The $1,000 Plan: Day Twenty-Five

It is Day Twenty-Five of The $1,000 Plan and today I wanted to share & reiterate what have proven to be 5 helpful tips for my own household over the weeks we have been working towards the goal of The $1,000 Plan.

I hope by sharing these 5 helpful tips they may prove to be helpful for your own household, particularly if you are currently endeavouring to achieve a financial breakthrough also.

The 5 helpful tips are as follows:

1. Make using what is currently in your freezer or pantry a priorty, when it comes to planning & making meals. It has helped my own household tremendously, over the weeks we have been working on The $1,000 Plan, to always shop the freezer and food pantry first. If you shop from what you already have at home, to help plan and put together a meal, you are making the most of your current available resources.

With a little creativity, innovation and a bit of research (online or via your collection of recipe books) it can sometimes work out that you can create several meals from just one 500 gram pack of mincemeat. The simplest of ingredients can often surprisingly lend themselves to the most delicious as well as nutritious of meals.

Being able to plan ahead and plan creatively, when it comes to each & every household meal, helps towards achieving a hoped for financial goal. Your freezer might just stock what you need for a week or two of wonderful might even supply you with even more!

When you shop your freezer and pantry first before doing a grocery shop, it also helps with keeping track of use by dates of frozen items as well. Rather than discovering sadly that there were items lurking in the depths of the freezer that are now no longer food safe, a regular audit helps to keep food rotation occurring.

Alongside keeping the need to grocery shop within budget being carefully met, by shopping your freezer you are kept up to date with the actual contents of what you have on hand within your freezer. Why discover too late that what you purchased on sale 12 months ago, is now freezer burnt and no longer consumable? Shopping from the freezer or pantry is a very wise means of keeping within a concise food budget as shrewdly as you can.

2. Buy generic brands when you can. With allergies needing to be considered in my household when it comes to product buying, I know firsthand that it can be tricky to work through what can potentially be purchased from amongst the range of cheaper brands of certain products.

I choose to purchase that which does work well for my family members health-wise and budget-wise. You may not be able to buy cheaper generic brands of bread for instance, if you are a gluten-free or dairy-free household, but perhaps you could purchase a generic brand of aluminium foil instead. Choose what will work best for your household and make the most of what options you have available to you.

3. Be more conscious of your electricity consumption. Over the colder, darker winter months it can be particularly challenging to keep your electricity consumption from jumping and steadily increasing. It can be too easy to get caught in the trap of turning overhead lights on as you pass from room to room. It is wise to keep stock of just how much usage you are making of what you have available to you.

It is far better to aim to have everyone on the same page and making a combined effort to not leave lights randomly on about the house, rather than receive a shocker of an electricity bill at the end of any given month.

Can everyone work quietly in the same room with one overhead light and with one source of heating, rather than have people in multiple rooms all using different sources of light and different sources of heating?

Could ambient light be sought out instead during the daylight hours, rather than a light switch being habitually flicked?

Could a hot water bottle or two be used to warm a cold bed, rather than an electrical blanket?

Rather than everyone showering or bathing daily, could you set up a rotation over the colder winter months, so everyone has their shower or bath on alternate days?

Give your use of electricity greater thought, as it can make a significant difference to your overall utility bill each month, and also to how you go about achieving your financial breakthrough goal.

4. Set up automatic payments where you can. When you make partial payments, over a greater length of time, rather than as a lump sum payment biannually or annually it helps to not make things too tight and uncomfortable on the financial front when those payments are finally due. 

It helps cut down the worry that can linger in the back of your mind about making and keeping up with utility payments when you make regular part payments via automation. We have found it helps clarify what is truly left each payday, as those payments that are defined commitments are dealt with first and foremost always, via the automation process.

Keeping on top of payments lessens one's overall worry and stress. Plus, it helps to provide a clearer picture of just how the balance of expenditure versus income is really going. An automatic payment ensures your financial commitments will be served first and served well.

5. Use your surplus to generate additional income. If you have surplus items that you no longer require, it can be wise to look at selling them. We recently sold a no longer required small outdoor shed and are looking forward to using the money gained to purchase some firewood.

Over the winter months it can be a good opportunity to do some decluttering and list things for sale online on Trade Me or other local sale sites. This can sometimes help generate some additional income and help aid achieving your hoped for financial goal. 

The bonus of decluttering is that you not only gain extra space around your home & property, but you also gain some potential extra dollars also. These are both wonderful pluses, when it comes to making the most of your current resources and what is surplus. 

It really is my sincere hope that by sharing these 5 helpful tips, they may prove to be helpful for your own household, particularly if you are currently endeavouring to achieve a financial breakthrough also. It takes perseverance and often courage to make changes, and where we can learn and gain from the experiences of others, I personally have always appreciated having the insights shared with me. May these 5 tips prove to be helpful for someone else also.

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