Stretching your money

Times are tough and money is tight. Here are some simple and easy-to-implement solutions to help stretch your money

Watch your spending:
Ask your bank and cellphone company to send you your balances via sms every morning – that way you know exactly what you have spent and what you still have to spend (note: the small fee this might incur can bring about greater savings in the long term) .

Barter/ Exchange your talent for something without money:

e.g., your organic veggies for plumbing.

Reduce consumption of electricity, fuel & water by becoming more aware or what you are using:
If you haven't already, save energy by replacing your current light bulbs with the low energy bulbs and challenge your family to switch off lights and remove chargers from the socket when not in use. For additional electricity savings: turn off your geyser at the main power/DB board when going away for 72 hours or more and don't overfill the kettle. Bonus Tip: Dishwashers use less energy and water to wash dishes than the manual process.

Compare prices whilst shopping:
Only buy what you need – not what you think you need or think you have to have. Shopping with a list helps you stay focused.

Use less cleaning detergent or substitute the conventional cleaning agents with: baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar or salt (A combination of these products is suitable to clean most surfaces and areas of your home, including the kitchen and bathroom – and it is eco-friendly):

•    Bicarbonate of Soda is an all-purpose, non-toxic cleaner. It cleans, deodorises, removes stains & softens fabrics.
•    Lemon juice eats through grease and removes perspiration and other stains from clothing. It is an alternative to bleach.
•    Vinegar eats through grease, removes stains and is a water softener. It is acidic and can eat away at tile grout, so dilute appropriately. Don't use vinegar on marble surfaces.
•    Salt is an abrasive.

Re-negotiate insurance premiums annually:
This goes for cars, household and medical. Tip: Tell your consultant that you are 'shopping around' and that you'd like them to quote their best price.

General tips to keep you on track:
•    Use the library instead of buying books, magazines, newspapers or DVD's.
•    Entertain at home instead of in restaurants: Consider a potluck where everyone brings a dish of their choice or a progressive meal where you enjoy each course at someone else's home.
•    Buy loose fruit & veggies where possible – packaging costs.
•    If you have children, start a baby sitting club with other parents.
•    Use cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes, cloths instead of paper towel.
•    Re use plastic bags, paper as scrap, containers – glass jars, plastic containers, water bottles.
•    Repair rather than throw away.

A small change can go a long way to making your money last longer. Of course, an organised space also saves you time, money and energy.

Katja Buisson, is a Certified Organiser with Get Organised. Visit www.getorganised.co.za for your Free Starter Pack, Free Newsletter, Free Hot Tips and to find out how you can hire a professional organiser to assist in organising your life. Contact Katja at 082 690 9075 or email katjab@getorganised.co.za.

Read more on: electricity  |  shopping  |  women24  |  saving  |  money  |  tips

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