03 January 2009

Tip of the Day January 3, 2009

Save $6,000 this year!

Ever wondered how much you could save in a year if you really tried? Banking $115 a week sounds hard. But you can quite easily save over $6,000 this year if you follow these simple tips for saving money. They are small, painless changes in the way you spend your money, and they will stretch each dollar to the nth degree.

1. Set up a budget. The very first step is to create a budget. Write down your income and then work out ALL of your household expenses. A simple budget uses your pay period (weekly, fortnightly, monthly) to determine income and expenses. This gives you a clear view of what s coming in and what's going out. You can see where you can cut expenses.

2. Never shop without a list. And stick to it. Set up a basic shopping list (we generally buy the same items week after week). Look at ways to cut your supermarket bill - try generic brands, or multi-purpose products. This will save you at least $45 a week or $2340 a year.

3. Give up smoking. Not only will you save at least $60 a week (if you smoke a pack a day), but you'll save on medical and dental bills as well. Look forward to saving about $3120 per year. If you can't stop, try to cut down by at least a pack a week. Save about $490 a year.

4. Try to have at least one meatless meal a week and cut your meat bill by at least $7 a week. Savings $364 a year.

5. Buy your meat from a wholesale butcher, or in bulk. A 60kg hindquarter costs about $300 and should keep a family of four in meat for about 6 months. At just $50 a month for meat instead of $50 per week, save $2000 a year.

6. Fix that dripping tap, install a low-flow shower head and reduce showers by 3 minutes. You'll not only be saving a precious resource, but about $125 if not more per year.

7. Turn off all power appliances at the wall socket. Even in standby mode, appliances are using electricity. Make sure you always turn your computer screen off when you shut down, it can really suck up power. Do these things and save about $120 per year.

8. Wash in cold water. You'll save on heating costs, and your clothes won't fade as readily. Save around $2.50 per week per family in heating costs or $130 per year.

9. Change light globes to compact fluorescents and save about $60 per year PLUS they last 8 times longer! They may be more expensive initially, so swap them one at a time, or as light bulbs blow.

10. Reduce bought lunches by at least one and save $6 per week and don't buy snacks and drinks at shopping trips for you or the kids and! save at least $10 per week, have the girls home for coffee instead of buying that cappuccino and save another $2.40 per week ...all together save at least $956 per year!

Total savings of $6585!

To make sure you reach your goal, open a separate bank account and arrange to have at least $115 a week directly deposited into this account. Then sit back and watch your savings grow, without any major lifestyle changes.

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