I come from a relatively expensive country, New Zealand, where I was constantly surprised by the price of groceries or petrol. It was very expensive living there and that’s part of the reason I have left for the meantime. However, I’m sure one day I will return to New Zealand to start a family and plant down some roots. I have been reflecting a bit on how the last 1.5 years of my life were back home and things I could have done differently to save some money around the home. Here are my biggest tips:
1) Buy a Coffee Machine
If you’re like me and mildly addicted to coffee, then this is likely one of your biggest “luxury” expenses each week. I hate to think of how much money I was spending on coffee at the height of my addiction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few weeks topped $100 a week on coffee. Outrageous! I think buying a coffee machine would be a great way to cut down costs, as well as becoming a latte superstar.
2) Get Solar
Of course, this is only really relevant if I was to buy my own home as it’s such an investment, but I really like the idea of being ‘off the grid’ and self sufficient. In Christchurch, during 2011 we had an earthquake that literally destroyed my city. Many homes lost power for weeks, some lost power for months. It was a really hard time to be there. If I had solar panels on my future home, then I would not only save money on power each month, but I would know in the worst case scenario I would still be able to charge my iPhone (just kidding). There are heaps of options available for purchasing solar panels, including Australian Solar Quotes.
Do you have solar panels in your home? Or is this is something you are moving towards?
3) Plant a Garden
This is one of the consequences of renting rather than owning a home: it feels like there is very little point spending the time, money and energy to put a garden in, when you know you’ll likely move on. My friends that I lived with for a while had a greenhouse and a garden and I was constantly surprised by how much they could harvest from there each day. It seriously cut down on their grocery bills and more than that, they knew exactly where the food was coming from and how it had been grown. If you think about how much you spend each week, month and year on food, owning a garden suddenly becomes very tempting.
4) Cut Back on Consumables
My partner and I are quite different: despite earning more, I am a LOT cheaper than him. Things like paper towels seem like a waste of money to me as you’re literally throwing them out – which is bad for your wallet and for the environment. While I’m not suggesting you start reusing toilet paper or anything of the such, it is a good idea to use reusable cloths over paper towels. Small changes like this make a great environmental impact, as well as beefing up your wallet a little too.
Do you have any money saving tips for around the home? What changes are you making to save money around the home?