Like the cobbler's wife that has no shoes, I have no budget. My hub is a banker and a qualified financial planner, but no, we have no budget.
I've realised that aside from occasionally going a bit mad buying stuff for the house that we probably don't need, we are fairly careful with our money. I know that we buy whatever we want at the grocery store and that as a family we have never gone without (see point 'My husband is a banker' above), but still I think we are careful. We don't carry any debt (except our Obligatory Overwhelming Aussie Mortgage (OOAM)).
There are lots of little things we do without thinking that probably make the difference.
We don't drink a lot. Our 'alcohol' budget is generally minimal to non-existent during an average week.
We buy fruit and vegetables and meat fresh every other day. I know this flies in the face of the 'buy in bulk' mentality, but little and often means we always use what we purchase.
I have a bad back, but I still get my massages at the Nature Care Clinic which I discovered twenty years ago when I was a penniless student with a bad back. $38 for an hour long remedial massage. Happy with that.
In the same way, I wait for a Jump On It hair special to come up before getting my hair done. I haven't paid full price for a cut since I was ripped off by a salon who tried to charge me $200 for a haircut because it by a 'Senior Stylist' when I didn't even realise I was getting the infamous 'Senior Stylist' (and nor, it would seem, did my hair).
With the Tsunamis we have 'buying days' and 'no-buying days'. This renders pester-power a non-entity at our place. I tell them before we go that it's a no-buying day' and while there used to be whiny 'oh Mums', these days they just accept that a no-buying day is exactly that.
I've found myself having my own 'no-buying days' and try from time to time to not buy anything that's not food-related for a month or so. I generally do this if we need to get back on track and save a bit extra.
We religiously save money into a completely separate account (it's even with a separate bank). The money goes out when our pay comes in and we don't even look at it.
Yeah, well, I know these tips are pretty pathetic compared to people who are actually thrifty. Those amazing meal-planning, hole-mending, co-opting, re-purposing geniuses. That's why I wrote this post... can you tell me what tips you have to help us all stay on track?
[Image by Elvira'sDADA]
[Image by Elvira'sDADA]