Monday, February 28, 2011

Save Money on Transport

Since I have recently move back into the city, I have once again been exposed to the daily commute. I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about something most of you will have already heard of. Public Transport.

Like it, or hate it, public transport serves thousands of people daily, and many are very happy with their chosen transport. The benefits inclue both saving the environment, and your wallet. The amount of money you save can be very impressive.

If you drive into the city every day, chances are you will most likely have to pay for a parking permit. These can be quite costly (up to around $420 a month for an inner city car park here), and even excluding the amount you spend on petrol, just by taking public transport you can save money every day.

If you were to simply go into the city by train, then back out by train (for arguments sake) you will only spend around $4.00 a day. Very cheap.

I challenge you to investigate your options, and try public transport. You don't have to go all out, and sell your car, just use public transport for your commute, and that way you spend less running your car.  It really is a great option if you want to save money.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Save Money-Hobbies

Hello again everyone!

One of the areas where I see people spend a lot of their hard earned money is on their hobbies. An example of this is my cousin who is very keen on building and racing model boats. His hobby eats up a huge amount of his savings. Today I want you to think about your hobby, and think about how much you spend on it.

My personal hobby is playing guitar. Over around 6 years I have spent approximately $2500 on products to fuel my hobby. I know people who spend a lot more than what I have spent.

A good hobby is one that you enjoy, and doesn't cost you a fortune. An excellent hobby is one that earns you money back. If crafting/scrapbooking is your hobby, there is potential for you to sell what you make. If I wanted to, I could join a band and play at weddings or at bars to earn back a little bit of money. The possibilities are endless.

I just want you to really think about what it is you love doing, and try and establish ways for you to save money while doing, and if you are really good, you can use your hobby to earn you money.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Way to Save Money- The Everyday Dollar Jar

Today I have decided to mention an old concept, very similar to the piggy bank. Every day, when you come home from work, or university, put left over change from the day into a jar. Ideally, you should put in around a dollar a day (although more is great!). If you get into the habit of doing this, even just putting in $1 a day is enough for you to buy yourself something pretty substantial at the end of the year. $365 has come your way without really cutting in on your other spending. If you save a couple of dollars a day, the results could be amazing. This could basically for the years Christmas present, allowing you to feel free from the stress of finding money for Christmas.

The way we used to do it when I was a child, was that whenever there was spare change left over, it would be placed in a jar in a cupboard in the kitchen. Once every week or so we were allowed to take a couple of dollars from the jar to spend at the school canteen. This is a great way of keeping your kids happy in terms of them wanting to purchase items from the canteen.

Whenever we cleaned out the car, any loose coins found also went into the jar, so naturally the amount of money in the jar quickly accumulates.

Obviously there are a few variations on this idea including a few which are dedicated to helping pay off chunks of the mortgage, but I will allow you to develop your own tricks to help you save money this way.

Happy saving!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Junk Removal- Earning money back

Today I thought I would steer a little bit away from the saving money aspect of my site, and point you in the direction of earning money. Rather than send you to some scam website about how to make money online, I am going to talk about what you can do around the house that will help you earn back a little bit of money.

1. Sell some of that junk. Everyone has junk in their house that they are no longer using, and believe it or not, you don't just have to throw it out or donate it. Ebay is a great place for you to get rid of some of your old items that you don't want any more. Provided they are in fairly good condition, and you follow the ebay rules, selling items on ebay is a piece of cake. Simply take a couple of photos, write a short description, and wait for the buyers.

If you are not particularly ebay savvy, or you would rather not go down that path, then a garage sale is the next best thing. Put up signs around your neighbourhood, and put an ad in the local paper, and you will have plenty of people who show up for a bargain.

2. If you have old mobile phones sitting in a drawer, then you should consider selling these to companies that purchase old phones. Websites such as mazuma mobile (for australia) purchase your old phones, where they then recycle them or re sell them. If you want to visit mazuma, you can click here.

3. Why not consider participating in the local markets, and selling something that you create? A good example of this are craft/scrap booking products. If you have spare time, and a hobby such as knitting or craft or even woodworking, then this may benefit you.

Hopefully these tips have been helpful, and I know they aren't exactly about saving money, but I thought it would be a good idea to share them.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Save Money- Home Brew

After visiting the local bottle shop about a year ago, I came to realise how expensive it is just for a couple of beers to go with dinner. I also came to realise that if I spent more time at parties I would probably be completely broke. I decided to explore the option of brewing my own beer, both to save money, and as a hobby. My father had been brewing beer for quite some years, so after consulting him (and th elocal home brew store) I started my first batch. Surprisingly, it was quite good, and extremely simple. After doing some calculations, I realised that being able to make around 20 litres of beer for around about $20, even including the cost of the kit itself, that this was definitely going to save a lot of money, even though I am not a big drinker.

Since I first tried making home brew, I have made several batches, and I am enjoying both the beer and the hobby itself.

For those who are interested in saving money by brewing your own beer, you can check out this site. It goes through step by step how to start brewing, and how to make your first batch. It's very easy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save Money with DIY Projects

Many people will refuse to take on a do it yourself project for fear of either not knowing how to start, or the fear that they do not have the skills to do it. Today I want to challenge you to give it a try. Not only does it teach you valuable skills, it can also save you a lot of money!

Many people have difficulty getting started when it comes to DIY. To make this easier, I suggest trying to find a resource that has step by step instructions for you to follow. You can find these in book stores, or can purchase them online. The investment is definitely worth it, and I am sure that you will enjoy seeing the results after you put in the work. I can assure you that seeing the finished product is one of the greatest feelings you will ever experience, especially if it took you a long time to complete.

I have included a link in the side bar to the right that will take you to a website which sells software with around 14000 different plans for projects which will help you with both the actual building and the preparations. It is definitely worth looking into. If you can't find it in the side bar, you can just click here.

Save Money on Take-Away Food

Everyone has nights where they come home after work or university and are so exhausted that they do not want to cook. Usually this turns into getting take away food, which can be quiet an expensive exercise.

My recommendations to save money but still enjoy take-away food are:

1. Rather than completely removing take away foods from the equation (which is entirely pheasible, but not entirely deseriable), you should consider arranging the days you get take away food so that they coincide with cheap specials, allowing you to save. For example, the local pizza take-away store near where I live has a day where the pizzas are around $4 cheaper each. If you have to feed a family of 4, this is going to be a saving of $16 or more.

2. Avoid getting extras that are not necessary. For example, why pay for a bottle of soft drink when you have soft drink at home? I have seen people fall into this trap countless times. They think that because they get extras, they are getting a better deal. Obviously soft drink is not the only extra I suggest you stay away from, and if you like a bottle of soft drink, go ahead and get it, but is that desert that is included for only a few dollars extra really needed? I challenge you to make logical decisions to allow you to save money every time.

3. If feeding a family, rather than organising 4 (or however many) meals separately, order a family pack, and add extra food only if required. These are considerably cheaper. For example, when I was growing up, when we got take away it was a red rooster family pack with an extra family fries. The extra family fries was required because for a family of 5, there simply were not enough fries for everyone. We payed something like $32 for this meal, but when you consider the cost of ordering separately, if everyone gets a meal worth $10 (around the average price) then we would have been paying $50 plus. The moral of this story is that you should consider how many people you are feeding, and always look to get the better deal.

If you follow these steps, you can still have that enjoyable occasional take-out meal, without blowing the budget. These tips will allow you to save money easily, and still allow you to have your occasional treat.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Economically Driven- 4 simple ways to save fuel and save money!

Hey again everyone.

While on the subject of cars, I decided I should give economical driving a mention, as it can really save you money if you are willing to change your habits and drive to save. I have prepared the following checklist for what you can do to drive more economically.

1. Cut down on the extra weight. More weight means more friction, and more mass you have to get moving. For example, if you drive a car with a big tool box in the back (I am thinking trades people here), which is only used once every few weeks, just removing that could cut down on the amount of fuel you use. This one isn't as important as the ones to follow, but it is worth considering.

2. Velocity and acceleration. These 2 are very important factors. Firstly, by pushing your car to go faster than it wants to, you will burn more fuel to provide the extra power. For example, driving at 110km/h will consume more fuel than cruising at 100km/h. Unless you are going a large distance (100 kilometres or more and you will notice a difference), the extra 10km/h will save you only 6 minutes (over 100 kilometres), so if you only need to go 15 kilometres on the highway, the amount of time you save is negligible.

Acceleration is the next key point. To make the car accelerate, obviously you have to feed it more fuel. If you accelerate to 60 along a small road, with a red light ahead, and then have to break again, you will waste fuel. When you think about it this way, it doesn't make sense. Why accelerate irrationally towards a red light, where you have to stop? Just cruise up to it. If you make this a habit, I can guarantee you will save petrol.

3. Which car? We have already spoken about this in the last posts, but choosing an economical car is obviously one of the most important factors. If you buy a v8 4 wheel drive just to cruise around the town, you are burning a lot more fuel to move the 2 tonnes or more of car beneath you. If you choose a smaller car, you have less mass to move, so you burn less fuel. Obviously there is more to it than this, but I don't want to bore you with specifications etc because I know that's not going to help. Just choose wisely.

4. Ride height. For some reason it seems to be fashionable to buy a 4wd, and raise it up off the ground higher than it already is. The strange thing is, I usually see this in the city. Firstly, I don't understand why city kids want to do this, especially since the roughest roads they are likely to come across are probably the speed bumps in the local car park, but I wont rant about it for too long. Unless you actually need a serious 4 wheel drive car, with raise suspension for huge clearance, there is no point in doing it. Think about it, you burn more fuel because you change the natural flow of the air (as it was designed in the factory), and you can't get into low roofed car parks. To me, it is a waste of money.

Well, I think that's about it as I can't think of anything else worth talking about in this topic. If you take all of these into consideration I can guarantee you will make your car last longer, and save money in the process. Definitely worth a try!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3 ways to save money when buying a second hand car

It is very easy to save money simply by buying a used car rather than a new one. One of the most astounding things about buying a new car is that as soon as you sign, and drive it off the showroom floor, you immediately lose money, simply because the car is no longer "new". Every year, depreciation costs from the new car will set you back. This costs may not be obvious, because they don't really fit under the category of normal car costs (like fuel etc), but I am sure that once you come to sell the car, you will realise. Here are 3 tips to allow you to save money on your second hand car:

1. Do your research. Find a car that is reliable, has a good reputation, and is fairly economical. This is the most important step, because if you buy a second hand car which has a reputation for breaking down, then the problems will only get worse in it's old age. Find out exactly what can go wrong with the car, and when you inspect the car, look for those problems.

2.Negotiate a better deal. When buying a second hand car, always try and knock a little bit off the cost. Point out that slight defect and talk about how you will have to pay to fix it, and that you feel some off the costs for that should come off the price of the car. Remember, if you can save $500 here, that's $500 that can go towards fuel or insurance costs, which means $500 you don't have to spend later.

3. Take it for a test drive, and make the owner drive it in front of you aswell. This one may seem a little strange, but watching how the owner drives will really give you an idea of how healthy the car is. For example, an owner who drives with his or her foot on the clutch the whole time indicates that you are most likely going to have wearing problems in the clutch mechanism. An owner that accelerates excessively towards a red light, and brakes hard, indicates that you will probably have to replace the brakes eventually, unless of course they have already been done. There are plenty of great resources that will tell you exactly what to look for, and if you follow the instructions, you could save yourself a lot of money on the possible repair costs. I wil include a link here to a great site which goes into a lot of detail for car inspections.

Hopefully these tips are useful, I am sure they will allow you to save a lot of money, as I know they have worked for many of my relatives.

Monday, February 7, 2011

From the Author

Hey all!

Just a quick post to remind you that all comments are welcome. Feel free to tell your friends about this site, as I'm sure many of them will find it helpful too, and any extra views are greatly appreciated. If anyone has any feed back, I would love to hear it, just post a comment somewhere and I will do my best to do as you ask. I am here, after all, to help you guys.

Feel free to donate, and if you don't want to donate, any clicks on my ads will help out a lot, as I am sure you realise this blog takes up a fair bit of my time.

Once again, thanks for reading, and I hope you take away something helpful from it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Save Money on Subscriptions

Hi again everyone!

Today I decided I would talk about subscriptions. Many people lose track of things they are paying for. For example, there have been times where my parents have been paying for certain channels on T.V. without realising they weren't using them.

Today I want you to assess your subscriptions, and decide whether they are really necessary. This can mean anything from video games, television channels, magazines, newspapers etc. If you pay for a newspaper, why not visit news websites instead? They are free, and are updated regularly during the day, so you get news as it comes, rather than once each morning.  This could save you a couple of dollars a day, which over a year is definitely worth the change.

Make the effort to determine what you need, and what you don't. The amount you save will probably startle you!

It is very easy to look through the channels you have subscribed to with your pay-tv, and it could save you hundreds.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saving Money with Ebay

I am sure everyone out there knows someone who enjoys video games, whether that be your child or housemate, there are gamers everywhere. Unfortunately those new games can be pretty costly, usually nearly $100. My tip for today will allow you to easily save 30-40% of that, just by being slightly patient. This hint not only applies to gamers, but people who buy new release dvds, books, etc. You can all benefit and save plenty of money!

When a game is first released, the price is significantly marked up. However, if you are willing to wait for 2-3 weeks, you can easily get the game $20-$30 cheaper. For a student or a family on a low income, this could be 2-3 hours extra that you don't have to work to afford it.

If you want the product even cheaper, check out ebay (or other online stores). I have saved 50% of a game's value just by waiting 2 weeks, and then buying on ebay rather than in a store at the local shops. If you are worried about a person's authenticity on ebay, stick to ebay stores. These are very easy to find, simply by searching the product you want, and browsing until you find one. If you get into the habit of browsing ebay for the product you want, you may find a bargain! Of course, the same old story applies, don't fall into the traps that could potentially be there. If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

Happy Hunting!