Recent Hints

No more shopping lists with free app

We have eliminated paper shopping lists by using a free app called Our Groceries. You can link the app via entering one email address, so everyone who does the shopping at your house has the up to date grocery list at any time. The best thing is, you can customise the list to be very specific about what you want. There is a paid version of the app but we have been successfully using the free version and love it. No more wasted paper and no more forgetting things as the list is always with us!

By: Sam 14 responses in the members' forum

Priceless personalised gift for teachers

Our end of year teachers' gifts cost nothing and mean more to them than any expensive chocolates or mugs! For each of my young kids' teachers, we print a sheet each year titled "Tell Me About (Teacher's Name)..." It has 8-10 questions on it, with space for the kids' answers to be written in, either by them or dictated to an adult. Questions can be anything. We include things like:

How old is Mr X? What is Mr D's favourite food? Something Miss B always says is.... What does Miss J like to do for fun? Ms P loves it when.... If I had $1000 I would buy Mr H a .... Miss V is a great teacher because.... Mr K gets cranky when... And finish with: A Special Message for Ms A...

Every year it is a massive hit. Teachers love it and when there are multiple teachers, they love to get together and compare answers!

By: QLD Girl 2 responses in the members' forum


Hottest Hints

$25,000 saved in three years

I was renting for nearly three years on a medium salary and really just living day by day. I decided that I wanted to get out of the renting cycle, so thought I would become educated financially. I started reading the 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki series of books and immediately I saw there was no way out unless I changed my psychological views dramatically and acted on them.

I started a savings plan by setting up three bank accounts - one for daily spending (which gave me a small amount of easily accessed money), one for bills (which I used to pay credit cards and so on) and one for long term savings (through ING Direct) which was only to be touched for large goal purchases.

I requested my employer split my pay 30% in the daily and 70% in the bills accounts. Once the 30% ran out, I just sacrificed a bit more and went without the usual luxuries until the next pay. I soon found that I would spread the money out for longer until I hardly ever ran out. At the end of each month (or whenever the deadly credit cards had been paid), whatever balance was left in the bills account was transferred to my savings account.

I am happy to say that after three years, I have managed to save nearly $25,000 for a deposit for my new home, whilst accumulating 5.25% interest!

By: Rosie Bucciarelli 5 responses in the members' forum

Don't lose sight of your goal

I am 22 years old and on a low income, but am well on the way to saving for my first house! I developed a simple system that keeps my savings goal at the forefront of my mind and encourages the support of those around me.

I've always found it hard to save, but one day I got a big piece of cardboard and wrote 'My House Deposit' at the top. On the right hand side I cut out images of a house, a kitchen and a loungeroom that I would love to own one day. On the left hand side I drew a giant thermometer and on the side wrote the figures $0 to $40 000 ascending, just like on a real thermometer. Whether or not I need $40 000 is irrelevant; I look at this table every day and whenever I save another $500, I colour in with a red crayon up to the amount on the tally. I use hints from Simple Savings, such as making my own lunch every day and not buying clothes if I don't need them and now whenever I make a purchase I think of my house deposit and how much I want it far more than a coffee or new shoes!

An unexpected bonus of having this chart is that I've found my family and boyfriend have become aware of my goals and I get lots of support along the way. This visualisation technique really does wonders, and most importantly you are making a concrete agreement with yourself and you stop losing sight of your goals. I'm already a quarter of the way to reaching mine!

By: Mookiyum 3 responses in the members' forum