9 Decisions





Hi folks

Here is a small list of simple decisions that will save you 'big time'.

1. Cancel your pay TV subscription.  Here in Australia, Foxtel was all the rage for many years but with the advent of very cheap online content through other providers or free content via the internet, paying for TV is simply a waste of your hard earned money.

2. Credit Card Debt.  OK, so you just simply can't make it disappear but taking up one of the excellent interest free offers available (I saw 20 months interest free credit card transfer offer recently) you can smash this debt.  BEWARE however, your old credit card will not be cancelled once the balance is transferred and represents a huge potential spending danger - go close that card at your bank immediately.  BEWARE again however, if you have credit card debt then you are likely to spend on a credit card again so deal with this and do not carry your new credit card on you.

3. Make a few phone calls to insurance companies (car, house, content etc).  If you are like most people and just auto-renew your insurances yearly, then you most probably are paying way too much. Make a few calls and compare all your insurance policies - you'll definitely get a better deal with 30 mins worth of phone calls.

4. Make a few phone calls to utility companies.  If you just pay your electricity and gas bills without question every year, a few phone calls to other providers will certainly get you a better deal. You may even find that a different plan with your current provider is the answer to cheaper bills.

5. Ditch your post paid phone plan. There are literally 1000's of different phone and data plans out there. Phone and data providers are continually changing phone plan offers on purpose (I used to work in the industry so I know this is true).  It is often cheaper to keep using your current phone and swap across to a prepaid plan (I pay $9.95 per month for my phone plan for instance). Even if you are not keen on doing this, at least shop around for a better plan and a cheaper price.

6. Cook from scratch. This will be the biggest saving by far. Bought lunches and regular bought meals out are a whopping waste of money. Did you know that for the price of a dinner out, you can probably feed yourself for the best part of the week. Cooking from scratch can mean that, with a little thought and planning, you can nourishingly (is that a word?) feed yourself  daily for under $1 for breakfast, under $1 for lunch, under $3 for a main meal .... that's $35 per week for food, and it gets even cheaper the more people you are feeding. I'm currently eating a delicious, wholesome homemade chicken pie while I type this post.

7. Cars and commuting costs.  I now often walk to and from work ... a leisurely 20 minute walk. Running two or more cars when you can be running one is a truly massive saving.  Think about using public transport, or biking, or even a motor bike, perhaps walking or car pooling too. 

8. Drop your gym membership. Seriously?! Yes, seriously. Walk or run  for free around your city or suburb. Cycle for free around your city or suburb. Buy some secondhand weights (gumtree/craiglist etc has oodles of them). Educate yourself on body weight training. 

9. Do small stuff consistently.  By small stuff I mean things like the following: taking slightly shorter showers, washing clothes in cold water, turn a fan on instead of the air conditioner, sun dry your clothes instead of using a clothes dryer, plan your car trips to achieve several things per trip to cut down car usage, get up earlier and go to bed earlier, bake your own bread, make your own laundry liquid, stockpile groceries when cheap, cook meals in bulk and freeze, use the slow cooker, grow your own herbs, darn your socks, eat eggs occasionally instead of meat, keep warm by wearing layers instead of switching on the heater etc etc.




Lean in to some of these changes and experience the deep sense of satisfaction of saving oodles of your hard earned money.


Take care folks and stay nice.

Mr HM

Comments

  1. Our last credit card debt, we put on a zero interest card, we divided the amount by the months of free interest, and paid it all off, it was a struggle to start with, but now we don't have balances on our credit card, and if we purchase something big using our card for insurance, we ensure we have the funds to pay it off. The struggle to get rid of the credit card debt is enough to keep us from building any debt up again. PLUS now living without credit card debt, bank loans and Mortgage paid in full makes every bit of pain we had worth while. Love your post

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    1. Paying down credit card debt was the biggest struggle and caused us the most mental pain - hated it!

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  2. Good sensible advice for anyone looking to save money, we have got everthing right down now, the only extravagence we have is Netflix £7.99 a month, all the other bills are the cheapest they can be.

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    1. Netflix is pretty cheap entertainment at that price, I reckon.

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  3. Another good post, Phil.
    I do almost everything on this list, except using a prepaid phone plan. Unfortunately here utility is a monopoly, so they don't care to give discounts or offer different plans. Last year I saved a couple of hundred by shopping around for my car insurance.

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    1. Yes, phone coverage/monopolies in Australia is still an embarrassment.

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  4. Great list! It's really nice that you live close enough to walk to work. I'd add one more to your list: use the library. Free books, can't beat that!

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    1. Oh yes! The library, how could I have forgotten that. Right you are.

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  5. Such great advice, Mr. HM. We do almost everything on this list. Have never had pay TV (I wouldn't see my husband again if we had a sport channel;) Must ring around re: insurance. Haven't done that yet! Meg:)

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    1. It will be time well spent Meg - good luck with the ring around.

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  6. Goodness, how topical in this household! Over the weekend we did the big shop around for contents insurance and switched over first thing this morning - $2k/year with NRMA has been swapped out for $300/year with BudgetDirect. And last night I discovered we can swap our Telstra and Vodafone $30/month pre-paids for $10/month with Amaysim. Hubby is off at the post office right now buying the sim-cards as I write this! We feel there is the rumblings of a new Zeitgeist about us.

    Your money postings have been fabulous and well-timed and have really snapped us out of our complacency with some fresh ideas, especially the LIC and ETF focus. Thank you for the great effort. You will do well as a financial adviser in your "retirement".

    All the best from wet Sydney,
    Vanessa

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    1. Do you know what carrier Amaysim uses Vanessa? I use OVO and it uses the Optus network.

      With a year of stock market volatility ahead of us there may well be some excellent buying opportunities

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  7. You have a knack of taking good finance lessons and turning it into a short and concise post!

    Can't agree with you more, it really is the small stuff that makes a huge difference - an overall thrifty attitude to living.

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    1. I find so many folk just wanting one single 'secret' to their finances when it really is a consistency of some many smaller actions.

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  8. We are very wary of using our credit card at the moment unless it's necessary. We had some wonderful scamming from os going on and had to close it all off. Now if we use it, we pay it off asap and keep at close to zero.

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    1. Gosh, scamming is such a worry. I know that some folk only have a small balance for the credit card they use to buy things internationally - wise I think.

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  9. Great list! Active transport can be a massive saving!

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