Money saving tips that arnt shit(59 Posts)
I learnt so much from mn when I first became a lone parent and absolutely loved the recent household thread . I know there's a topic for this but I want the traffic.
My most recent education has been that kondoing the house has seriously affected my shopping habits. I can't bear to buy any junk any more!
We have 4 bank accounts between us. One is a joint account we pay into every month which all bills are paid from except mobile phone contracts. This account includes food shopping. There is a set weekly food budget and any non communal or luxury items cannot be bought from it. This has kept spending and planning under control.
The best tip I've ever had, which is more psychological than practical but worked for me, was 'expect to spend no money most days'.
Obviously you need some money on some days for essentials, but this helped me to plan in advance and reduce fritter.
Have a look at your loyalty cards and see what benefits you can add on. E.g. Some cards give you discounts for other things like car insurance so that could be a good easy saving.
There's also things like using your loyalty points to get money off entrance tickets (like entrances to the zoo, money off train tickets etc).
I struggle to find 'real' savings but things like nectar points/clubcard vouchers can add up and give you savings in other ways.
Use cashback sites for large purchases such as Quidco. I keep meaning to do this and haven't but I know people who have made fantastic savings.
Try Aldi or Lidl if near one for good shopping. I am a massive Aldi convert and find loads of their stuff comparable or sometimes better than other supermarkets (though the mayo is shite )
Compare utilities on Uswitch. You could save a fair but switching to another supplier.
When your current broadband, mobile etc deals come to an end, call the company and say you are considering leaving them. They will often put you through to a retentions department who can offer you good savings (if they can't and you really dont want to switch then tell them you need to talk to your partner before you make the final decision)
Nothing to offer sorry, but following as great with looking after other people's money not so good with my own
I signed up to sensereach after reading about it in mn. Over the last few years we have had quite a few free samples. Not a saving as such as can't be relied on but quite a bit of laundry liquid etc in exchange for a short survey. They are usually full size products too.
Stop buying take out coffee,cake,sandwiches etc.
Don't buy magazines.
Make lunch at home and take to work.
Don't buy bottled water.
The most useful piece of advice I was given in real life when we had quite a reduction in income was never to spend money out of habit. A good friend gave me this tip and when I thought about it I realised that I was spending a stupid amount of cash on stuff I didn't really want or need. For example- going to a cafe if I met a friend in town and fancied a chat (rather than inviting her back home for a drink), buying a cake if I did decide to have coffee out, buying popcorn etc if we ever go to the pictures (despite not actually liking the stuff) etc. Another really useful tip was to time trips out with the DC so that we are at home for meals- I'm horrified at how much I used to spend on fairly crap food out just because we tended to leave the house just before lunch time.
If you have any storage at work stock it up with multipacks of crisps choc whatever non perishables you like plus some actual meals. I have cup noodle type things in mine plus herbal tea bags and squeezy honey. It takes up one small drawer but I'm trying so hard not to impulse buy takeaway food if I don't have time to make lunch etc.
If you have a pet bulk buy the food and have it delivered. We use monster pet supplies but I'm sure there are others. They deliver free in a couple of days and put the huge bags straight in the garage. I order only quarterly.
The most useful piece of advice I was given in real life when we had quite a reduction in income was never to spend money out of habit.
This is a really good one. My Dh started earning significantly more last year and we realised that we'd just started spending more on stuff we don't really need or appreciate (lots of cups of coffee from starbucks, ordering a takeaway overtime we don't feel like cooking instead of having frozen pizza in the freezer ready to go). We still have treats now but not all the time without thinking.
I discovered Tesco own brand still water was £2 for 12 500ml bottles. I have two little ones and I seem to always to remember food/drink for the toddler but forget me. So I bought a crate and left it in the car - so if I am out and about and feel the need to buy a drink I can just grab one from the car. 16p for a bottle rather than £1.20!
Cheaper still to refill the bottle from the tap and keep top firmly screwed on.
Write down everything you spend. It's so fucking annoying you stop buying stuff.
Can you streamline your bank accounts? We have 3 current accounts between DH and I (one each for our wages and a third for household expenses which we both pay into). I was shocked to realise we were spending over £200 a year on account fees alone
So now I'm closing my current account down and will have my wages paid directly into the joint account. DH is a bit reluctant to do the same (not for any suspicious reasons, just that he likes his bank!) but has said if we are saving more money after a few months he will do the same.
Not a major saving tip but when ever me or DH spend cash, if we get any 50p's or £2 coins we save them in a jar at home. You'll be amazed at how quickly you accumulate a saving. Use this for whatever you want really. We might just put it in a saving account at the end of the year and use it for an emergency, or a treat. Who knows.
Only go food shopping once a week and buy food for 6 days. On the 7th day use up leftovers and bits from the cupboard/freezer. We've had some odd meals but hardly throw anything away.
We have a take away tin. Any loose change goes into the tin when you get in and then it gets emptied for a take away every couple of months.
We buy meat from the butcher. They have a special on every month for a meat hamper which usually consists of a months worth of meat for a reduced cost than the supermarket. Worth looking at things like that we save alot on meat per month, it's better quality cuts than a supermarket too.
When my money's really tight I envelope up what I've budgeted in cash for each category and when it's gone it's gone!
Maybe a tad extreme for most but basically work in cash and don't top it up!
I also use a spreadsheet and have organised DDs so they don't all come out the same week (on benefits so money comes in all over the place!) review my budget regularly and monitor bank account (I've a current account and a basic savings). I have a SO that goes into the savings account, 1st 6 months cover extra expenditure in summer holiday 2nd 6 months Christmas and dds birthday (early Feb).
Before making ANY purchase I check for vouchers and cheapest retailer, before making large purchases I research the hell outta it and try and make sure I'm getting best value.
One that's often overlooked (especially by Dc?) LOOK AFTER STUFF then it'll last longer and even if you go off it you can sell it!
If you have overdrafts, credit cards or other debts, and a good credit score, you can get a 0% money transfer loan, fixed for a period like 36 months. We did this and now we spend the same amount every month on paying debts back that we used to pay only on interest!
This also means we can let our savings build up in a separate account (because it doesn't matter if we have some debt, as it's not costing us anything anymore.) It's so much more motivating to build up savings than pay back debts for some reason...
I used to laugh at my dad as he would never use his bank card in shops, if he didnt have the cash he wouldnt buy it and I'd remind him what century he was living in, when I became redundant though I started to do the same as him, id set a budget for each week, get that amount out of the bank and leave my card at home.
I got so used to just tapping my card whenever I went shopping so its a real eye opener to actually have the cash these days instead, feels like i'm really buying it with my own money.
And this way too Ive managed to pay off a £2000 overdraft from my uni days - took me an absolute age but I felt so better for not having it hanging over me.
1. Meal planning - obvious but it really makes such a difference to how much you spend on food. If money is tight, don't buy wine. As simple as that. And YY to planning 6 meals and having leftovers on the 7th day.
2. I like to play a game to see how long I can go without spending any money. I often find myself about to buy something, realise that it's going to end the run and put it back. It means you only buy what you need.
3. Online shopping - put things in your basket but don't checkout until the next day. I'm always going back into websites and finding things in baskets that I forgot to buy as 9 times out of 10 I didn't need them.
I use a cashback site, the trick is (this took me some time LOL) to actually REMEMBER TO USE IT lol.
For big purchases such as white goods etc you can get huge chunks back, and for little purchases - well they all add up.
My cashback site pays into my paypal account, I do not transfer it to my current account. I then use my paypal account to buy extras such as wedding gifts or birthday gifts.. using the cashback balance (twice! because if I'm buying flowers for delivery using my cashback balance, I make sure to put the flower purchase through cash back)
This means that I always have separate money for birthday gifts for relatives and friends, and it doesn't have to come out of my weekly money.
Another tip is doing a "no top-up shop". It's relatively easy to get your weekly shop down to what seems like a sensible amount if you are then topping up snacks at work and odd bits and pieces during the week, but by paying more for your weekly shop but buying enough to cover all snacks and extra treats all in one go, you actually save overall.
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