to strip our life style back to basics?

(37 Posts)
ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 15:35:51

We manage ok money wise but like most people have to be careful with everything. What I realised is we have become so consumerist, we do menu planning and shop for what we need in Lidl but at least 3 times a week I go into B&M for sweets, crisps, beer or little things and spend a tenner at least every time. We all take pack ups but then dd's buy sweets and biscuits on top. If I take a tenner out of the bank it goes that day no matter what. Our house is full of stuff that doesn't get used the kids want barely anything for christmas as they already have everything. I have worked out a budget that covers all the costs such as guides and £1 for sweets on a friday the kids £1 pocket money at the weekend and a couple of beers for dh on a friday night with a little bit of spare for those unforseen extras. WIBU to make us stick to it? We don't need any more stuff, we need to appreciate and get pleasure from the things we already have. The way I see it the house would be tidier and we would have more £££ for rainy day money (or next April money wink). When the kids were little I was so consious of spending and environment but things just seem to have slipped. Is it doable with a 9 and 12 year old?

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Fri 23-Oct-15 15:38:50

Do it! And get the kids involved too.

Plan a bigger treat (full day out? Camping week?)

Put a jar in the kitchen or by the tv... Every time somebody wants 'junk', ask if you really need it? If not, put the cash in the jar. Everybody can see the savings grow toward the treat.

ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 15:45:40

I like that idea, the thing that triggered me thinking was an invite to a guides camping weekend and I am trying to work out where the money will come from. I think it will do them good to realise that if you want one good thing you have to give up some other things. I am as bad though, I take my lunch to uni and if someone says they are going to subway I can't resist.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Fri 23-Oct-15 16:00:10

Agree to try it for a month. If it works, carry on!

JoySzasz Fri 23-Oct-15 16:02:42

I think you've had a good idea. We are like youyou, careful. I do think we could try harder though!
Good luck.

OurBlanche Fri 23-Oct-15 16:12:02

Do it! It is fun smile

We turned out a room at a time and decided what was being kept, what was being thrown, sent to charity, sold, Freegled or (my favourite) turned into something else.

The money from selling was put into a pot. Very little got thrown. A lot was put on Freegle, whatever didn't go went to charity or the bin. We also left a lot in a box marked "Free to a good home", nothing was ever left in it smile.

The things that were upcycled were packed away and, when it had all been re-made, we booked a stall in a local market, sold everything and put that money away too.

We also made decisions on what else we didn't need to buy, made a list that included the weekly cost. At the beginning of every month we re-agreed the list and put the money away.

We did lots of swaps too. Toys, books, magazines, clothes, all sorts of stuff. Facebook can be fun for that - set up a swap page with friends and family and watch it grow smile

There are all sorts of things you can do that are much more fun than you might expect.

Good luck selling the idea to your family.

WheresMyBurrito Fri 23-Oct-15 16:12:09

Sounds good to me. Good luck!

OurBlanche Fri 23-Oct-15 16:15:24

Oh! I also have a jingle jar... 1, 2 and 5p coins only.

At Christmas we will take it to places with self service tills and we will buy ourselves Christmas treats. Then we will pour the cash into the self service till. Yes, it does annoy some people, but it is cheaper than using the machines that take a % - and, to be honest, it is fun tipping a Vanish pot of small coins into the till smile

ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 16:15:53

thanks, I do like a challenge. As the kids are approaching teens I don't want them to just assume everything you want jiust appears. I have started by buying a monthly tram pass for me today, it isn't much cheaper probably only a couple of pounds, but it means I don't need to have cash on me all the time which can get spent on other things.

OurBlanche Fri 23-Oct-15 16:59:52

So find a container with a lid, not glass or you will remember there is cash in it, and put that couple of quid in it. You have started...

blueteapot Fri 23-Oct-15 16:59:54

Why dont you come join us on the frugal thread in credit crunch OP smile

ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 17:04:54

I have a spreadsheet with all outgoings and incomings on it, could I just out a line in that for money saved, then I can't spend it but ca still see it grow.

ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 17:15:43

I just worked out the tram ticket, they have a weird anniversary sale on so instead of the couple of quid it has actually saved me £15, thats a fairly good start I think. It is a 4 week ticket and I have exactly 4 weeks left using the tram so works rather well, assuming it comes. I have £4 in my purse which I intend to make me last the weekend. girls have classes in the morning so will make sure I make enough coffee to take with me in my travel mug.

LetGoOrBeDragged Fri 23-Oct-15 17:24:02

I need to do something too. Car needs an expensive part and the road tax is due. My teens seem to live in costa! I have to cut back on all the little 'incidentals', like random amazon purchases that the kids 'need'. Christmas is coming and it would be better if all these things went towards it!

megletthesecond Fri 23-Oct-15 17:29:49

I think cutting back on kids toys is a great idea. With the exception of a couple of lego sets mine don't really need anything for xmas. I'm toying with asking relatives for annual theme park tickets for them. Anything but more stuff in the house that they ignore after a day.

specialsubject Fri 23-Oct-15 17:43:58

awful lot of money being pissed away here.

stop buying tat. Stop buying crisps (Bags of fat and air). And forget sparkly-crap-mas if you don't have six months of living expenses saved up. No-one has a secure job and income can disappear in a heartbeat.

kids don't want anything for retailmas? Great. Don't buy anything. Buy some nice food (plenty of it in Lidl!) and make some special meals.

MrsMolesworth Fri 23-Oct-15 17:45:36

Good idea.

OurBlanche if you have a MetroBank near you, their change machine doesn't take any cut at all. One of those jars you feed money into, once full of pennies, is over £12.

unlucky83 Fri 23-Oct-15 17:49:00

I know this feeling...my 'sin' is I keep buying odd things off ebay and amazon. Nothing major really but lots of £5/£10/£20 spends. I buy from both with my credit card and when the bill comes (I pay it off in full every month) I'm surprised how much it is -I'm expecting it to be £60 and it is £150. (or more if big things like house/car insurance have gone on there -but I'm expecting that)
When I was skint I found the best way was to use cash and cash only Have a set amount of cash to spend a week/month for food and treats take that out the bank and nothing more for a week -you can't spend what you don't have. And it is harder to hand over your 'last' £5 note than put it on a card.
And with a card there is always the temptation to over spend (say you have a £50 budget for food - with cash you can't spend more but with a card you can spend £51 and think well its only £1 more....)
I'm thinking of having a cash pot and taking out what I'm about to spend on my card then putting it back in the bank at the end of the month to pay the card off....I think the inconvenience of doing that might slow me down if nothing else wink .

partialderivative Fri 23-Oct-15 17:50:32

Will you continue to use water from the tap?

LetGoOrBeDragged Fri 23-Oct-15 17:55:03

Mine will only drink bottled sparkling wink

BestZebbie Fri 23-Oct-15 17:56:26

Cutting back on lifestyle is for the people paying for it (you and your DH) to decide, so go for it. It seems a bit unfair to dock the children's pocket money to a lower rate if they haven't done anything to deserve fining, or was that not what you meant by mentioning the amount they'd get in your post? (as £1 per week for a 12 year old seems quite low compared to the average)

pinechesterdrawers Fri 23-Oct-15 17:57:12

Its a great idea and one we are trying too.

DH and i are sick of stuff and spending too much on weekly food bills (£150 pw on food, cleaning/ toiletries, baby milk and expensive alcohol like hendricks/posh lagers from italy for 4 of us).

Too much not thinking and grabbing convenience stuff from waitrose. Im so appalled at how lazy DH and I have got -driving to the shop to buy ready made sandwiches and spending £8 for 2 lunches!!!

We dont have the discipline for cutting out too much and have no time to sell our crap.

We have started to keep our weekly receipts and file in an envelope. Its amazing how it all adds up. I like keeping a tally and if i know we are near our new limit of £120, then we have to make do until the end of the week.

We have bags of stuff for charity/ clothes recycling and have hired a skip for more sorting by the waste company.

We too have too much stuff our DC wont play with. Family want to buy stuff for xmas - we have asked for clothes or for them to not worry about a present but i doubt they'll go for that.

DC will have a shock after half term when they realise lots of "stuff" has gone but i fear they might not actually notice!

ditavonteesed Fri 23-Oct-15 18:05:26

£1 per week pocket monbey is what we already get, they get another £1 from grandma. blush

Youarentkiddingme Fri 23-Oct-15 18:06:08

Sounds like a great idea!

I give DS £20 a month and he has to use it for toys - I don't buy them outside of Xmas and birthday. Because he's into Lego and Hornby it takes a few months to save for items.

I started giving him £5 a week cash for sweets etc and he stopped buying them/ asking for them!

So I said if he can go without when it's his money then I'd give him £2 and put £3 in a jar. If the £3 was there at the end of the week I'd add another £3.

We are off to legoland for 2 days with a hotel thrown in - it's worked well for us.

BoffinMum Fri 23-Oct-15 18:15:38

Yes, I've done a version of this and it worked well. Lapsed a bit lately but it has a lot to recommend it. especially if you bank some of the money saved and put the rest towards something that represents a really good experience for the family.

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