For some lucky people, spending less than you earn is a no-brainer, but for others it is a skill that must be mastered. Obviously if you spend more than you actually earn then you are heading straight for debt, which never makes anyone happy.
The question is, do you want to be happy?
Spend Less Than You Earn – Getting The Balance Right
Spending less than you earn sounds simple but it can seem far from reality when the cost of living just keeps rising. It is tough to manage finances for the average family as everything costs something.
#1. Start By Trimming The Basics
You buy a house and you have a rates bill, water bill, electricity bill, a mortgage payment, maintenance bills, and only after all that can you start to feed your family. These basic bills often get taken for granted, but I believe these are the first things we should investigate so we can actually spend less than we earn.
1. Are you getting ripped off with you mortgage payments? Have you shopped around for a better home loan rate as even .05% can save you thousands.
2. Stop wasting water. Get your family to think about the water they are letting go down the drain. Ask them this question. ” Would you stuff a $100 note down the drain, never to be seen again?” Explain to them that water costs money and someone has to pay for it. Show them the bills. Also get a few water tanks.
3. Getting a solar system to save on your electricity bill does work. I can confirm that as I have a solar system on my house. My three month bill was around $600 but I have had bills as low as $25. This is with a 4kw system in summer, while feeding back to the grid and receiving payment for that electricity generated. when it is school holidays and the kids are home during the day using power, the electricity generated is being used up before it goes out to the grid so we save less money then.
4. If you can’t get a Solar system, just get your family to think about their power consumption and stop wasting your money on bills.
5. Try smoothing payments. For example you know your council rates for your house are about $2000 a year so why not divide that payment into a weekly payment of $38.46 and transfer that money to another bank account every week. A $38 bill always sounds so much better than a $2000 bill. I actually do this with an electricity bill for a business I own and when the bill actually comes I don’t owe a cent as it is already payed.
Another trick with these smoothing payments is to simply pay something like $42 instead of the $38.46 and slowly but surely you will become ahead in your bills.
#2. Buy No Name Products If Possible
I don’t recommend all non branded items but I definitely use these cheaper products for my families basic needs. For example I wont use black and gold toothpaste but I will use the flour, sugar, milk, and more. You can save money by buying no-name groceries so don’t be proud, be smart.
#3. Study The Figures To Inspire You
I am not into maths at all, let me make this clear! But when I see figures that show me clearly what a little bit of saving can do, I start to love the numbers. Take my example about wasting money on bottled water, it is shocking to know that $1350 a year spent on bottled water can actually save you a whopping $36,584.86 in interest off your home loan if you stop buying water. But what if you are a coffee drinker? A take-away coffee is about $4.00 and one per day = even more than the bottled water example.
#4. Find Money Wastage And STOP IT
Where your money can be disappearing without you knowing:
- Bank and credit card fees.
- Mobile phone charges.
- Electricity bills. Saving money on this can be as simple as planning when to wash your clothes and not using the dryer.
- That simple cappuccino everyday at the local cafe or the bottled water!
- Eating takeaway food. This is not cheap now days. Even MacDonald’s can cost $20 per person for a decent meal.
#5. Plan Your Spending
Most people spend their money and then look back and have NO IDEA where it has all gone. Yes we know you do this too! Imagine if you knew what you actually spent your money on? Hmmm.. Maybe then you could see clearly where you could save money.
#6. Buy in Bulk (sometimes)
Of course we all know that buying in bulk can save you loads of money but it does depend on what you actually buy. For example there is no use buying a 10kg box of tomatoes for a bargain price for only one family who hardly eats them. However if you were involved in collaborative consumption then that box of tomatoes would surely be used and remain a bargain.
All you have to do is be careful what you actually buy in bulk, think about storage and possible wastage, then reap the benefits.
there are some great places to shop for bulk items. For example Costco has recently opened in Australia and there are huge savings on all sorts of grocery and household items.
#7. Making Extra Cash Is Easy
If you already spend all the money you earn, free up some time to make extra cash that you can save and make work for you.
- Approach your well off neighbour who seems to be time poor and offer to mow their lawns for some extra cash. If you have time and want to earn extra cash then set a reasonable price and the neighbour will probably appreciate the gesture.
- Make birthday cakes for people. Go to the local cafe and sell cup cakes or cookies to them.
- Collect free firewood and bag it up to sell. You can use old horse feed bags that the local horse club might give you.
- Grow veges and sell them to your local cafe or swap for something you need.
- Wash cars. Sounds silly but washing a car and cleaning it inside can be expensive now days. I can’t even get the kids to clean the car for $20 now days.
- Sell stuff online. can be your items or other peoples. I have sold a few caravans for people. In one example they wanted $1000 and said if I made any extra I could have it as a fee. I sold the van for $1300 and made $300. The owner of the caravan was happy as they had tried everything to sell the van in the past.
- Make home-made cards and sell them to your local card shop. If you’re really creative they will sell well.
- Buy something cheap and sell it for a profit. People need money and sometimes get rid of certain items far too cheap.
- My husband bought an electric cigarette from a tobacconists for $30. It seemed expensive at the time but he was desperate to give up smoking and he knew these things worked. He went to the local pub and starting smoking this contraption indoors. People were asking him how he could smoke inside and he told them, it wasn’t a real cigarette and this device had helped him give up smoking completely. Everyone wanted one. We went online and bought them from china for $5 and then sold them to our friends for $10. They got a bargain, we made a few dollars and my husband got another free electric smoke to add to his collection.
Making more money only takes effort and action. Just DO IT!
Do Your Research!
I can’t stress this enough for any future purchases you are going to make. Here is one example I have. We have a petrol station/convenience store and needed a new CCTV security system. I called a few security mobs and the cheapest quote I got was for $2500 for a new bare system. Later I went online and searched for new CCTV units and later bought an eight camera system for $300. Of course we ran the wires to the cameras, (which came with the system) set up everything, even streamed the cameras over the internet so we could view them at home. We also bought 2 huge TVs and used them as monitors. This made our system look very expensive. All up we spent about $700 and a days work. We saved $1800.