Back to work/Uni tips...(10 Posts)
Hi MNetters... Im posting to ask if you might be able to pass on some of your expertise in money management in order to help me generate some money management tips for use in a work project. Specifically, I'm looking for tips for those who are going back to work after a period of unemployment or leave, and for students who are going back to University. If you have any tips that can help others manage their money during these crucial times I'd love to hear from you.
I work in an expensive part of london. Nobody at work can afford to live locally, so we all have to watch the pennies.
Investigate less obvious ways to travel. By commuting to a station a half our walk away, I have halved my commuting costs. One colleague gets a coach and others cycle. Some colleagues who travel to mainline stations use boris biked instead of paying for travel cards for London.
Packed lunches are generally cheaper than canteens. We have a microwave and have soups, jacket potatoes and leftovers. We also bring in bread, cheese etc and make up fresh sandwiches.
Bring in a stash of tea, coffee and squash for drinks. Cheaper than Starbucks. i buy multi pack cans of coke which cost 40p each instead of 90p at the local shop.
Go for a walk at lunchtime instead of hitting the shops. Suggest lunch in the park to colleagues instead of eating in a cafe. That way you can eat your packed lunch.
If you don't have a kitchen available, take a hot flask, make up some sandwiches and crisps and find a quiet corner.
If you go for drinks after work, avoid buying rounds.
Don't feel obliged to donate to all the leaving presents etc, unless you want to. Nobody will know.
I buy stationary front the pound shop. If I attend a conference, I grab a few pens and post it's to use in the office.
Leave your money at home to avoid temptation. I'm not brave enough to do this myself, but the main thing is to avoid spending.
I've stopped buying daily newspapers. I grab a copy of the metro in the morning and evening standard in the evening. Both are free and i read them if I have a spare moment.
Most workplaces I know do that thing whereby you bring in cakes on your birthday. Bake one - it's cheaper and most people will be impressed.
Fab Chanie, exactly the kind of ideas I'm after
Read newspapers online instead of buying them. Or read them in the library.
- I have a small coin purse and only take enough money in it to work incase I miss the work bus and have to get the public bus, stops me spending on the way home from work.
- I know when my local supermarkets reduce the stock that is out of date that day, e.g. on a Sunday my local Tesco's reduce theirs at about 3pm. I have had lots of different bargains, fruit, veg, meat, bread if I cannot use them that day then put them in the freezer.
- I find using a meal plan helps not to spend too much, I keep an inventory of my freezers and pantry cupboard. I make a plan for the following week utilising what is in the cupboard then shop for whatever fresh goods I need.
My local fruit and veg shop sell off bowls of fruit or veg for £1 per bowl, make a veg soup and freeze or puree the fruit and put into ice cube trays and freeze to make smoothies with or to defrost and pour over icecream.
Lots more tips on "A Penny Pinching Guide" on FB
In you work / live in London make sure your Oyster card is topped up at all times.
Walk or cycle everywhere if possible.
I second everyone's idea of bringing a pack lunch.
We have a coffee / tea fund and everyone chips in it costs 2.50 a month each. This covers tea, coffee, milk, washing up liquid. We all bring our own mugs.
If you are working invest in separates which can be mixed and matched to create more outfits.
Car share if possible (uni journey an hour away) but make sure study expectations are similar. eg leave straight away/go library/arrive early or last minute.
Try car boot sales/charity shops for clothes. The vast majority of my wardrobe (work & leisure) comes from these sources & cost no more than £2/item.
If you work in a street with shops, don't go out at lunchtime. Instead use the peace & quiet to catch up on some reading or - my favourite - entering competitions or doing surveys online!
Someone upthread suggested multipacks of cans of drink. Farm Foods do 24 cans of 7up/Pepsi for about £4, I believe.
If going to Uni, be sure to visit the Freshers Fair for lots of freebies
Again for Uni, see if there is a secondhand bookshop for any course books you need, or put up a notice in your department.
Also for students - make the most of your NUS card & any other student card for discounts at shops, museums & all sorts of other places! I'm sure you can get a student card that is accepted abroad, too
Check whether your employer does interest free loans for travel passes/ season tickets... But make sure you factor in holidays when working out how much it might save you! If in London, always buy tickets on oyster, never cash.... If you break a tender for a ticket, the change will vanish without you knowing where it went. Students... If you ever get the train anywhere, a railcard will almost certainly pay off. Some student current accounts used to offer them out as incentives, and they were one of the few incentives really worth having.
On a similar note, check out heather your employer is on a cycle to work scheme.
Always take packed lunch. If no microwaves in work, invest in a thermos flask... Soup and roll is soooo easy, and costs 6 times as much from a cafe. And multipack drinks (earlier posts) is such a good idea. If you're a fizzy-drink addict, ask for a soda stream for Christmas!
If your weakness is coffee, leave a small cafetiere and packet of ground coffee on your desk. More expensive than instant, but if that's what takes to keep you out of Starbucks...
If you have a dress code for work, try to keep those clothes JUST for work (ie: get changed as soon as you get home). They'll last longer, so you can concentrate your limited resources on buying fun-clothes.
Students, the library is your best friend. Free use of course books, free use of computers and internet (still not everybody has their own), and fewer distractions from work. If you can get into the habit of making a couple of 2-hour "appointments" each week, early in your course, you'll find it a lot easier to keep on top of your work, and it builds good skills for study and later in life.
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