Few people can pinch a penny quite like Ilona Richards. We’ve mentioned the 67-year-old retired truck driver on Over60 before, and the author of the highly-popular Life After Money blog is fast becoming an internet sensation.
We’ve published Ilona’s advice before, but it turns out we were just scratching the surface. Here are six more secrets from the world’s most money-savvy senior.
1. Drive smoother, and smarter
Ilona recommends motorists take a more considered, economical approach to acceleration when they’re driving on errands. Ilona writes, “Smooth acceleration and braking uses less fuel. Don't put your foot flat down on the accelerator then brake hard. Watch what is going on in front of you and plan your driving accordingly.”
2. Shorter showers
If you’re someone who’s partial to a nice long shower, waters not the only thing going down your drain. You’re also wasting money! Ilona writes, “Don't stand around under a hot shower after you have washed yourself. It may feel nice but it is costing you money. Turn it off and get out. You have a clean body now dry yourself quickly.”
3. Don’t bother with paper towels
Ilona reckons you should use wash cloths instead of paper towels, and has a clever way to inexpensively make a set of them by recycling your old sheets or towels. Ilona writes, “Cut old sheets and towels into squares about the size of a face cloth. Hem the edges on a machine if you have one. They can be used for all kinds of cleaning jobs, for mopping up spills, for polishing, cleaning windows, kitchens and bathrooms.”
4. Why buy gifts when you can make them?
Ilona thinks there’s no need to resort to expensive, store-bought gifts, when you can make much more meaningful presents yourself. Ilona writes, “Make gifts instead of buying them, source free materials. Have a look at the stuff you throw out, the packaging, can anything be used again. Colourful card, ribbons, greetings card, fabric, wool. Take a look at the crafting videos on YouTube. Plenty of ideas there.”
5. Never, ever, waste your money on Tupperware
Storage containers don’t find their way into Ilona’s budget under any circumstances. Ilona writes, “Don't buy small plastic food boxes and bottles, use free ones, margarine tubs, ice cream tubs, coleslaw pots, drinks bottles. I have a cupboard full of saved plastic pots and bottles, it's surprising how many uses you can find for them.”
6. Keep tabs of your electronics
Utility rates aren’t getting cheaper, but odds are your last electricity bill was bigger than it had to be. Ilona says to keep tabs on electronics, writing, “Unplug all electrical appliances/gadgets in your house then only plug in the ones you must have on, like the fridge. Switch off things you aren't using and nag the children to do the same.”
What do you think of Ilona’s money saving tips?