I like this idea, really, but I suspect the phone and electricity companies will have trouble accepting this as an excuse.
So assuming I'm going to have to actually pay my bills, the next best thing to do is to keep the expenses as low as possible. (By the way, I have received my quarterly payment now, I'm not about to starve or go homeless.)
One of the best places I have found to go for information on how to save money from week to week is at Cheapskates Club. They have all sorts of hints and tips on reducing the cost of basic household expenses - simple things like using both shelves of the oven instead of just one - making the same energy to twice as much work. There's more complex things, like how to make your own washing powder, for a couple of dollars for six months supply.
The Cheapskates Club produces a free email newsletter with money-saving ideas.
The same people have also written a book called Debt Free Cashed Up and Laughing, which I read before I discovered the website. It has a lot of the household hints and tips (and the washing powder recipe.)
There are government-sponsored websites which help with ways to save money, or make better use of money. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission MoneySmart website gives advice on household budgeting, avoiding scams, just about everything else you can think of involving money.
The Federal Government Living Greener website gives advice on saving energy and water and avoiding waste. These are other ways of saving money, with a bonus of cutting back on pollution as well.
Having had my income reduce dramatically over the past few years, has taught me is that many of the things Australians spend our money on are not really necessary. Of those things that are necessary, there are often cheaper ways to do them.
ASIC MoneySmart website www.moneysmart.gov.au
Australian Government LivingGreener website www.livinggreener.gov.au
Cheapskates Club, cheapskates.com.au
Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing