Over the last few months I have been attempting to be a little more frugal and make some financial savings. We are trying to pay off some debts, save for a mortgage and continue to support our family. Here are some of the things that have worked well for us:
I know there are people that have been doing this for years but I have never really been that organised until saving money became a priority. I now plot out all the meals we will be having for a week and write them on the chalkboard in the kitchen. We only buy what we need and stick to the plan! Buying in advance and not ‘panic’ buying has saved us a fortune.
Have separate pots of money for different things
One of our biggest household expenses was food shopping and because two of us just bought what we needed (and didn’t really need) whenever we wanted there was never a budget in place so we often spent above and beyond our means.
I set up a Monzo account which was just for food shopping. Each month we put an amount in and knew that was out limit for the month so had to make it work. Pairing this visibility with meal planning meant we not only saved about £200 in the few month we then found yourselves having money leftover!
Monzo also allows you to set up different pots so we have started paying in monthly amount for quarterly or termly bills. For example, termly ballet classes or the quarterly tv license. Therefore, no surprise bills and we have budgeted for it each month.
Sell stuff on Ebay
I was terrible for not doing anything with the clothes that no longer fitted the kids. I would take to a charity or put in the clothes bank but I never looked at the option of recouping some of the money we had spent on clothing etc. Now I still give bags of stuff away but I now take out certain items and put them on ebay. We aren’t making a fortune but we are making some of the money back which we use to buy the girls new clothes.
It has also opened my eyes to some of the amazing bargains you can get online….
Shopping online can save you a fortune. No more walking around a supermarket with two kids or going once they have gone to bed. I started with Ocado which was great but find I save more money if I use Tesco. I pay for the monthly delivery fee so I don’t have to pay for each delivery individually – saving money!
So Ocado was great at the start but then it got to the point where they were out of stock on many items I wanted and would then suggest more expensive alternatives. It was at this point I moved to Tesco and it has been pretty good so far. Deliveries have been on time and minimal substitutions.
Shop around for cheapest utility company
The bills we get for gas and electric are eye wateringly high! Each year we scour the comparison sites to get the best deal. It has also saved us money but it does take some time and effort. Step forward, Look After MY Bills! It is just a short online form and then they do the rest. They will change your tariff as and when they can to ensure you are always on the lowest tariff. We signed up and they saved us £70 a month! Nuff said!
We are still looking at other ways to save money and start saving some real money towards our mortgage deposit but this has been a great start.
What are your best money saving tips and hints?