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Tightening the belt


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#51 robhat

Posted 08 August 2019 - 10:01 AM

While mortgage and private school fees are probably your biggest expenditures, they are also the harder ones to change. Personally I'd ditch the private school (I would never have opted for it in the first place) but I'm well aware that moving kids to another school can be hard and in some cases might not even be best for them, so you'll have to work it out yourself if it's possible. Downsizing will almost definitely help in the long run, but again can be difficult and has to be done carefully if you really want to save money.

As for the rest, menu planning helps. Plan for a few vegetarian meals each week as meat is often the more expensive item and you don't need to be eating it daily. Don't buy takeaway hardly ever. Don't eat out hardly ever. Don't buy coffees out more than 3 times a week. Don't buy alcohol. I also find buying online helps as it's easier to search for what's cheap, you don't impulse buy and you can easily see when expensive items like shampoos and coffee etc are on sale and you can buy in bulk when they are half price.

Definitely work on a budget and record all your spending for a while so you can really see what you spend where. Don't buy the kids anything they don't really need. Buy toys etc for birthdays etc limit the amount of clothing you buy them. Buy 2nd hand where you can. Limit extra curriculars as much as you can. Choose only what they really love, or really need for good development.

Forgo all the luxuries you think you need. I've never been to a day spa, nor Bali and good restaurants usually only happen for really special events. I have a smartphone. It's android and I've had it for years and it has one of the cheapest plans available. Our kids don't own any devices other than an e-reader and nor will they any time soon. Very little of our clothing is branded (certainly not Prada), nor our shoes. We have only 1 car. No one in our house buys a work lunch or even lunch at the school canteen.

Don't expect to get much money back for your 2nd hand goods. You'll get a bit, which is helpful, but not a lot. No where near enough to put a dent in the $5000 a month you need. I've been trying to sell off some of our stuff. Even the good quality branded items that I bought because they would last and re-sell well, don't sell for even a quarter of what I paid for them. And it ends up taking up a lot of time.

#52 born.a.girl

Posted 08 August 2019 - 10:05 AM

View PostBeancat, on 08 August 2019 - 09:30 AM, said:

An easy win is to look back through your past expenditure and get rid of
  • any subscriptions you barely use or are not value for money, ie gyms, newspapers, music, pay TV
  • insurance where you are over insured
  • discretionary expenditure on takeout food
  • kids extra curricular activities that they are not really interested in
  • birthday presents for friends etc
  • review all of  your utilities



Why would you get rid of birthday presents for friends?


As per my comment above, you can spend more than you intend with poor planning, but that doesn't mean friends you exchange gifts with have to be told 'sorry, big house to pay off, no more gifts'.

With a bit of forethought, inexpensive gifts can be the best.

#53 jgirl7

Posted 08 August 2019 - 10:29 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 08 August 2019 - 10:05 AM, said:

Why would you get rid of birthday presents for friends?


As per my comment above, you can spend more than you intend with poor planning, but that doesn't mean friends you exchange gifts with have to be told 'sorry, big house to pay off, no more gifts'.

With a bit of forethought, inexpensive gifts can be the best.

Agree, birthday presents are important to keep up for special friends, but some months can really take up a huge chunk in the budget, especially coupled with children attending birthday parties, and family birthdays.
I've had to really cut down on present expenditure for friends but my usual go-to is a beautiful bunch of flowers for female friends.  Flowers can be really expensive, so I stay away from arrangements, and have found a talented florist who does pretty bunches that are reasonably priced. That's a gift I would prefer myself anyway, don't need anymore clutter for the house! I handmake cards for everyone. If it's a major birthday, I try and contribute a set amount with a few other friends to buy something more substantial. I always appreciate home-made gifts from other people too, the time and effort is special, although I don't have any talents in that area.
Otherwise I try and suggest a low-key lunch or afternoon tea, or if they are too busy for that, just rock up with a bottle of wine and a few nibblies on the weekend.  It's the time spent with a friend that counts, rather than the expensive gift. I would think though it is a lot more difficult to factor in birthday expenditure if your social set is more into expensive dinners or weekends away for birthdays.

#54 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 08 August 2019 - 10:49 AM

View Postprada11, on 07 August 2019 - 10:18 AM, said:

I love it :-)

Kmart is really on trend now isn't it?  Theres heaps of facebook groups full of people upcycling it.

View Postborn.a.girl, on 08 August 2019 - 10:05 AM, said:


Why would you get rid of birthday presents for friends?




As per my comment above, you can spend more than you intend with poor planning, but that doesn't mean friends you exchange gifts with have to be told 'sorry, big house to pay off, no more gifts'.



With a bit of forethought, inexpensive gifts can be the best.




This brings me to another good saving tip. If you get organised and hit up the sales you can get some really good bargains on presents, particularly toys. Just a matter of thinking what the person would like and snapping it up at the right time.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 08 August 2019 - 10:50 AM.


#55 Mollycoddle

Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:03 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 07 August 2019 - 11:21 AM, said:

Optional column also included things like birthday gifts, and they added up to a surprising amount, given we're both from decent sized families. We started looking out beforehand for gifts for people, rather than dashing out at the last minute and often ending spending more than was necessary - i.e. more than the person would expect us to spend.  There were so many kids at that stage (about 20 nieces and nephews) that I just bought things when I saw them.


I cut it out when our family (DP's side) reached similar numbers.  I just sent out a message one Christmas saying we didn't want to receive gifts and wouldn't be doing them.  People probably talked behind my back but now I don't do gifts so it was worth it.  I figure that many kids, especially mine, get so much anyway from their parents alone so I'm not going to add to that for something that will just end up being thrown in a corner or broken.  I have, however, given parts of the family a food hamper for everyone on the odd occasion ie. if we're going to be catching up over Christmas I'll bring something along.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 08 August 2019 - 11:12 AM.


#56 born.a.girl

Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:23 AM

View PostMollycoddle, on 08 August 2019 - 11:03 AM, said:

I cut it out when our family (DP's side) reached similar numbers.  I just sent out a message one Christmas saying we didn't want to receive gifts and wouldn't be doing them.  People probably talked behind my back but now I don't do gifts so it was worth it.  I figure that many kids, especially mine, get so much anyway from their parents alone so I'm not going to add to that for something that will just end up being thrown in a corner or broken.  I have, however, given parts of the family a food hamper for everyone on the odd occasion ie. if we're going to be catching up over Christmas I'll bring something along.



I had one child much later than most of my siblings.  Interestingly, the two who had kids first (five kids) and whose birthday and christmas presents went on until they were teenagers, completely ignored my daughters, so that made life a little easier.

I do still have 3 x great nieces (and a few nieces and nephews) whose birthdays involve gifts, but the relationships are excellent.  Besides which we're not skint any more.

#57 kass87

Posted 16 August 2019 - 05:38 PM

Today my hubby and I did shopping at Aldi. First time ever. Hope the food tastes okay 😀

#58 ~THE~MAGICIAN~

Posted 16 August 2019 - 06:37 PM

View Postkass87, on 16 August 2019 - 05:38 PM, said:

Today my hubby and I did shopping at Aldi. First time ever. Hope the food tastes okay
Of course , it will taste okay! Why wouldn't it? It's a supermarket with mostly Australian grown, so I don't understand your comment at all. I do 90% of my grocery shopping at Aldi!

#59 kass87

Posted 16 August 2019 - 07:28 PM

My hubby says it may not. Eating the food tonight is great

#60 Mollyksy

Posted 17 August 2019 - 03:26 PM

Some things do taste different if you buy and Aldi equivalent of a well known brand name.

Like the bilo-mite my mother scarred us children with as kids rather than our beloved vegemite. She tried to out stubborn us by refusing to buy vegemite until we ate it then actually tried it and threw it out!

Some products I liked, some I didnt. Its trial and error really. Plus now they di have a selection of well known brands as well as their versions (e.g. real chicken crimpys and their version).

I personally do not like their potato chips for example. Too oily a taste for me. But I do like their biscuits like Jatz.

#61 Chchgirl

Posted 17 August 2019 - 04:18 PM

Aldi is great. I'm back in nsw on Tuesday for about 6 weeks, their beer and wine is great as well. Not that it's a necessity.

I'll miss Aldi in Nz..!

#62 JBH

Posted 17 August 2019 - 06:44 PM

On the birthday presents for friends, i’m In a fortunate financial position and I would hate it if friends in a difficult financial position spent money they could ill afford on a present for me. That said, a friend recently gave me a lot of home made vegetable soup for my birthday and it was the best gift ever. Coming home from work to that was lovely.

#63 nom_de_plume

Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:17 PM

View Postrainne, on 07 August 2019 - 10:55 AM, said:



If it's not too much of a hijack, what does your weekly meal plan look like on a typical week? We cook everything from scratch as well, buy from Aldi/local butcher/fruit and veg store, meal plan, drink water or homemade kombucha not cordial or soft drink...and we're coming in at double your total at around $250/week for four people! I'm so keen to hear how you do it.

This weeks meal plan:

Breakfasts - porridge with tinned fruit, toasted sandwiches, some variation on eggs/bacon (usually mini frittatas or zucchini slice as they’re great hot/cold), smoothies or pancakes (made with oats, banana and egg).

Lunches - sandwich or salad with protein and extras, or dinner leftovers.

Dinners - this week is Corned Beef and veg with leftover corned beef being used as sandwich meat or the protein in lunches, pasta bolognese with leftover sauce used as toppings for baked sweet potatoes for a second dinner,  chicken stir fry, pumpkin soup (leftovers for lunches), vegetarian san choi bao with tofu and oven baked salmon with chips and salad.

School snacks - homemade popcorn, cheese and crackers (cut from block and portioned out from larger block), yoghurt (portioned our from large tub) and fresh fruit. I also make cake/muffins from squishy fruit. Will be banana bread this week as we’ve got a few bananas leftover.

I buy whatever fruit and veg are in season and whatever meat is on special/marked down. We only drink water, coffee and the occasional alcoholic drink. In the interest of full disclosure the kids are at before school care on average twice per week so they get brekky there on those days.

#64 coolbreeze

Posted 17 August 2019 - 07:52 PM

View PostPrincessPeach, on 07 August 2019 - 01:08 PM, said:

I find this as well. use your catelogues & look at the unit pricing on the items, aldi doesnt always work out much cheaper than items on sale at colesworths. Also our local IGA often has meat sales which are insane - this week they are doing rump steak for $13 a kg.

I love Aldi and mainly shop there, but our IGA also has crazy meat sales as well.
I stock up on the just about out of date chicken and rump steak to freeze. Last week I brought four nights worth of meat for a family of four for about $30. Organic chicken, rump steak, marinated chops etc.
CB




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