Learning curve

Posted May 6th, 2005 by Penny Wise

I'm so excited at how much I've learned this week! Where do I start? I've never been one to take much notice of bank fees, until other Simple Savings members made me aware of them - I didn't realise there were things you could do to change them! It was one of those things I kept meaning to do until yesterday, when I was trying to balance my books and got quite a shock! My 'Goal Saver' account, which I had proudly put away $500 two months before AND earned extra interest on it the following month through not making any withdrawals, was down to $496! When I checked, you guessed it - the bank had taken it. Now excuse me, but what is the point of 'goal saving', when you're not allowed to keep even your first deposit?! At least I knew I could do something about it, so I popped into the Credit Union down the road and asked how much their fees are. Nothing! Zilch, zip, squattley-do. Needless to say I got online, transferred my $496 into my newly opened CU account and gleefully emailed the bank to say I had emptied my savings account into another bank who were kind enough to let me keep all of it. How gratifying!

Couldn't avoid the fact we had no food in the house, so had to go to the supermarket yesterday. Was delighted to see when I got through the checkout that my fledgling smart shopping skills had saved me almost $25! I breezed past the bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, knowing I could get them far cheaper elsewhere. The plan is, apart from the four items above, I don't have to set foot in the supermarket now for another month. I learned that it is actually no more expensive to buy pump dispenser toothpaste than it is for a tube of the same amount (hubby always reckoned the pumps were dearer) and that I saved four dollars on cheese slices alone by buying a different brand. I didn't have my usual Subway on the way home; I picked up a supermarket sandwich and drink for a third of the price. Admittedly it was a really revolting and soggy sandwich, but I enjoyed it anyway because of the savings I'd made buying it! The only other thing I could have saved money on was the kids' muesli bars and snacks. They may not be the most economical, but I have an awful lot to thank Bart Simpson and Spiderman for. I have tried every other cheapo brand over the years, but they won't touch them. I don't mind paying a bit more for the ones they like because they do actually eat them, instead of finding them squashed between the car seats a week later in the hope that Mum will never find out. Mind you, there is an awesome 'tried and tested' recipe for LCM bars in the Vault that even they will eat, I must dig it out! Oh, more money down the drain was when the kids emptied an entire bottle of Pantene conditioner in their bath. At over $9.00 a bottle I was not impressed, it's not even like it made any bubbles, I could have told them that! This weekend's mission is finding two Mother's Day presents and one New Baby gift on a budget - bring it on!

Total spends:
Supermarket: $315 (to feed family of four for a month, remember)
Fish food: $7.95

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