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Trying to limit spend - to write down everything I buy

(31 Posts)
NormaSmuff Sat 04-Feb-17 08:16:34

but why,
is there any point?
I have just done this for this week, I have had not had a No spend day this week.
Is it just to bring it home to me?

any other methods of limiting spend?

ir080485 Sat 04-Feb-17 08:25:18

I have a spread sheet. i put in my monthly wage, standing orders, direct debits and figure how much I have to spend on a daily basis until pay day. If I have £300 and ten days till pay day then I can spend £30 a day, if I only need £25 a day then I stick the extra £50 in my savings. Any day where I spend less than I have budgeted is a good day. I have some debt on an interest free credit card and I pay that off with any spare cash as well. My aim is to get to a point where I have zero debt and three months wages in my savings. (Never happen but I'm trying). My credit rating is 999 although I never feel that good with money.

DeadZed Sat 04-Feb-17 08:38:11

I found the spending diary useful as it kept track of all the little amounts I didn't realise I was spending. Adding them up was quite shocking for me. I did it for a few months last year.
I think the biggest change I made was just trying to avoid shopping. Now we only do our food shop on a Saturday. When Thur/fri come round it is tempting to nip out and get a few bits but I more often than not stop myself and try and use what we have in the house.

The other thing I do is which helps is using cash. I take out an amount for the week and limit myself to that.

NormaSmuff Sat 04-Feb-17 08:57:39

i did check the amount available at one point which was very scary indeed.

ChessieFL Sat 04-Feb-17 16:04:41

Writing it down for a week isn't enough. You need to do it for a few months, then you can really see where your money is going. In that one week you may, for example, have spent £5 in a coffee shop. That doesn't feel too bad. However, after a few months you can add together your coffee shop spend, and the total number is often more scary!

ImperialBlether Sat 04-Feb-17 16:07:13

What do you mean, the amount available?

NormaSmuff Sat 04-Feb-17 18:11:10


MuddlingThroughMotherhood Sat 04-Feb-17 19:32:59

Unlike most people I'm really bad at budgeting by using cash, if I have cash in my purse then it goes really quickly. I prefer to have a few pounds, (usually no more than £5) in my purse and everything else is spent on my credit card or sometimes debit card.

Now, this is how I budget...Just before I get paid I pay my credit card off in full and then when I get paid I move some money to savings, most of it over for bills and basically move money which can't be spent out of my current account. Then I use the app Totals, the budget feature allows you to input a figure which for me is whatever is left in my current account after savings etc, so it's spending money.
Every time I spend anything I input it into the app and watch my 'total' go down. Seeing the total decrease is really effective for me, I've never spent so little.

Then the day before I next get paid I pay off my credit card using the money which was sat in my current account all month knowing I had enough for it because my 'total' hadn't gotten to zero. Any money left goes into savings, it's amazing how the money left has been increasing since I started this method of budgeting.

I've been doing this for months now and it's really helpful seeing the total go down, the app was 79p to upgrade to the full version and it's been worth it.

NormaSmuff Sun 05-Feb-17 08:24:08

I have a little note book and have now set up a spread sheet,
so that's a start

ToastieRoastie Sun 05-Feb-17 09:23:31

I recommend You need a budget. If you go to the site from your phone, it will give you a link for 2 months free subscription.

If started it in Jan. It forces you to budget all your money. If I want to buy something I check if I have enough budget for it. If not, I have to move money from a different pot to pay for it. It's made me really think about what I spend and I'm being more careful and choosy with what I spend on.

lljkk Sun 05-Feb-17 09:27:33

It works for me. Such a faff recording everything that I'd sooner not buy at all. Also it sets up a challenge to keep to an avg daily budget.

Lottie4 Sun 05-Feb-17 17:36:36

If you don't really know how your money just disappears then it may be worth writing down everything you buy so you can see the cost and work out whether you really needed your purchases or whether there are cheaper options available, ie buying sandwiches at lunchtime can soon add up, making your own probably costs 10/15% of that.

If you're not into keeping a detailed diary (I'm not) then I'd say don't buy it unless you really need it. This month we're very much keeping our spending to food and petrol and then being careful not to spend too much.

VivDeering Mon 06-Feb-17 17:17:03

I think the point is that "information is power".
My spreadsheet has five sheets - one for monthly bills, mortgage etc; one for monthly expenses (food, eating out, clothes, petrol etc); one for monthly savings towards irregular spending (MOT, Christmas, insurance etc); and, a sheet that summarises monthly income, outgoings and bank balances. The fifth sheet is one where I jot down weekly meter readings.

I am quite a competitive person, so I like having a target to try to beat. I'm also fairly risk averse so I like the reassurance of a surplus most months.

Char22thom Tue 07-Feb-17 06:24:10

I have done it for almost 6 weeks (since new yr) and I have 4 pages to mine, 1 for all bills/direct debits etc, 1 where we write down all fuel spends, 1 for supermarket and 1 for all other expenses-I keep a running total of each and at the end of the first month I was shocked! x

Char22thom Tue 07-Feb-17 06:30:13

Sorry pressed send to soon!! I also have a budget plan, where I list income, deduct bills, then fuel, then a food budget then any unavoidable expenses for this month (eg car MOT, birthdays etc- but HAS to be unavoidable) then I see what's left and allocate into debts/savings/Xmas fund/and unavoidable (things we want to do/buy that could wait til next month if need be). Then I withdraw cash for each pot and leave the debit card alone! x

skerrywind Tue 07-Feb-17 06:30:36

I don't budget, but I am a naturally low spender.

Always bargain hunting, looking for whoopsies in shops, most of my clothes are from jumble sales- buy a coffee from Costa is something I do once a year. Make up comes from the pound shops,

No point in me budgeting as I couldn't spend any less.

NormaSmuff Tue 07-Feb-17 06:34:34

i will add direct debits to spread sheet, that is a good idea.
my clothes are charity shop or in a sale,
costa coffee is a no no.
but hopefully i will find more ways to cut back

Char22thom Tue 07-Feb-17 07:32:57

The spending sheet that I have found most useful is the 'other expenses' one as we do not have a lavish lifestyle or spend much on going out/clothes/make up etc but discovered that the little £10/20 spends add up very quickly over a month and when I worked out that was money we could have saved, it motivated me the following month to cut back even further, even thoug 2 months ago I would have said I couldn't cut back at all X

anyname123 Tue 07-Feb-17 07:40:27

vivdeering, weekly meter readings, can I ask why? That seems so excessive.
Sorry to hijack!

HesterGreysGarden Tue 07-Feb-17 19:47:42

This is a great idea, but the idea of a spreadsheet makes my head spin. Question about you need a budget ToastieRoastie: how do they use your data? Have heard about it and think it sounds great but really don't want them harvesting a load of data about my spending habits - anonymous or not.

Char22thom Tue 07-Feb-17 20:03:51

Mine is a table on an a4 sheet of paper printed out and folded up in my diary smile X

ToastieRoastie Tue 07-Feb-17 21:18:06

Hester I haven't really thought about whether YNAB would use my data. I use an email address that's not linked to my name to log on. I don't have it linked to my bank accounts or any details of credit cards etc. There is an option to link your accounts, but I think it works from US only. I didn't look into it as I would never link my accounts to anything else. I don't think there's really any data in it that could link back to me.

The way I did it was enter the amounts I had available in my account on the day I started the budget. I then budgeted for any transactions that would take place that month. Got a bit confused because I tried to enter future income in the following month but that didnt really work - it's more about how you budget the money you have available right now. It took a few days to get used to it, but it honestly has revolutionsed my spending in just a few weeks.

I was in the habit of thinking I can afford something because I have money in my account. But by budgeting into different pots, I can see I only have X amount to spend on frivolous stuff because the rest is budgeted for car insurance renewal, holiday, birthdays etc. If I want to spend more from my frivolous spending pot, then I have to shift money out of a different pot to achieve that.

Of course I could have found it good purely because I was obviously crap at budgeting - other people may have a better handle on their finances!

HesterGreysGarden Wed 08-Feb-17 07:31:13

It sounds exactly what I need. But I'm wondering if I could try the free trial and then use it as a template to set up something similar on a spreadsheet instead of paying the monthly fee? I am not exactly a whizz at any of this though - might that be quite complicated?

NormaSmuff Wed 08-Feb-17 08:23:35

like today for example,I know I need bread milk oh and getting low of frozen fruit, and i bet there is somethign else.
but yesterday I did another huge shop, with dd in toe.

I seem to have a fear of having empty fridge/freezer/cupboards.

HesterGreysGarden Wed 08-Feb-17 08:59:45

Totally get that norma - you want to provide for your family! Also shopping with dc always results in getting extras I find. Maybe an online shop once a week is the answer?

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