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Who wants to join me in a May/June money saving Challenge?

(89 Posts)
Starbear Thu 19-May-11 10:25:47

I need to,some how, break even by the end of the month which means I have to some how save £275.37 which I am overdrawn at the mo. I have other debits but I need to cover this before I deal with them. I don't want to swap my personal finance except above. But I thought we could find cheap deals or pat each other on the back when we don't get tempted to buy useless things or take a packed lunch to work that sort of stuff. Out of the months wages I have to buy Ds some summer clothes and myself and move out while builders are in my very small house. (We can't afford to move) Our budget is going to be tight for the next few years but I still what to some fun.

TapselteerieO Thu 19-May-11 10:46:40

I am cutting my spending at the moment, not overdrawn but moving, rent at new house will be £150 more per month and cc will be more too. We can afford it, but I need to be more frugal. I have worked out how much money we have coming in, subtracted all the money going out, and now I know what we have to work with. I keep a very close eye on my bank account to make sure I am staying on track. I have had my ds's birthday this month, lots of extra expense, so I am not scrimping, just being more careful.

Starbear Thu 19-May-11 10:49:28

TapselteerieO Are you going to share your top party tips and if I find some toy coupons I tell you where to find them. What are you getting for her birthday? Are you baking her a cake?

hanreeoak Thu 19-May-11 13:30:19

I'll join, we moved (and doubled our mortgage) in August last year, the move was really positive for the children but terrible for the bank balance. We have coped ok so far but the last few months have seen more money going out than coming in. I have looked into getting a job but by the time childcare is paid it does not make sense for me to work. So the only option is seriously tightening the purse strings, I thought that I was being careful but its not enough. Any ideas and support on saving cash will be great.
Tapselteerie0 it was my DD's birthday this month and as I did not plan well I think that is what has sent us overdrawn.

beachyhead Thu 19-May-11 13:48:08

I'm in...Just to pass on that Argos have 2 for £15 on some toys at the moment. dd3 is in a class where all birthdays are from Feb - July, so I have bought 6 toys for pressies for £45. I think £7.50 for a good Lego set or an art set is good value.....Cards can come from Tesco, as will wrapping paper....

brightermornings Thu 19-May-11 13:53:07

Hi can I join. My finances aren't in a good state!! My bank now charge me 50p every day I'm overdrawn and believe me it soon adds up!

I'm trying to cut down on my spending also I've listed some stuff on ebay and if I need to buy anything I'm trying to use the money I've made.
I used quido to get breakdown insurance I just got the basic cover £30 but I will get £21 cashback.

Starbear Thu 19-May-11 20:11:09

Tried to keep a tight budget today by going into Lidls, 99p shop and market for veg. Going to see how much I saved but I couldn't do a whole shop there as they don't have everything I need but they had Ariel Soap powder which is good. So I have started using the budget planner and see if I can keep a serious track of my spendings. Also going to try and budget for breakfast club etc. so the bill doesn't become a surprise every 5 weeks!

planner and this
Hope these two help others smile

Starbear Thu 19-May-11 20:13:31

brightermornings Yes jump-in.Thank you for the tip we rarely breakdown as we rarely leave our bit of London except on a train (as work pays for my travel)

brightermornings Thu 19-May-11 20:22:51

I really thought I'd thread killed ahhh!!

Starbear Thu 19-May-11 21:34:27

brightermornings This thread might be a slow burner because I have promised myself I'm not going to spend so much time on MN. I am an addict.
I was a Housework 'Fly' poster and I was spending so much time posting lists and ticking them off I didn't leave the house on my days off. I also need to lose weight, keep in touch with friends, family and Vit D. blush Doctor says I need to take suppliments so I hope this thread just keep my addiction ticking over but be very useful too. blush
It is the first time I have worked out how much I spend on childcare per year instead of the bill shocking me every 5 weeks blush I can afford it but on the months I wasn't paying I had spendt the apparent extra cash then be short the next month daft I know!!!!! blush
So I have figured it out and going to put the money aside monthly!

Starbear Thu 19-May-11 21:35:38

Sorry I should have said I have to pay it because it does make sense for me to go to work sad

angel1976 Fri 20-May-11 11:49:27

hanreeoak We are going to be in your situation soon (moving and doubling our mortgage). GULP!

Starbear I'm joining this thread as I need to stop going into my overdraft every month (only by about £200 or so) as this only happened in the last two months since I paid for some legal stuff (for the house) out of my current account. I am on the other 'only money on petrol and food' thread. Brought leftover food from home today though I am in the office for the only time this week (usually my excuse to treat myself to a nice lunch!) and am currently hovering on the £300 mark in my current account!

Starbear Fri 20-May-11 16:37:32

angel1976 Welcome, yes it those other expenses when you've got a house move or building that buggers the budget. Its amazing what your brain choses not to note like today I noticed that I really didn't need a £2.20 coffee and thought I hadn't spent anything today then it dawned on me I bought a large packet of sweets for Mufti day today, can't even remember how much they cost! (school Fete next month). I wouldn't normally note it but I am going to try really hard this month. I think it's those little things that make a tenner disappear with out you figuring out where your money has gone.
I'm not a fan of packed lunch but this needs to change as the food at work is expensive, not very nice and fattening so......
Well speak soon

brightermornings Fri 20-May-11 17:49:56

I write everything down every penny I spend. I've only been doing it a few weeks but it's amazing how quick things add up. I also check my bank account every day. I also take pack lunch, I use my local library and keep my eye on what's on at kids club at the cinema!! I'm sick of having no safety net so my aim is to try and save £1000 by the end of the year! I've no idea if it's possible but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Starbear Sat 21-May-11 08:39:35

Morning just made DH a packed lunch as he has to work today helping out a friend painting & decorating after a week teaching feral children it's not easy but it brings home some cash. Going food shopping later and will make sure I stick to the list. I only buy fresh food for the weekend and plan soup for the weekdays. It seems to work out well as we then start to use up left overs veg and beans on toast one night is good for the figure too.

AbbyLou Sat 21-May-11 08:43:54

Hello I would like to join this thread if that's ok. We have been on a really tight budget since September when things came to a nasty head with the bank and we had to start paying off some debts. It has been incredibly tight but at least we can see our debts going down. We will finish paying off this part in September so there is hope on the horizon and also dd starts school full time then so our childcare bill will be significantly reduced.
I have a list of every outgoing from our joint account that is the same every month. I then add childcare, school dinners, dance lessons, swimming and rugby! It is around the same figure every month. Then dh and I split that amount and whatever is left in our own accounts is what's left. That way the bills are always paid and the joint account never goes over its limit. We allow £300 a month for food. I've no idea whether people think that's a lot but sometimes it is a real struggle to feed four of us for that. I have become an expert at meal planning and only ever buy what is on the list. I have switched from tesco to Asda and Lidl and saved quite a lot. We always used Tesco before because we use the Clubcard deals a lot but personally I think they have got less and less of a good deal recently anyway.

Starbear Sat 21-May-11 12:32:17

AbbeyLou Welcome. There are only 3 of us but still we have big plans for the future. Vince cable stated today that the British Public are not being prepared for what's to come. Well maybe we are going to be one step ahead of the game. If I get time I'll swap my Spainish soup receipes from my Mum which are really delicious Veg stews you have to follow the receipe as I write it otherwise it won't work but as she has been through a Civil War ( yes she is that old) she has some lovely receipes that really will surprise you.
Must dash now as I haven't done the weekly shop I think I'm putting it off.
I hope we can make this a fun project and try and have a postive twist on this so we can keep our 'chin up.' grin
Right must go as I can feel my MN addiction coming back smile

Starbear Sun 22-May-11 10:05:42

AbbyLou I think I have saved money by using but I don't order online as that would be a delivery charge as well. I also found out that Own brand Tomato ketchup on a which survey is better apparently than Heinz. I would have spent more on a Asda shop as I got the cheap deals at sainsburys of what I wanted I swapped PGTip for Typhoo tea as it was discounted. Lidl Ariel washing powder is 17p and Sainsburys is 25p 100 gramms worth the effort to go out of my way to get it.
Had a free meal at the rugby club (which I didn't know we were going to be feed. So the chicken I brought will go in the freezer. Fish pie tonight which I will take into work tomorrow I must remember.

AbbyLou Sun 22-May-11 12:39:47

I also use Money Supermarket which is what made me swap to Asda. As you say it is good to see the comparison of your everyday items. I get all toiletries and household stuff from Home Bargains. Their dishwasher tablets are £1.99 and their washing liquid is 99p!!! Both work just as well as anything I bought before. I get all deodorants, shampoo, shower gel etc from there and the cleaning stuff is really cheap. Dh likes the Aldi muesli so we get that/ We had a bbq at a friends last night and just had to provide the puddings so that was a cheap one. Well done on your free meal - bargain! We're having Sunday dinner today, just a cheap chicken from Asda, roast potatoes and veg. The kids love it and it doesn't work out that dear. I'll use the leftover chicken tomorrow in a chicken and veg crumbl and I'll boil all the leftover potatoes, mash them and stick them in the freezer!
I get paid on Wednesday and am seriously skint so I only shopped up until Tuesday yesterday. I'll do a good stock up next weekend.

BooyHoo Sun 22-May-11 15:03:54

OOOH!!! this is my sort of thread grin

i'll join if i may?

i am currently trying to find a new home for us so that i can finally start childminding and get earning again. i have been really slack recently and not watched the pennies at all. as a result i built up a bit of debt although i have worked hard this past fe months to clear as much as i can. as it stands i am left with a £1000 overdraft on an account i dont use. i have worked out a monthly budget and know what i have to spend on what (food/petrol/pets/etc) but now i actually have to put in the time and work out how i can keep to the budget. i need to meal plan and plan ahead for birthdays and car costs etc. at the minute i am very silly. i don't plan any expenses. i just buy whatever i fancy in the supermarket, sometimes i go back during the week for snacks. i will spontaneously take the dcs out for a trip without thinking if i can afford it. if i take a craving for chocolate i will jsut go over to teh shop and get a bar, a few packets of crisps, a bottle of coke and a few magazines. maybe a pizza aswell if i fancy it. it all has to stop and i need to plan all my spending so i dont find myself needing to pop to teh shop during the week.

BooyHoo Sun 22-May-11 15:05:23

oh and i am ditching the car for as many days as i can and will try and plan all things taht i need to do in teh car for teh same day.

brightermornings Sun 22-May-11 15:25:49

I avoid nipping to the shops at all costs as it always ends up costing a fortune!! I went to home bargains yesterday and forgot the thing I went for. My ds currently has an oreo addiction (he's 16 and very active) there 49p there and I forgot grrr. He'll have to do without if I go and get some I will end buying other things I don't need. I did buy popcorn and sweets which I've hidden away for any future cinema trips.
Hopefully I should have a "cheap" week.I've a night at my friends planned we get take away pizza's someone brings dessert, someone brings pop. It usually costs between £5-£6 . Good luck everyone!!

AbbyLou Sun 22-May-11 16:01:47

Hello, the more the merrier. I need people to keep me motivated. I feel like we've been like this for so long now. I can't remember the last time I bought something spontaneously. I have to plan everything ahead. It's half term next week which always costs money but at least I save £9.25 on school dinners and some money on childcare. We've cashed in some Tesco vouchers to take the dc to West Midlands Safari Park so we've got at least one good day out planned. Luckily our dc are not want, want, want children. We both work full time so they just enjoy the time with us, and don't demand big days out. We'll hopefully do a couple of park trips with picnics and might use more Tesco vouchers for bowling if the weather is bad. We have a lovely big garden so we'll spend lots of time out there hopefully. Both children have boxes full of craft stuff they've been given for presents so they like to do that outside too.
Dh and I are going to see peter Kay in June, our Christmas pressie to each other, so we'll have to budget for food, drinks etc. We'll be going straight from work so we'll need to have somewhere. It's also my neice's and sister's birthdays so I'll have to plan in extra for that.

BooyHoo Sun 22-May-11 18:48:39

abbylou, would it be possible to set aside a few pounds each week in a 'treat fund' so that if you ever do feel like being spontaneous and having a takeaway or going to the cinema then there is money there without affecting the budget for necessities? i know it isn't always possible but even 2 or 3 pounds a week will build up a nice little amount over a few months just to let blow off some steam now and again.

AbbyLou Sun 22-May-11 19:27:00

You're right BooyHoo, we really should do that. We did try once but then ended up spending it on essentials when something came up. I'm going to do a half term budget this time which I haven't done before. Hopefully that way there'll be a little extra in the pot for treats. To be honest, I just feel as though I'm hanging on for September when so many things will end/change and we will be a good bit better off. We've already planned what we're going to do with the money with regards starting some savings and a holiday fund so at least it won't just get frittered away.

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