I have saved more than $15,000 since starting this project in January. This is mind-boggling for somebody who has never saved a cent in her life. Of that, $5000 is squirrelled away in KiwiSaver, so it’s not going to be much use towards the deposit on a rental property, but it’s still there. The rest of it is building up in a managed fund that I have always contributed regularly to, but always ended up raiding for bills like car rego, WOF, car repairs, or – my favourite – the unexpected major appliance meltdown.
My next challenge will be to keep out of these savings. If you are not a dairy farmer, you may not be aware that Fonterra has, in its wisdom, prudently decided to protect its balance sheet by withholding major amounts of income from suppliers. As a result of this, I am without an income until August, with all the normal bills still rolling in. Am I worried? Not really. Thanks to the budgeting skills I have developed over the past six months, I’m confident we can easily survive. We have become so accustomed to a disciplined approach to daily living that, as the kids say, “We don’t even notice the $100 thing anymore.”
Someone asked me if I were going to write a book, supposedly so others could learn some of the great wisdom that comes from this experience. All I can say is that it would be a bloody short book – a one-pager. To save piles of cash out of money not spent on groceries, apply the following: Set a goal (ie, I want to save $12,000 in one year). Limit your grocery spend (ie, $100 a week). Stick to this limit. If you accidentally overspend, adjust your next week’s limit accordingly (eg, Oops, I’ve spent $120. No worries – your next week’s spend will be $80).
That’s all you need to do.
Next week: How to save $100 off a typical grocery bill.Read More