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Tips for sticking to a budget(26 Posts)
I need help with sticking to a budget! I can write one but never seem to be able to stick to it!
I have some largish purchase in the next year or so (bunk beds for DD2 and DD3, school uniform for DD1 starting secondary school, my chest of drawers has fallen apart, rooms upstairs need painting after younger 2 DDs drew on the walls ect ect!)
Can I have your budget tips please?
Like you I'm great at making budgets, not so good at sticking to them. But my brother is an award winning accountant and his TOP TIP is to budget for the time period you can cope with.
What I mean is that many people say 'manage your budget monthly' but that's just too long for some, try to make a weekly or even a daily budget and write down exactly what you plan to spend and on what.
His other main tips:
1) prioritise spending, can you live with walls that have been drawn on, at least for a while until you have the money?
2) put money away for specific needs, get some boxes and label them with things you want DDs bunk beds and put money in the boxes regularly.
3) don't spend money before you've earned. This just leads to debt.
On top of my brother's tips I've started upcycling furniture. My DDs have really got into it this year. We put the furniture in the garden and have complete freedom to create whatever we want on the furniture.
ask for a spare tin of paint on freecycle.
fix the chest of drawers, or look on ebay for a cheap replacement.
ebay for the bunkbeds.
stop buying all inessentials: magazines, clothes unless to replace something falling apart, sweets etc etc. Makes a huge difference.
What kind of awards do accountants win?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The writing on the walls isn't great as we live in a rented house so would rather get it done sooner rather than later. It is in their bedroom and at the top of the stairs so will need at least 2 if not 3 tins.
Bunk beds are urgent but DD2 and DD3 are going to be 5 and 3 this year and are still sleeping in their cot beds. The bedrooms are too small for anything other than bunk beds really (1 double and 2 single rooms with me and 3 DDs)
I think I waste most money on food for example popping into shop and spending more than planned, eating lunch at work rather than taking packed lunch with me or taking the DDs to Morrisons or McDonalds.
I also seem to have a lot of extras coming out lately. A couple of months ago I had a dentist bill of £260 and we have been on strike a few times so last month my wages were nearly £200 short.
This week I have £102 to pay for holiday play scheme but I have had to borrow half from my mum until I get paid on Friday!
I think I will look into budgeting per week instead of per month thank you.
Bunk beds aren't urgent!
I really must proof read!
OP whereabouts are you. I have a load of paint I don't need, a sort of clayish colour if I remember correctly.
Set a weekly cash limit, only go to cashpoint once, leave card at home. Meal plan. Never eat out unless planned & budgeted. Picnics/packed lunches. You just have to do it, no excuses, if you want to save.
Bunk beds/drawers - look on eBay. If they still sleep ok in toddler beds, if the beds are not too small, don't change yet.
Eating out really eats up (no pun intended) the money, take snacks for kids out with you, meal planning can save heaps, including your snacks in meal planning will help, bake stuff if you have the time.
Definitely buy bunks second hand, no point in new. Freecycle for paint.
Allowing a small amount of spending money in budget for yourself can help you to not feel deprived, save up your "spending money" for a few weeks if you want something bigger.
Thank you for your replies
I live in Plymouth so not really near anywhere!
I do meal plan regularly but only evening meals so will start including lunch and snacks.
I will have a look on free cycle and your other suggestions. The girls are ok now but will definitely need to replace the beds next summer as DD2 will be 6. I am going to swap rooms with the little 2 so they have more space and the bunk beds need to be lower than most as there is a shelf along the only wall suitable to put the beds next to.
On paper I get plenty of money but it just seems to disappear!
I am the same on paper I am fine but in reality it doesn't seem to work .
I will not stop at McDonald's as it comes to around £16 for all of us, if they want a takeaway I sometimes go to the fish and chip shop as if we share chips and just get fish cakes etc i can feed us all for about £6.
I cook from scratch. I have 3 children 2 of which are teenagers and they do like to eat a bit of 'rubbish' so instead often going out and spending a fortune I have started to occasionally going to Iceland for snacks and things - it's much cheaper. We just get crisps, ice cream, fizzy drinks, the Greggs pastries, hot-cross buns, bread and pizzas. I know not the healthiest but tbh they would eat it anyway - I always cook one healthy meal a day from scratch.
Not going to the supermarket too often saves too - if you just need milk go to the corner shop or garage xx
I agree look for bunk beds on free cycle or Facebook selling pages.
I got bunkbeds a few years ago from a car boot sale for £10!! Lovely natural pine ones
without heavy orangy varnish stain look that I hate have you tried local carboots? (Get there early!)
As others have mentioned the biggest thing will be eating out, it is a huge waste of money. Plan ahead for meals when you are not in the house. Buy yourself a largish insulated lunch bag, enough to fit sandwiches for you and the DC and an iceblock to keep it cool. If it's a treaty sort of day, in advance get a multipack of crisps on offer at supermarket for a pound or a packet of biscuits. Yesterday for a picnic my children had cheese and salad sandwiches, mini chedders (£1.00 for 7 packs, we only needed four for all of us) and a pack of Oreo cookies from Waitrose (69p) we still have half a pack of those left and the rest of the mini chedders will go towards a packed lunch is weekend. Make sure each DC has a water bottle so you can take your own drinks out. Drinks our are very expensive!
Maybe get some trade paint in white from DIY shop if you can't get it free.
Write down everything you actually spend each day
Have you thought about magic sponges for the writing on the walls? They're only a pound from pound shop and I use them when DS gets artistic on walls previously.
Have you tried the 'magic' sponge you can get in Lakeland for removing drawings off walls? I have an 'artist' who regularly crayons on his and his brother's walls and this product brings it off - much cheaper than a re-paint! Guess it might depend on what she used, though......
I'm sure you have tried all the ways to get the writing off the walls but just in case there's one you might not have tried I thought I'd list the ones I know have worked for others. Would hate to think you had bought a load of paint unnecessarily because noone told you about a way that would work.
Magic sponges are about £1 a pack and can shift pen, pencil and crayon from walls with just water and elbow grease.
Spraying pen marks with hairspray and then gently rubbing with a soft cloth will generally shift it (also takes permanent marker off non porous surfaces like plastic).
Worryingly baby wipes will also shift pen and pencil -and we use them on babies!
I don't have a set budget for everything as I think this is difficult and get paid weekly at different amounts. I just look at what costs me the most on money manger from Lloyds and in my case it was food so I cut my bill from £100+ week to £50 bug going to basic range and cooking! Also I take £50 cash with me so I don't go over and add up as I go round supermarket
Also dh given up smoking and we put money we save in savings account
Keeping a little notebook in your bag and writing down absolutely every penny that you spend will really help to show you where the money is going.
Best thing I ever did (and still do) is to withdraw my weekly budget (£50 for DP, DS and I) and when its gone, its gone! No using card or top up from the cash machine. Really helps me focus on what Im spending.
I'm a long way from you but my area has a furniture reuse scheme, and lots of stuff is available for good prices. Is there similar near you? Might help with the bunk beds - and the cot beds can then be sold.
I'm moving overseas later in the year and have bunk beds I won't be taking (white ikea set -bought new last summer)
I'm in Buckinghamshire though.
Pm me if you think you could arrange a courier.
Will need them for a few more months though!