Going Green, Money Matters

You don’t have to be a cheapskate to save money on fuel

Political instability in Egypt and a weakening Australian dollar have caused fuel prices to jump above the $1.50/L mark. Taking advantage of fuel price cycles, apps like MotorMouth, and supermarket discount vouchers are the cheapskate’s way of minimising fuel costs*, but you don’t have to be price conscious  at the pump to save money. Continue reading

Money Matters

Cars, do you really need them?

If you’re lucky enough to live near a train station, tram or bus stop, chances are you use public transport, either to get to work or school or just to avoid the hassle of driving and parking in the CBD. According to the VISTA 2007-2008 summary of survey results, however, only 7.7% of trips made in Melbourne were on public transport, whereas a whopping 77.1% of trips were in cars.

Cars are often the more reliable and convenient form of transportation. Some places just aren’t easily accessible via tram, train, or bus, and some jobs (like Cheap Geek’s new position) require cars. But if you live in inner-urban Melbourne where there are half a dozen public transport options on your doorstep, do you really need a car? Or is it just an oversized, CO2-emmiting, fuel-and-money-guzzling safety blanket? Continue reading

Thrills without frills

Going out basics

Rhonda Perky’s comment ‘no one wants to miss out all the time’ (via ‘Signs your partner/friend is budget fail’) implies that being frugal, by choice or otherwise, is incompatible with having fun. After all, food costs money and so does alcohol, a Wii Fit, and a ticket to Meredith. So how do we enjoy, enrich, and entertain ourselves with little or no money? I thought I’d start a new category, ‘Thrills without frills’, trying to address this question.

Firstly, basics. No matter where we go or what we end up doing, there are a few questions to be considered:

  • Is there a stay-at-home equivalent?

Do you need to go out to a movie, dinner or drinks with the mates or can you invite them over to your place? Arranging a video(games) night or a potluck dinner with BYO goon will usually be cheaper and ensures the evening will not end with middle-aged you in a tarty skirt trying to hustle up a city cab at 3am in the morning. Continue reading