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Honestly don't think I can save on outgoings, so how can I try to make a bit extra cash?

(127 Posts)
gretagrape Tue 15-Oct-13 16:02:18

Hi. First time on this section, but would really appreciate some input. It's me, husband and 6mo and our outgoings per month are as follows:
mortgage and council tax - can't change those!
water - on a meter - £27
gas/elec - fixed - £95
house/contents insurance - £23
phone/bb - £16 (paid line rental in advance for 12 months already)
petrol - £300ish
cat insurance - £16
tv licence - £12
sky - free until December then will be cancelling
mobile - £35
sainsburys - £220-£240 (includes cat food, bathroom/kitchen stuff and own-brand nappies)
abel & cole organic fruit and veg - £60 (only just started this as son onto solids - no more expensive than food at sains but better variety so would like to keep)
That's it - no ciggies, no alcohol, no gym, no going out or takeaways. We walk with the pram if we are going less than 1hr walk each way (petrol is mostly work mileage); 90% of son's clothes and toys are family's seconds, and we probably average £20 on clothes (not joking, almost nothing in the last 12 months apart from maternity wear for me!).
Even with this we are struggling - husband got free upgrade on phone so it was sold on ebay, but we really don't have much other 'tat' that we could sell.
Can anyone suggest any ways of trying to make a little bit extra?

valiumredhead Wed 16-Oct-13 09:18:50

Aldi free range chickens are 4.99 which is half what I was paying, if you can possibly get to Aldi then do so ad I think that will be your biggest saving.

gretagrape Wed 16-Oct-13 09:22:28

valium thanks. Will be spending today frantically money-saving and searching the loft for crap priceless artifacts to sell.

aturtlenamedmack Wed 16-Oct-13 09:30:13

I'd google local allotment projects to see if you can get veg boxes cheaper.
Agree that you should maybe swap to aldi for your shopping.
The petrol sounds like your biggest expense - are you sure you can't sit back on that somehow?
Writing down absolutely everything I spend helps me to see where my money goes.
If you add up all the essentials that you have listed, on paper how much should you have left over?
As far as making money goes all I can really think of would be to sell some old clothes etc on eBay or to take on some shifts in a bar or shop.
If you can work evenings your dp would be able to do the childcare.
I work pt evenings and weekends and this is what we do, so no money is spent on childcare. It brings in an extra £500 a month.
I'm in a call centre for a big company and the hours are very flexible - could you look into that?

aturtlenamedmack Wed 16-Oct-13 09:31:05

Also you could look into local food co-ops - they buy in bulk so you get things cheaper.

gretagrape Wed 16-Oct-13 09:39:20

At the moment we are basically just covering the bills/expenses so there's no contingency if anything goes wrong with a car. Luckily we don't need to buy anything big for the baby (eg, furniture) - he has a cot and we have loads of wardrobe space so just use that for all his things.
Just spoke to my husband about the petrol and we are going to look at that this morning and work out why it's so much but he's agreed he will use the small car for work now as that's more economical.
We have two big call centres a couple of miles away so I'll ask about evening work - husband gets home at 8pm when he works but hopefully they would have something that starts quite late.
I've already designed my leaflet advertising typing/excel work so I'm going to see if husband can sneakily print them out at work then I can start delivering them over the weekend!

BettyandDon Wed 16-Oct-13 09:41:40

Once my phone contract was up and I owned my phone I shifted to giff gaff sim only which meant 40 bill became 12! It's worth looking into if near end contract.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 16-Oct-13 09:45:59

One of our relatives has 3dc, he sums it up as;

1st baby, everything has to be free range, organic home cooked food. Anything else is akin to poisoning them.

2nd baby, they can eat what we are having, it'll be ok.

3rd baby, they start school this year? Really?.

Meita Wed 16-Oct-13 09:47:17

Where we live, there are a few 'cat sitters' around, we use one when we go away, as our cat has to have two tablets/day so we can't just ask our neighbours. They charge upwards of £10/day, for coming round mornings and evenings to feed the cat, administer tablets (in our case), and give the cat a cuddle - maybe 15 minutes x2. It adds up really quickly - when people go away for a week, that's £70 minimum already - and it fits easily around work and other commitments. It might take a little while to build a customer base, but once established, you could have quite a steady but flexible additional income that fits around childcare duties (just take the baby with you) and even around changing work arrangements. Just an idea I thought I'd put out there. You could advertise at local pet store or supermarket and just see what happens, wouldn't have lost anything if it doesn't work out.

ssd Wed 16-Oct-13 09:51:37

hi op, some really great ideas here

one last thing, are you sure you cant change your mortgage?

ssd Wed 16-Oct-13 09:52:57

sorry, also do you have 2 cars? surely you can get rid of one if you have to?

gretagrape Wed 16-Oct-13 09:55:36

Cat sitting sounds like a good idea - there are lots of them round here, and I guess also dog walking.

What is Lidl like for quality? Our nearest Aldi is 12 miles away so waste of petrol unless we happen to be going that direction anyway, but there is a Lidl in town.

Can't change the mortgage without paying £11k early redemption penalty as we're only 1 year into a 5 year fixed deal.

Really grateful for all these ideas - feel really motivated rather than feeling like I'm just stuck in a hole.

gretagrape Wed 16-Oct-13 09:58:23

Re the car, at the moment we've kept both because we both work 20 miles in opposite directions so depending on whether I go back to my same company in January we will still need both.

If I end up with something more local though I will definitely get rid of one and just cycle/walk with pram.

ssd Wed 16-Oct-13 09:59:52

would moving to a smaller house be possible? we did that.

joanofarchitrave Wed 16-Oct-13 10:06:46

Find out if there is a local veg bag scheme which will be cheaper - there's one that drops off food bags at the local school here. If not, try and find out if you could be the local organiser for one?

Take one car off the road - SORN it to save road tax? Or look into renting your car out (google it locally).

Look at Jack Monroe's blog for cheap family food. I think you need to get serious about cutting your food bill.

Buy some second-hand cloth nappies, even if you only use them sometimes you should save a bit.

Damnautocorrect Wed 16-Oct-13 10:07:47

Lidl quality is great, I think their meat is as good as sainsburys so better than tescos and it's mostly british, Veggies are good but seem to have a short shelf life, ketchup awesome, tinned toms brilliant, I've not found anything bad so far.

joanofarchitrave Wed 16-Oct-13 10:09:05

I think cat sitting is a great idea.

Babysitting is also a possibility?

specialsubject Wed 16-Oct-13 10:31:28

is that petrol cost right? 800 miles a month at current price of 1.31 comes out at £160-odd, assuming 30mpg which should be reasonable for your cars (Love these mixed units!)

so either the figures are wrong, someone is siphoning it or there is some really bad driving going on. No offence but so much of this goes on.

intrigued. Any ideas?

gretagrape Wed 16-Oct-13 13:57:20

We're going to write down all mileage for the next month so we can see why it's costing so much.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 16-Oct-13 14:11:54

There's a massive difference in mpg depending on who's driving Dh's car, I get 60+ mpg, he gets 47 on average. I think he accelerates too quickly but he won't have it.

Lidls good, it's just not the brands your used too and it puts people off which isn't all bad because it keeps the queues down.

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 14:15:38

Fuel : I have two large cars that are both petrol. A £75 refill does around 350 miles of motorways and some errands. We drive gently, but DH can do up to 1500 miles in a week so I track it. And fuel varies up to 1.44 in some areas

IsletsOfLangerhans Wed 16-Oct-13 14:18:53

I do a bit of mystery shopping (on top of regular part-time job) when we need some extra cash. I started doing it whilst on maternity leave 8 years ago and dip in and out, as and when we need the extra money. It doesn't pay heaps, but can work out okay if you do it sensibly e.g. book a few jobs per visit into town.There are quite a few reputable companies if you know where to start looking. pm me if you want pointing in the right direction.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 16-Oct-13 15:09:41

We love Lidl. I started shopping there about 12 months ago and its loads cheaper.

KateCroydon Wed 16-Oct-13 15:23:29

Are you absolutely sure you can't switch mortgage and get a lower rate? to see if there are any tax credits you can claim.

Talkinpeace Wed 16-Oct-13 15:47:07

switching mortgages is a nightmare now - better rates often come with huge fees that wipe out years worth of rate differential

PostBellumBugsy Wed 16-Oct-13 15:59:45

My family & lots of friends are on GiffGaff now. I've been on it for a couple of years & other than a very few small blips have found it to be a reliable cheap option. It is the O2 network, so I often find coverage is better than on my work phone which is Vodafone network.

Sainsburys & Able & Cole are both very expensive food options. Even Asda does organic these days, so have a look around at more cost effective food purchases.

Make sure you are buying own brand for cleaning products, loo roll, kitchen towels etc. There can be huge differentials in price between own brand & named brand on these kind of products.

If petrol expenditure is mostly work mileage, hopefully your DH is claiming for all of it, so you should be able to take that out of your expenditure - as it will all be coming back?

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