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Money saving tips for the new year

(282 Posts)
MushyPeace Fri 28-Dec-12 00:45:52

New year, new start and all that... Anyone have any fab money saving tips?

Just due to everyday costs I have somehow managed to run up £5k debt and am so embarrassedhmm. I don't budget well. DP and I have been taking about having a baby soon (not getting any younger) and I just can't go into it knowing I have this debt. AF was three days late until today and while i would be so happy to be preg I am also relieved I am not. hmm

So what's your top tip?

I am so far trying the budget supermarkets smile and it will be packed lunches from now on. I will also eBay anything and everything!

slatternlymother Sun 30-Dec-12 18:21:01

Yes I think it's 8p per pound, and there's an option to donate that to charity. It's not as good as the bank, but I went and got directed to the coin star machine at the local Sainsburys!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 30-Dec-12 18:23:15

I have a business account so they bank change for me.

myalias Sun 30-Dec-12 19:00:12

Lloyds do a save the change option online it rounds up to the nearest pound on any direct debit's, for example £25.25 the 75p will go into the save the change account. It is surprising how much is in there by the end of the year. I also put any money left over at the end of the month into this account.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 30-Dec-12 19:52:30

Coinstar charge 8%?! Jeez. I knew they charged but didn't realise it was so much shock. I know they're convenient but if you think you might deposit, say, £100 over a year, that means they keep £8 of your money.

I'm with HSBC and in one of the big branches in my city they have machines you can deposit change into. It counts it as you put it in so you don't even have to bag it up fully counted. Most banks will accept a certain number of money bags over the counter, think it's five. Not sure why they're a bit funny about money bags of change - it's not like they have to count it manually because they weigh the bags digitally these days.

bluecarrot Sun 30-Dec-12 20:15:01

Dont use coinstar - use self service tills. You can put handfuls of coins in there smile

Melfish Sun 30-Dec-12 20:22:17

Natwest have cash machines you can pay coins into, you just tip the contents of your jar/piggy bank in and it counts them and credits them straight to your account. Most of the mid/large branches seem to have the machines. I think you do need a natwest account to use the machine but it doesn't seem to charge you.

FreePeaceSweet Sun 30-Dec-12 20:22:26

My local Poundland sells Douwe Egberts and Twinings breakfast tea now. Does anyone elses store now sell eggs, bread, sandwich meat and milk? They have ham trim which my dh adores. Proper slices of ham and not wafer thin stuff.

SilentMammoth Sun 30-Dec-12 20:42:25

I love putting copper s in selfs service machines.

I also love saving up my 5ps for car parking!

chicaguapa Sun 30-Dec-12 20:55:57

I play a game where I see how long I can go without spending any money. It really helps cut down the frittering as it makes me think twice before I buy a chocolate bar or a drink.

Katla Sun 30-Dec-12 21:56:24

I had about £4.5k on credit cards, now will be debt free by April having worked away at it for three years - paying off at £150 per month plus a few 'one off payments' from ebay sales or work bonus (not large but avoiding the temptation to 'spoil myself!')

I moved the debt around always onto a 0% card (see moneysaving expert how to reduce debt in a common sense way) but don't use any credit cards to add extra - or if you do spend on one then have that one set up to pay off in full automatically via direct debit each month so there's not a temptation to leave it - as it then starts another vicious circle on another card.

Then live on what you earn and build in a set amount as a direct debit to gradually reduce the debt (say £100 a month or whatever you can realistically afford to pay off each month).

The key bit is don't buy what you can't afford (clothes/magazines etc) and ask if you really need anything before you buy it. Don't put anything on credit again - for me that meant no holidays for a while and buying less clothes. There is also a big saving in making packed lunches, avoiding starbucks, buying magazines - little things that you don't really notice but really add up.

Make a strict budget and a plan to get rid of the debt - there is no other way and you will feel a million times better when you are on top of it. No more guilty purchases - I know cos I've been there. Also, in that time, I have also managed to get married and have a baby whilst reducing debt and we've just had an offer accepted on a house so the main thing is to have a budget and stick to it.

In terms of other things - yes, Quidco is great, or search for online coupons for money off. However, the main thing is whether you actually need to buy anything. Also, check you are getting best rates for insurance, electric, check you mobile phone is the best deal, or if you have satellite TV, broadband - see if you can reduce costs of those or get rid.

Katla Sun 30-Dec-12 22:04:57

Bit seasonal this one - but we made arrangements with various friends that we normally exchange Christmas gifts with, not to bother this year - after years of swapping rubbish gifts back and forth.

We just had them round for a mince pie, mulled wine and a chat instead - saving time, money and more unwanted tat entering our house.

jenduck Mon 31-Dec-12 10:31:02

Another one gleaned from the MSE newsletter. If you get a rail season ticket to work, buy one by tomorrow to start tomorrow & you will pay 2012 prices, instead of 2013 prices if your ticket starts on 2 Jan. Dh has a monthly ticket & is saving 16.60 this way!

FutureMum Mon 31-Dec-12 10:38:47

Hi. I think setting up a standing order into an e-savings account or ISA works well - something that you can only touch online or not touch for a certain period of time, if you can afford it. If you arrange it so that the money goes automatically on the first of the month, you won't have any temptations to spend that money.
Also, buy presents, cards, etc in advance at sales or EBay - to avoid last minute panic buying. Buy stuff like bread or meat when reduced (it freezes well). Use left overs (I am the queen of left overs, scrambled eggs or soup go well with almost everything.) Think hard and long about whether you need something or you need to have the cash in your pocket instead. Remind yourself what your goal is and what you will do with the cash you save, and try and ignore advertising. Good luck!

RedLentil Mon 31-Dec-12 11:04:54

That's a great achievement, Katla! You must be delighted to be so near the end of the hard work!

We're paying off our extension, and, while it is painful not to have any money to spare, I find it helps to have an excel file with a savings target for each month.

Working to hit the target of reducing the debt by x amount turns the saving process into a bit of a game, and it gives me a positive way of looking at it all.

FreePeaceSweet Mon 31-Dec-12 11:23:59

Bit seasonal this one - but we made arrangements with various friends that we normally exchange Christmas gifts with, not to bother this year - after years of swapping rubbish gifts back and forth.

How do you enforce this? Seriously? I keep trying and trying to implement this. dh reckons we go cold turkey over the next couple of years and stick to our guns. I am not arsed about receiving gifts (always preferred to give than recieve and besides sil keeps giving me stuff from the kids Cute or What? range at Boots). We've managed to stop sending Christmas cards after spending over £40 one year.

notcitrus Mon 31-Dec-12 12:00:06

Start with the big stuff - if your mortgage is standard variable rate, go get a discounted deal sorted for the next few years. Friends of mine drove me mad for ages fretting over saving a couple quid on food shopping but eventually agreed to have a financial adviser visit their home and saved them £300 a month on their mortgage.

Then look at all insurances. I've saved hundreds by phoning round rather than just renewing. Most subscriptions are aimed to make you think you're getting a bargain while spending more, eg magazine monthly for cost of 10 a year, but you only bought one every 2-3 months so actually it costs more. Cancel them.

Definitely get season tickets starting before 2 Jan - saves me £100 a year. And if commuting into London, could you get a ticket to zone 2 and walk/Tube? Eg Brighton to Vauxhall is half the price as going to Victoria, and possibly easier if working round Westminster.

Resist all upselling. BOGOF offers and anything advertised in the supermarket are always more costly than own brand. Remember to take own bags or shopping trolley to Lidl.

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 31-Dec-12 12:32:16

I am really in need of this thread.
One problem I have is the cafe-culture of being on maternity leave. It is sometimes hard to find anything to do out of the house that doesn't involve shopping/coffee/softplay - especially in winter. Feeling depressed just at the thought of more time in the flat sad

bigkidsdidit Mon 31-Dec-12 12:41:56

I noticed we were running out of milk and bread midweek and when I went to get more I was buying a few other bits too. I got a breadmaker for christmas from my parents smile so that's sorted and we have decided to buy loads of milk and freeze it, so we will never do top up shops.

I need to find a recipe for nice granola / yogurt, something I can take into work with me for breakfast. I take salad etc fro lunch but spend £2 a day buying breakfast. I have an £1600 OD I am going to pay off this year and I've just realised I spend £500 at least on bloody canteen breakfasts shock

Hydrophilic Mon 31-Dec-12 13:41:12

I went to the extreme to avoid puting the heating on at Christmas- I got a temp job in a shop grin. I stayed warm, earnt money that I can spend without feeling guilty (I have a FT job as well) and met lots of new people.

In fact, I am hoping they will keep me on afterwards as I will get a discount that I can use in waitrose (nearest supermarket to me, so its where I dash to when we're out of bread) and JL. This way if I do buy anything, at least I am saving something!

I work by a jar system (got ones with a clippy lid from IKEA). Me and DP each put £30 a week into the jar for food. I meal plan and aim for £40. What's left in the jar gets used on cinema, takeaways etc. If there's nothing in the jar, we don't go out.

I also save all of my pennies and silver (if my purse is bulging with it) and keep them in a jar. I was able to buy our christmas tree this year with it and didn't notice a difference.

I online bank and have the natwest app on my phone. I transfer £240 for food and "fun" into a separate account to my main account that has OD and DDs that go out. I live off this card. Any money that is left over in both accounts at the end of the month goes into a third savings account. After a month or so (when I know I won't need it for an emergency), the money gets transferred into a high interest savings account. I get penalised if I withdrawl from this too many times and the card only works at cash machines, not in shops.

I also downgraded my car to an aygo. It is great on fuel consumption, £20/Yr to tax and low on insurance. I don't care if I look like a berk in it.

I'm savvier than I thought grin.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 31-Dec-12 14:17:03

Hydro as you work FT, did you work in the shop on Saturdays only?

Nothing wrong with the Aygo, I've been eyeing them up as I know they're economical. Mind you, with my leaky old banger it would be an upgrade grin. Just wish I could afford one sad.

PolkadotCircus Mon 31-Dec-12 14:53:33

I make the Jamie Oliver granola and rotate it with an Annabel Karmel one and another one I have somewhere,maybe a Nigella one-saves a fortune on Dorset cereals!!!

blahblahblahyah Mon 31-Dec-12 14:55:08

ItsIginning: can you arrange stuff at your flat? Maybe you and the mums can take turns to host once a week? Everyone brings a plate/bottle of vino smile and you guys can catch up while the kids play/cry etc? Or do movie afternoons with DVDs and popcorn (which you can make yourself super cheap)?

BaconAndAvocado Mon 31-Dec-12 15:25:17

Aldi. Aldi. Aldi smile

NetworkGuy Mon 31-Dec-12 15:41:48

Would agree that TopCashBack or Quidco worth looking at for things you would be buying/ doing already such as getting some cashback if switching energy supplier.

Have not yet used either cashback site, but saw I missed out on getting around 80 quid back when I took a 12 month SIM-Only contract in March (if only I had known about them beforehand). Have since seen loads of TV ads but never saw anything about them before.

> < may be worth a look (whether for food, clothes, or gifts, heck almost any deal seems to have someone listing it for others to benefit!)

I'd disagree with suggestions to cancel credit cards - sometimes you will see a deal online which is significantly cheaper than in most shops, and do remember that in the event of a trader going bust, if item costs between 100 and 30,000 GBP then the card issuing bank is equally liable for the refund.

That's not true if you'd paid with cash, cheque, or most debit cards (but > the web site has < examples and more info).

Think of those people who might have bought white goods at Comet and were waiting for delivery, or when other big chains have gone into receivership with items ordered and paid for (such as furniture). Actually, regarding Comet, there's a piece on MSE site mentioning Visa/Mastercard debit card 'chargebacks' so all hope is not lost with debit cards.

Also for services - you might pay a significant portion as a deposit when having a conservatory built - best done on a credit card.

It does depend on you having will power not to let spending on a card go wild though, which can lead you to debt (or silly levels of interest, but still below 'wonga' loans, or 'payday' deals).

ItsIgginningToLookALotLikeXmas Mon 31-Dec-12 16:02:15

Thanks blahblah for the suggestions - usually it's just me going to the coffee shop so would be a sad coffee morning at my house! I like the popcorn/dvd idea for something cheap to do with older one when he's home from school - softplays cost an arm and a leg!

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