Thursday, 26 April 2012

Thankful for ... the skills to cope

It was our decision, and it was not made lightly. At the end of the day it was the personal benefits our family would receive from this decision that counted (it certainly was not the benefits, or lack thereof, from the government).
Would we do it again? Absolutely! But living on one wage with little outside assistance is not for the faint hearted.

image source
There is much talk lately about what people expect they could live on per day. According to a survey relevant at the time of writing this, the Australian Institute discovered that most people said they needed $65 per day. The current Newstart allowance in Australia is apparently nearly half this amount.

With the nightly news brimming with stories on escalating crime, I wonder how the government has got the idea that people are coping? I was witness to the theft of petrol just the other day whilst I was filling up my car. Some people are doing it tough.

Whilst we far from committing out own crimes, we certainly have our belts nice and tight. It helps that hubby is a bit of a scrooge most of the time. He has taught me to question the need of a purchase before going ahead, something that I hardly did before.I do love a good sale sign, which makes hubby cringe.

We have shopped around and enquired about discounts wherever we could for our big bills. We buy things we need when they are on special and keep to our shopping list. We holiday at a family holiday house or go camping. I cut hubby's hair and colour my own at home. We deposit any money refunded at tax time against our mortgage to lower interest rates, and redraw it through the year, if necessary on our bigger bills. We cook in bulk and freeze meals for later. We try to keep expenses to a minimum and life simple, to stay within budget.

There are many little things we do that make a difference. It really does help to do a budget and try to stick to it, and know what to expect before the bill comes in the mailbox. There are many facilities you can now use online to gauge your usage/consumption.

It's important too, to not wear blinkers and beware of future changes to your situation and your bills. Many families are feeling the crunch with increases in interest rates, petrol prices and groceries. If you listening to any advice from the many finance advisers out there, you would be silly to think this will get better anytime soon.

How are you coping? Do you have any tips for easing the financial strain?

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