08 January 2010

2010 - A Year of Saving

Today is the first day of a year of saving

Everyday the things I do save us money. I get a lot done in a day, having a family and a home to look after, as well as Cheapskates certainly keeps me out of mischief. Today my mother had a hospital appointment for a check-up. Rather than wait at the hospital and pay those outrageous parking fees, I dropped her off and came straight home. It's OK, I didn't abandon her, the tests she had required her to have an anaesthetic so I would have just been sitting in a waiting room anyway. As it turned out she was there until 6pm, six and a half hours! Thank goodness I decided to come home, that saved about $40!

Because I wasn't sure where I would be at dinner time I pulled some sausages out of the freezer this morning, sliced up a couple of onions and made some coleslaw. That was dinner taken care of - bbq sausage and coleslaw rolls to use up the last of the hot dog rolls in the freezer. They were delicious too.

Hannah helped me save a few dollars today too. She has been looking and looking for a denim skirt, but they have been either too expensive or too short (mean mummy that I am). This morning I went through the attic boxes and pulled out a denim skirt I used to wear about twenty years ago. I have no idea what triggered my memory but I'm glad I remembered it. She tried it on and of course it was too long (even I thought it was) and too big but it's a straight skirt on a waistband - a simple job to fix it so it fits her. And best of all she loves it. We'll fix it on Sunday morning so she can wear it next week. $20 plus saved and a happy girl, what more could a mother ask for?

I have been wondering how to deal with the money I save. Remember I always say money isn't saved until it's in the bank, it's just not spent yet? The kids gave me a huge money box in the shape of a dollar sign last year so now it's sitting on my desk and I have put my savings from today into it. I won't be saving $60 everyday (wouldn't that be nice?) but I will be saving something so each afternoon I am going to add my daily savings to the money box. When it's full I'll count it and take it to the bank. I wonder how long it will take me to fill it?

It can be tricky working out just how much you save by living the Cheapskates way. There are lots of things we do that don't appear to be savings at all in the beginning, but actually end up saving a lot of money. Things like:

  • Washing in cold water
  • Hanging the washing outside or on a clothes horse to dry
  • Cooking from scratch
  • Only running the dishwasher on a full cycle
  • Growing veggies
  • Making cleaning products
  • Taking lunch to work or school
  • Learning to sew
  • Doing home handyman jobs yourself
  • Turning appliances off at the wall
  • Leaving the car at home and walking or riding
  • Carpooling
  • Sharing tools with family and friends
  • Bartering for what we need instead of buying

There are so many ways to save money everyday. And it is those savings that allow us to build fully funded Peace of Mind accounts and emergency funds so that when disaster strikes (and it will at some time) we only panic for a few minutes, until we remember that we have savings!

Ok. I've told you how I've saved today, now it's your turn. I can't wait to see how close we are to that $10,000,000.00!


  1. As part of my new year planing, I have starting to put together my price book. I was working through the receipt I had and came accross milk. I nearly didn't put it in the book as it is never on sale. And then I thought, why not.

    I worked out that if I buy milk from Aldi I would save myself $50 a year. I couldn't believe I could save so much on one staple grocery item.

    It's made me realise that is should be easy to save $150 this year, just by putting a little more effort and thought into how we do our grocery shopping.

    $50 saved, $100 to go!

  2. Hi Cath,

    I save money each day by using used bread bags as freezer bags, instead of buying new ones. I shake out the crumbs and store them in the door of the freezer, so that they don't get musty and are readily available.

  3. I save money by keeping a few cartons of long life milk in the cupboard. When the bottle is running low, I can top it up with the long life and no one can taste the difference. Saves having to rush out and buy milk at the corner shop or petrol station which is always more expensive than the supermarket.

    I also add the leftover slices of bread in the bag (that no one wants to eat) to the new bag of bread to avoid wastage.

  4. Debby you made me smile re putting the unused bread slices into the new bag! We too went through a stage here a while ago where the troops would leave the last couple of slices of bread and start a new loaf. I saved them all in one bag in the freezer and turned them into parmesan toast to have with pasta and they gobbled them down quick smart.

  5. I find it really depressing that so many people don't have any idea what the average family earns. I do most of the things that people advise but I don't do it to save money - I do it because I don't have the money to spend in the first place. Saving $22,000 a year would be great but how do you do it on an income of $35,000 a year?

  6. Hi Anonymous,

    I've been in the position of not having an income at all and of not having a regular income of any kind for almost four years, all the while paying a mortgage and raising a very young family. The Cheapskates Club is the result of our years of living the Cheapskates way and thriving.

    How much you save depends entirely on your total income and how you live AND your attitude.

    You say you do most of the things that people advise, what about the things you don't do? How much are they worth?

    If you really want to know how much you can save in a year you need to faithfully and honestly track your entire family's spending for one whole month.

    You'll be able to see your legimate expenses and those that aren't.

    That will show you exactly how much money you should be able to save in a year.


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