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Money moan......

(15 Posts)
Lowfat Thu 04-Sep-08 21:02:55

I am so down about this at the moment.
We are trying to be so careful with money but we never manage to hold on to it

Our credit card is always cleared every month, but last month due to a holiday and other stuff it wiped almost all our savings out. And theres a good £400 on it again already, which will be a strain to clear again

DD starts school this month and some of that credit card includes about £200 on her uniform and other school stuff. Also she has her birthday and in trying to keep costs down she is having a school friend party at build-a-bear and then a tea party for other pals.

She is also getting guinea pigs and we are hoping her birthday money will cover most of this.

I am just so fed up of struggling. Nothing is easy and evey month when we make plans and really watch our spending, something comes up to blow us out of the water like a bill, or a car service, or family birthdays.

I know most peaople are in the same boat, but I needed a moan

Twiglett Thu 04-Sep-08 21:06:16

how did you manage to spend £200 on school uniform? shock .. Is that secondary school? god that would kill us

sorry things are tough .. does she really need 2 parties? does she really need one outside the home? .. just do the tea party for a few pals surely?

expatinscotland Thu 04-Sep-08 21:08:42

Can you flog off anything? Get some cash in hand work - you can earn up to about £4000 tax free/annum - or perhaps a part-time job during hte Xmas holidays to take the strain off?

expatinscotland Thu 04-Sep-08 21:11:19

I've so far made about £100 flogging on Gumtree and for free on cards in supermarkets.

How about looking on AdTrader for cheaper than new guinea pig equipment or a wanted ad on Freecyle?

Animal shelters are full of small pets for adoption - how about getting hte guinea pig there.

Lowfat Thu 04-Sep-08 21:12:24

No she is starting primary school - it's local, but has a uniform, including PE kit and book bag - plus her shoes. Where I could buy cheap I did with tesco and woolies etc.

Build a bear is only for her 5 closest friends (which is also the minimum for a party there) So for our friends children who are all different ages we are doing the tea party.

Just at a loss, Christmas is just around the corner too sad

expatinscotland Thu 04-Sep-08 21:26:29

well, like i said, look for things to flog - try Gumtree, boot sales, AdTrader or cards in supermarkets.

get part-time work over the holidays - royal mail pays really well PT for casuals in the holiday season.

source the guinea pigs in a shelter and hte hutches and such on Freecyle or AdTrader.

i started Xmas shopping back in January.

today just finished it off - went to IKEA they have loads of beautiful vases and trinkets for £2 or so for teacher gifts and neighbours.

i got all the stuff needed to start my Xmas cakes at the weekend - they're not expensive and can be cut into slices, too, wrap up and add to gift bags.

you can punch up store-bought mincemeat cheaply and then make your own shortcrust pastry for homemade mincemeat tarts.

sweetkitty Thu 04-Sep-08 21:32:19

I feel the same every month it's something or other, this month car MOT needed £300 to pass (it's only 3 years old FFS), shoes for DDs, winter clothes like raincoats etc it soon adds up.

My SIL told me she added up school uniform for neice (14) and it came to well over £500, she's an idiot though as neice is a spoilt madam and wants the best of everything.

expat - you are SO organised

expatinscotland Thu 04-Sep-08 21:38:10

i got DD1's school uniform stuff, SK, for next year, in a larger size, of course, the second Adams cut the price to next to nill last week (as Scottish schools have been back now since 19 August) .

i buy jackets a bit longer in the sleeves and bottom so we get 2 seasons out of them.

the best thing is to make a list and STICK TO IT.

NO impulse buying.

no cards.

only cash.

for your car tax, buy savings stamps at the post office. a fiver a week. then it doesn't hit you all at once.

buy second hand where possible but if you feel the need to 'splurge' then make it Primark or Matalan.

don't forget charity shops for bits and bobs if you have them near year.

and/or Freecycle, AdTrader and Gumtree.

hopefully Fri 05-Sep-08 08:04:41

V boring and you've probably done it, but have you tried filling in the budget spreadsheet on www.moneysavingexpert.com? It has spaces for things like existing debts, birthdays and xmas so you can work out how much you need to put by each month. If you do it and you end up hopelessly over-spending, then perhaps people on here can help you come up with even more brilliant ideas to save money for things?

IfYouDidntLaughYoudCry Fri 05-Sep-08 10:26:32

Hi Lowfat.

I get very down about money and have recently started mystery shopping. I work in a city centre so have access at dinner hour to lots of places and by tomorrow I'll have done £60 worth of mystery shopping since Tuesday.

Would depend on what your days are like as to whether it would be convenient but would definitely recommend it if you can. As I rule I don't do any shops where I have to make a purchase upfront and have probs earnt, before tax, around £200 since mid-July. Busy times and quiet times but a nice bonus when you do it!

You're right, most families are in the same boat but that doesn't mean it's any easier does it! xx

Dropdeadfred Fri 05-Sep-08 10:32:03

As you have realised that every month 'something' comes along and blows your budget this means you needto incorporate emergencies/bdays/car repairs etc into your monthly budget. Try saving £20 a month for such things if poss

Fizzylemonade Fri 05-Sep-08 17:36:35

The best time to start saving is right after the event! So for Christmas, you know how much you have spent, add a bit, divide that by 12 and start saving in January.

I am a bit like expatinscotland, I got lots of 3 for 2 stuff like uniform (bought bigger sizes of things like t-shirts £1.75 for 2 from Asda for PE) so that when I need it, I already have it and it was in the sale.

I buy 3 for 2 on wrapping paper for Christmas so that every now and then I don't need to buy any as I always have some over, buy Christmas cards in the sales.

As Martin Lewis (man behind moneysavingexpert.com) once said certain things are guaranteed like Christmas and birthdays, they don't come as a surprise. If you sit down and work out how much you spend on each person for a birthday and again save each month for it. Car service is the same, you know if it is yearly so you budget.

I agree with expat, sell anything you can, look at freecycle, charity shops etc for stuff for you.

I personally think build a bear is a rip off, I have 2 boys so have heard many a tale from friends who have girls. It is not cheap party really. A tea back at yours would be cheaper and with 5 children easy-ish to handle.

The outfits are the killers, I think a dress for a bear is £7!!!!

Fizzylemonade Fri 05-Sep-08 17:39:04

Oh did forget to say that I was in the same boat as you once, money going out left, right and centre until I went on moneysavingexpert website. I even use my tesco clubcard vouchers for things like RAC breakdown cover which would set me back £200, costs me £50 in vouchers so I haven't really spent any money!

It is a relatively small amount to have on a credit card, so hopefully you can pull it back now.

Best of luck, and it is fine to moan grin

reikimarie Sat 06-Sep-08 16:53:34

Wow I would just like to say some of you are simply amazing at your money management skills I take my hat off to you!!

Seabright Mon 08-Sep-08 18:56:31

Have you got a spare room? You can take in a lodger and charge £4250 per annum without having to pay tax on it. It's called the rent a room scheme. click here.

It would be a big step to have someone else in your home, but might just get you back on your feet.

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