Why if we brought in 40k last year can we not afford a holiday ?(168 Posts)
I can't believe after looking at p60's we brought in 40k where does the money go exactly? We have 3 dc under 8 no child care costs we rent but seriously I can't afford to save ? I must b doing something wrong seriously !?
At our Tesco you can still use coupons for other products, at the self-scan tills. You can only use 2 of this sort at a time, though & only up to a value of £2 each time.
I've only skim read this whole thread, so may have missed someone else saying this, but no one has mentioned OP getting overdrawn each month and how very expensive it is to do that. I remember being fleeced by my bank with overdraft charges when I got overdrawn. I never do these days, even if it means basics brand everything.
if both you and your DP are getting overdrawn each month, take a look at how much the bank is charging you. purposefully have one really tight month, spending almost nothing - just to make sure you don't get over drawn and then keep it that way.
I recommend you take a look at Park Resorts. One of the best holidays we ever had was at Easter - so in school holidays, at Romney Sands in a clean, spacious 2 bed apartment for only £69 for the whole family for four nights. We swam in the pools, had the beach to ourselves, rode the tiny narrow gauge railway, had ice-creams at the old fashioned ice cream parlour, went to the fun fair, rode donkeys, had fish and chips on the beach and the whole holiday was less than £150 for four of us. I use Park Resorts a lot. They give you a discount for returning, and price freezes. It's usually a caravan not a flat but they are spotlessly clean and spacious, and often in stunningly beautiful places. DC under age 8 would be in 7th heaven there. They do all the lairy discos, talent shows, kidz fun games etc if you like that sort of thing - we don't bother but there's loads on for almost no money. You really can afford £69.
No, surveys is one thing I don't do. Oh and comping as well - tried to get into that for a while but didn't win anything and was taking ages, so gave up!
I have found it pays to be obsessed, and not worry about what others think! An example - tesco and waitrose used to take coupons for any product even if you didn't buy it (sadly they stopped this a couple of years ago, and my grocery bill went up from tiny amounts to lots!). I used to go to the Good Food Show twice a year, bought a plastic crate trolley, and spent my day going in and out of the various entrances collecting the booklets they gave out, which were full of coupons. These could have anywhere between £10 and £20 worth, and on an average trip I would come home with about £400 of them.
I then used to do small shops every day to the value of the coupons (you could only use 1 of each if not buying the product), thereby effectively getting free shopping. If I didn't need groceries I would use for other stuff like clothes, cd's, christmas presents etc. You can imagine how much money this saved leaving me free to spend it on other things (I managed to overpay my mortgage by £4000 and go on holiday abroad one year!).
As I say, this came to a stop a few years ago, so I have had to get very savvy at using coupons legitmately and making savings elsewhere to still be able to afford what I would class as a "decent" holiday each year (meaning abroad, I actually really enjoy our camping holidays in this country as well).
fluffysheep thanks for the advice about headforpoints.com - I have just been on & got 50 clubcard points for very little effort! Do you also do Tesco Shopper Thoughts surveys, where you can earn points (and Nectar Canvass ones)?
Also meant to add, but finished above post as I got distracted...!
I make full use of Tesco points, use them for days out, and in the past before they put too many restrictions on for holidays (our first trip to Florida was all on tesco points, it was amazing).
I also stalk travel sites like headforpoints.com to see what cards I can take out to get me points that I can use for avios, hotel points etc. Last year we did a cruise from New York then stayed for 3 nights afterwards - hotel was completely free using hotel points.
I got my car in 2007 back when you could use tesco points at motorpoint - paid for half my car with tesco points and half cash. Deliberately picked a car with low emissions so it was in low tax bracket. Have just this minute renewed my road tax, which cost me £30 for the year.
All of the above takes time and effort, but for us as a family, the rewards are well worth it.
I guess it's all about your outgoings and what you can change. I bring home £1500 a month salary, but also get around £900 in tax credits, dla (for my son), child benefit and maintenance. The dla needs renewing in November and I don't expect to get it again, in fact was amazed to get it in first place. If this goes I will be around £500 down a month as it impacts on tax credits too. However, still managed perfectly well before this so will do again.
I am an adult and 2 teenage children. We holiday abroad every year, and also camp in this country.
I spend a lot of time on sites like mse, hotukdeals etc. I never pay full price for anything. I use coupons for grocery shopping obsessively - at work I am known as the coupon queen! I get laughed at, but then the same people wonder how I afford these holidays. For us as a family holidays are a priority, so all money saved goes towards them. Other people choose to spend their money on different things, that's up to them.
I probably don't have that many more family holidays left with the kids given their ages, so am making the most of them whilst I can.
£40k is not a high income, you have high rent and several kids. A holiday would be affordable however if you cut back elsewhere, but it sounds like you spend a lot on car finance so that might be your answer. Nobody needs to be spending £300pm on a car, you can get a decent 2nd hand car for much less.
Actually - all those people claiming you are better off than most. That really isn't true, once you adjust for the fact that you have three children.
I just used the IFS income distribution calculator. I assumed your income was divided equally between the two of you (and guessed £1,500 for council tax). On that basis 63% of households in the UK have a higher 'adjusted' income than you.
Not sure why you've posted all that on this thread Emma, but well done?
Sorry for jumping in here, I always feel slightly overwhelmed when reading posts like these, question whether or finances are right/wrong etc.
But one thing that always make's me feel really sad, is how much people these days have to be so scrupulous with money...life's too short in itself than having to be so worried & consumed by budgets, and I don't mean that in a stuck up way at all! It's a sad state of the country today
I do consider us to be fortunate that my husband brings home £3120 a month & I bring around £350 a month home from domestic cleaning. We transfer £1095 into our bills account each month, that's gas & leccy, mortgage, water, council tax, sky, tv licence, 2 x car insurance, life insurance, critical illness & mortgage protection insurance, £80 xmas savings, 2 x mobile phones, I think that's it..my laptop has decided to freeze when trying to look at our spreadsheet!
On top of that we pay around £200 a month on fuel, £300 food/household bits & £500 on 2 cars on finance (ds3 & ds5 sport) eeekk which leaves us with £1375 a month as 'free' money.
We don't have any loans, credit card debt, store cards or overdraft so if I'm being honest I think we're ok money wise??
The sky & car bill is a bit much I know, (!!) but my husbands excuse is he works damn hard for his wage, we have no debt, live well within our means, we hardly ever go out as we are genuinely happy to be at home together on a night whilst our 2 kids are young & at school..neither of us smoke, we share a bottle of wine perhaps once a week & he'll get a few cans now & then.
I do believe that should anyone look at our finances they would struggle to show me where I could improve as I scour the internet when looking for insurances, policy's, already in a discounted sky deal etc...obvs the car's would be a big arrow pointing to them but again like my hubby reminds me, they're only expensive if you can't afford them?! He's good with words in that way ;)
My sister is really scared of numbers for some reason & has no idea about their incomings & outgoings, but there's nothing to be worried about! Unless of course you know you have problems & this is why your putting off sitting down & sorting it out?
I hope you get sorted soon & back on track though
Good point Viv.
When I get a £x off when you spend x voucher, and would not spend that much in a week, I look to see that long shelf life products are on offer and stock up. Eg laundry and dishwashing products, deodorant, hair and body stuff, tinned good like chopped tomatoes and when I had a big freezer, frozen veg and chips!
That in itself won't save you a fortune but lots of little things added up will. Perhaps you could open a new account ( or have a sealed jar in the house) and every time you save money on something, put the saving amount into the pot.
Or challenge yourself to "save" £10 a week. Or £20 or whatever is a bit of a challenge but not too hard!
£20 a week x 50 weeks = £1000
£25 a week x 50 weeks = £1250.
Hmm... Think I've decided to give that challenge a go myself actually!
Try and stock up on things like dishwasher tablets and washing powder, shampoo and so on when they are on offer. Coffee and teabags same. And what about reducing your Sky package down and dropping some channels. We did once and haven't bothered to get them back even though we can afford it now. Even a bit saved here and there over the week and month amounts to quite a lot in a year.
I agree with iwipe most people are on less household income but most people go abroad so of course its doable.
If staying with your dad is a holiday that means I have 13 holidays a year (main holiday and then 12 'holidays at my Mum's house)
I know people do tend to out-reverse-snob each other a lot n MN, but there's a lot of genuine snobbery on here too. Lots of times people don't even realise they have that privileged position about something.
I just like to point out that nobody is forcing you to do x,y,z
Op you can definitely afford 2 weeks away just by a little cutting back. You just need to be organised.
Train to my Dad's. That is the only place we ever go on holiday though. We'd get a couple of Butlins trips out of that at least.
I don't buy second hand shoes for the children, generally went to the Clarks outlet before, though I'm getting some online that are better for their feet from now on. Not cheap as I have my priorities. Their grandmother generally buys them a coat for birthdays, Christmas, which is lucky I suppose.
I think one of DH shirts is from C&A. He is lucky I suppose, his boss doesn't seem to mind what he wears as he's so damned good at his job.
Lot of snobbery about Butlins, camping etc. someone up thread mentioned city weekend breaks not counting? yeah right.
Iwipe and all just wanted to say my last post was just a bit of gentle ribbing.
I do get tired of posts on MN where posters start competing and upping each other on their frugalness: ' I haven't bought new clothes in 5 years, eat lentil soup everyday and my children share socks.' It gets dull fast...
I suppose if you camp or you have your own caravan you may be able to do it?
Someone will post in a moment that they feed a family of six for a week on a small Asda smartprice chicken.
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