More saving tips from the pensioner who lives on just $5000 per year!

Ilona Richards is Britain’s stingiest woman, but it’s a title she is proud of. The pensioner lives on just $5000
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Ilona Richards is Britain’s stingiest woman, but it’s a title she is proud of. The pensioner lives on just $5000 a year in government entitlements, and her original list of tips was published by Starts at Sixty HERE. However, Ilona’s latest tips might be a little unbelievable for some people.

When Starts At Sixty first introduced readers to 66-year-old Ilona, they were enthralled. Some people did find her budget ideas a little much though. “There’s a difference between living and existing”, one reader observed.

Now Ilona is back with even more extreme saving tips. “When your knickers wear out, replace them with boys pants”, Ilona tells women on a budget. “They are stronger and last a lot longer”.

“It’s true, I have been wearing boys and mens pants for years, some of them have lasted up to ten years. Womens knickers stretch, they go baggy, the elastic comes off and the lace comes adrift, in no time they will look tatty. Buy mens pants, give it a try”.

Even more unusually, Ilona recommends changing the way you brush your teeth. “Only use toothpaste once a day, in the morning to freshen your mouth. You don’t need to squirt loads onto your brush, just a small amount”.

“You can brush your teeth several times throughout the day with just water. It’s removing the remains of your food which is important, and not leaving it to rot between your teeth causing decay”.

Ilona also believes that budgeters could become more conservative with stationary. “Write in very small writing then you will use less ink and your pen will last longer”, she says.

“This is a bit of fun, but it illustrates the point of doing the same job (writing a letter say) in a different way to save money, no matter how minuscule the amount is. It encourages thinking outside the box, and inventing your own methods”.

The retired truck driver also knows a thing a two about cars, and says we could save money by driving carefully. “Smooth acceleration and braking uses less fuel”, Ilona explains. “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. (When) approaching a roundabout ease off the gas pedal, let the car slow down naturally, then apply the brakes at the last minute if you need to stop”.

You can read the original list of Ilona’s budget tips HERE. “I love life, and it needn’t cost a fortune to enjoy it”, she says. However, Ilona’s approach could still be a little extreme for some people.

Would you live with such extreme budget measures? Or do you try to manage your money in other ways?

  1. Trish Daley

    I’m sorry but I don’t need to be told by some one who doesn’t live in Australia how to live on a low income, I have been budgeting for many years and live within my means and although our GOVERNMENT DOES EVERYTHING in its power to make pensioners lives difficult here, I will continue to find my own ways of dealing with it. Australia’s cost of living is one of the highest in the world therefore we are FORCED to find new ways of saving a dollar. I will not resort to these ideas thank you.

    • Eileen Healey

      I totally agree. Also the amount that she states is in pounds so in fact it’s around $10,000 our money. As you said our cost of living( I am in Perth) is one of the highest in the world and we do not get free medicine etc like they do in the UK. I have budgeted all my life and still have to but there is no way that I could or would resort to her measures. I am also pretty sure that pensioners get free heating in the winter over there or at least an allowance for it. We certainly don’t get that for our cooling in the summer.

    • Eileen Healey

      I totally agree. Also the amount that she states is in pounds so in fact it’s around $10,000 our money. As you said our cost of living( I am in Perth) is one of the highest in the world and we do not get free medicine etc like they do in the UK. I have budgeted all my life and still have to but there is no way that I could or would resort to her measures. I am also pretty sure that pensioners get free heating in the winter over there or at least an allowance for it. We certainly don’t get that for our cooling in the summer.

    • Trish Daley

      Agree Eileen, you just can’t compare apples to oranges it doesn’t work, and I will never stoop to some of the things she does to save a dollar not so long as I have pride in myself.

    • Trish Daley

      Agree Eileen, you just can’t compare apples to oranges it doesn’t work, and I will never stoop to some of the things she does to save a dollar not so long as I have pride in myself.

    • Ruth Hourigan

      Aparently they also get free govt housing and free travel on publuc transport. All things we in Australia have to pay for.

    • Ruth Hourigan

      Lee Keller
      I live in SA and we don’t even have any public transport where we are. So it’s not for everyone.

  2. Brenda Griffiths

    I don’t believe she lives on $5000 (&2500 ) what about house and contents insurance, car insurance,ph,electricity, and any thing else that is basic. That’s before you start on everyday living expenses

    • Trish Daley

      Brenda Griffiths after you factor in the BS, less all her amenities bills maybe she does, however there is no other way that’s possible.

    • Elizabeth Thomas

      As I said the last time this was posted,I am aBritish Pensioner & the minimum government pension is about £7800 per year so I don’t know where this figure of £5000 comes from.

    • Elizabeth Thomas

      As I said the last time this was posted,I am aBritish Pensioner & the minimum government pension is about £7800 per year so I don’t know where this figure of £5000 comes from.

    • Barb Coleman

      I have read similar tropes from the U.S.,some of them dating from the 70s & 80s. We tend to forget that our parents generation was referred to as the “frugals” for a reason – usually a childhood during the depression, or wartime disruption. A lot of the things we take for granted as “needs” are not really that. It’s all about how we want to live, and how we want to leave our world for the next few generations.

    • Barb Coleman

      I have read similar tropes from the U.S.,some of them dating from the 70s & 80s. We tend to forget that our parents generation was referred to as the “frugals” for a reason – usually a childhood during the depression, or wartime disruption. A lot of the things we take for granted as “needs” are not really that. It’s all about how we want to live, and how we want to leave our world for the next few generations.

    • Barbara Gaston

      Barb Coleman necessity, I believe!! Pension in Aust is $865. (Single)Fortnight. Plus we get good cuts on utilities etc.

    • Vicki Orr

      I am with you Brenda i think she has money just chooses to exist on £5ooo thousand dollars .I dont care what anyone says she is not living only this amount of money .Must be bread and water .

    • Janice D

      Exactly my first thoughts! Household expenses would come to the $5000 without any living expenses. Gas, electricity, council rates (or rent) home maintenance, insurances, upkeep of a car…..etc etc…..before you even get to food or clothing!

  3. Anne Blyth  

    Some of her tips are just common sense eg. Driving to save fuel. A dentist told me years ago that you only need a tiny bit of toothpaste on your brush, covering the brush is wastage and only making the manufacturers richer.

  4. Julia Metcalfe

    I’d be interested to know WHY she’s living off the smell of an oily rag. I’m pretty sure the UK pension is more than that. So, why?

    • Julia Metcalfe

      Annette Elliott So, fair enough. If she’s just living like that and putting her spare ££ under the bed, that’s stupid. If she’s living frugally so she can spend the money on something she wants, well why not?

  5. Judy Williamson

    Whats the point of living if you have to pinch and scrape to that extent. You cant take it with you.

    • Nita Crompton

      You would think so. In her first post she said she liked long walks but didn’t mention sharing them. I think she would be a bit irritating.

    • Monica Cumming

      Yes she said that was how to exercise. Lucky her .. I stumble around the house and hang on to shopping trolleys for dear life. Thats why I was amazed at her skip diving for food .. I couldn’t climb in the skip even if I wanted too the mind boggles at trying to climb out of it.

  6. Anne Webber

    Firstly, $5000 or 5000 pounds, big difference…secondly how can one compare an English pension to an Australian one as an English pension has more entitlements 🌸

  7. Anne Webber

    Firstly, $5000 or 5000 pounds, big difference…secondly how can one compare an English pension to an Australian one as an English pension has more entitlements? 🌸

  8. Glenda Draper

    A lot of what she says is doable esp saving on electricity and water. But there are still things like phone bills insurance, doctors bils dentist bills. We are fairly frugal but you have to have a few luxuries now and the

    • Elizabeth Thomas

      In Britain if a person is living on just government pension,you don’t pay for medicine or doctors & dentists or any travel costs (London) it is all free.The minimum govt pension is about £7800 per annum.

  9. Angie Wood

    Why should we have to live at scrounging levels after we have worked out backsides off all our lives Gone without and made sacrifices already and have to pull the belt in all the way It’s criminal just to line the fat pockets of the rich
    Why should we have to reduce ourselves to pauper state it’s like we have worked hard all those years for absolutely nothing that makes us all SLAVES !!!!

    • Angie Wood

      Not really we both worked hard to raise our kids pay a house off etc we were not all that well off

  10. Shauna Waters

    I’ve known a few mean people who are just like her and they are really hard to be around. The stinginess doesn’t just stop at looking after their own money.

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