Top Money Saving Tips Please....(15 Posts)
I am having a meltdown, everything is going wrong and I am now at that stage where I feel like I am drowning.
My debts were increasing and to top it off my contract at work ends on Friday.
So far to try and limit the damage we have consolidated all of our debts to 0% interest where we can. We now have two payments per month. We won't be debt free for a few years but I feel more organised than I did when we had bits here, there and everywhere.
I am now after some tips on how to save money monthly. I need to learn to be frugal and teach DP how to be frugal also.
I would look at MSE but I can't get on with that site.
Any tips are most welcome.
Take a good read through all the historic threads on Credit Crunch and Money Matters...loads of good ideas there. Best thing Ive done is meal planning and withdrawing my weekly budget in cash...once its spent, its spent, and no topping up. Makes me more conscious about where my money goes.
Have you cancelled all unnecessary bills...SKY etc? A nd shopped about for cheaper utilities?
Tell us a bit more about your situation...status, kids, etc...then we can tailor some ideas for you.
Don't spend money. Think about why you are trying to be frugal (security of your home for example) and when you go to spend money think about whether the thing you are spending money on is worth the impact on your saving plans.
And go through your direct debits to check they are all as low as possible, cancel leisure DDs (do this by contacting the organisation they are with first). "Swap down" when shopping, try a lower bran than you are used to for everything.
look at all your utilty bills and see if you can get them cheaper elswhere
same with your car insurance, life insurance,phone bills,internet providers
plan your meals each week
cook meals from scratch
make use of left overs
take sandwiches/flask when you go to work/go out
cancel gym memberships
cancel sky/expensive mobile phone contracts
write down a full budget of what you pay out each month
draw out your weekly allowance in cash, don't use debit card
colour your own hair
shop for clothes/toys in charity shops/car boot sales
dont go out for expensive meals, socialise at home with pizza ask friends to bring a bottle
downgrade your car, or sell your car and take the bus
look into possibly a second job
do your own gardening/diy/decorating
holiday at home
check MSE and their old post on the debt free wannabe boards. you don't have to post yourself, just read and get ideas
You might want to look at The Motley Fool's Dealing With Debt board if you don't get on with MSE.
Essentially you are in a potentially vulnerable place - many people consolidate and then start running up more debt again. I would keep a very close eye on your spending to make sure this doesn't happen.
Another common problem is to be derailed by either unexpected or infrequent expenses - annual car insurance etc. This can have a very bad effect psychologically as well as financially, as there's definitely a chance you'll think 'well sod it if I'm in for another 500 quid, why not make it 600?' Make sure you look at all of your expenses and plan as best you can.
I am a big fan of the budget software You Need a Budget (YNAB). It isn't cheap but it pays for itself quite quickly in allowing you to watch your budget much more closely. All the training/education is free, though - so you can get an immense amount out of watching their videos and understanding their method even if you decide not to go ahead with the software, or decide another product would suit you better.
0% - good for you. The problem is no longer growing and is starting to shrink!
essentials of life: food, shelter, warmth, water, clothing, insurance, council tax. Fortunately you are in the UK and education and health care (the other essentials) are free. I also think that internet is essential as it helps you save money. Mobile internet is a luxury, you do not need a smartphone on a contract.
a mobile phone is handy - but it must be a simple pay as you go job. £10 credit should last 2 months or more.
Christmas is NOT essential. If there is a bit left for presents for the kids, fine -if not, so what? Put the radio on, go see some Christmas lights, listen to some carols etc etc.
obvious no-nos: Sky, DVD hire, (so cheap on ebay/charity shops) hair colouring, beauty treatments, magazines, newspapers, takeaway coffees, perfume, new gadgets, subscriptions to anything, new books (library is free and I just love being able to grab whatever I want there)
food; plan it, never waste it (you should be throwing away nothing except peelings and bones).
clothing; charity shops except shoes. Adults only replace clothes, don't buy extra. You don't need that much.
warmth: more clothes on, shut doors, draw curtains, use draught excluders etc.
travel; under 2 miles and you walk if you are able bodied.
socialising; so many people just don't get it. Time to be frank and simply say 'we aren't doing xxx because we can't afford it at the moment' and think of alternatives. I have a much lower income than many of my friends and I agree it is hard to get people to understand.
Thank you everyone for your advice. I am certainly taking it on board and trying to be more thrifty hoping that the little savings will amount to larger savngs.
The issue we have at the moment was stupidly taking out mobile phone contracts. We cannot cancel them for another 9 months and the lowest tarrif they will put me on is £30!!!
I am compulsive person (eating and spending) I am hoping therapy will help this as I know that my personal issues play a part in that.
Thank you again
Personal favorite of mine
It's a thread we did in the summer, it might take you a while to do.
Look at where you spend your money, especially on the big household expenses like mortgage and utilities. There's no point scrimping and saving on little things if you are paying out more than you need to on the big things.
Also, go and see your bank manager. I had a meeting with mine recently and he put all of my accounts onto better rates of interest at no cost to me. It won't make me a lot of money but it's better than nothing.
My gut reaction is there's a lot of "my" and "our" in your post. Presumably the debt issue is for both of you, if you need to teach your DP to be frugal as well. I just don't like to see you having sole ownership of this as a problem, it needs to be a joint thing for the two of you.
Start trying to build up a savings buffer, so you can cover things like the water bill, even if it's just £50 a month. You will then have some money put aside for next Christmas.
Mse have a good budgeting tool. Accounts for eferything .
Sign up for their email too.
I can't get around their forums but the tips are good
Therapy will help, as long as you are "open" and properly engage in the process. Sounds like you will, but some people don't and them claim therapy "doesn't work"
To help save money on food especially look at lovefoodhatewaste.com Start off by using what you already have to plan as many meals as you can. Don't buy anything that you don't need. To help stick to that, make a list of what you need. My list consists of shelter, basic food and water. Everything else is a luxury. It's not easy to stick to that, but I can when I need to. If you need to keep the car, walk as much as possible instead of using it for every trip. Find free activities. Do homemade take aways or treats for weekends/special occasions. If you eat meat eat less of it and more vegetables and beans. Bulk food out with lentils fe.
Don't buy any pre-prepped veg, salad, fruit or cooking sauces. Save any money left from your grocery budget after you've shopped. I budget for £100 but if I don't spend it all then the spare quid or two goes in a pot for the weeks when I may need to go over budget slightly. If you have a dishwasher don't run it half empty, ditto washing machine.
I see that you are tied into the phone contracts, but well done for getting the cost down. Don't buy magazines or newspapers, but do keep going to therapy sessions. That's not so much a cost as an investment IYSWIM.
just a thought-and it may not be appropriate in your case....
if your mobile handsets are expensive ones could you sell them on,buy two cheapies to put in the current sim cards and put rest of money towards debt?
i recommend a spending diary-record EVERY penny spent on a daily basis for a month-this will show where you may be "frittering"
meal plans and shopping lists
storecupboard challenge-plan the above around what you already have in the freezer/fridge/cupboards rather than just what you fancy
if you do go on MSE have a read of the seven day fiscal fast.
Sell whatever you can. I sold about 50 books, DVDs and games to We Buy Books yesterday for £130. It's amazing how they rack up!
Also, the Pocket Money app for the iPhone is brilliant-but if you don't have an iPhone just get yourself a notebook and write down EVERYTHING you spend, as you spend it.
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