New year - New [tight] budget - want to join me?

(47 Posts)
HarrietJones Tue 27-Dec-11 18:40:28

Dh has been on a fluctuating income for the past year & I was on maternity for most of it so our savings took a battering
So now we need to stop dipping into it & live within our means ( & make a safety net!).

Bills are all budgeted for but we need to cut our spending (food clothes petrol etc).

Want to give me moral support join me?

OP’s posts: |
KellyKettle Tue 27-Dec-11 19:58:15

I'll join! I'm on mat leave until Sept, we've just spent our cushion of money on moving house and need to tighten our spending.

Think we'll be menu planning & leaving debit cards at home when we go out.

What are you planning?

HarrietJones Tue 27-Dec-11 20:06:04

Set amount for food. Not sure how much yet. Have done £50 as a short term thing before but there's 5 of us.

No clothes etc except essentials (dd1 needs new uniform-1 term into secondary <sob>)

Avoiding using car ( mainly use it fOr work but need to curb dh enthusiasm for big tesco)

OP’s posts: |
KellyKettle Thu 29-Dec-11 08:38:17

DD1 needs uniform (first term in pre-school <stifled sob>).

I batched cooked yesterday and last nights left over dinner will be today's lunch. I'm going to go back to shopping at Aldi. I find I spend less because they offer less - we go to Tesco and it's a book for DD1, snacks, snacks & more snacks.

So our New Years resolution in the Kettle house is no takeaways in 2012. DD2 is almost 11 weeks and over the last couple of months we'd become really lazy ordering more takeaway & found that we rarely enjoy them.

I like your idea of avoiding using the car, it's not something I'd have thought of. I probably won't be able to convince DH to get a bus but we could just go out less, go on more walks.

I'm also going to speak to my mobile provider about my bill which has doubled crept up recently.

We have a veg box delivered so I'm going to try and cook with meat a bit less. I'm just need to find some inspiring vegetable dishes.

HexagonalQueenOfTheSummer Thu 29-Dec-11 09:49:13

Hello, can I join you both?

We're aiming to save as much money as possible this year, not for anything specific but just to get some savings in the bank really, so I'm determined to be really careful.

KellyKettle, a veg curry is a delicious way of using up vegetables and eating meat free. I usually buy a jar of Asda Balti sauce, which I think is under a pound, then I peel and chop whatever veg I have (usually potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, sometimes courgettes or red pepper too) and bung it all in the slow cooker for the day with the sauce. Delicious!

I have 3 children, and the 2 year old has suddenly grown a lot, so I headed to the Next sale and managed to get him loads of items to see him right through until summer, for well under £40, which I thought was pretty good. My two older children have been well kitted out at Xmas too, so hopefully not much to buy there for a month or two.

rootietootie Thu 29-Dec-11 10:01:52

I'll join too. Every month I budget the wages and on paper we should have a few hundred left over for things like clothes/house etc. Come the end of every month bloody scrimping and scraping to make dd's. Dont know where the 'extra' money goes, think my account is being pilfered. So this year I intend to be super super strict and keep to tight budget.

molschambers Thu 29-Dec-11 10:08:42

I'm in. Spent LOADS doing up house in 2011. That's come to an end thank goodness. Want to stick to a budget, build up some savings and perhaps actually go on a family holiday for the first time in years.....

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KellyKettle Thu 29-Dec-11 10:21:03

Rootie we have the same problem. I know what we should have left but its never there. We have a real imbalance at the moment. We moved house/switched providers and as we set up new direct debits we each set them up in our own bank accounts "for now". We need to move them to the joint account and use that properly. As it is, the most expensive things come out of my account so our disposable income is left in DHs account each month. He fritters this or "treats" us without really considering that it's my money too.

So that's top of my list this month actually.

DD1 got lots of clothes for Christmas and she'll probably get more for her birthday. I like the tip for the Next Sale though. It might be a bit late to go now but I'll bear it in mind for the next one (no pun intended!).

Thanks for the curry tip too Hex, I think DH & DD1 would eat that. I like the idea of throwing it in the slow cooker too.

HarrietJones Thu 29-Dec-11 10:50:21

We've found that we need to use/freeze left overs. We had bubble & squeak boxing day and I really liked it so will be doing that again.

Re using the car, we live 5 mins walk to town, 10 to my parents/school so we don't need it that often. We use it for work( need two though as we work in different directions). Get supermarket delivery for stuff we can't get in town . Which only leaves swimming which xh covers sometimes.

OP’s posts: |
HexagonalQueenOfTheSummer Thu 29-Dec-11 11:07:04

It's really yummy, Kelly. My 7 year old DD is a really annoyingly fussy eater but even she will eat a veg curry. I have to tell her it's vegetable casserole though or she'll say "I don't like curry" and refuse to eat it.

I think I might do Quorn sweet and sour tonight; I have a jar of Asda smartprice sweet and sour sauce in the cupboard, and have just found a pack of Quorn pieces at the back of the freezer. I usually chuck some carrots and onions chopped into small pieces in and all done.

HarrietJones Thu 29-Dec-11 11:16:32

We bulk buy meat. Dh then bones/chops etc himself. He makes stock & freezes it too. He can then make the portions the right size for him/dd1/dd3 as dd2& I are veggie. This also means meat is better quality but no more expensive.

OP’s posts: |
wornoutbutstillwonderful Thu 29-Dec-11 16:45:38

Another one who would like to join, Dh wages have fell this year by around £200 a month and we were already on quite a tight budget.
One of my tips is adding lentils into stews, casseroles, chilli and curries to make it go that bit further.

HarrietJones Thu 29-Dec-11 17:09:27

Dh just got his rota for Jan & looking good. Got at least 5 shifts a week so good start to the year grin

OP’s posts: |
inmysparetime Thu 29-Dec-11 17:40:30

Packed lunch For adults saves a fortune, just box up leftovers and reheat at work.
Move Direct Debit dates to just after you get paid, so you pay them first, not last.
Get a list of your Direct Debits and remove any that you no longer use, cancel old subscriptions and membership fees.
Make a budget spreadsheet and enter each item from your bank statement into it, to find out where all your money is really going each month.
Make a shopping list and stick to itgrin

PeaceofCakeAndGoodWineToAllMN Thu 29-Dec-11 17:44:09

Can I join? I overspend on food. I try not to but I worry if there's not a lot in the fridge. I also need to stop buying ds food in the train station on the way to school. I should be better prepared and give him breakfast before we leave the house. I don't need to buy a newspaper every day either.

HarrietJones Thu 29-Dec-11 18:26:48

We do online news!

Nowhere to reheat at work so we both take sandwiches. I don't go out of office for a break which stops me buying stuff at lunch!

OP’s posts: |
inmysparetime Thu 29-Dec-11 19:21:50

Soup keeps warm in a flask if you want a warmer lunch for wintergrin

rootietootie Thu 29-Dec-11 20:39:38

Dh smokes sad theres a heap of money we could save, but unfortunately he enjoys smoking. Really annoys me but can't force someone to stop.

inmysparetime Fri 30-Dec-11 07:38:20

Could he cut down a couple of cigarettes a day and save that amount in a jar for something nice? That might spur him on to cut down more and eventually quitting won't be so hard.

rootietootie Fri 30-Dec-11 09:23:23

When he is feeling 'guilty' has had enough of me nagging he will switch to tobacco which is a lot cheaper but he doesn't really enjoy that and eventually he goes back to fags. Smoking sucks.

wornoutbutstillwonderful Fri 30-Dec-11 10:43:33

Food flasks are only a fiver in homebargains and are good for taking leftovers like chilli, curry to work for your lunch.

buggyRunner Fri 30-Dec-11 11:02:44

Can I join- sick of wasting money. We'll be moving house in feb so need to save.

Does the slow cooker thing save money?

We already shop at aldi, I've quit the gym as I prefer running.

HarrietJones Fri 30-Dec-11 13:24:49

Money saving not going well. Am tempted by getting dd1a new bed to increase storage hmm

OP’s posts: |
KinkyDoritoWithFairyLightsOn Fri 30-Dec-11 14:40:59

I'll join if I can?

I lived to a really tight budget a year ago to get debts down, but have stumbled into old ways. Our financial future is a bit uncertain at the moment so I want to get back into watching what we spend.

I'm shopping at Lidl making mainly vegetarian meals.

Things we like: vege stew with quorn sausages, cheap yorkshire puds or bread; vege chilli made with chopped veg, kidney beans, baked beans, tinned toms, even chopped up quorn sausages, and chilli powder served with rice, jackets or chips. Jackets with bean mix up (fry mushrooms, red pepper and onions and mix with tin of beans and half a tin of chopped toms, with pinch mixed herbs) served with grated cheese; pasta bakes.

Our main weaknesses include takeaways, buying indulgent foods at weekends, popping for coffee and cake. I will definitely stop the takeaways and being so indulgent. When budgeting before I would make my own oaty biscuits at the weekend which made a nice treat.

We also have enough Christmas chocolate to sink a ship, so that should tide DCs over for a while.

wornoutbutstillwonderful Fri 30-Dec-11 14:47:32

How important is the extra storage needed? Have a look around your house and see if th ere is anywhere you can give to her for the storage of games etc. If it is clothes space your after how tall is your airing cupboard is there enough space at the top for a rail to hang things that worn much?

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