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Budgeting, shopping, debts and all that.

(19 Posts)
Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:00:25

Decided I have to get a grip, I need to pay of my credit cards and live properly within my means. Any tips advice etc.

So far I plan to...

Shop online for big monthly shop so I can actually see what I am spending and not be tempted by non food items and bargins. Keeping to a budget.

Draw a set amount of money for the week for things like milk, kids lunches etc and stick to it.

Sell a few big items like sofa bed and pram, this money will go straight into the visa.

Resist the temptation to buy everything I see for the kids for Christmas, its not big things its all the little things that mount up.

Whats your plans, tips or advice, I want to get debt free as soon as I can. I have just read The Money Secret and I am inspired.

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 18:04:14

I have found that shopping for a few days at a time is more economical than doing a big shop. The reason is that you use what you buy and throw fewer things away. A lot depends on whether you are free to shop whenever or whether you have to organise it around work.

I have known a few friends who have withdrawn enough cash for the week from the bank and then used only that. They have been quite successful in reducing bills and minimising impulse buys.

As for Christmas, it's not about buying everything in sight.

If you are paying off debt, go for the highest interest rate debt first.

LilRedWG Sun 19-Oct-08 18:04:16

We've started meal planning and before I did my monthly shop I went through the freezer to see what we had and then wrote down thirty meal and ordered what extra stuff we needed, if that makes sense. So far (one week in) I've only had to buy bread and milk as extras. We bought frozen veg etc.

LilRedWG Sun 19-Oct-08 18:06:08

We've even bought our months quota of alcohol and when it's gone it's gone. shock

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 18:08:02

Couldn't do it with alcohol. We just buy a reasonable amount for a few days, and then go to the offie as and when.

BreevandercampLGJ Sun 19-Oct-08 18:08:09

A few years ago, we had to pull our horns in for a while.

We made a list and stuck to it. When we didn't stick to the list, we put those items on the belt first and asked the cashier to do those first and subtotal them. It was generally about an extra £15 a week. That was a very good way of concentrating the mind.

BreevandercampLGJ Sun 19-Oct-08 18:10:11

The other thing we did was to give ourselves a huge budget for food, we rarely hit it, but when we did it didn't matter as it was accounted for. A bit of daft physcology but it worked for us.

LilRedWG Sun 19-Oct-08 18:11:01

Ah, but by doing that squeaky we were drinking far too much and therefore spending a fortune.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:12:15

I recently started menu planning and that has helped reduce waste, I will get veg weekly and freeze meat etc so that nothing goes out of date. I have to be stricter and stick to my plan. I see lots of pasta and pesto meals coming up grin.

I find if I shop as I go along I buy too much and lots of non food items too especially with the kids. I never know how much it will be when I go to the till. I audited my spending and some weeks there were three visits to the supermarket in one week all over £40 pounds.

I like the idea of a quota and once its gone its gone. Did shop online today and spent £75 before discounts come off, thats most stuff including laundry stuff and loo roll etc. Don't know if I will go for the once its gone its gone idea when it comes to loo roll though wink

LilRedWG Sun 19-Oct-08 18:16:36

LOL - it's only really the alcohol that has that rule and even then we will be buying an extra bottle or two this week as we have ILs over for dinner on Tuesday.

LilRedWG Sun 19-Oct-08 18:17:22

And there is NO WAY they are touching my precious booze. wink

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:19:04

Well I am cutting down on booze, not needed and I was drinking way too much, limitingit to a little tipple at the weekend I think. Damm I never bought any in my online shop, it will have to come out of my weekly money.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 19-Oct-08 18:21:02

My top tip (and I should follow my own advice and do this again) is to keep a diary of everything that you buy. When I was trying to sort out a budget many years ago, I found that we were spending almost £200 a month (shock) on "money taken from cash point, who knows where it's going". blush That's how we found out about the bought lunches, DH's coffee habit, my magazines... you get the idea.

Majeika Sun 19-Oct-08 18:25:22

and one meal of the week can be all the bits of meat and veggies that are left over can be fried and put into an omelette. Served with HM chips.

We are having leftovers tonight of lamb tagine, thai chicken curry and rice. YUM!

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:29:56

I did the diary thing for a few weeks to get a clearer idea of what I was spending, I too found I was drawing money and had no idea where it went. I am going to start this again. I have a accounts sheet made up on excell copied from a small business account book format. Now I have a good idea about my bills I think I will redo the sheet to concentrate on other spending to show where it all goes.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:31:11

Hmm omlettes are cheap, eggs are the one thing I never use much and if I get them for carbonara the rest usualy go to waste, I will use them up, must try to get kids eating omlette too.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 22:24:06

Bump for the night owls

FeelingLucky Sun 19-Oct-08 22:35:37

If you do an online shop. still make a shopping list first and only buy things on that list.
Make a list of all the christmas pressies you want to buy and stick to it.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 22:45:51

I was good I had a list grin for grocery shop. I have a weekly menu plan and know how many chicken and mince dishes I will make, pad out the rest with pasta dishes.

I do need to sit down and see what I already have for Christmas and see what I still need to get.

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