Recent Hints

'Gentle reminder' can lead to a lifetime of saving

Often all it takes is the smallest reminder to make a huge difference. Having just turned 65 and now "eligible" to retire, I am not ready to do so either physically, emotionally or socially. I'm also frequently with younger people, who don't necessarily have the same basic foundation of budgeting that I was brought up with. With that in mind, I have taken to carrying around a subtle reminder of the cost of living which not only works for me, but will hopefully rub off on those around me.

My card wallet has a 'sticker' reminder, which says "$20? Is it worth one hour of work?" It's small and discreet, but effective! It also serves as a talking point when I am out and about with some of the younger ones and buying coffee or lunch. It's simple to make the label on the computer or by hand, then clear tape to the card wallet. Here's to some improved lifestyle options as I age further!

By: Helen B

Treating nails in a positive way keeps biting at bay

I have found the trick to keeping nail biting and picking at bay is to 'fiddle' with them in a positive way. I am 67 and have bitten my nails since I was about three years old. My parents tried bribes, threats, nasty brown stuff painted on my nails - all sorts. I grew my nails when I got married, when my daughter got married - and indeed have grown them since for various special occasions - so determination can help! I now have nails on my fingers, but still bite/pick at my thumbs. My dad said my fingers would become misshapen, and he was right. What helps me is to 'fiddle' with my nails in a positive way - emery boards, manicure tools, nail polish, the nail treatments to stop biting - the taste does stop automatic, thoughtless nibbling. I am not a chewing gum lover, but that can also help. I crochet too, which keeps my hands too busy to nibble at!

By: Christine S


Hottest Hints

Manual helps home and budget run like clockwork

I am a busy mum of two and my home manual helps my husband and I run our home efficiently, saving money and buying us both precious time to do things for ourselves.
The first section outlines the weekly and daily routines. The daily routine buys me 30 minutes to myself to exercise which makes me feel better throughout the day. My husband can also see when things get done, so he knows what to do if he is letting me have a sleep.
I let the girls watch TV until 9am so that I can complete a chore (clean the bathroom, dusting etc) each day. This helps me keep the house clean and tidy, and then I have the rest of the day to play with my children.
The next section covers dinners for the month. I have a weekly list of which dinners we will have and where to find the recipes for them. This saves time deciding what to have plus hubby or anyone who comes to stay can cook too.
The next section is shopping and supplies. I write all the ingredients needed for the month so I know exactly what I need. I keep catalogues in this section so when it’s shopping time I know where to get the specials.
I also asked for a floor layout plan of my supermarket so I don't need to walk down the aisles I don't need anything from. This saves time (especially when shopping with two young children) and money as I am not tempted by things in those aisles.
I also have a maintenance section with dates when items need maintenance done on them, eg. an oil change for the car. This means everything can be budgeted for and planned and it also helps prevent unexpected expenses, like changing gas bottles.
There is also a budget section of the manual which contains the monthly, weekly and annual budgets in it. We write down everything we spend in this section, so we can see where the extra dollars are spent!
Finally, I have an important numbers section such as insurance companies, medical centre etc so that everyone (including people who are staying) can get to them easily.
The manual doesn't always bring dollar savings, but its our way of making sure we don't waste time doing everyday household things so we maximise our family and down time.

By: Victoria Meyers 10 responses in the members' forum

Budgeting for all bills on a low income

I am on a very, very low income, so I budget for every bill and expense. I put away bill money every fortnight and that way I have all my bills covered as they arrive, and we seem to just spend the rest. Last year I decided to pay me as a bill, so every pay day I pay me first, just $50. I now have over $1200 in savings. I can't believe how easy it is; just pay yourself before everyone else. The first couple of pays it was an effort not to touch it, but as soon as I saw it mounting up, I got very excited. I tell myself all the time that money is power. While $1200 is not much to some people, to me it's a fortune. Try it - it empowers you.

By: Catherine Eve 7 responses in the members' forum