Friday, May 31, 2013

The Shoestring Budget

Saving with Less

Who doesn't love saving money? Whether you have something particular you are saving for or you really just love saving money, I've listed below a few ways we have cut back our expenses and as such, saved ourselves a few dollars

Grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of water) get comfortable and let's start saving
  • Reduce the amount of times you eat out: We will generally have pizza once a fortnight and aim to have it on 'Cheap Tuesday' where the general deal at our store is $18 for 2 pizzas, a 1.25L drink and a garlic bread. This guarantees us leftovers for the next day as well. 
  • Get maximum wear out of your wardrobe. I purchased a sewing machine a few months ago and have been slowly (but surely) teaching myself how to sew ever since. My first DIY wardrobe project was taking my straight leg jeans into skinny jeans via a free tutorial online. It was a success. 
My most comfortable flats cost $2 from a Kmart clearance rack

Teaching myself to sew is both interesting and fun
  • Just Say No to Things. There will always be great offers and bargains to be had, but this doesn't mean every sale needs you to get out your wallet. It's great for you (and your budget) to say no.
  • Keep Makeup simple: I get it, makeup is non negotiable to a lot of us on a budget, it can't be left out of the budget. Seriously though, how many shades of nude or red does one person need though?
  • Keep an inventory list of the items you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. These inventory lists are the first point of contact I have when it comes to Menu Planning. It allows me to see what we have, and from those items I get inspiration for our weekly menu. I keep these lists in my Meal Planning Binder.

  • Try to have a luxury at home such as DIY hair colour or cut: be careful with both of these though I've blogged about Home Haircuts Before and Drugstore Makeovers, both of which I have tried and tested many times on myself. It doesn't have to be hair related, remember you can have at home spa days, manicures, pedicures etc. Just by choosing to do 1 of these at home you will be saving yourself a lot of $$ for the year.
Home Haircuts are the norm in our household
  • Aim to keep the car garaged at home for a minimum of 1 day a week We have tried to be a 1 car household and it just isn't plausible for our current situation, however we do aim to keep at least 1 car garaged for a whole day (and night) each week. The price of petrol is a great encouragement to avoid using the cars unless we have to.
  • Take a look at your typical day, and see if you are able to cut back (or make at home) certain things such as your morning coffee/ sandwich run. I kicked my Red Bull habit to the curb and instead now have coffee at home with my coffee machine I got for Mothers Day, it has already saved us SO much money! 
Secondhand Filofax is perfect condition? Uh, yes please
  • Don't be afraid of the word 'Secondhand' Deciding I wanted a Filofax and being able to purchase one didn't happen within the same week, however being open to having one second hand certainly opened a lot more opportunities for me to have one. I purchased my Filofax Domino on Ebay for $21.99 with free shipping, and my Filofax Finsbury was purchased secondhand for $70 including postage from Gumtree, it is in beautiful condition and they retail anywhere from $90.00 upwards (including being secondhand) so I'm very pleased with myself. 
 Whether your budget is looser then the average shoestring or a lot tighter, I hope you find these tips somewhat helpful and inspiring to continue with your budget. If you did find this post helpful, please feel free to Tweet, Facebook or even Pin It and share with others

Until Next Time,

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