Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Trying to save money

We are looking to book a holiday abroad next year, our first since 2013. Unfortunately since then, our outgoings seem to have increased so we need to look at how we can save some money. All our bills are paid via direct debit so those are covered.  We have looked at these and cancelled any which are no longer essential. We have also reduced our TV/phone/broadband package as we do not really watch that much TV, so that is a saving of about £35 per month on those outgoings.

We shopped around last year when our insurance was due. We changed our home insurance and we saved about £30 a month. I don’t think we would be able to save much this year. We do regular checks on our utilities and we really can’t save much more on those.

One of the biggest areas we can save money on is on food. Although we would not qualify for ‘Eat well for Less’ we can still make savings. Craig is terrible in the supermarket. I ask him to call in and pick up 3 things and he comes back with 3 bags full. He is a sucker for special offers and not all of those get used and end up being wasted. I need to keep him out of the supermarket and that would surely save us money. The other way is to do the ‘click and collect’ option where you order online and then just pick it up from the supermarket. My nearest supermarket is less than a mile away so it makes no sense to pay for delivery. Doing the menu plan helps me with the list but if I go I do tend to pick up extras as well which I don’t do when ordering online.

I must also be more organised with the actual meals themselves and remember to pull the meat out of the freezer to give it time to defrost. This wasn’t to bad when we had a microwave oven because I could just use the defrost option, but since we have no longer got a microwave I have to be better at remembering, especially seeing as though I  do not tend to have alternatives that can be cooked from frozen. Perhaps it might be worth investing in a microwave rather than falling back on take-aways which would be cheaper in the long run. I know the kids would be happy if we had a microwave.

One thing I also do a lot is impulse buy. I read somewhere that if you see something you want then you should wait 72 hours before buying it. There is a good chance then that you either forget about it or decide that you don’t really want it. I think this is something I need to implement to save us money. An example of this being successful is when I decided I could do with a new camera. I wanted one because I could not find the cable that connects the camera to the computer and a bit of plastic at the bottom of the camera had split and kept getting caught on things.  I had an idea of which one I wanted but decided to wait. During that time I analysed how I use my current camera, I found the cable and glued the plastic back down. As you may guess, I decided I didn’t need a new camera.

I have heard a lot about the Kon Marie method of decluttering and organising and I like the idea of sorting by category and putting everything together. This should help me save money as I know that I  have ended up with duplicates due to my disorganisation. It might also help me with my stationery addiction once I see just how much I have got.

Before I go and buy any new clothes for winter I am going to analyse what is in my wardrobe and look as to whether I actually need anything. I know I will need some jeans and a couple of jumpers to replace ones which are now to big due to losing weight, but in winter I do not seem to be as bothered about clothes as I am in summer. I am quite happy to live in jeans and jumpers at the weekend and trousers and jumpers for work. I know I don’t need a new coat or boots this year. I am also going to look at all my formal dresses and wear those rather than buy new. I am not going to be the principal Lady this year so the attention is not going to be on me so I can get away with it.

I am not one of those people who would do a car boot sale to get rid of the stuff (been there, done that, hated it) but I do know somebody who could sell the things for me on Ebay and on a car boot. I won’t go along so that I can’t change my mind ( or buy anything).  Anything that doesn’t get sold will then be donated.

To ensure that we put the money away, whatever is left at the end of the month, be it £2 or £200 I will transfer the money into the savings account so that it doesn’t get spent in the next month. I also read that if you decide not to buy something to put that money away as well. I think I will have to see on that particular option but on the months where we do not pay council tax,  that will be put away as will the money we will not have to pay during the holidays for breakfast and after school club.

I will keep you posted about how it is going each month.