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October Challenge – Save $100

Home Forums OVER THE BACK FENCE ALS Challenge Series October Challenge – Save $100

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
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    hi all:wave:this I am definitely in on, due to the generosity of my son & daughter-in-law. I have 2 debts that they have been offering to clear for me for over a year (I am on a disability pension). I have finally decided to graciously accept their generous offer – they helped me out once before. :hug::hug: I’m not sure yet how much I can save but they have also paid for my air tickets to Adelaide to visit family, and Melbourne to visit my long -seen brother, which may be the last time I see him (age/health reasons). However, I have no spending $ for bus/train/accomodation etc :tdown:and I will put my 1st $ in the kitty next Wednesday 22nd Oct. Let ya know when my 1st savings go into the kitty!!


    I think I have already achieved this challenge!! Out of financial depseration (with christmas, trip to family, school excursion and car repairs needed) I refused to grocery shop other than for some fruit and vege. I made us clean out the pantry and fridge and freezer!! Amazing what you find lurking in the cupboard!!!. We came up with some interesting creative meals and quite a few we will make again!! I didnt’ technically save it just didn’t spend it where I would normally!!

    One thing we have noticed is that we live quite simply but waste money where we could be putting it away for our future. Things like not beign careful with the phone bill, buying snacks wehn we go out, not meal planning, many trips to the shops to top up and buying extras.

    We decided we waste a lot more than we should so drastic measures neeed to be taken if we want to achieve our future goal of our own property, minimal or no debt and my husband out of his job into another that allows us to stay in once place. For the past 3 months we ahve been doing the following:

    * pay deduction straight into an account that requires both of us going into a bank and both signing for the withdrawal. No being able to access it using the internet which has previously been our downfall.

    * withdraw cash at supermarket or bank atm (no fees then) and use cash rather than my debit card

    * no credit card – i got rid of ours 8 years ago and refuse to get another.

    * we set up trust accounts for our children that they cannot access until they are 18. We only pay 5 a fortnight into it but it all adds up.

    * a direct debit of 40 per fortnight onto our electricity bill

    * the night before pay day I empty our living account and put the remaindder onto our personal loan as an extra payment. 12 here, 18 there etc have paid an extra 178 onto it so far.

    * any loose change into a change jar

    * shop fortnightly or less and freeze milk, bread, meat, butter, etc

    * pay bills first

    * avoid late fees

    * track all bills and see where we can make savings (mobile and home phone to start with)

    * our rent is paid by pay deduction – never late and never available to us

    * growing some vegies in bath tubs – lack of space means we will never grow enough for all our needs in this hcurrent house – but some makes a difference.

    * looking for short dated or discount items – things like bread, milk and yoghurt I freeze

    * got rid of Austar 4 months ago

    * look for free family entertainment activities for the weekend or stay home

    * save all relevant reciepts etc for tax – receipts for kids education, medical, DH work travel (not a lot but it all adds up). This year just by being a lot more attentive we claimed and extra 500 on tax. We enver bothered with medical before (we don’t use much) and DHs travel (small occassional trips) but it really adds up.

    * look closely at needs and wants – eg I really WANT broadband but dial up serves it s purpose and I am on unlimited quite cheaply.

    * look for ways to save money – eg I can ring my DH mobile from my mobile for 5 minutes for free. Cheap way to tell him to get bread on his way home.

    * use the library for information (I am a book lover and love to buy – but no more!!)

    * I cook all our meals at home – we never have take away (haven’t for years)

    * I cook all biscuits, pizza bases and cakes etc at home. Want to do bread but kids don’t really like it for lunch unless it is hot from the oven!!

    * i use bicarb soda and vinegar for cleaning

    * old clothes towels sheets etc are recycled into new life as hankies, dischloths, washers, mats, cleaning cloths, handtowels, etc

    can’t think of any more off the top of my head. now I need to look at finding an extra 100. A good time to start meal panning.



    :tup:jacross – very impressive:clap: & congrats all. I haven’t yet got the mouley to put in the bank for chris hols but my DS &DDiL have paid off 1 of my debts, and the Fed Gov is promising $1400 which I can use to help pay them back. Does this mean the universe will provide??:hug:


    One thing that I have been doing for quite awhile now is I only go to the atm once a month and get cash out.

    I have a fixed amount for living expenses for the month and get that in cash on the 1st of each month then I have to make it last.

    If the money runs out before the month does then that’s just tuff luck.

    I always write down everything I spend so if I run out of cash I can look back and see what I spent too much on and hopefully won’t do it again next month.

    My big downfall at the moment is op shops!!!

    I almost always have some cash left over which I put aside to use to on my stockpile.


    Great ideas, Michelle and and excellent list, jacross. So many ideas!

    This month, we have taken in another boarder which adds an extra $120 to the kitty each week (board only, no food – he buys his own).

    2 pairs of DH’s worn out work shoes were in dire need of replacement, but we found a two for one special at a shoe shop – saving us the cost of one pair of shoes.

    We have just completed our spring brewing (best time for us to brew beer is spring and autumn) and now we have enough beer for ourselves and any celebrations and gatherings until autumn – at a cost of less than $10 per carton to brew, this is a huge saving over time – for an investment of about 4 hours of actual working time over two months.

    We have cancelled our fruit box subscription with our CSA. Our fruit trees are starting to bear, so we had more fruit than we knew what to do with. Currently harvesting apples, nectarines and guavas with some more citrus on the way. It isn’t much, but if I supplement with a few items from the market, we will reduce our weekly fruit spending from about $18 per week to about $6. It will be nil, eventually, I hope. We haven’t bought veges other than onions and the odd seasonal delight since August 2007 – and the cost of growing is well below that of buying even conventional produce – and mine’s organic.

    I have been selling some things too – I have a room with some items which are excess to our needs. The money generated is small change, really but it all adds up when you sell off a few things.

    How are we all going?

    Burra MalucaBurra Maluca

    I’m afraid I’m still at the ‘speculate to accumulate’ stage, but I’ve been ‘investing’ in seeds (tagasaste, myrtle, all kinds of berries and veggies) and the recession seems to mean that the fruit trees have plummeted in price. I was waiting for bare-rooted ones to appear for €3 or €4, but lemon trees in pots are going for €4!!! I don’t know what the cost in Oz, but here that is *really* cheap, so I’ve been spending all I can afford on fruit trees… :shy:

    But I *am* paying off my credit card as quickly as I can, honest!

    Does that count as saving? :shrug:


    This month has seen some unexpected outlays…. Mainly giving into DS3 long standing wish to go to swimming squad…. $265 for a 6 month family pass, $73 for registration, $190 for coaching fees, $9.50/wk for DD1 to have swimming lesson once a week and $35 for club DTs….. And we have to go every arvo 4 days a week and then club on Thursdays….. Where we buy a great burger for $3 each ($12) and there is another $2 for a raffle and club entry fee….

    :awch::awch::awch: I have made a very stern stand on homework, manners and being on top of their jobs around the house…. It has been working so far :tup: If they want to swim then they have to be responsible…. The sad thing is we have a dam longer than the 50m pool at home here….. With all the the stuff in it to build a great immune system whereas at the pool I hate to think what they are swimming in !!!! 😮 And the chlorine smell just about takes my breath away….

    Methinks I won’t be winning this challenge this month… I am starting to put my change away to pay for next year….


    Jeez, Chezza – kids sport is pretty expensive, hey? I found that with my friends kids – and soccer was the dearest one of all the footy codes. Worth it for good health, perhaps?


    Good for health… It certainly gets us out of the house…..!!! I don’t know how people are doing it all… We are doing only one sport, many families commit themselves to 3-4 things….


    Sport and Scouts/Guides are what my kids want to do but with 3 of them and only one wage we simply can’t afford it on top of speech therapy and other medical bills each month. DS’s special needs mean I am unable to take a full time (or even part time) job so no hope of a secind income either!!

    As far as the monthly challenge goes I spent 60 less on my groceries last week by meal planning and buying short dated milk and bread to freeze. Pretty impressed!!!


    I made it to $100! Phew! :jawdrop: 😮

    I used a couple of methods. Firstly I siphoned off $20 from each pay/inward monies and stashed it into a rarely used account (One I had set up a little while ago just for savings!)

    To make up for this short fall I’ve started implementing some of the other suggestions made on this thread and elsewhere on the site.

    I’ve started shopping for meat at the butcher which is something I’ve long meant to do but never got around to. I bought meat cuts that were on special and bought larger amounts, which I bagged up into meal size portions and popped in the freezer. :clap: Feels good to know it’s in there and I will continue doing this now!

    I’m being even more conscience of electricity and phone usage. I got my home phone account today and it’s at least $20 down on an average monthly bill!

    As of this week’s pay I am going to heed some of my own advice and start paying off portions of utility bills each pay!

    I’ve been harvesting more and more from the vege patch which helps and I do baking for lunches. (I don’t buy any crap now!)

    Every $ is pretty well allocated at the moment. (We’ve just bought a new car this month too and had to come up with a deposit etc.) So all up I’m really proud of what we’ve managed to do! I’ve saved about $15 a month on comprehensive car insurance too which will just go toward the repayments;.

    I’m lucky that my ex-husband is happy to pay for most extras for the kids- sports etc

    In amongst all of that we are trying to set up the vege patch and gardens. I don’t have a very big budget for plants/seeds but it is fun when I do get to go to the nursery! I love ornamentals too but am trying to get as many different herbs as I can going at the moment! Sometimes I can get cuttings at a nominal cost through my local gardening club; but I haven’t met a whole lot of people yet to start swapping plants, cuttings, seedlings etc.

    Am looking forwards to hearing how you’ve all gone on this challenge and how you did it!

    Burra MalucaBurra Maluca

    I finally managed it, too!

    It was a bit close, and it was actually more of a €100 extra off the credit card rather than in the savings, but even so… We’ve already got rid of the house phone, I don’t do make-up or hairdresser stuff so couldn’t cut back on that, we live like hermits and hardly ever go out, so couldn’t cut back on that either, and our clothes get worn till they drop off (well, ok, my son grows out of his) but I’ve been much better at getting *all* the shopping in once a week instead of forgetting stuff and having to go back into town, and now the brakes have gone on the jeep so we missed the market and couldn’t buy any more fruit trees but the money we saved went off the credit card instead.

    Oh, and I ought to explain about the credit card. Last year we were looking to buy a cheap acre or so of land as grazing for donkey. All the bits we looked at were a bit pricey, but when the neighbours realised we were serious about wanting a bit, they started phoning round the offspring of deceased village members and one of them had ten acres of grazing land *right next to the farm* he was prepared to sell for €6000. Well, I don’t know what land costs in Oz, but my poor credit card took the biggest hit of it’s life before the guy could change his mind. Well, wouldn’t any of you do the same? 🙂


    Absolutely I would, Burra! 😆

    Great work both of you for managing this challenge. I worked out that I saved the most by delaying when I took out the cash for the weeks budget. By not taking it out on Monday and waiting aslong as I could, I didn’t have any cash to spend. This gave me extra at the other end of the week which I have put into my little change jar. It looks really healthy at the moment with about $200 in it. $80 of that is an ebay sale that I made last week where the man paid cash.


    We pay $150 direct debit into our telstra bill and over the last 3 months have gone into a credit balance as we’ve cut down using the phone…. This month we were in credit of $147.43 and our bill was $90.19 leaving us with a credit of $57.24….. Our bill used to be around $170-$200/mnth so we are saving big time….

    I’m going to use this for my challenge this month….. :tup: Well done everyone… Thanks again for another great challenge, Suz!! :hug:


    I am soooo impressed with myself – I think we have saved over 250 this month. Initially it was 60 from last grocery shop. I have not grocery shopped this week at all – eating out the pantry – that is 200 saved but I will need milk and vege soon so about 150 saved. I got the phone bill yesterday for the month and it is down by 43 dollars!!! thats 253 saved this month!! Amazing what I can do when my mind is put to it!!

    I am impressed with everyones achievements.

    The biggest benefit I got was seeing others ideas. There are so many ways to save. Thankyou everyone for your ideas.

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