Money lessons from the Olden Days

By Monica van Riet - Mortgage Choice South Melbourne


With the New Financial Year upon us, it’s time to take stock and reassess our financial goals for the year ahead. Do you want to buy that dream home or investment property, go on a lavish holiday around the world, or buy a fast new motorbike, but find you don’t seem to have any of your pay left over for savings at the end of the month?

Here are my ‘Top Tips’ on how you can save extra money just by changing the way you go about your daily life:

 1.       Make your own meals and freeze them

You have to be quite organised, and potentially spend an hour or two on the weekend in preparation, however it can save you a LOT of money in the long run. Why not make a 10L pot of Winter Vegetable Soup, or get your Slow Cooker out and make enough Beef Stroganoff to last a week. Stick the left overs in the freezer for later.  It will not only save you time during the week, but save you significant money, and be much healthier for you than readymade or take away food.


 2.       Buy recycled clothing

Never discount what you might find in a Second hand clothing store, (or Op Shop as we like to call them). You’ll be surprised what items of clothing or even household gems you’ll find for next to nothing. My tip is go to the larger stores that are major drop off/collection points for donations. Some suburbs may also have higher quality products over others, ie inner City. Even ask if you can volunteer, then you’ll get first pick at the goods, and cheaper prices.


 3.       Fix your clothes and shoes

It really is not that hard to put a button back on a shirt, or fix a hem which has fallen down. Taking your shoes to the Shoe Guy at the local shopping centre will also help you save a lot of money over buying an expensive new pari. Even if your dress has become a little tight, take it to the tailor to have it mended. Why throw it out when it might cost you $30 to fix.


 4.       Holiday locally

Instead of going overseas for a week or two in Thailand or Europe, why not go camping down the coast, or take a drive down to your neighbouring State, and visit a town you’ve never been to. Stay in a rented villa/apartment where you can also prepare your own meals, instead of needing to eat out all the time. You can even stay with friends and family to save money, pitch a tent in their backyard or take a swag!


 5.       Grow your own food

You’ll be amazed at how easy it can be to grow herbs, leafy green vegetables, and even fruit in a small backyard. You can pick up pots cheap from the hardware store or Op Shop, and then all you need to do is buy some potting mix and seedlings (or seeds), and get potting. Start a worm farm so you can compost all of your own food scraps, and use this as fertilizer. It’s a great way to entertain yourself on the weekend, and you’ll have an endless supply of fresh organic healthy food at your fingertips!


For more ideas and thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. Please call Monica van Riet on 03 9681 8182 or 0401 677 314. You can also email at

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