and how we're now well in advance on our home loan only six weeks in to it. You really don't miss that extra 2.98 etc, but man, does it add up quickly!

Thank you for this idea Little Bird. I just transferred $2.77 :D

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FeralRebelWClaws
I log on to Internet banking after every single transaction and round down our account to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars, transferring the extra little bit into the home loan. Doing this is how we saved our deposit while both being students and how we're now well in advance on our home loan only six weeks in to it. You really don't miss that extra 2.98 etc, but man, does it add up quickly!

 

Fantastic idea! Thank you!!

 

We never have cash on us, so saving $5 notes wouldn't get us far! But this is a great idea to get the CC balance down slowly :)

Edited by PussyDids

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twirling

Mine's not particularly exciting but I 'over save'. When we get paid (fortnightly) I pay mortgage, fortnights worth of all bills/school fees etc, give DH & I 'our' money, do a weeks shop/petrol and allow for next weeks food/petrol. Whats left, usually about $600, gets put into a saving account. Although this budget is usually too strict by the end of the fortnight, I can get money 'back' from the savings account if need (usually get $100ish back out), I am reluctant to do so as it feels like I'm spending savings, hence I save more...

 

I love some of the ideas on here and will definitely use! Thank you... I am new to saving and am finally thinking we might be able to (eventually) afford things we have been waiting so long for!

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jkate_
Silverstreak, you've caught the transfer bug! My DH laughed at me when I first started doing this, and now raves to everyone about how well it works. Good luck whacking that credit card down!

 

My DP is going to laugh too. I started doing it this morning after reading your suggestion last night. we each have one account for ourselves and a joint account for bills/groceries etc. Anything from the joint account is going off the mortgage and anything from my own account is going into a separate savings account for our holiday in August.

 

So I have $2.67 in my holiday account after buying the cheapest work lunch today and $3.30 into the mortgage after our insurance direct debit came out. We would never be able to save coins etc as we always use cards (though DP has an impressive collection of silver coins dating back about 10 years!) but this will work perfectly for us.

 

Little Bird you are a legend!!

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cameo

I really enjoy reading these!

 

My tips are not out there at all but here is what I do:

 

* Have a very strict budget. I allocate money for everything. Every expense I can think of I have figured out the monthly cost and put it in - even DH's haircuts and my gym membership. I allocate a monthly amount to all miscellaneous expenses too: ie: supermarket $200, presents $50 clothes for all family $50.

I put each amount onto the spreadsheet and work out the leftovers each week. I will not spend over that amount ever. I pre-plan everything - even food for DD's party and buy it over time so my supermarket amount doesn't ever blow up.

I try and buy gift cards for presents in the supermarket too as I never spend the full amount so have flexibility there rather than spending to much in the present allowance.

* I meal plan very very carefully. I think about what I need for the week and try very hard to not to have to go back to the shops in that time. For example, we are having a soccer team party on the weekend so I bought my item that I was bringing in this weeks supermarket shop.

* DH and I get $50 a week each. That is for every miscellaneous item. Coffee's for me, lunch one day a week for DH, anything we need that is not included in the other budget amounts. I want a pedicure but will wait till next week when I have more money.

* I write every bill I have owing on the spreadsheet and I know when they are due. I never ever pay them late as I hate paying extra charges.

* I also pay everything early if possible so you can get early bird specials. DD's swimming lessons give 5% discount if you pay early so I always do.

* We never get takeaway and dinners/lunches out come from extra's in our weekly $50 if we have it.

 

It sounds tedious and hard and it is, but we are saving for DS high school fees so it's for a reason. I dislike it and would love to buy spontaneously but we simply cannot afford it. DH earns a good salary but we were going backwards with money and it's only since doing this, that we can track and therefore cut down on spending.

 

 

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qak
On a tangent, does anyone collect Virgin Velocity points vs Qantas FF?

 

We collect Qantas FF but goddamn it takes so many points to get any flights! It's exorbitant!

 

I collect the points by paying for just about everything on CC.

I don't save up for the flights, usually we get the woolies or coles gift cards. Lately have been getting iTunes cards or Sanity vouchers for gifts. I think the travel ones are supposed to be better value, but I always find I can get better rates directly!

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little bird

Good luck with the savings, ladies. Really am so glad to see so many give the transfer idea a go! It really does work and I'm so happy to be able to share it. I love these threads. Using this idea, we've added an extra $20 to the mortgage in two days. If I looked at the budget though, I would have doubted there was 20 to spare. Hurrah!

Edited by little bird

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Delirium

I buy discounted Coles and Woolworths vouchers through my car insurance so I can effectively get 5% off my grocery bills. It also makes it easier to stick to the budget because I need to keep the shopping lower than my gift card balance.

 

I buy yearly memberships to things like the zoo because if we go once every school holidays (which we do), we end up saving money.

 

I do lots of other little things, but it mainly boils down to never buying anything I don't need. I am currently on Abstudy and will finish my Masters at the end of this year. I used to always be in debt, but I paid it off a couple of years ago and I never want to go back. The only debt I have now is my HECS debt from my undergrad degree (I'm on a scholarship for my postgrad). While I might not be able to save much now on Centrelink benefits, my goal is to get to the end of my degree without owing any money. I can start saving in earnest when I start working next year.

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cb2

We save all coins.

Have a tin for $1 coins

a tin for all silver coins

and I had heard about the coke bottle that it equates to $1000

we have a 500ml coke bottle we only put $2 coins in and so far it is at $345 so I can see it will fill to $500

 

I don't really have any "out there" tips, but I shop at Aldi, a wholesale butcher, and buy only fruit/veg in season.

Pass on second hand clothes and also receive too

Buy Washing powder in bulk

Buy wipes in Bulk

Buy cleanskin wines

and last but not least I have a present cupboard where I will buy things/toys on special and into the present cupboard it goes for use at a later date, and keeping in mind who it is for. I also try and do most of my Christmas shopping in the June sales, or throughout the year when sales/specials are on or I make a lot of gifts when the websites have specials. I have my own policy that ALL Christmas present shopping is to be done and finished by 30th November. I refuse to go present hunting anytime during December.

 

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Kitteh of Babylon
I log on to Internet banking after every single transaction and round down our account to the nearest 5 or 10 dollars, transferring the extra little bit into the home loan. Doing this is how we saved our deposit while both being students and how we're now well in advance on our home loan only six weeks in to it. You really don't miss that extra 2.98 etc, but man, does it add up quickly!

 

I am going to do this too, what a great idea! :D

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TaciturnTurtledove

Another YNAB plug from me too - that budget software has changed my financial life. I used it solidly for 10 months and then found myself able to pay in cash for a car when the desperate need arose. Of course the car has played havoc with my careful budget, but now I've learnt the skills to get back sooner to the awesome financial position I was in before.

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