Having spent a few days thinking matters over, I have identified a number of potential cost savings. These are:
1. en primeur wine: With the season nearing its end, I am being bombarded with e-mails from the wine merchants. This year I will limit myself to a single case of mid priced wine for future consumption. I have deleted my multi-case "wish list";
2. food: I can save a bit of money with my lunches and snacks without compromising the quality of the food. Fruit and other items purchased at the supermarket is a lot cheaper than food purchased at the likes of Pret, Mix etc. I also have the option of attending various training courses which usually come with a sandwich lunch. Sitting through a training course that I do not really need is a pretty high price to pay for a "free" lunch but when I am trying to get into some better spending habits, every gesture helps;
3. wine (again): in terms of the wine purchased for drinking at home, I will set a price limit on purchases. In case you hadn't guessed, my wine consumption is a bit more than what my doctor would suggest is optimal. In any case, I will be spending more time looking at the bin end specials and less time reading the reviews of the more expensive stuff;
4. personal training: I signed up for a set of personal training sessions as a means of motivating myself to get into the gym a bit more often. When the current set runs out in September, I will not sign up for any more sessions. I will have to look at the waistline as a source of motivation.
The two economies I considered but do not intend to implement are:
A. taking the bus instead of a taxi: taking a bus will save me HK$25 per trip. This is a worthwhile saving. Unfortunately the price of that saving is often not seeing my children before they go to bed in the evenings. Family is more important than the savings;
B. charity: I tend to give quite freely when friends and colleagues are looking for support for various charitable endeavours. While there is no obligation to give, I would prefer to continue to support worthwhile causes.
The above ideas are not much, but I have to start tightening the purse strings somewhere.