So people often mention how thrifty I am (the fact I got my wedding dress off eBay & our wedding cake from Marks & Spencer shows I’m verging on the cheap side 😉 ) or some people are more honest and use the word tight 😉 either way both of them are right and I’m certainly proud of how well we manage our finances and what we can do on not the world’s biggest income.
We have a total of 26 outgoings each month, twenty six, some of these you might not class as outgoings so to speak like food, over-payments, savings but I include these as its all still technically going out.
Here a few of my tips for saving money/ ways of living that help us:
- Sky TV – one Sunday morning on our way to Tesco WM decided to start an online chat with Sky (I love this guy & his enthusiasm for saving money but a ten minute car journey isn’t the best place to start an online chat right ….) we had decided to bite the bullet and get rid of Sky. It was costing us roughly £80 a month for the HD package, fibre & line rental and it’s just too much. So we chose to take up Now TV instead, for just £16 a month for both movies and entertainment its a lot cheaper. Admittedly there isn’t a huge amount of live entertainment channels available but we don’t ever watch live tv that isn’t kids channels so its not like we’re missing out, we always stream what we’re watching.
- Only having one car saves so much money, our car still technically belongs to the bank until we finish paying off the loan (we’ve paid over half in just over 14 months by making a lot of overpayments). I can’t wait until its all paid off I hate paying so much money on a car each month, I do love our family car but each month it gets a bit boring paying for it. Anyway having one car and one driver does have its benefits (only one car insurance, one set of petrol, one MOT, one service, one wear and tear etc.) especially as we live so close to town and work it’s so silly having two cars if you don’t really need too.
- Allotment, papa grew so much produce last year that we had to give it away, this year we’re slightly more prepared with the addition of a an extra freezer going into our utility area in the conservatory so we can store all his delicious home grown in there. The allotment is roughly £30 a year and as the years go on & WM gets it more up to speed I can definitely see him making that back in produce.
- WM recently managed to cut our fibre bill in half, so he’s saved us £120 for the next year 🙂 see everyone thinks it’s just me but he’s always trying to save money too 😉 so that’s more money we’re saving from Sky and at the perfect time with me going on maternity leave.
- Each month we have the same amount budgeted for food & household items and that’s what we stick too. Each week (as you probably have seen on my insta stories) I do a weekly food planner broken down by person as we don’t always eat the same meal with me being vegetarian, I find this is a good way to help keep costs down as your not tempted to just order a takeaway because you can’t think of anything to eat. It is time consuming and also dull but it helps us in lots of ways so it is worth doing. Lately we’ve been flipping a coin to see who does next week, I’m so bored of doing it, but the coins always go in WM’s favour 🙁
- Family days – I wrote a post about potential day trips for this year which you can read here, for us price always makes a decision in where we go. It might sound silly but we can’t guarantee that Rue will even enjoy the day, we’re at that funny toddler age with tantrums & screaming which doesn’t always make for a pleasant day out. We took him trampolining the other day as he loves jumping but he was more interested in walking out of the trampoline park so we left early 😐 Having our National Trust cards are fab because it’s a free day out & actually as long as its dry and Rue can run around or take his bike he’s happy.
- I have a box in my wardrobe where I have a stock pile of peoples upcoming birthday presents ready, I try and buy in advance so that way its not a rush and also kind of feels free when the time comes to their birthday. My dear cousin is celebrating a special birthday this year and I had some spare cash (when does this ever happen!) in December so I brought her present then, might sound crazy but for me it works 🙂
- eBay – I’m a big fan of eBay for picking up bargains, my biggest bargain is probably my cable knit jumper from Topshop which I picked up for £1.20, I live in it most of the year! I’m also so chuffed (you’ve already picked this up from my social media activity) with Rues Spiderman costume I got for just over a £1, it was an even bigger surprise when it turned up and I could see it was from Disney Store I didn’t know that when I brought it. I’m kinda falling out of love on selling items on eBay, it’s a fair bit of effort and the return isn’t always worth your time or effort at all.
- I always try and hold out for stuff to go on sale or to receive an offer, for example we’re hoping to buy a shed for our garden to store the kids bikes & the recycling boxes but I refuse to pay full price as we’re buying the same shed that WM has at the allotment that we got on offer, so I know this item does go on offer so I’m just waiting and waiting. I’ve mentioned before about getting a new camera, I’ve found the one I’d like and for an a m a z i n g price but it’s out of stock, I refuse to pay an additional £70 to get it in a different colour just because that item is in stock. Sometimes it does mean that we miss out on items but at the end of the day I’d rather try to save & shop around then buy everything we see first.
- A simple lick of paint or room change around can make you think and feel so differently about a room and this is such a cheap way of feeling like you’ve made a big change. Recently we brought some new shoe storage for our little downstairs area, again we settled for an option that was a third of the price than the original one we wanted but we actually love it especially as WM changed our little entrance hall around last week to fit the storage units in and we’re still commenting on it every day saying how much of a difference it’s made. & I’m still banging on saying having nice stuff with kids isn’t always practical
- Birthday cards are my least favourite thing to buy, I adore cards and picking them for people but I hate the price tag that comes with them. I’m against buying cards that are £3.50 etc. total that up over the year and it’s a huge amount on something that most probably gets recycled. So I’m always on the lookout for reasonable priced cards/ cards on sale 😉
- Each payday our first food shop tends to be a bigger shop because I try and stockpile items like toothpaste/ shampoo/ mouthwash those kind of items, again I refuse to pay full price for these items and will wait until an item is on offer or if we’ve run out I’ll try an alternative rather than pay full price.
- One of my pet hates is how much I pay for my phone each month just because it’s an iPhone, my goodness I’m so over paying more just because it’s an iPhone. Plus WM hates iphones so he’s always rubbing it in my face how cheap his deal is compared to mine 🙁 my contract is up for renewal in August and I’m 100% converting across to a sim only deal and will be able to reduce my bill by over half by doing this. Eventually I’ll have to cave again to get a newer phone when mine is too old; I’m not looking forward to that day.
- I have three active email addresses plus WM has two and sometimes I use my mums just to get alllll the offers/ discounts/ sign up discount offer/ free delivery offers. I’m worse for doing this with H&M if you sign up for their newsletter you get 20% off one item and free delivery.
- Free stuff, there’s always the opportunity at work to get your hands on something for free especially in WM’s team, he often gets recognised for being helpful and gets given a gesture of which most of these make their way to mama 😉 we now have four NT blankets oohh that means we have one each ♥
- Haircuts we don’t e v e r pay to get our hair cut, WM used to go to the hairdressers and pay £10 for a shave but ideally he’d need to be going every week to maintain that hairstyle so now we have clippers and between us we shave his head at home. I cut or butcher Rue’s hair as WM says, I love doing it and don’t intend to give it up anytime soon and WM cuts both my hair and shaves my undercut, think how much money we save from this one thing 🙂
- Magazines – I love magazines but both money and time aren’t on my side when it comes to actually reading them any more. I only ever buy a magazine if its on offer, i’m definitely not one of these people who spends £5 on a magazine, WM would laugh at me for starters 😉 I’ve just got round to reading my December version of Glamour!
I definitely take things to a new level don’t I and you’re probably thinking wow you are way over the top but it works for us, we’re not missing out because of it and surely everyone loves getting something on sale.
I should now thank my husband for letting me be this crazy and never complaining, like ever.