Money saving tips for the new year

(282 Posts)
MushyPeace Fri 28-Dec-12 00:45:52

New year, new start and all that... Anyone have any fab money saving tips?

Just due to everyday costs I have somehow managed to run up £5k debt and am so embarrassedhmm. I don't budget well. DP and I have been taking about having a baby soon (not getting any younger) and I just can't go into it knowing I have this debt. AF was three days late until today and while i would be so happy to be preg I am also relieved I am not. hmm

So what's your top tip?

I am so far trying the budget supermarkets smile and it will be packed lunches from now on. I will also eBay anything and everything!

ClassFree Fri 28-Dec-12 00:52:13

Treat your money like it was someone else's. Be able to account for where it is spent, how much, and that what ever you spend it on is good value for money.
I have been trying this for a bit now, and I am spending far less on impulse buys.
I am happy to see this thread, I can use some more tips too!

ZenNudist Fri 28-Dec-12 00:55:44

I'm rearranging my finances to pay off more on my mortgage over saving at the moment as long term benefits will be better.

I'm also taking control of my pension funds and am going to review my investments annually from now on.

BoerWarKids Fri 28-Dec-12 01:02:25

What works for me;

Writing down everything I spend

Always having drink and snack/lunch in my bag so I don't have to buy out. With me it's the little things that I fritter money on

Buy all birthday cards in bulk at beginning of the year

Go through all your direct debits and see if you can cancel or change anything

Where possible walk instead of car/public transport

Don't feel any shame in buying second hand. Think of it as environmentally friendly! wink

Basically I've changed my outlook. I try wherever I can to do free/cheap things. I only shop now when I absolutely need to, I don't shop as a leisure activity I just can't afford it anymore.

The Credit Crunch topic on here is very helpful smile

Watching with interest smile

Meal-plan. Go one 'point' down on every supermarket buy: eg. if you buy 'best of' go to normal, if you buy normal go to 'basics', etc. You'd be surprised - tinned fruit and tomatoes, etc the budget brands are fine.

I live in an area where there's bargain shops - loads of cheap stuff!

Joining thread. Got 1.5k debt (though 400 of that it because I'm waiting for some expenses back from work, they're late due to Christmas and so ive taken out a wonga loan blush)

I need, by the end of 2013, to have at least 6 grand in savings towards a house deposit and be debt free.

My problem is I fritter away money on crap. I earn 1800 quid a month for gods sake and pay out about 800 so there is NO excuse for not saving angry

I'm dieting in Jan. So no buying food out, no buying clothes until I'm in the next size down and need them. Good luck OP and others

lemontruffles Fri 28-Dec-12 01:53:44

Meal plan - its fun once you get into it. My teenage son loves it, and has even started cooking with me because he's interested in the meals hes chosen.

Pay in cash, not by card. Only take out a set amount each week, and stick to that amount. You quickly relearn how to add up as you shop! And if you don't have the cash, you cant buy it.

Look out for freebies, discounts, offers. There are lots around.

Join money saving expert, read the valuable advice, and read/join the very helpful credit crunch forums.

Walking is free, and family friendly; cycling good too, if you have bikes.

Walk whenever you can. Healthier and if you have a vehicle, cheaper.

Make do and mend, the old wartime slogan! Thrift is back!

Batch cook, and freeze.

Take small picnics, snacks, and flasks of hot chocolate when you take kids out. Mine loved picnics when they were little, whatever the weather! Buying food and drinks out really mounts up.

I am gradually whittling away a big whole heap of debt this way, and now that I'm becoming much thriftier, I can't believe how much money I wasted in the past!

sashh Fri 28-Dec-12 03:04:42

Join an online cash back site.
Everytime you shop online

a) go via the cash back site.
b) type "voucher code for (which ever shop you are buying from)"

Doing ^ ^ saved me over £100 on my laptop (I was getting an expensive one)

Turn the thermostat down 1 degree and wear a cardigan / jumper. If you are in a T shirt you do not need the heating on.

Get a smart meter so you know exactly how much gas and electric you are using.

Mine actually stopped working, I got a phone call from Eon, my meter hadn't sent information for 6 weeks so it had to be replaced, so I got 6 weeks free gas.

3mily Fri 28-Dec-12 03:24:11

I'm just marking my place as I am a terrible spender and my goal this year is to stop spending money on crap, pay off my credit card (£1000) and have at least £500 in savings.

I agree, Topcashback is great smile

MushyPeace Fri 28-Dec-12 11:53:41

Never heard of the cash back site!

I'm already thinking of free entertainment - I spend a lot on going out and seeing friends...

Can anyone recommend a budgeting/money app for iPhone?

And Anyone else with tips?? smilesmile

LittleMissKitschmas Fri 28-Dec-12 12:01:23

I shop a lot at Tesco because it's the only supermarket close enough to public transport for me to use sensibly. I use the Christmas saver points scheme. All my club card points are saved until the end of November, and I ten double them up on toys for the kids for Christmas. That was £120 of 'free' toys this year.

MsElleTow Fri 28-Dec-12 12:04:53

Have you got a Home Bargains near you? They are so cheap for toiletries and cleaning stuff. They, also, tend to have food stuff in there cheap as well.

Bulk meals like shepherds pie, bolognaise out with lentils.

Lidl's washing powder is brilliant. It is only £6.99 for a massive box, it lasts for ages as you need hardly any.

Bake your own cakes/treats. I use basics flour and have had no complaints.

We have a soup night once a week. I use up whatever veg we have in the fridge. DH takes it to work for his lunch a couple of days and DS1 and I have it at home too.

quoteunquote Fri 28-Dec-12 12:06:16

Stop going into shops, I don't (very rarely) so I spend very little.

Stop coveting things,

Get into the great outdoors, it's free, complete entertainment, and consumes all your free time.

Have a separate savings account and transfer the money into it straight away on payday. If you just try to leave it in the account it will get spent.

Actively reduce your overdraft each month, even just by 25 quid.

Meal plan and shopping lists. Eat before shopping. Really think about the amount of fruit and veg you put into the bags - I would overfill the apples and bananas but now I think about how many we will eat a day.

Use the freezer, it's your ally in cost saving. Old stale bread - make breadcrumbs and freeze, all leftovers can be packaged into lunches and frozen. Bulk bake and cook one day a week and make the most of your oven space - with the Sunday roast chuck in a homemade lasagne or casserole and freeze the for the week.

Soup is a really cheap, healthy and nutritious food for this time of year.

Turn the heating down a few degrees at a time, pop on socks and jersey clothes to keep you warm.

MrsChestysGlitteryBaubles Fri 28-Dec-12 12:42:40

Marking my place.

I have relocated offices to one away from the shopping centre and with no canteen so it's packed lunches for me but its now costing £4 a day in travel as opposed to nothing before so it cancels out.

Going to start writing down every penny I spend!

MrsRebeccaDanvers Fri 28-Dec-12 12:42:51

Dont go browsing in shops or on the internet. if you don't see it you dont want it. Now Im working full time, I spend much less and am more in control of my finances.

aroomofherown Fri 28-Dec-12 12:46:09

Meal planning saves me loads of ££.

I bulk make lunch on a Sunday (and freeze) and bring it in to work most of the week.

I cycle to work and walk where I can.

I've cut back on alcohol consumption.

Plus also not buying cheap clothes - buy cheap buy twice (and feel rubbish the whole time). Buy less but better.

i'm going to have "soup night" once a week now! Also, "omelette night" is a good one too.

aroomofherown Fri 28-Dec-12 12:48:12

Oh, and I bought a coffee grinder and oven-top coffee pot, and Illy beans that I keep in the freezer. I now have all the lovely coffee I want for about £5 a month.

sooperdooper Fri 28-Dec-12 12:59:12

Making lunches saves me a fortune, and in know it's not practical for everyone but I got rid of my car and we have one between us now and I usually take the bus

Get a cheap diary and write down everything that goes in and out of your account/s on a regular basis.

That gives you a starting point to manage the 'little things' that we don't think of when working out a budget.

sleepyhead Fri 28-Dec-12 13:07:15

Budget for everything and reconcile your account with your budget weekly until you get into the habit of not spending without thinking.

I spend on my debit card as much as possible because then I've got a record of what got spent where, otherwise take out a defined amount of cash from the machine for the week for spending money, and when it's gone it's gone.

I use online banking to check where we are against the budget every week. If we're over one week then we've got to try and make it up the next (within reason). It's amazing how quickly you get the hang of it and start to see the money pits - for me it was coffees and snacks at work and a few subscriptions that I'd long since ceased caring about but which came out every month regardless.

Meal plan so that you can budget for food shopping, and stick to your list as much as possible.

Croccy1979 Fri 28-Dec-12 13:21:12

- I never "go shopping" as a leisure activity as I always used to when I lived in London and ended up buying stuff I didn't really need. Now I live in the middle of nowhere and there are no shops, I spend my free time running, cycling, keeping my garden neat and tidy so never spend any money (and I lost weight too!)

- Never browse on internet shopping sites to avoid temptation.

- Sell stuff on Ebay

- Only go into a shop if you need something specific. Only buy the item you went in for and don't buy anything else.

- Write down everything you spend. Set yourself a budget and stick to it.

- In the supermarket we tend to buy what's on offer (if its a genuine offer rather than a con) and we never buy any expensive non-essential items (magazines, chocolate, ice cream etc). Have a list (based on meal plan) and stick to it. Buy frozen veg as doesn't go off and get thrown out.

- When a friend asks me to go to lunch or dinner I always say can we just go for coffee or a drink instead, and limit myself to one coffee and no cake or two drinks. If they live close enough just invite them round to yours for a cup of tea instead.

- If you spend a lot on alcohol, perhaps have an alcohol-free January.

- Buy Birthday and Christmas pressies in advance - I get most of mine from the TK Maxx (a big one which has a lovely homeware section). I have got some beautiful pressies that look really expensive so cheap.

- DP and I share our bathwater - sounds gross but we both shower in the morning and bath at night so we are hardly dirty or anything!

- Turn the heating off!

HardlyEverHoovers Fri 28-Dec-12 13:49:46

We have been living on a very tight budget for the last couple of years, thankfully getting better now as my husband has built up his business and is doing quite well.
It hasn't been as hard as I thought it might be, and we've managed not to get into debt. We've always had everything we need and the occasionally treat, and also had a baby in that time.

Cut down current outgoings as much as possible, like another poster said, go through your direct debits and check that there's nothing that needs cancelling. We changed all our gas, elec, phone and internet to Utility Warehouse, who just take one payment per month and are cheaper than all other suppliers. You can go on their website and see if they cover your area.

Give yourself a (realistic) budget for food and petrol and stick to it. Shop at the beginning of the week for a full week. If you have a market nearby you could cut your fruit and veg bill by about 2/3rds. Good food isn't necessarily expensive food, you can cut your food bill and improve your diet by cutting down on processed foods and making things from scratch.

Freecycle, ebay and charity shops, or jumble sales are a great way to come home with a whole new wardrobe for about £3!

I think the main thing is know exactly where all your money is going - perhaps make a budget in excel. This helps as even if you overspend you know exactly how much and it stops you thinking 'sod it' and carry on overspending. You need to decide what things are most important to you - I always manage to buy gifts or go out for coffee or lunch with friends because those are the things that are really important to me. Expensive clothes, buying music and dvds etc isn't. But don't try and deprive yourself of something you can't live without because it won't work!

In regards to the debt, I would decide how quickly I wanted to pay it off and set up a direct debit for the beginning of every month.

Good luck!

Meal plan, and don't ever buy anything that's not on your shopping list. That includes all crisps, chocolates, fizzies.

Packed lunch. And resist that vending machine at work.

Use a cashback website. I use quidco because it pays me automatically. (Found topcashback a hassle). I also have a nectar card for ebay and amazon purchases.

Use a cashback credit card. Have to disagree with the poster who say pay everything by cash. As long as you pay back the entire sum every month, you should benefit on the lack of financial planning abilities of others.

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