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10 easy tips for saving on your everyday expenses

<p><strong>By Kiah Baldwin</strong></p> <p>Living in the shadow of drought has left many families looking for ways to maximise their income and optimise their savings. Spending money is easy, but saving is a different story.</p> <p>Fortunately, the well of creative ideas is not yet dry. Here are 10 simple suggestions for saving to get you started:</p> <p><strong>1. Keep a Record:</strong> While it may be frustrating to write down every purchase you make, keeping track of your spending will help you work out what you can cut down on. You&rsquo;ll be surprised how the small things begin to add up.</p> <p><strong>2. Turn things off:</strong>&nbsp; From the lights in your house or shop to more complex machinery like milking equipment, the rule is simple: if you&rsquo;re not using it, turn it off! By doing so you&rsquo;ll not only save considerable amounts on your electricity bill each month, but you&rsquo;ll also be helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p><strong>3. Be efficient with your appliances:</strong> Rather than turning on the oven every night cook several meals at once. Maybe try using your woodstove as a dryer, or as a water heater.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4. Don&rsquo;t go in unless you need something:</strong> Stores are designed to sell you things. Avoid making unnecessary trips to town and try to carry around a shopping list. Such precautions will help you to be a wiser spender.</p> <p><strong>5. Walk more:</strong> Rising fuel prices are affecting the whole country, but have a particularly significant impact on remote areas, with diesel hitting up to $2.50/litre. When possible, walk rather than driving and organise to car pool with neighbours on trips you&rsquo;re both taking.</p> <p><strong>6. Drive Wisely:</strong> Aggressive driving is not only potentially harmful to your safety and the safety of those around you, but also to your wallet. Research indicates that breaking and accelerating too quickly, particularly when driving at highway speeds, can use up to 33 per cent more petrol. So rather than reacting on the road, smile and wave through your frustration and let your bank balance do the talking.</p> <p><strong>7. Check your equipment:</strong>&nbsp; This is a case of prevention being better than a cure. Detecting and dealing with minor faults, for example a small leak in an irrigation system, is more cost effective than fixing a large-scale problem. Be scrupulous with checking your equipment and making small adjustments in order to maximise its efficiency.</p> <p><strong>8. Barter Cooperative:</strong>&nbsp; Do you grow your own tomatoes? Maybe your neighbour has prize-winning potatoes. Work out a system of exchange with others in the community. This will both save you money and help you to build relationships.</p> <p><strong>9. Share Experience:</strong> With the new Federal government&rsquo;s $150 million dollar cut in agricultural training programs, the scope for developing farm management skills and increasing productivity has narrowed. But this doesn&rsquo;t mean progress needs to come to a standstill. Instead, look at it as a change in learning style. If you&rsquo;re experiencing problems on your farm or in your small business, chances are they&rsquo;re things other people have been through too. Networking and sharing ideas and solutions with others in the community can help minimise wasted time and costs.</p> <p><strong>10. Don&rsquo;t give up:</strong> When you seem to be saving only cents at a time, it is easy to get disheartened. However, while each small contribution may not seem to make a difference, over time it will begin to add up. Persevere, and your sense will multiply cents.</p>

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