Not a bad week on the whole money wise. I paid the bills last week, and even though there were some whoppers, I think we're actually going to have some left over, hooray! There have been a few things I have been doing differently since starting this Simple Savings lark, thanks to ideas nabbed from the Vault. I have a Christmas account set up with my local Credit Union, and $10 is automatically paid into it from my bank each week. It's amazing how much it has accumulated already and I certainly haven't missed it. I also have an automatic payment set up that pays $2.00 each week into the boys' bank accounts. I know it doesn't sound much, but at $104 per year, by the time the eldest is 18 in ten years time, that's over $1000 he will be able to use towards something major, which is not the kind of money most parents can pluck out of the sky for their teens is it? I also save $20 a month on not renting videos or DVDs anymore - otherwise, what's the point of having Sky TV? It sounds awful, but I have stopped putting money in the countless charity envelopes that turn up in the mail and have had to pluck up courage to say 'no' to all the well meaning charity phone donations. Instead, I am a member of Lions International and give my time to help raise thousands of dollars each year through countless fundraising projects. It costs me nothing, is far more rewarding than stuffing a cheque into an envelope and I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people who I would never have met otherwise.
A few updates - firstly, the dog food experiment! After following Judy Wattie's recipe from the Vault (smelled almost good enough to eat myself I must say) I bought 2kg pet mince from the local butcher for $4.00, boiled up my first batch and froze it, which made enough good sized meals to last the dogs TWO WHOLE WEEKS! Each filling nutritious doggy dinner costs me around $0.14c and they love it, giving me a saving of $31.28 per month, or $375.36 per year! Wow, thanks Judy! Imagine making such a small change and getting such a big saving. Better still, the dogs have lovely fat tummies and soft and shiny coats, which they never had on those expensive cardboard type dog biscuits. I didn't even have to make a mad dash to the shop last week when I ran out of dishwasher powder. I remembered reading about baking soda in the Vault and added a teaspoon of that instead - the dishes came out perfect! I am also proud to admit that I have kicked one of my bad habits. You may remember not so long ago I was without a clothes dryer for several weeks. Now that I have it back, I am using it only in emergencies, whereas before I would use it day in, day out - through nothing but pure laziness! I couldn't be bothered hanging out all the little things like undies and kids' socks on the washing line, it took too much mucking about, so I would only hang out the big things to dry in the breeze and chuck all the undies in the dryer. How silly is that?! I don't know how much power I was wasting, but at an average of 28 pairs of socks and undies per week, that would take some drying. Not anymore! Since getting my dryer back, I merrily peg our 'smalls' out to dry and leave them to the elements. Will be interesting to see the next power bill!