Gathering the straws of life together

Making money

Most of us are out and about making money. If we are not working or unable to work then we need to work out how we can make the most of the money we have. It is easy enough to spend money. It is wise though if we do not spend more than we make! Once June (the month) arrived my thoughts turned to our yearly budget.

Earlier in the week I prepared our 2017-18 budget. It did not take long as it is a habit that happens every year. All I need to do is examine our expenditure from the previous financial year and see where adjustments are to be made. For example, our electricity went down this past year when mostly I hear that people are paying more for electricity. Our electricity costs went down because we replaced a 250-litre hot water system with an instantaneous gas system.

I also adjusted my behaviour to get the most out of our solar system. Every evening our dishwasher would go on. I changed this to the early afternoon to use our solar and minimise the use of electricity. As we are retired and at home we can do this. If you are out of the home working and have solar it is best to put the dishwasher on just before you leave for work, not in the evening, unless you have battery storage. Our electricity bill is now half of what it used to be. Our gas bill is not high as we have natural gas and only heat our water.

There are other ways we can be kept busy making money, but it all starts and ends with a budget.

Making money at the supermarket

When grocery shopping we can all make money by:

  • Planning our meals
  • Writing a shopping list
  • Not shopping when we are hungry

Some people think that you should leave the kids at home when you shop. This might be okay on some occasions and when they are younger. Once they are older it is good to involve children in helping write the shopping list. They can also get involved in comparing the cost of items on the supermarket shelf. Supermarket shopping is also a great opportunity to teach children/grandchildren about money and budgeting.

Do you use cash or card when supermarket shopping? Earlier this year I experimented with shopping with a card. To keep within our budget, I kept the receipts to keep a record. Most fortnights we were spending more than our allocated amount for groceries. We went back to paying by cash and now at the end of each fortnight we have unspent money. What is the psychology behind looking in your “grocery” wallet to see how much cash you have left for the fortnight? When you use a card, it is as though your spending power has no limits. Therefore, you spend more. Paying with cash though gives the check-out operator a surprise as most people today shop with a card. Will we move to a completely cashless society? I don’t think so. Even though technology has taken over with e-books, computers and kindles, many of us still like the feel of a book in our hands. Books, like cash will remain popular. Yet I hear that some businesses are considering a “no cash” policy. Is this to reduce the risk of theft? The only problem with a “no cash” policy is when there are technical issues and/or the power goes off. Everything comes to a halt and no card transactions can take place. In this case, it looks like all the diners who are leaving to go home will have to leave an IOU.

Writing down ideas for this year’s budget

Making money by giving gifts

When we give a gift, we do not have to go shopping. It is possible to make gifts at home. We can do this through cooking, sewing, knitting, art and crafts. I am not good at doing this and it is an area I could improve on. On the odd occasion, I have been creative and given a gift that I made myself, it is very rewarding.

Buy a crock-pot

Crock-pots reduce cooking costs. You can also buy cheaper cuts of meat to make a delicious home-made meal. If you are out making money put the crock-pot on before you leave for work and when at home relax – dinner is ready!

Having a budget means I am on target with managing my money

Gaining momentum for making money

When you are saving money, you are making money. I like to make my money work and I do this by knowing where my money ends up. Hopefully, not always in someone else’s pocket! Making money matters and it matters more the less you have.

It is not easy to make money when we leave it in the custody of the bank. Interest is low and money grows slow. Making money with money is difficult these days. Many families and retiree’s find that they are dipping into their savings. Making money by reducing expenditure is the common-sense approach.

Making money does not happen if you earn less than you spend. When you are doing your budget for 2017-18 think about, as I do, what makes you happy? Are people happier without debt? I know that I am happier if I have no debt and no money worries. What about you?

There are things that money cannot buy, like love or friendship. If we have these, and a little bit of cash to go with it and the right attitude to “making money” then we will have a good life!



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