April savings: $219.00
Savings to date: $9421.32
Ok — so those results are less than inspiring and we have a new item in the house, but read on. It's not as bad as it might sound.
We had hoped to top the $10,000 mark by now so, what happened?
We paid for plenty in April (as we knew we would). We had to pay the final instalment on a family holiday booked last November, needed immunisations for the family holiday (not all covered by Medicare) and our car needed new tyres and servicing. This handful of things alone consumed our hard earned $$ very quickly.
So — what did we do to try and mitigate the damage to the bottom line? Plenty.
We shopped around for quotes on tyres and servicing for the car. Yes — that seems obvious, but as the creatures of habit we are, this is not what we normally do. Usually it's phone up the nearest place to home or work and book it in. Not anymore. We managed to save ourselves $400 on the servicing alone.
Upon selling our second car last month I received a refund cheque on the remaining insurance — pretty handy to place that little cheque into the bank. So the sale of the car and the refund cheque just about covered the holiday payment.
Jim undertook some smaller gardening projects around the house. I regret to advise that this is where the new item enters the story. Jim did the right thing and looked for some savings on some bags of Paveset. Determined to save money (as is our new mantra) Jim managed to save $10 per bag just by buying bags that were broken. (Now there is a big tip for all you home handymen and women!). Unfortunately — I cannot tell a lie — Jim had to purchase a broom to sweep said Paveset into place.
Technically, I guess it means we only made it three and a half months in the attempt, however, we still intend to forge onwards with the challenge for the remainder of the year. I still have purchased nothing new and this is my blog after all :)
Two of my friends and I held a garage sale to clear out some random items from our houses including our wardrobes.
The classified ad in the paper cost about $25 and we had lots of people looking for a bargain. Each of us walked away with about $120 each. Handy grocery money.
Jim said 'yes' to the Roy Morgan Survey door to door man and scored $30 in EFTPOS cards for his efforts. Again — handy for those mid week supermarket trips.
We ate very little takeaway this month and made a concerted effort to eat at home. It has meant that a couple of grocery bills have gone a little over budget, but that is because we really have had nothing in the cupboards at the end of a week. For us, it's actually a really satisfying feeling to open the fridge and see nothing there because it means that we haven't wasted anything. Just for a change.
This month's recipe is now one of our firm family favourites. A little labour intensive, but looks really impressive and easy on the budget —
The Spinach and Feta is fantastic with only four ingredients!
Birthdays and gifts continue to be a challenge, but again we have worked really hard to make these personal and meaningful, as opposed to expensive. In total for April, we've had four family birthdays to find gifts for. Now I cannot tell you how much we have spent becuase that would be giving away secrets to family members who read this blog.
What I can tell you is that the total, for all four birthdays, would easily be less than $60.
Looking back — given everything that has happened this month — $219 is probably a really good result. Let's face it, it's still a saving.
The next challenge will be our family holiday. Ordinarily we go on holidays and figure that we are on leave from a budget as well as work. Not so in 2012.
We are committed to taking a family holiday and coming back with nothing but photographs and memories. This will probably be the hardest part of the whole 12 months. Wish us luck.
Until next month.