Inflation Busting Tips
It is everywhere. Price increases. Food has gone up, School fees have gone up. Fuel is expensive. Housing is expensive. Special events have gone from once a fortnight to 'let's aim for next financial year". Life as a mum has got very expensive, awfully quickly, and many families are struggling. With the cost of living on everyone's lips, it's time to talk about tools to save money and cut back. No one wants to be the party pooper saying "no we can't afford that". So let's look at ways at cutting back but still live a life full of fun.
Covid 19 taught us that we can stay home together and find things to do as a team. It also taught us that we don't need to take the kids to swimming lessons, soccer, cello practice, little athletics and art class every week. Perhaps now is a great time to consider how we spend our time out of work and school and cut back on those events that strain the budget. This does not mean we have to stop doing things, not exercising or learning. It simply means we look for the 'homeschooling' option or a way to create music or skills in a no-cost way.
Have you got a veggie garden? Have you got a balcony that can support some pots? What can you grow at home that you would otherwise buy at the supermarket? This can be a good bonding and educational opportunity, as well as a cost-saving initiative. Let's grow some carrots and spring onions, some strawberries or some broccoli. Use your imagination to consider how and where this can happen and enjoy the benefits of knowing that you have become your supplier. You will probably find a significant uplift in quality as well.
If you are anything like me, you love to provide for your children and make them smile. You enjoy saying yes when you can. This can sometimes lead to a glut of toys and things in the house. Some of these things are loved and played with by our children. Yet, other things can get stuck in a corner somewhere and become dust collectors. It is time to look at those items and consider their resale value. Marketplace or Gumtree, eBay or whatever online vehicle you prefer, the idea of making money from items that are not being used is a very quick way to regain your savings account. Recently I completed an aggressive clean-out of toys that had not been touched for 12 months or more and was shocked and amazed at how quickly I sold these items. The kids were originally resistant to the plan of attack, yet soon got on board when they realised they had more room for their beloved dolls, more space to play, and could easily find the items that they wanted now that the clutter had been shifted. Have a quick look around your home and consider what else you have tucked away that would be better served in someone else's home, with a little bit of cash to match in your wallet.
Electricity is expensive. When Earth Hour happens, I love considering how much electricity we think to cut off that we would normally accept as part of life. Sometimes we feel that our living expenses are set in stone and it is not until we turn the spotlight on what we are spending, that we identify we are being wasteful. What is currently turned on that we would not miss if we turned it off? What appliances do we like having and have powered on, but aren't using? Where are our kids wasting power and why? How can we set an electricity reduction target of, say, 10% and achieve it? Get the kids involved in this task and make it fun.
Let's talk waste. As a society, we tend to waste a lot of food. We tend to throw a lot of food away that we don't eat or don't get around to eating and it goes off. We tend to buy expensive cleaning products when a quick google search will provide a homemade, more effective, far cheaper option. We tend to have more beauty and hair products tucked away than we need. We then forget about them and purchase more. We tend to drive to places where we can very easily walk. We worry that generic brands of items and food aren't 'as good' as their more expensive alternatives and fail to give them a go. We throw away a lot of packaging, glass and plastic that could be repurposed, used for children's crafts, or in the making of gifts for loved ones. We spend a lot of money on gifts and impressing others when a homemade gift from a child can mean so much more. Somehow, somewhere along the process of life, we have pushed ourselves to the point of needing more, wasting more, and spending more, without necessarily delivering a benefit. Perhaps during these tough periods, it is time to stop and question how we spend our money and where it goes to waste. How we can replace this waste with happier versions of ourselves?
Lastly, we live in a competitive world. There are always multiple options for any choice we make. There has never been a better time to bargain, shop around, look for add-ons, buy in bulk, go halves in bulk purchases with our neighbours, and collect reward points. Every little bit adds up and even a $5 discount on a purchase looks better in your pocket than anywhere else. Question your purchases and look for ways to challenge your status quo. Discount stores are popping up everywhere. Recycled clothing stores do not hold the stigma they did even ten years ago. Quality food hampers are more readily available and local fruit and veggie stalls offer significant reductions on fresh food compared to their supermarket competitors. It just takes the mental space to ask how, what, where and when to achieve a saving.
Mummy guilt recently made me consider buying new joggers for my five-year-old. Sanity soon showed me that the hardly worn pair that her seven-year-old sister had sitting in her cupboard was the perfect way to make Miss Five smile. I was the one with the problem of wanting to buy them new. Miss Five was just thrilled to have new shoes that looked great. Miss Seven cut a deal to play monopoly with mum in exchange for the deportation of said shoes and everyone ended up in a better space.
Think smart, ask how, and challenge the status quo. We can all do much better. Goodness knows there has never been a better time to do it.
75318 - 2023-03-06 00:23:18