i have to get my savings back. serious money saving needed

(20 Posts)
marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 19:07:24

Basically our car died, we'd booked a holiday then the boiler on our house broke. Although i am very low income i have a £1500ish in savings as a buffer. Whicifind very comforting. I had to take most of it out. So i seriously need to save it back again. Plus what i earn i spend every month so never anything spare. Dp pays the bills so i pay half mortgage and food and nappies. This is where i'll have to save. Already shop at aldi but never make food lists etc. So i'm sure i spend more than needed. What else can i be doing? Never shop at iceland, pound stretcher or home bargains. Are they any good. I spend around £1000 a month on food, nappies and extra bits for me, dp, a10 yo and a 2yo. Dunno where it all goes!

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Trills Sun 24-Mar-13 19:17:48

If you and DP live together and have children together you should sort out your finances together.

Figure out how much in total is needed for mortgage, bills, groceries, and everything that children cost. Decide together how much you each get as personal spending money (the same amount each), then the rest goes into savings.

If you are spending £1,000 a month on groceries (inc nappies) and he is just paying "the bills" then you are paying a lot more than him. Do you earn more or less than he does? If you are a team then you should both have the same amount of money to spend on yourselves.

tribpot Sun 24-Mar-13 19:18:04

Dunno where it all goes!

That's probably what you need to tackle. I'd make a careful note of what you're buying each time at Aldi. Do you have a store cupboard full of stuff? (I do, very naughty). Why not make a point of having at least one store cupboard meal per week to try and use some stuff up and save some dosh?

You might find online food shopping pays for itself - perhaps a bit more per unit than Aldi but you can make a list and only buy what you need.

What are the extra bits? Who pays for things like mobile phone bills?

I find a program called You Need a Budget invaluable, it has saved me an absolute ton over the last year. It does cost 30 or so quid to buy but all their training videos are freely available on their site and you can get a good idea of the method without using the software if you want to.

Gales Sun 24-Mar-13 19:22:23

I borrowed River Cottage Veg everyday from the library

I can honestly say it has changed our lives, we are all eating far better, tastier food, it is saving us £££ and DH and I have both lost a bit of weight.

We haven't gone completely vegetarian, maybe 5/7 days are meat free and even formerly committed meat eater DH admits he's really enjoying the meals.

Mind you, even when we ate lots of meat I never spent close to £1000pm and I have 2 bottomless DSs 10 &12 and make 4 packed lunches per day.

I do the supermarket shop on-line and when I've "finished" I go through and delete the things we don't "need". I also have a policy of never topping up. I shop once a week, if we run out we manage until next week. No-one goes hungry, they just have to eat what we have.

BellaVita Sun 24-Mar-13 19:30:19

We are a family of four (two teens, 15 and 13 who eat loads), I don't scrimp on food and still don't spend £1000 a month on food. We eat meat nearly every night.

95% of the time meal plan which I think helps loads.

AllSWornOut Sun 24-Mar-13 19:52:59

I agree with Trills most of all, but also with Tribpot about proper budgeting and financial control.

Sit down with your DP, work out total income and identify all your outgoings. If there's a positive difference then give yourselves an allowance and put the rest into savings. I found money saving expert website good for general tips but they also have a great spreadsheet on there (there's a link from the main forum IIRC) that helps with the basic planning.

unlucky83 Sun 24-Mar-13 20:23:46

I would use cash only...no cards ...work out your budget for the week (aiming to save say £25 a week- so £100 a month -only a tenth less than you spend now!) and take out that money in cash. It is incredibly easy to overspend on a card (even with a debit card)- especially cos you can kid yourself you will make it up next week/month whatever...and it makes it 'real' money...
(and for bigger things DP always works out how many hours work it is eg our old camera was unrepairable when I got a new one (pleased with myself after shopping around) - DP said was that worth working for 16 hours for? hmm....I find it annoying but that's another story)
Cash when its gone - its gone...(only exception is when it is cheaper to buy in bulk (and it isn't always) - eg loo roll - as you start out you might have to take out more money one week but then take less out the following weeks)
Meal plan is a good idea... I love Home bargains and poundstretcher but don't really get food there..(toiletries and plastic containers etc) I know often things for a pound in poundland are eg 79p in home bargains...(also watch out for smaller pack sizes in poundland - don't know about the other places)
And if you have any spare put it to one side...let it build up a bit and you can use that for a treat for yourself or add it to your savings if you like etc
BTW I would be looking at DPs finances too - if you are buying everything for the house and paying half the mortgage and using your savings for holidays, fixing the boiler, car etc....how much are the bills? it doesn't seem very fair...
Also £1000 a month does seem a lot...


tribpot Sun 24-Mar-13 20:29:48

Btw the other key thing is to budget for non-monthly expenses so they don't come and wallop you. Obviously you had a nice buffer of savings built up which came to your rescue when the car and boiler died simultaneously (impossible to plan for that kind of bad luck) but I guess you want to have savings also for things like car repairs, MOT, insurance (sometimes but not also cheaper to pay in a lump sum than monthly), and things like haircuts that don't happen every month.

marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 20:37:35

I just did a little calc and i have 200 quid a week left after i've paid my mortgage contribution and my netflix. So this is the plan so far. I'm gonna take out £100 on a monday. I will use it over the week including food shop and when it's gone it's gone. That way i can save £100 a week. I dug out my bank statement and it appears i spent a fair bit on amazonblush and lots odd tenners out of the cash machine. So for april, i am going to ban myself from amazon. As for dp, he actually earns more but pays out more than me. He covers all mobiles, internet, and other bills. Plus some mortgage. So it works about even. Plus i'm happy doing it this way as i like to have my own seperate account with my own money in. Quite independant like that. Yes i am gonna go through the cupboard and list all the dry stuff. We are inundated with noodles, rice, pasta so gonna try to use that up.

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tribpot Sun 24-Mar-13 20:40:28

Btw if your DP covers bills, how come the car and the boiler were your problem? Or did you go halfs on them as big expenses?

marissab Sun 24-Mar-13 20:41:16

Oh and we both spent all our savings but it's his job to save his own back up. I'm just concentrating on mine. Doesn't sound like we're very together in the finances i know, but i like my own seperate money. Is that unusual in a relationship :s

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tribpot Sun 24-Mar-13 20:49:22

No no, just double-checking you hadn't maybe been stuck with the expenses purely because you had some savings.

There are lots of different ways of organising finances, but the main thing is to ensure that they are fair and (preferably) neither partner feels they have to justify every penny of expenditure on fun stuff to the other. As long as you're paying stuff in proportion to your salary, and have the same amount of spare cash at the end, however else you split the bills is just a matter of personal choice. One of my mum's friends has a 'running away fund' (she's been married for about 45 years, so she must be minted by now grin )

Seems like it might be an idea to set up a shared savings goal, though, so you can motivate each other across the finish line? Even if you're not both planning to save the same amount, you could measure it as a percentage of the goal amount maybe!

marissab Mon 25-Mar-13 06:32:30

Tribpot thats why my mum says i need my own savings! She says always have a bit aside. If it doesn't work out, you have some money to get away!!! Lol. Thought it was just my mum that did that!

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tribpot Mon 25-Mar-13 07:08:43

Ha - no, very sensible. You only need read a few threads on here to find out how dreadful it can be in some cases not to have any money of your own put aside.

Trills Mon 25-Mar-13 08:23:33

If you are spending £1,000 a month on food and nappies and he is paying bills, even if they include mobile phone bills as well as gas/electricity/water/internet then he is not paying his fair share.

You can still have separate money and divide it more equitably.

Figure out all of the costs relating to:
broken boilers and other household expenses

Then work out your contributions so that you both have equal money left over.
You can save from your share and he can save from his share.

Thingymajigs Mon 25-Mar-13 10:06:32

I was in a similar situation in January. I had no idea where my money went, I was getting further and further into my overdraft. A quick check revealed that I spent hundreds on Amazon a month. I had no idea, but those £10 Amazon 'bargains' quickly add up. We also have separate account and split the bills evenly between us. He pays for the car expenses and petrol, council tax, Virgin, gas and electricity and I pay the rent, water, food, clothes and household expenses. Anything else gets split evenly, it works for us but we do need to check every few months to make sure its still fair.
The best thing you can do is to meal plan. It sounds like a huge amount of work but it'll really help you out financially. Try planning for this week and only buying what you need for those meals. By doing this and shopping around, cooking from scratch, avoiding waste etc I have cut my food bill down by £400 and can save for the first time. I'm hoping to get my savings up to over a £1000 like you by this time next year.

unlucky83 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:19:56

Good for you the cash front....hopefully it will work for you too...
Really worked for me a few years ago when I was really struggling...much harder to hand a crisp note over than click a few buttons..
(the amazon thing ...really easy to do...but that's the kind of thing you can use your left over 'treat' money for - you put the same amount of cash as you spend online/by card into your weekly pot and take less out of the bank )...

Only thing about cash is careful you don't lose it! - unless you are doing your big shop - don't carry it all around with you (this has the added benefit of stopping any impulse purchases!)

Good Luck ...and leave your card on home...

Running away funds - I have my own money and so does DP ...have had some since have been with partner and had DCs - few years ago was looking a bit depleted and I really felt less secure - a real psychological thing - and made me realise how awful it must be for women who are totally financially dependent on someone....

unlucky83 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:20:50

or even leave your card AT home

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 25-Mar-13 12:45:18

What my dh and I do works for us, don't know if this helps?

We like to keep our money separate. We both pay into one account which covers the mortgage, bills and food. At the moment we contribute the same as our incomes are similar.

Then what we're left with is ours. extra expenses (e.g. plumber) we pay half each. mine usually comes out of

marissab Mon 25-Mar-13 14:25:16

Yes i think i am shocked by the paypal and amazon purchases. I daren't add em up. I have clearly been splurging without noticing blush this has to stop. I spent my birthday money on amazon yesterday and THATS IT! Not buying online for the whole of april. This is where all my money is mysteriously dissapeering to!

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