Wednesday 6 July 2022

How to save money

according to the state newspaper.

There was the usual article this morning about interest rates rising again and how families are "doing it tough". Then there was a list of things people might be able to cut back on in order to find the extra money to cover the cost of the mortgage rate rise.

It was the last I read with some bewilderment. I know there are people who are "doing it tough". There are families where people really are struggling to pay the rent or (if they are lucky) the mortgage, pay the bills and feed the family. 

But this list? It started with Uber Eats for a family of four once a fortnight - don't do it and apparently you could save $2600. Well actually the local fish and chip shop has a deal where, if you pick it up, you can get a very good meal to feed four people - for around half that price.

The next item on the list was something called F45 membership. I had to look that one up. It is some sort of "fitness" club - cost $3380. It would be cheaper to buy a decent pair of trainer-shoes and go for a brisk walk with your partner. Of course it won't give you the same sort of "feel good" feeling and you might need to find other ways to do some of the weight lifting and the like. It could be done though and that would be a hefty saving.

Then there were movie tickets and snacks once a fortnight (presumably this is alternated with the Uber Eats) $2132. Alcohol to consume at home - $2064.  Buying lunch Monday to Friday - $3380. Pub dinners (schnitzel and a pint) once a week - $3640. Holiday for two for five nights in Thailand - $3157 (and  yes, before you ask, I know people who do this and leave their children with the grandparents). Then there was "early bird" parking in the CBD Monday to Friday for $4940 and the pedi-manicure and eyebrow wax and tint once a month at $1500.

There was only one other thing on the list and that was health insurance at around $2757 for six months for two.

I have health insurance. It would be irresponsible not to have health insurance - especially at my age. If I need treatment and get it a little more quickly I may actually save the government money in the long run. It is the only thing on that list that is essential for me to have. 

I don't have any desire to have the rest of the things on the list. I do have the very rare "takeaway" meal with family - almost always from the fish and chip shop because it is good value and good food.  I don't have to worry about alcohol - being allergic at least has the advantage of also saving money.  Anything else on the list is also a choice rather than a requirement. There is the rare "coffee" with Middle Cat or a friend. 

If other people choose to do those things that's fine with me. It is good even in that it helps to employ still more people. Some people do only one of those things, others more. But I wonder how many people do the things that were mentioned as often as that? How many people do those things without thinking? My BIL takes his own lunch. His office has a microwave oven for the six of them to use. They can all have something hot if they want it but he is the only one who uses it on a regular basis. One of the other staff will sometimes reheat the soup he has bought in it. I am afraid I am sufficiently parsimonious that I would, like my BIL, be using it on a much more regular basis.

But all this is what people choose to do. They have the right to choose too. Perhaps I really am a bit odd but I think I'd rather do these things less often and pay the rent more easily or pay off the mortgage more quickly.



Hilde said...

Australia must be a very rich country if this is the normal lifestyle. We have never "had it tough", but the only thing in this list we ever spent any money for was a pub meal once or twice a month. And health insurance, which is obligatory here, but which we would have had even if it weren´t.
Hilde in Germany

catdownunder said...

Most people would have only some of these Hilde - but it is surprising how many would have more than they can really afford and still believe that they are "normal".