Put your money where your mouth is

I’ve been thinking up this post for awhile. The recession/global financial crisis/credit crunch has not hit us as hard as the nuptial crunch has. Our bank balance usually sits at a certain level, and rises a very small amount after each pay. Initially when the man started his part time work, he didn’t really need to work. But for a time there without his work, we’d be very slowly going backwards. My higher duties at work, were pretty important there for awhile. Since my promotion, its not going to be such a devastating fall in pay (just my pride) if I ever have to go back to my substantive level.

So what have we done to save money?
  • Shopping at markets, saves us big $$ on meat
  • Using the meat as a base for our meals, means we can plan our week ahead avoiding unnecessary trips to the supermarket where we might make impulse purchases of stuff we don’t need
  • Eat cheap, we ate Chilli Con Carne 3 nights last week, + 1 lunch for me. I’m really really sick of Chilli Con Carne. Someone pointed out we should freeze it. That sounded pretty logical, will have to start to plan meals better using pre-prepared frozen meals
  • No dry cleaning. I used to dry clean my work shirts. But not really necessary. I do hate ironing though
  • Sadly, sacked my personal trainer saves $45 a week
  • Ride to work, saves a little more than $200 a month on public transport, and the costs in bike maintenance are minimal
  • Drink instant coffee at work, limit to maximum 1 bought coffee a day, if possible none. This has been the hardest.
  • Bring breakfast to work, everyday. 1/2 cup Carman’s untoasted muesli + jalna yoghurt prepared the night before makes bircher museli. Keeps me going until lunchtime and is very good for you. Because its bircher muesli its easy and fast to eat at work.
  • Naturally bring lunch to work everyday. Usually leftovers or banana on toast + fruit.
  • We’re still repaying our mortgage at the highest repayment amount on our variable portion, we haven’t dropped after all the rate decreases. Our 3 yr fixed runs out soon, and its likely we will be able to lock it in for even lower than what it is now.
  • Stay in. We’re both hermits so this isn’t too hard.
So, there you go. I’m sure I will edit this as I think up more. Any tips?
Oh yeah, and I’m spending some of my $900 on a new bike. My current bike has just about had it, and its murdering my knees. It’s like riding an..arthritic clydesdale. A racer-like bike it is! So the bike research commences. The man, sadly falls into a surplus black hole. His scholarship (which isn’t huge) for his pHD is tax free. He earned more than $6000 last year, but the low income tax offset took him back to $0 which means he isn’t eligible. He also isn’t eligible for anything from Centrelink e.g. Austudy because they count his scholarship as income. He really should get something, but he is just in a black hole. There must be others in his situation. 
– Jen
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