This issue includes:
- March is Start a Nest Egg Month!
- Calendar Challenges
- Tips For Building a Nest Egg
- Supporting Each Other in the Forum
- Competitions, Competitions, Competitions!
- Vault Memberships
How are you going? Did you save lots of money in February? I hope so :-)
March is "Nest Egg" month. In this newsletter I hope to show you how Nest Eggs are more than just money. They are freedom.
If you already have a Nest Egg: Well done! Read this newsletter and then send it on to a friend who you think might find it useful.
Have a great month!
P.S. While writing this newsletter I found out that none of my children knew what a Nest Egg was. Every time I said the words "Nest Egg". They said "What is a nest egg?"
Put simply, a Nest Egg is a sum of money saved for the future.
P.P.S.S. Competition Update
We had some lovely entries for last month's No Spend Challenge Competition. But everyone has entered Category 1 and 3. We have had no entries for Category 2. Originally, the competition closed Midnight, March 1st. We have extended the date by one week to midnight, March 8th. More information below.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything in your life was ALWAYS rosy? If everything always went as planned? You never got ill, you lived till 99, your fridge never broke, your car always ran and you were never, ever, ever whacked with a large "Oh #$@%!, I missed that one!" bill.
Life doesn't work that way. Life throws us curve balls. Bad things happen, and whether they leave you completely hammered and scraping for spare change under your car seat or feeling really lucky because you can still afford to pay for the kids' sport comes down to one thing: The size of your nest egg.
A nest egg is important because it gives you freedom. No one wants to be controlled by their lack of bank balance, and if you don't have a nest egg when disaster strikes this is exactly what happens. Instead of being able to make wise, good for your future, wealthy choices you are forced to make poor, poverty-driven, payday-to-payday choices.
To show you the sort of poor decisions people are forced to make simply because they didn't have a nest egg, I have made a quick table of the curve balls I have seen thrown at people and the sort of decisions they were faced with dependent on the size of their nest egg.
With Nest Egg
Without Nest Egg
Car dies and isn't worth repairing
Pay cash for good quality second hand car. Total $6,000
Get an unsecured personal loan for $6,000 car. Total cost of car after interest, $7,560. End up another $1,560 behind.
Pay $400 cash on Gumtree for a high quality, second hand fridge.
Buy a new fridge with a Buy Now, Pay Later scheme. Total cost of new fridge around $2000.
When your GP and the public system was unable to help you, you were able to pay for a good homeopath and recover your health.
When you were still ill after visiting the GP and going through the public system. Took the drugs on the PBS, couldn't afford anything else, had no other options and remained ill.
Drug addicted family member
Pay $10,000 for rehab. Take time off work to help family member. Be able to choose the best treatment for your child.
Cry. Feel helpless. Beg hospitals and doctors to help you. Have them turn their back on your family.
Pay for private hospital, moon boot and physio. Able to rest and heal quickly.
Wait for 8 hours in public emergency ward. Struggle to pay for physio, have problems with ankle for years to come.
House burned down
Buy yourself some clothes and a toothbrush. Check into a hotel.
Wait for the insurance to pay for some accomodation, clothes, etc while relying on the charity of friends or relatives.
Get it straight away. Try everything you can to conceive baby.
Wait while your eggs decrease and have to save money to pay for it.
Lay in bed, rest and recover.
Dose yourself on pain killers so you can keep turning up to work. Injuries are unable to heal properly.
Teen's Wonky Teeth
You can pay for braces.
Sink further into debt or child has to put up with dodgy teeth till they can pay for their own braces.
Toddler's Chalk teeth
You have the $2,000 spare. Pay for young child to get teeth fixed under a general anaesthetic in a private hospital.
Teeth must be fixed while child is awake in the chair because the government dental subsidies only cover procedures in the dentist's chair.
Do your research and choose the healthiest option for your child.
Coerced into making a medical decision because government money is desperately needed to pay rent.
All of the situations above are based on real events. They are based on real people and the very real choices they have to make. Can you see how a nest egg makes your life easier? If you have a good nest egg it will shelter you and stop your situation from progressing from bad to worse.
This is why we want you to build yourself a nest egg. We want you to be strong. We want you to be able to face every challenge with your head held high.
- Yes, we know this is a hot-button topic. The Australian government has recently made this into a financial issue and there are plenty of families feeling the strain. That makes it our concern.
Just in case you haven't seen them, the challenges we set for March are:-
Beginner: - Choose your path. Decide how you want your future to be.
Moderate: - Plan your path. Work out how you're going to make your plans come true.
Hard core: - Walk your path. Start working towards your new future.
When building a nest egg there are some very important steps. The first is deciding what type of future you would like. Do you want a future where you are in charge, or do you want a future where your lack of money rules your life? These are the sort of choices only you can make. This is why the first Challenge is for you to Choose your path.
If you have already chosen how you want your future to look, then it is time for you to make a plan. You need to decide what it is you are going to do to put money away. What are you going to do differently?
Deciding how you want your life to be and planning how to make it happen are two very important steps. The next step is to take action.
These worksheets are for Simple Savings members. Please log in to Simple Savings to access them.
If you are not yet a member, it is a tiny $21 per year. Grab a membership here.
Would you like us to mark your worksheets? Scan or take a photo of your finished pages and send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people believe building a nest egg is too difficult and out of their reach, but nest eggs don't have to be large and they don't have to be complex. Here are some great tips to get you started.
We have managed to build a share portfolio worth approximately $30,000 for our two children who are now aged 14 and 15 - and we did not put any of our own money into this.
Not having a lot of money ourselves, over the years we purchased clothes and toys from eBay and garage sales. When the items were not required any more, we put them back onto eBay, along with anything else saleable (and often from garage sales). Any money earned went straight into a bank account for the children. Each time we reached $1000 we purchased shares. We have been both lucky and unlucky in our choices, but over the years, we have built a substantial nest egg for our children that only took our time to build, not our money.
Contributed by: Kerry R
Joining The Smith Family's Saver Plus program is a great way to start a nest egg. If you save $500 over ten months with The Saver Plus program and complete their financial literacy course they will give you $500. To be eligible to join Saver Plus you must:
- have a Centrelink Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
- be at least 18 years old
- have some regular income from work (self or partner) including casual, part-time, full-time or seasonal work
- have a child at school or attend vocational education yourself, and
- live, work, study or have a child at school in an area when Saver Plus is delivered.
Once eligible participants sign up for Saver Plus they:
- are assigned a Saver Plus Coordinator that provides personal support and guidance throughout the program
- identify a savings goal
- make regular deposits over 10 month period
- attend MoneyMinded training to improve their financial skills, which consists of four informative, fun and informal workshops
Upon completion of the program, ANZ matches the participants' savings dollar-for-dollar up to $500 which can be spent on educational expenses including computers, text books, uniforms, excursions , music and sports costs.
I've saved hundreds through not buying disposable nappies! When my baby was born, I made the decision to buy Coles Comfy Bots nappies and Coles refill pack wipes instead of buying Huggies. After one year, the saving was a staggering $410! I put the money into an ING savings account. Once she was toilet trained, I kept putting the money into the same account, which earned 5.85% interest. Over five years, I've saved $6,572! A great start to an education fund!
Contributed by: Joanne D
If you tend to spend your money till it's gone, the best way for you to build a nest egg is to steal it from yourself before you have chance to spend it. Set up a separate savings account which automatically deducts money from your main account the same day your pay goes in. Then the money will be gone before you have a chance to miss it.
With a little smart thinking I have found a way I can turn a few minutes' extra effort into 12 days of extra income! I work full time, have three children and a husband and am also studying part time for a Uni degree. Each day I work an extra 20 minutes at my full time job. My work allows me to accrue this so that one day per month I am able to have a 'creating extra money day'. I spend this day doing all the bits and pieces that bring extra money and/or savings in to the house. Examples include:
- claiming health rebates (Medicare and/or private) due to my family;
- completing market research questionnaires on free trial products I have received and tested;
- touching base with key budget conscious sites such as Simple Savings and Government sites so I know changes to entitlements and so on
- entering competitions; and
- claiming 'cash back' or gift cards on frequent/user/membership cards.
I really enjoy doing this and look forward to seeing how much 'income' I can make one day each month. To me it is truly a fun and creative day off work and study!
Contributed by: Tania Lee
I've found a way to make my discounts work twice as hard - and earn me over $1000 in a year! I work for a large supermarket group and have a staff discount card. Around seven years ago I decided to start a "Discount Jar". Whenever I got a discount, I put the same amount into my discount jar - with the idea being to save towards a family activity at Christmas time such as going to a theatre restaurant or a Ghost Tour at St Helena Island.
The first year we saved just under $200 but each year it grew as I also started saving any discount I received from petrol and other similar discounts. On 1 December 2012, we opened the discount jar and, to everyone's surprise, discovered we had $1,052.75!
Due to family members being away just before Christmas we didn't do our normal outing, so we decided to put it towards our new kitchen that we'll be getting shortly. This year I have already saved at least $250 in the jar so it should be another good year. I've even started jars for our sons!
Contributed by: Fay Howard
One year a friend gave me a money tin and on the side of it was printed, 'If you fill this tin with only gold coins by the time it's full you will have at least $500'. It really didn't look big enough to hold that amount of money, but I love a challenge so I decided to find out if it could!
We started in March and any gold coins we had went into the tin. Our goal was to open the tin at Christmas and use it to pay off lay-bys plus have some spending money over the Christmas break.
November rolled around and the tin wasn't quite full. However, when we opened it up and counted our 'gold' we were very surprised and extremely happy to discover we had collected $700 in our little tin!
Because of that little treasure chest of gold we enjoyed a fantastic stress-free Christmas! I was able to pay for all the presents for our immediate and extended family as well as cater for a great Christmas day feast, AND we had spending money left over for the holidays.
Now it's a family tradition. My sceptical husband happily donates all his gold coins to the tin and my 12-year-old will go hunting for gold coins just to add them to the collection! I know that I don't have to worry about the financial strain of Christmas any more as my tin has it covered.
Contributed by: Nicole
Stashing your $2 coins in a coke bottle is a great way to start a nest egg. You'll be amazed by how much money you can get in each bottle.
- $350 saved in a 250ml bottle
- $880 saved in a 600ml bottle
- $1,510 saved in a 1 litre bottle
- $1,580 saved in a 1.25 litre bottle
(IMPORTANT: You can talk about your challenge in the forum but DO NOT TELL OTHERS about your coke bottle challenge on Facebook. A few Group members have already had their Coke bottle savings STOLEN.)
If you would like a helping hand to find your Savings Mojo with your No Spend Challenges, or if you are No Spend Master ready to guide others, pop into our paid members' forum.
Here are a couple of recent threads, for members:
When leaem asked for help getting her budget back under control, Simple Savers were there to help with kind, detailed and very useful suggestions.
Simple Savers have been cheering each other on in this thread for five years. The good thing about sharing your savings in this thread versus sharing them on Facebook is... no one knows where you live.
We had some lovely entries for last month's No Spend Challenge Competition, but everyone has entered Category 1 and 3. We have had no entries for Category 2. Originally, the competition closed Midnight, March 1st. We have extended the date by one week to midnight, March 8th.
The winners will be the most inspiring entry in each category. Please send your No Spend Challenge tales to email@example.com by midnight, March 8th. Here are the three categories:
- Category 1: Show us how you avoided 20 non-essential purchases to win $25
- Category 2: Show us how you avoided 50 non-essential purchases to win $50
- Category 3: Show us how you avoided all non-essential purchases to win $125
Please make sure your emails states which category you are entering. The full competition rules are here.
This is a free newsletter sponsored by our paid members area the Savings Vault. If you would you like to become a paid member, you can do so here.
Goodbye for now... I hope you have a fantastic month. I'm really looking forward to seeing your worksheets and hearing about some fresh warm nest eggs in the coming weeks. :-)