Archive for the ‘Save Money’ Category

No time to Get Organised?

June 20, 2012

Think you have no time to get organised?  I’ll bring you a series of quick tasks that will make a big difference, and they only take 5 minutes or less.  Yes, work your way to organised in just 5 minute increments.

Today’s 5 Minute Organiser Tip is…

Stop Junk Mail Coming in the Door.

Grab your Dymo Labelmaker or a felt tip pen and some masking tape or a sticker.  Create a “No Junk Mail” sticker and put it where it will be seen by the postie.

That’s it, you’re done.

No more junk mail taking up space and time and money.


Conscious Shopping Mini Course

March 22, 2012

Jill Chivers, creator of My Year Without Clothes Shopping, has developed a 6-week Conscious Shopping Mini Course, designed to help you identify how and why you shop, as well as giving you skills to change your relationship with shopping.

She identifies common driving forces for compulsive and over-shoppers while suggesting tactics to overcome these impulses and find the shopping buzz without spending money.  Especially helpful is the support provided through this course – twice weekly course content, coupled with regular blog articles help keep you on track to achieving the main course objective, without being overwhelmed by homework or feeling stranded between sessions.

The 6-week Conscious Shopping Mini Course is a fantastic introduction to her program, offering helpful hints and moments for self-reflection to help you become a more conscious shopper.

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #2

December 31, 2011

In the 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects, mistake #2 was

Buy the storage solutions at the start of the project

Why is that a big mistake?

Frankly, it’s not uncommon for me to arrive at an organising consultation to find a room piled high with neat boxes and baskets and containers, all as yet unused, all representing a significant $ investment, and actually causing some of the clutter problem I am there to help out with.

And what’s more…

  1. Until the first stages of the project are completed – sorting, purging, organising – you can’t accurately determine how much, which type or size of container or other product you’ll need.
  2. Storage solutions are very often someone else’s (typically a manufacturer or retailer) idea of what you need.
  3. They can rack up to quite an investment, and that’s not something you want to take a stab in the dark at.
  4. And you may well not need anything new at all.  Often it’s possible to reuse things already on hand.

The right time to think about storage solutions is towards the end of the project when you will get a much clearer picture of what sort is required, what will look good in the space and how much you will need.

Read more in The Truth about Storage Solutions.

Next time we’ll tackle mistake #3.


Ready Set Christmas – Greetings

December 12, 2011

Are you one of those people who uses Christmas as an opportunity to tell those you care about that they are thought of?

Or are you one of those people who feel obliged to exchange Christmas cards because that’s what you’ve always done and that’s just the way it is… and you secretly wish you didn’t have to, since there are so many things to do and you just don’t have time and besides it costs a heap of money on stamps and cards that get thrown out in January anyway?  (phew!)

Or are you one of those people who has declared to friends that you don’t do cards and would much rather greet them in person or via phone?

No matter which person you are right now, which one would you like to be???  Whatever you decide to do about Christmas cards will be the right decision.

Make it easy on yourself by

  1. decluttering your Christmas card list and only send to those you  have or want to have a real connection with
  2. keeping it simple – no need to give cards to people you’ll greet in person.  A hug and a smile say so much more
  3. sending virtual cards or using an online service to create real cards

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – the Budget

December 7, 2011

Lots of money gets spent this time of year.  Have you budgeted for it?  It’s not too late to start.  Seriously.

Just because you’ve spent up big till now doesn’t mean you can’t take control of the finances from this point forward.  Start with a snapshot of where you are now.  How much have you already spent on presents, food, travel plans, decorations, drinks?

Know thine enemy.  In other words, get realistic about the budget.  Stare it in the face.  Then at least you’ll know what you’re dealing and will be able to make informed choices.

Closing your eyes till January is no financial strategy.

Get real and good luck!

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Not Gifting

December 3, 2011

For various reasons, you may choose (or wish you could) not to give gifts this festive season.  Or just reduce the number of gifts you’ll give.

Whether it’s to ease the budget, your stress, others’ expectations, landfill or any other reason, NOT gifting is an option.  But how do you break the news?

Feel free to borrow this line from me –

In lieu of gifts, I’ll be exchanging hugs this year.

or not.  By the way, would love to hear how gifting (or not) it works for you.

Ready Set Christmas – the Gift Hoard

December 2, 2011

With all the pressure to get the gift shopping done, you could be forgiven for feeling the urge to grab the car keys and head out to the shops, or to spend time at the keyboard checking online gift options.  But before you do…

Shop at home first.

Just like with meal planning or clothes or school supply shopping, it pays to take stock of what you already have on hand before going out to spend more money.

My guess is, if you are in the majority, that you already have a stash of gifts you’ve purchased over the year(s) and kept safe.  And here’s the thing – if you don’t give them this Christmas, ask yourself when will be the right time?  What are you waiting for?

Start by checking in all the places you keep gifts “for later” or “just in case”.  Now make a list of all the inventory.  Against that list, can you make allocations to people you normally give to?

Likely there will be gifts left unallocated.  Unless you have bought them with some person or occasion in particular in mind, consider donating them.  Local shopping centres have giving trees.  You could wrap those unallocated gifts and have the joy of giving, even if you don’t know the recipient.

So today’s message is

  1. Shop at home first
  2. Donate the gift hoard
  3. or not 😉

Christmas Past 2

November 24, 2011

Last year in the lead up to Christmas I posted a series on Christmas Shortcuts, hoping to make this sometimes stressful time of year a little easier on folk.  Some suggestions were a little too much to bear for some – could you do away with Christmas cards all together?

Lovely Leftovers

September 26, 2011

Are there leftovers from the weekend in your fridge?  What are you plans for them?

After a Sunday full of visitors and good food, here’s what’s happening at my house…

  • Half an avocado will provide an easy lunch (avocado on toast with some salt & pepper)
  • Leftover Spanish Chicken & Chorizo Bake will make 2 hot lunches or one evening meal
  • Extra steamed asparagus and roasted tomato will make a head start on tonight’s dinner
  • Extra upside-down berry cakes make a luscious treat or dessert, with enough to freeze in individual portions as well
  • the remains of a bottle of red wine will go into a spaghetti sauce

We’d love to hear about clever things you do with leftovers.

Top 5 Apps on my iPhone

August 9, 2011

I know from the outset that my list of Top 5 iPhone apps is by no means conclusive, complete or even groundbreaking.  But here it is, the apps that keep me happy.

  1. Invoice2Go – makes invoicing on the road quick and simple, sending a copy of the invoice to the client, my office and to my bookkeeper
  2. VicRoads apps – this one’s more than just one app recommendation.  I like the VicTraffic and SmartPark apps, again good for being on the road
  3. WiFi Finder – another one that helps when you’re not at home base.  Who doesn’t want to access free WiFi?
  4. Urbanspoon – a great one when you are on the road and want a reliable recommendation for a bite to eat. Love the photos and reviews from fellow diners
  5. The Specials Board – currently only available in Melbourne and Sydney, this app hunts down great deals on meals.  Just log in and select the deal you want and you’ll be given a code to take advantage of the current special

What’s your favourite App?