Every Cent Counts

Finance Related

We are bombarded with news every day about the rising cost of living. Energy prices. House prices. Rent. Food. Health costs. Such stories resonate, not because we love hearing tales of doom and gloom, but because we can relate to the financial pain. Most of us could do with a few extra dollars a week. We’re unlikely to get it from the government or from businesses but we can conjure a little bit more by keeping an eye on the detail of what we spend. Here are five areas where savings are possible. These tips may help you get a little bit more to spend on small luxuries or save for something bigger.

Heating and cooling

Energy costs are going up and up – and there’s no sign of meaningful action that will reverse the situation. But take a leaf out of your parents and grandparents and put an extra layer on, or take that extra layer off. When it gets cool, instead of ramping up the heater, put on an extra layer of clothing. That doesn’t mean abandoning the heater altogether, but delaying it for an hour or two could save money . Similarly, when it gets hot, resist the temptation to put the air conditioning on straight away. Change into cooler clothes and splash a little cold water on your face until you can’t resist that ‘On’ switch. And when you do turn the heating or cooling on, set them to a temperature a couple of degrees cooler or hotter than you have been in the habit of doing.

Driving and car maintenance

A well maintained and serviced car is not only safer, it’s more economical. Sure, the service may set you back a couple of hundred dollars but your car will be more efficient to drive and there is less likelihood of something going wrong – and that means really big bucks. A few other driving tips:

  • Ensure your tyres are properly inflated – you’ll save money every moment you drive because you’ll use less petrol.
  • Erratic driving, constant and quick braking, changing lanes; they all use more petrol than steady driving.
  • Take off the roof racks and take the junk out of your boot. Every extra kilo means more petrol to keep your car going.

And speaking of extra kilos ….

Gym membership

So you made a New Year resolution and joined a gym. Who doesn’t? But most of the equipment in a gym just mirrors what you can have for free outside. Treadmills are just rubber pavements. Cross-trainers are just hills. Steppers are just, well steps – and we all have access to steps. Go for a regular run or brisk walk; park your car at the far end of the supermarket car park instead of the nearest space to the entrance; walk up stairs instead of taking the lift. You’ll keep just as fit – without forking out for a gym membership.


If you’re the type of person who can’t pass a bookshop without walking in and buying a book, consider a trip to your local library. Yes, they still exist. You can borrow for free, usually for weeks – and not just books. You can also borrow magazines and DVDs; and read the daily newspaper while you’re there. That’ll save you money as well.


Today, many companies offer discounts if you pay your bills on time. That’s a bonus for something you should be doing anyway. So make a note on a calendar when each bill is due, and pay on time. You can even keep tab of how much you save in a year. You’ll be surprised and delighted!

These tips won’t hurt but they might save you money. Remember every cent counts.


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