Monday, November 10, 2014

How I saved $100,000

I am a sucker for articles that might give me a bit of advice on how we can save a few dollars in the Huey household. I admit to reading a plethora of stories, tip sheets and lists on all the things I should change/do to make it easier to pay the bills and retire before I am 70.

Mostly those articles have stupid headings that make me click on the article and provide no real opportunities for me to save cash. Pretty much exactly like this post.

Those articles are always filled with silly ways to make money and none of them ever work.

I am not going to stop buying my lunch. Chances are I didn’t really want to eat dinner last night so I really don’t want it as left overs just to save $30 a week.

Buying in the July toy sales doesn’t help, it just means I buy twice a year. First in July when I think I am saving money and again in December when I realise the stuff from July is not something the kids are even interested in, the books have been read and the clothes outgrown.

I try and save up and use my loyalty points, but when I get that bonus $20 store card to spend, I just use it as an excuse to buy the more expensive cheese.

It has been useful reading those articles over the last 20 years and also attaining an Economics degree, because I realise that in the last three years I have saved over $100,000.

You can too, here is all you have to do and in three years time you will have not spent $100,000.

Stop buying Magazines. 

This is easy to do, just make sure you have a hairdresser that stocks the mags you like to read. I got all the above Frankie mags for free on my local Facebook Buy Swap and Sell page. Bargain.


Gifts for You

Leave really really good hints to your husband/partner/family about what you want for Christmas. This prevents you having to buy what you want after Christmas/birthday each year.



We were keen to attend the local Grammar school near us, but instead we took a good look at the local government funded primary. Of course the oval is not green, the home readers can be a bit shabby and the kids wear best and less hats rather than boaters. But. SAVINGS.


A NEW (to us) CAR.

When our old Mazda died I would have loved a spanky new fancy car. We went to look at some and I told Mr H all the things I wanted in my new wheels.  I then took the kids home and he wheeled and dealed with the car sales people until they just really wanted him to leave and never come back. The car is perfectly fine. But it ain’t spanky new, just new to us. We did this twice (we have a car each) in the last three years. Sometimes, I also walk the kids to school which saves us about $1.24. I admit, I don't do it often enough. Because - Unorganised.


Buy Less Food.

Using up ingredients. Just make up a recipe.

This tip is actually very useful if you want to stretch the fortnightly budget. Don’t go back to the shops because you think you need to do a weekly food shop. Take a really really good look in the freezer and pantry. 

What is back there?

Twice a year I try and do the $21 a week food challenge. Except we call it the $75 a week food challenge and I try and do it for three weeks in a row. Our usual food bill is closer to $250 a week, so we save $175 a week for 3 weeks = $525. It is also worth doing before you are going on holidays, moving house, or just need to clean out the fridge.  If you can do this twice a year, that’s $1050.



If you can't get away on a holiday, get away to a new park, climb some tress and pretend you are somewhere far far away.

If you want to save lots of cash to pay off your credit card/mortgage/uni fees then you don’t get to take a European holiday. No white Christmas in Salzberg for us. No skiing in Japan. No lazing about over the waters in Tahiti.  But that doesn’t mean you need to stay home all the time. Get on to the super cheap airfares email deals. 

Here’s a hot tip…the Jetstar deals are really good, but the website always crashes and you never get the flights – unless you use the app, which seems to not crash.  Another way to save is to explore your own area. By driving 3-4 hours away you can find some excellent places that you might never have been to before. Grab a cabin, or check out Stayz for a house. Take an esky filled with food to save on basic costs (we never eat out for breakfast on holidays, it’s weet bix or toast for everyone). You can also make it a three day stay rather than a week.  We still holiday every year in some capacity, but let’s just say there are not many stamps in the passports.

SAVINGS OVER THREE YEARS by not going to Europe: $30,000           


WOW. I am such a great saver and I didn’t even realise it. Now to find out where the money all went.

What are your best tips for saving cash that you never had in the first place? 


  1. I agree with eating food that we already have - this is the best list I've seen in ages.There are so many ways I could save money... it's just actually DOING them!

  2. Yes - doing the shop from your cupboard thing is a huge money saver! I have enough to be a "doomsday prepper" so I guess I should get on to that!!! I have heard of people never spending gold coins - just putting them in a money box! I guess then you can find the money at the end :-)

  3. Oh man, I just made the executive decision to stop buying the only magazine I buy - because I don't even read them! It's a craft one, and I have a flick through and lovely things are lovely and I have NEVER made a single thing from a single issue. There's a lazy $200 there and then, and if I need inspiration for a project - hey, I've got 15 magazines to look through.

    I am fairly valiantly attempting to cut the groceries from hey whatever to around $800 a month (I have a pre-teen eating machine, hence the attempt part); but half-arsed meal planning and shopping the cupboards is helping a lot. I used to spend $90+ on fruit and veg each week, and I've got that down to around $50 (and I don't throw anything out any more!) And Aldi. Which makes me twitch. But it's $20 a week. Minimum. So there's another quite sprightly $1,000 which is more of an incentive to do the Aldi thing than the $20 a week.

  4. Your post inspired me Claire. I read it earlier today and picked up the phone to foxtel. No one in my family is talking to me anymore, but I just saved us $1008 a year!

    Next: not holidaying in Europe. This one should be a cinch!

    1. That is an extra $3024 a year I have saved that I forgot about. Can I say that as we have never ever had Foxtel we have saved $10,000 in the last ten years? Far out, I am the best saver I have ever met.

  5. Haha I clicked thinking, she's impressive! Well done on the savings - and this is a bloody funny post!

    1. I am such an impressive saver Carly - now to just work out how to actually fund those European holidays that I desire.

  6. I wish I knew where the money went too - all this saving and nothing to show for it.
    You are GOLD. LOL

  7. Bloody impressive! I think there are about seventy zillion kazilion things I do with our money that I can stop doing. It's only recently that I'm realising that I'd best get onto that... x


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