Sunday, May 18, 2008


Interesting read in the paper this morning about a book called, 'Wealthier than you think'. It was written by self proclaimed tight-arse and penny pincher, Paul Squires who says that by following his rules, average Australians can put as much as $50,000 back into their own pockets within five years. He says we are all living beyond our means and letting a river of money slip through our fingers every day. In the article he didn't say what to do with the $50,000.

These are his top 10 penny-pinching ideas.

1. Avoid your family. Christmas and Easter gatherings are expensive and psychologically damaging.
I'm trying hard but I can't see a thing wrong with this idea. Avoiding my family would have saved a giant amount of psychotherapy bills but it was also a good way of getting a free feed.

2. Limit your mates.
All my mates are internet mates so you're using your electricity to post on your blogs which I read. When I read, I'm eating and drinking alone so I don't share with you. You live a long way away so I don't have to visit and you don't get to visit me so I save on house-cleaning products. And if you don't really like me (Mr Squires says this happens) or I don't like you, we can turn each other off or I can leave you on and not hurt your feelings.

3. Ditch "friends" who are living beyond their means.
Hmm! People with Visa debt shouldn't throw plastic cards at others with bigger debts.

4. Don't fall for "special day" marketing, such as Mother's, Father's and Valentine's days.
Nothing about very big special birthdays in there. So all my 'living beyond your means' limited internet mates can still send me cyber wishes in July. I will then have a cyber party and youse can all get cyber pissed and I'll sit here eating a real cake.

5. Don't volunteer for committees. It can become a financial burden.
I'm right with this. I've done my time on the kinder, school, canteen, fete committees.

6. Don't buy jewellery.
I knew it, he's lost me. I love my shiny things.

7. Have a weekly black-out night to save on electricity.
I like candle light as well as the next person but read a book with my eyesight, oh laugh. What does the man do, go to bed at sundown? Of course if you have a 50 square house with 200 lights you probably could save a bit on the bill. I'll give this one a miss too. Although I could navigate by the light of the computer and the TV and the lights have gone out while I was in the middle of a shower so I know I can dry myself in the dark but still he's really getting pinchy here.

8. Buy a standard TV, not a home theatre package.
Right, I have two geriatric televisions, one hooked up to the DVD and the other's hooked up to the video but I don't have them going at the same time especially not on black-out nights. I didn't buy either of them, a plus and I didn't buy the DVD, a plus and the video is 10 years old, a plus and I tape movies instead of going out.

9. Dress your children in hand-me-downs.
Has this man tried to tell a teenager that they can't have the latest craze?
My father-in-law was great at this hand-me-down stuff. If anyone in his street died he was on the door step before the flowers wilted, shoes, reading glasses, anything. He'd have taken the pennies off the eyes if they still had viewings at the house.

10. Don't be super-sized. Avoid two-for-one deals.
I spend half my shopping time in the supermarket working out if I'm getting a good deal on two-for-one deals. I work out the cost difference divided by the time the goods will take to run out divided by how many pension days that equates to and when that's done, I'll buy it because it looks nice or smells good.

This is not good. I consider myself an excellent spendthrift but I'm heading towards penny-pinching in a big way.

But where's my $50,000?


River said...

I've racked my brains on this and the only extra penny pinching I can do is to give up chocolate, wear all my clothes at once to save using the heater and not buy my pre-paid internet hours. Since the small amount of $$ saved will get eaten up in groceries I don't think it's worth it. To be able to save $50,000 you'd have to be earning enough to be able to spend enough that the penny pinching described looks like cutting back/saving. On my minimal wage and minimal spending that kind of penny pinching starts to look like miser behaviour.

Anonymous said...

I read that article too, and I think that saving $10k a year isn't that easy on an average income.

And living in darkness to save a few pennies? No thanks, my eyesight is far more valuable.

JahTeh said...

OoC, you've done enough rough living, you deserve luxury so I forbid you to stinge on anything.

River, I thought the same thing. I did lash out this morning and bought two newspapers but only one chocolate bar. We had the coldest May day yesterday in 31 years and my decree about not having the fire on until night was forgotten. I refuse to buy homebrand groceries too.

phil said...

Home branc cat food. If desperate, you can actually attempt to feed it to the cat. The likely response will keep your skin looking well loofah'd.

BwcaBrownie said...

I save more than $10,000 per year so Squires isn't so smart -
No drycleaning.
Never enter a florist.
No dentist.
No insurances.
No hairdressing.
No holidays.
No car.
No pets.
No mobile phone.
No landline.
No home actually ...
bet he can't top that tip!

R.H. said...

Miss Brownie come around here and I'll give you a free hairdo: fingers in a light socket! yuk yuk yuk. New Minister Roxton is now a brownette, and with a whole new wardrobe to go with it. She is younger and she is slimmer. Cinderella, my word -risen from being an old cow in our local rag. Well you feel sorry for them and you vote for them, I guess that's it.

R.H. said...

Orwell's pigs.

JahTeh said...

Phil, you wastrel! Have you seen the price of cat food lately? I don't call homebrand cat food, food, it's more like tinned sewerage and I swear feral cats wouldn't touch it.

Bwca, you are now officially a genuine swaggie....with a 'hello kitty' swag.

Rh, you couldn't be abusing hard working polies, could you?

Anonymous said...

RH, Roxon was on tv tonight and I thought something was different. She was not the Roxon I used to see.

Jahteh, wasn't he on tv a few weeks ago, A Current Tonight. He sounded like a loon.

Bwca must have a luxury she shamelessly indulges in?

R.H. said...

During all her years in opposition she looked very plain: drab, overweight, stringy hair; a true battler. But then, ugly sister Howard departs -and WOW!- Cinderella!!! Jewellery an' all!
I'm waiting for campaign time next election, waiting to see her became a scrubber again. I want to watch her lose her glass slipper. (Maybe Brendan will pick it up?)

Wooh!- where's my pumpkin!

Jayne said...

I'd have to actually earn more than $50,000 to save any of it and that guy's a twit!

JahTeh said...

Andrew, if he was on TV I bet he was paid for it.
The Bwca indulges in Bombay Sapphire and I help.

Ever the old romantic, Rh.

Jayne, the man's living in Lala land but I bet the kids rebel and spend all his money when he croaks.

River said...

Some of the home-brand groceries aren't bad. For instance things like flour and sugar where the taste is completely taken over by what you cook with it (nobody ever eats a spoonful of flour, right? they bake a cake..)Other things that are one use disposable such as paper towels are good too. Why pay big bucks for something to mop up a grease/food spill then throw away? Homebrand cat and dog food is horrible though. NO pet of my acquaintance will touch it.

JahTeh said...

River, never try to make a scone or a sponge with namebrand flour. When I changed back to my favourite brand, everything rose beautifully.

R.H. said...

You're so right about Homebrand pet food, my dogs won't eat it. The only time they did eat it was after it had been in their bowls two days and they were very hungry. I waited them out as an experiment.

Middle Child said...

Gotta have christmas... already buy clothes at the local Smiths (good brands too) but a long way from $50,000.

How can you save that much if you only get in the 20's or 10's? Doesn't make sense.