Living Life to The Fullest While Keeping The Expenses Low

Kia Ora Cheapies,

Lately I’ve thinking of reducing my working hours and trade off for quality time with my young twins.
Sick of this working hard 40-50 hours and pay higher costs of living.
So now wanna do as less as possible but save as much as possible on basics like power, gas, food, net etc etc.

I would love to experiment it for 2 months during summer and see how it goes.

Any suggestions please??

Sorry to add at the last, the situation is tough as I’ve lost my job but have decent savings to go on for a year. Also I’m helping a friend driving his van for around 20 hours to not to eat all my savings.

  1. I’ve already got a boarder to save rent.
  2. Using Kogan $5 plans for me and mrs as a second sim for data
  3. Driving as less as possible and using waitomo discounts.
  4. Thanks to fellow cheapies bought disney+ for a month for kids now waiting for flybuys for fuel discount.
  5. Power night rates with contact (not sure if I should stick to them)
  6. Going vegan but being vegan isn’t that cheap. To make it easier growing veggies in backyard (looking for food discounts)
  7. Using Caltex for gas bottle ($23/8kg)
  8. Buying bulk toiletries from 1day when they’re on sale.
    9 using YouTube premium via Argentina VPN only paying $1.75.
  9. Sharing a friend’s Netflix, although don’t watch much.

Not worried about loosing work but rather taking it positively to try life through a new lens.


  • +5

    I guess the first thing to do is create a budget spreadsheet and figure out what it is you're paying and possible savings opportunities. Get your power rates, internet usage details, food bills, car traveling distance etc.

    Then figure out how dedicated you are to saving. Quite a few Cheapies are on that free power at night with Contact Energy, but I do not have the energy to wait until 9PM to turn on the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, have a shower etc.

    Could you change utility companies? Could you be more specific with your spending so that you get cheaper fuel? Go for a walk instead of watching TV? Switch supermarkets? Change phone plan?

    • +1

      Sorry I didn’t mention that to begin with but have edited my post to better describe my current situation.

  • +1

    When I was in Australia I negotiated with my boss to work 9-day fortnights for about a year (agreed to take an equivalent 10% cut as we could afford it) and absolutely loved having a weekday off to do whatever, or have a long weekend away, or go to school events, etc. I'd usually take every other Friday off but they were flexible and let me take whichever day suited me. The next year I did the same but also used saved annual leave, strategically placed my days off to avoid existing long weekend holidays so as to maximise the number of long weekends I had. I basically only worked 4-day weeks that whole year. It was fantastic.

    Loved it and yearn to do it again but circumstances don't allow just yet. But yes, highly recommended if you can afford it, it will give you a new lease on life. Your employer may even allow you to do it without a pay cut (working slightly longer hours each day to make up time).

    I'd start with that - don't jeopardise the job you have unless you know you can easily get a new one. Or even better, look for a new job that will pay more and offer the flexibility you want.

    Good luck!

    • What a great employer you had mate.

  • I thought I'd also add: make sure you consider long-term savings. If you're looking at the possibility of earning less then consider what impact that might have on Kiwisaver contributions or other retirement nest eggs you are building. Living costs and savings/investments will both rise over time, so make sure you're not using potential future savings to live day-to-day now. Also consider other long-term investments and make sure you put some aside for that from whatever savings you make in other areas.

    • That’s something to consider. Thanks mate.
      Hopefully I won’t be too much off track for just two months. Just wanna live summer with kids n mrs.
      From feb onwards hopefully I’ll have full time work in hand.

  • +1

    Fruit world and the like are consistently cheaper for produce and sell a great range of cooking staples, which helps keep a plant based diet cheap.

    Mopeds are also great for local travel requirements, I had a petrol moped that I bought for $500 and cost approximately $0.10/KM, no WOF and cheaper rego. I've since moved to an electric moped with obviously much higher initial costs, but approximately $0.02/km to run on power.

    • Moped is a great idea for long term savings.
      Thanks for recommending fruit world I’ll google it.

      • +1

        Sometimes during closing times, they might give you cheaper deal on some produce which might go bad. Better to ask.

        • Yes! They will never (in my experience) offer it themselves, but they are often willing to 'deal'.

  • +4

    Avoid unneccessary purchases on Cheapies, lol

    I work a 24 hour/4 day week, another colleague works 4 x 10 hour days each week.
    I also negotiated that any overtime would be TIL that could be used in the school holidays.

    • I agree, don’t know how much savings i made on cheapies rather than compulsive buying.
      Avoiding it these days completely.

  • Ask if you need it rather than want it before you buy. Reuse where ever possible.

  • +2

    revisit your insurance costs, are you still getting the best deal.

  • We are members of our community garden that grows and gives away surplus produce. Is there one in your area?

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