Budgeting tips: Managing the basics

Last updated 05:00 28/06/2013
Make sure you always stick to your budget.

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Budgeting tips from Kiwi savers

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Stuff Nation readers offer their advice on how to save money. Jennifer Green gives her six tips:

1. Have a budget, and stick to it. I have done this for years, and while I don't always stick to the budget, having it helps me get back on track quickly. Also, write down what you spend. it is amazing how quickly those "one extra latte won't hurt" add up.

2. Eat economically. Buy what is on special and make meals from that. I have a vast range of recipes, many gleaned from my mother. You can make a good new meal sometimes out of leftovers.

3. Store food in the fridge by month purchased. The number of times I have gone to the freezer and grabbed something, to find out it is about three years old. Put your purchases for January in a January labelled bin in the freezer, and ensure you empty it before end of March. High usage items like bread or frozen mixed veges - put those in another bin (labelled as to what is in there).

4. Buy non-food items as a need not a want. Do you really, really need that new pair of shoes or will the other 200 pairs in the cupboard do just fine?

5. Put the money for bills in a separate bank account (not an account accessible via your debit card at an ATM), and set up automatic payments to cover the bills. This is something I adhere to religiously. My monthly bills come out all in a space of four days from 25th of the month. I have it worked out how much I need to put in the bills account each week, and my weekly AP does that for me (plus about $10 extra per week to cover bank charges). Then at the end of the month, I check my bills have gone out.

6. I also keep an eye on lights and heaters/heat pumps being left on. As I live alone, I only have only one person to blame when my power bill goes sky-high. Might be a bit harder in a four-person family, but it can be done.

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