Nov 8, 2012

Save money every day

Frugality does not necessarily mean cheap; you can still buy the best, but with some adjustment. When undertaking the task of turning your financial situation around, do not rush. Start with small changes. It is my experience that when you jump into things you do not go the distance. Making changes in all areas of your life will take time as you get used to it. For instance, eat before you go shopping; you will not snack and buy chips and unnecessary sweets. Here is a list of things you can do to save money.

·         If you have a house, grow your own vegetables and herbs.

·         Walk to the shop which is nearby instead of driving. You will not only save on gas and get exercise you will buy fewer items as you have to carry them.

·         Purchase items like rice, beans, grains and toilet paper once a month in bulk.

·         Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and rotated, and turn off the ignition while you are waiting for someone or stopping at the light.

·         Go online and search for used cars which have been well-looked after, or for demos which are almost new and pay a much cheaper price.

·         Bring your own snacks to the movies and try and catch a show earlier in the day which is not only cheaper but also with little noise as the kids are in school.

·         If there are two of you and you like spicy, make a nice pot of curry and put four boiled eggs in the pot so you can stretch it for two nights. Basmati rice is the best thing to have it with.

·         Cut out coffee at the restaurant by bringing your own sachet of rich latte and asking for a mug of boiled water. 

·         Eat just enough and do not eat that second piece of chocolate. Remember, you want to stick to the plan and see how you have done at the end of the month.

·         Grow stubble to save on shaving cream and razors. Use the kind you can shave with more than once and keep them clean and dry.

·         Wash and iron your own shirts; you will save a fortune over a year.

·         If you have children, save their clothes as they are growing and let them wear it when they can fit into it.

·         Instead of entertainment take your kids to the zoo for the day or play board games. Make popcorn. You can also get DVDs and Cd's at the library. Taking your kids to the library on a Saturday morning is fun; let your kids come to love the library for all the events and space programs.

·         Never shop without a list; you will buy things you do not need.

·         When using soap detergent for washing up the dishes, pour some of it into another bottle and add a little water. You will use less and it will last twice as long.

·         If you work on the Internet always look for free software before buying. 

·         Winterize your home to save on heating costs and do not leave plugs in the sockets as they still draw electricity. Use energy-saving bulbs.

·         Switch off your geyser at night during the summer months to save on electricity. Take it a step further and shower in lukewarm water to save even more.

·         For Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other events, design your own cards and make your own presents. The recipient will be pleased that you took so much time to make a personal gift.
·         Read self-help books on plumbing and flooring and fix the leaking taps or the shower head drip yourself.

·         Don’t leave all the lights on in the house. If you are spending three hours doing something in the kitchen, switch off the light.

·         Learn what to do in the event of a flood from a leaking geyser or a burst pipe in the middle of the night. This writer woke up one night last week and stood in inches of warm water as a result of a leaking pipe under the sink.  I panicked and wrote an article about it with a photograph to show where I had to stick my arm into the ground to reach the tap to switch off the running water.  Luckily for me I have homeowner coverage and did not have to pay – which brings me to the last point.
 i    Invest in homeowner insurance and pay your premium in full if you want a hefty discount. This is a long list which should give you pause. Go slowly and do not be hard on yourself if you find yourself cheating. This is but a smattering of what can still be done to save money. Treat yourself with a generous slice of mouth-watering cake for your successful efforts in turning things around. 

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