“The cost of living” has become part of the daily discussion in Australia. Everyday items like petrol, insurance, utilities, rates and food seem to be at all-time highs. Thankfully the mortgage interest rates are low at the moment, but I do feel for renters – rent doesn’t appear to be letting up at all.
I’m always looking for ways to save money, but sometimes convenience, poor planning, lack of time and plain ignorance get the better of us. When the baby gets here and we collapse down to one wage – all of that has got to change. I’ve got to get more frugal, big time.
We already do a bunch of things to save money, and have installed stuff like solar hot water and improved the thermal insulation in the house to save on the cost of utilities. We grow many things in the garden and preserve the excess, cook nearly all meals from scratch, we’ve started making home-made gifts, and pay extra on the mortgage to lower the interest. So, what else can we do?
I recently borrowed “Possum Living” by Dolly Freed from the library. She takes frugal living to the next level, and the level after that. Dolly wrote this book when she was just 18, which contains practical advice stemming from her experiences as a teenager, living with her father on combined household income of about $1,500 a year (in 1978). It was a fascinating read and I’m still sorting out which of the ideas I’ll take on board.
One of the things I’d like to do generally is expand on my skills. Our car is coming up for its next service, and I’ve teed it up with my brother-in-law to teach me how to service the thing so I can file a divorce between myself and the service department at the car dealership. My wife has also volunteered to start cutting my hair, which I really like the idea of, but I might wait until after I leave work – just in case the scissors slip.
Does anyone else have ideas that generally aren’t described in the standard lists of “25 ways to save money”?