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Money-saving hints that aren't...

(210 Posts)
TheFifthKey Tue 08-Jan-19 12:45:27

I've been looking through momey saving blogs etc and the same things come up that annoy me every time because they're either not good hints or just unhelpful.

Firstly, the "if you stop buying lunch/coffees/magazines" tip - maybe there's the odd person who hasn't noticed that £5 a day at Costa adds up but it's irritating when you never really buy these things anyway - funnily enough if I had a £100/month black hole in my budget like that I'd notice!

And the second is "use lemons for cleaning" - they don't bloody work and a bottle of Flash is £1 and lasts aaaaaages for me - I don't use loads and it's fine. A net of lemons is at least 50p and would last one cleaning session - this is not a saving in any form!

lpchill Sat 09-Mar-19 21:49:45

I hate most money saving tips as they all very similar to each other and once you have done the main ones there's not many tips I can find.

What we are doing atm is trying to swap out expenses with cheaper alternatives eg
- window cleaning for us is £12 brought a £15 extendable pole that the hose attaches to. Been washing my windows for over a year now and it's the same quality.
- bake my own bread. Got the Panasonic awoken one second hand £30 3 years ago. Makes really good rolls and loafs. Great and healthier for my toddler.
- cutting and bleaching my own hair been doing it for 5 years now learning to do my daughters
-recent one is doing home work outs so we can stop the gym membership
- learnt how to groom and cut my dogs fur (mini labradoodle) spent £20 on shears and scissors

HelenaJustina Sun 17-Feb-19 20:01:00

We have an Amex and although not many places take it, the accrued points can be spent on Amazon, which pretty much paid for the whole of Christmas this year.

I agree that spending to save is a luxury that those on really low incomes can’t afford.

dementedma Sun 17-Feb-19 19:37:11

we used the library in a nearby town a lot when the dcs were small, although it involved a car journey and parking. I must admit though, i can't remember the last time I set foot in one. I just don't have any need to. I kept getting fines for forgetting to take my books back on time which was a pain ( but my fault entirely). I haven't been in one for years.

ilovebagpuss Mon 04-Feb-19 13:23:41

I know that baking from scratch can be more expensive buying the flour sugar etc but I recently found Sainsbury’s do a ready mixed sponge in a bag for a pound. They do a choc and a vanilla one and you just add an egg and water. I got 12 little fairy cakes out of one bag and covered them in Aldi brand choc spread with sprinkles. Cheap and something to do with smaller children as less to weigh out etc.
I too hate the buy in bulk tips or when you see something on offer get 4! I’d love to be able to fill the freezer but it’s currently holding a packet of pita bread and some fish fingers grin

VanGoghsDog Fri 01-Feb-19 23:31:36

the sad thing about this too is that you have a different tax code for a second job and you get taxed massively

That's not true.

The tax bands are the tax bands no matter where your income comes from. If you have two jobs you can either ask HMRC to split your code or you can have your code all on one job, they don't seem to mind how you do it.

The code is about your tax free allowance which is £12,500 in 2019 (April). So, if you earn, say £15,000 in job 1 and £4,000 in job 2, you may as well have all your tax free allowance on job 1 - then you get £12,500 tax free in that job, and taxed on £2,500 (at 20%), and taxed 20% on job 2 on the £4,000. (this all assumes you owe nor are owed any tax)

If, however, you had one job that paid you £19,000, you'd still get the £12,500 tax free allowance, all on that one job, and still get exactly the same 20% tax on the remainder, which is exactly the same amount - £6,500. The take home would be exactly the same.

In the 1980'w there was some weird marginal tax thing that meant second jobs got taxed differently, but that is long gone.

I think what people don't realise is that you only get ONE tax free allowance of £12,500 (pa). It is usually applied to only one job but HMRC will code you so each employer uses part of it if you want them to (no idea why you would though I did that when I ran my own company and was employed as well as it meant I didn't underpay my tax by accident which I hate doing as I hate owing tax).

If you draw a pension and are employed, they nearly always apply the tax free allowance to the pension rather than the job, so it might feel that the job is 'taxed higher' but it's not, it's taxed the same as if you earned all that money from one source.

strawberryredhead Fri 01-Feb-19 20:15:06

People who mentioned getting a second job - the sad thing about this too is that you have a different tax code for a second job and you get taxed massively

Vintagewannabe Fri 01-Feb-19 16:26:25

These money saving shows that advise moving credit cad balances, loans or getting a cheaper loan get my goat! I don’t have any money to put in savings, I don’t have a credit card and I don’t have a loan.

Lots of ‘money saving tips’ require you to spend money. So it’s not saving at all. They claim you will save in the long run but if you don’t have the cash now??

KateArronax Wed 23-Jan-19 10:19:57

On wasting food / buying in bulk.

I grew up with a small fridge. It was the norm at the time.

Then over the years moved into houses with fridges with separate freezer space : great for freezing leftovers and buying bigger more economical packs of frozen food imo.

Last move ended with the big American style fridge freezer. I never managed to fill it , then I have never thrown away more unused fresh stuff. So when we redid the kitchen ( not at all money saving I know) against all prevailing advice I halved the fridge freezer space. It's been fine. Maybe if we've guests at Christmas I'd like a bit more space but that's about one week every other year!

I find bulk buying / large packs of cleaning stuff makes me use more product too. I tend to buy a couple of things when on offer and put the spares well out of view so I don't get careless!

VanGoghsDog Wed 23-Jan-19 08:51:37

This gives useful tips for saving:

debtcamel.co.uk/easy-ways-to-save/?fbclid=IwAR0vRlsEIaYfB1cUK_8Ba_DMBNBXDco9kb0nTj2zBnh_A0YvJ4gjMWaDmjo

marymarkle Wed 23-Jan-19 08:24:32

High 20s? It is 19 in our house, perfectly fine. Of course turning the heating down is a useless tip if you already are sensible with fuel.

Mojito8654 Wed 23-Jan-19 00:27:04

Turn the heating down.

Always crap advice unless the temp is high 20s

Want2bSupermum Tue 22-Jan-19 13:32:12

crumbs I agree with bulk purchasing being unrealistic for someone on a tight weekly budget. If that's the case it's far better to be strict with portion sizes so you don't waste any of the food. I still use a teacup for measuring rice for the family. It's 2 cups instead of one now but I cook the perfect amount for dinner for everyone and lunch for 3 the next day. Zero waste of cooked food is just as important as watching what you buy.

VanGoghsDog Tue 22-Jan-19 10:17:08

The online services are worth it though. Specially audio books

For SOME people. That is the point of this thread, isn't it? That not all tips work for all people.

I can't bear audio books myself and since I have never bought one, suddenly joining a library to get them free wouldn't actually save me any money, would it?

7Days Tue 22-Jan-19 09:53:00

The online services are worth it though. Specially audio books

VanGoghsDog Tue 22-Jan-19 09:38:22

Libraries are great. If they don't work for you, get cross with politicians who cut them not the people who suggest them.

How would that make a difference? I live in a village that has never had a library. There is a mobile one but it comes when I am at work. Politicians can't move my village closer to the town, where the library is.

The one near work is a ten minute drive and the parking at work is so bad that I would not be able to park on my return, so not worth it. I'd also have to pay to park by the library I think.

No-one is 'getting cross' with people suggesting it though. Just pointing out that it's not money saving for everyone when they have to drive to them and pay to park, when books are so cheap anyway (many podcasts are free too).
If you have kids and can get to a library when it is open without going out of your way, or do some other chores at the same time, then of course, they are ideal. We went every weekend as kids.

Hedwigsradio Tue 22-Jan-19 07:42:31

I love the save the change idea. I have no savings at all and this is a start. I've had an empty savings account for so long. As for things like buying in bulk it's ok if you can afford to. At the moment we are living on £40 a week to feed 4 of us which has to include other things like shampoo etc. I work but that covers rent and that's it I'm hoping this won't be forever as I split from ex so I'm locked into a high mobile contract for another year and I'm paying off other debts he left us with.

I think alot of money saving advice is aimed at people who waste money and isn't there for people who would love to even be able to have the option to waste money on coffees ect

Bayleyf Mon 21-Jan-19 22:36:21

Libraries are great. If they don't work for you, get cross with politicians who cut them not the people who suggest them.

The library near my house is fantastic. And I've joined one near work, too (different borough, but it doesn't matter) and I pop in at lunchtime.

DarlingNikita Mon 21-Jan-19 19:18:28

Yes, I've started doing that too. 26p so far grin

Lolly86 Mon 21-Jan-19 17:46:15

I have just done the save the change idea...thank you

SciFiScream Mon 21-Jan-19 17:39:42

It looks like all you need is a UK address to join this library https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/start-using-our-libraries/Pages/Join-a-library.aspx

and you can join online???

National Library of Scotland I think is a Scottish address (perhaps a UK address?)

Have you checked the libraries of local colleges or Universities? They sometimes (emphasis on sometimes) let non-students borrow.

I think the British Library has online reader access (not very exciting collections though)

My three are county of work, county where I live and National Library of Scotland.

My county do a holiday borrowing card so there's always that for staycations.

SciFiScream Mon 21-Jan-19 17:26:27

@PlumpSyrianHamster have you tried joining other libraries (ie not so region dependent) and using the resources online (so you don't have to physically go there?)

There's some London libraries (I forget which) I can join and I live in Scotland! (Disclaimer I wonder if my info might be out of date?)

Is it that hard to think outside of your box? (Said in a light hearted fashion) grin

PlumpSyrianHamster Mon 21-Jan-19 16:50:31

I can't believe the negativity against my suggestion! A library is a use or lose it type service and a real boon to individuals and the community. And most importantly a proper money saving tip. Sheesh!

Because it's extremely region dependent and in some areas, it's not a question of use or lose due to vast budget cuts. Nor is it possible in many areas to belong to 3 different groups of them or walk or cycle to any of them.

It's in no way a money saving tip for a lot of people unless they live in a region like yours.

Is it that hard to think outside the box?

marymarkle Mon 21-Jan-19 15:16:02

Yes you need to be slightly better off to take advantage of most money saving tips.

crumbsinthecutlerydrawer Mon 21-Jan-19 13:42:31

That’s true, I was thinking this morning about the buying in bulk one. That’s one I can do now and it does save some money long term but a few years ago we were living week to week and quite often I’d get to the point where I’d have to get a couple of nights of dinners out of less than a fiver so had I been buying say pasta in a massive bag it would’ve taken a big chunk out of what I had available to spend and would’ve meant I had very little to put with it to make a half decent dinner out of. So it might have been more expensive per 100g to only buy a small bag at a time but as I was on a really strict budget I just couldn’t have afforded to be prepared and buy in bulk.

We’re still tight for money, not as bad now, but we make our savings where we can and I do like to have a few tins of things in the cupboard as back up and buy slightly larger pack sizes of meat etc to put whatever isn’t being used that night in the freezer so I don’t constantly have to nip out to the shops because this is where I trip up.

user1457017537 Mon 21-Jan-19 13:40:29

And if you really have no money all the money saving tips in the world are not going to help

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