Save money and grow your retirement fund
- How saving 25 dollars a week can save you 67,995 dollars
- How to build emergency fund on low income
- Habits to learn to retire in next five years
Saving on a single income is very difficult. At present we are on single income and Melbourne is bit expensive. We bought our home in May 2016 and my baby is born in 2017 January. Also we came here as immigrants in 2013 in Australia. Being new ,it was bit difficult to save money. We bought home because home rentals are too high. There is very less difference in our mortgage and the rent we used to pay.
At present, we are building our retirement fund, trying to pay our mortgage and simultaneously building our emergency fund. We are very near to our goal for emergency fund but we have to walk a long path for our retirement fund and paying the mortgage.
But even then, we are on a right path. Little steps make your path easy. Saving small amounts of money here and there is helping in saving for our retirement fund.
1. Survey sites
Survey sites are great for adding few dollars every month in your savings. I don’t spend lot of time on survey sites. But love to do few surveys while working in kitchen in between preparing meals. Also while traveling in public transport or even while going in car while not driving. These survey sites don’t make you rich but few dollars adds up at the end.
Sign up to few different survey sites because you will make few dollars from each. Some months I could make around 200 dollars and sometimes less. But the average is 150 dollars. Which is quite good.
2. By paying attention to grocery bill
When we start budgeting and pay attention to money flowing , we get to know the loopholes. I mean the things from which we can save some money. Groceries are a particular area which can give you around 50- 100 dollars to save and grow your retirement fund.
I always go with a very tight budget for grocery, but even then paying attention saved me around 55 dollars a month.
3. Reducing coffee from drive thru
I am not an ardent fan of coffee. But if I am out and wanted to have a coffee, it was easy. I always buy small cup but that also is expensive.Now I have stopped buying coffee from drive thru and it has saved me around 28 dollars a month. I make my tea at home and take with me.
4. Outing at totally free places
This one has added more fun to outings. We always try to go to places where there is no ticket. This saves lot of money. And in Melbourne, everything is so expensive. But it is so naturally beautiful, you don’t need to spend lot of money to enjoy.
If weather allows enjoying free places is a great way of saving money. This has allowed me to save nearly 100 dollars a month.
5. Taking home made food with us while going out
I know it takes bit time to prepare food while going out and sometimes it doesn’t feel good to prepare food in the morning to take with you, but it is a real thing to do. It is healthy for your body as well as your wallet. When you go out, few dollars here and few dollars there doesn’t pinch us but if we calculate how much we spend each time, it adds up to a lot.
Taking homemade food every time we go out saves nearly 50 dollars a month.
6. Less heating & cooling
We only use heating or cooling when it is either very hot or very cold. If you will compare your energy bills in extreme months, you will get to know how much more you pay. If you start making little changes like switching off your heating or AC when you start feeling change in temperature, it will reduce your energy bill.
I have seen my energy bills going down even if I reduce the usage with few hours. I need to work more on this one and I think I can save more on energy bills. Currently my bills have gone down around 20 dollars a month. This is an average from last years bills.
7. Saving Water bill
Water bill can be reduced tremendously if we try. Reducing the time taken for shower, washing clothes once a week or when you feel like your machine will be full, reduces your water bill. I know when in shower on a cold day, you just don’t want to come out of hot water, but it is not a wise thing to do.
Remind yourself always that you have to save money for your retirement. It is not the water flowing through the tap, it is money going in the drains. Water bills save you huge amount of money. I have reduced my water bill by 90 dollars for a 3 month bill. Which comes out to be 30 dollars a month.
8. No TV subscription
We have cut our TV subscription. It saves you money. For me I am saving around 50 dollars by not watching paid TV. Paid TV has very good programs to watch which you cannot resist. But when you don’t have a way to watch, you just don’t watch. It saves lot of time for other things.
9. Low fee phone connection
I bought my phone outright and have a very low phone connection. It has reduced my phone bill by 20 dollars. It is not a big amount of money , but for saving around 400 dollars to my retirement fund without earning extra from jobs, it is good amount of money.
10. No spend months for clothes
I don’t spend too much on clothes but whenever I go out in shopping center, I buy something for me or baby. But for some months, I make them no spend month for clothes. Baby girl clothes are so cute that it becomes almost impossible to resist.
But in no spend month, I refrain from going to baby cloth stores altogether.
11. No movies if you want to grow retirement fund
One trip to cinema takes around 50 dollars. To save those 50 dollars, we have stopped going to watch movies out. It is not necessary to watch every released movie on the day of its release. We can watch it later in home. And because I have stopped watching paid TV, I don’t get news about new releases. So money saving.
12. Going to park for a walk instead of watching TV
Instead of sitting at couch and watching TV, I go out for a walk to the park. There we meat so many people and discuss lot of things. It saves your health and time. And time is the most precious commodity. I don’t know how much it saves money wise, but otherwise it is a great benefit.
It saves you from the electricity which otherwise you will use while watching TV.
13. No impulse shopping
I get this inspiration from my other half. I always think how he can go for so long without buying any clothes. I always buy something for ether myself or my baby. Now I have started working on this. And this has really helped me in saving money.
Sometimes you just give up to your impulses, and shop for things you just desire. And that is perfectly fine. And so is me. Sometimes I have to make adjustments in savings but at the end they should be around 400 dollars.
Tell me how you save for yourself. I want to save more from already very tight budget. And if you like this please share it.