Do any of you fancy helping me? Think of it as a project!

(17 Posts)
Karbea Thu 10-Oct-13 08:31:38

I need to reduce our monthly outgoings and try and make as much extra cash as possible.
We've been having a pretty financially wasteful time, but belts must be tightened!
This morning I'm going to cancel my personal trainer and my acupuncturist (who I was seeing for fertility/ivf which we've realised we can no longer afford). Everything else I'm going to need help with. Going to go through our outgoings at the weekend, but ill bet there's loads of flab in there :/

Thank you!

lougle Thu 10-Oct-13 08:35:07

I probably seem like I work for the company (I really, really don't!) but You Need a Budget (YNAB) has revolutionised our finances. They give a 34 day free trial and you can buy the full product on Steam for £30. I got mine for £7 because of a flash sale.

It's an envelope budgeting system - you assign your money to each 'envelope' (spending category) as it comes in. If you need money for something else, you have to take it out of that envelope before you can put it in the new envelope. It really makes you think.

So if you have £300 rent to pay, but you want a take away, you have to really consider 'am I going to under budget for rent just so I can have that takeaway?'

fuzzpig Thu 10-Oct-13 08:59:28

Is there a particular amount that you need to save each month?

Things like convenience foods - pregrated cheese, chopped veg etc - are expensive, so cut these out if you use them (I do use some FWIW because I have a disability that makes food prep hard but I resent the extra cost anyway grin)

Down brand your food, try one step down through commercial brand -> finest -> own brand -> value

fuzzpig Thu 10-Oct-13 09:02:39

Take your own lunches to work

Cut out any Starbucks/costa habit

Karbea Thu 10-Oct-13 10:44:53

I think I need to save about £1500 a month plus reduce credit cards. I don't currently work, so I'm going to look into seeing what I can do (I've no experience in anything useful). I was thinking maybe temp work (to gain exp) but don't know where to start :/

I do from time to time get Pre cut veg, so that's defo something to stop.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 10-Oct-13 10:51:55

Check your bank accounts to make sure old DD's have definitely been cancelled. Look at changing your energy suppliers/insurers/mobile phone contracts etc. We saved almost £100 a month doing that.

also bank accounts. Many accounts have a charge these days, look at the benefits it gives and ensure you relaly need them all or can you swap to an account with a smaller charge?

Meal plan and only buy the ingredients you need for those meals or bulk cook and freeze left overs for later. Also ALDI and LIDL are soooo much cheaper for veg than any of the big four. Downgrade to supermarket label rather than big brands, or to the value range rather than the own brand. Things like tinned tomatoes and kidney beans and bisuits are fine from the value ranges.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 10-Oct-13 10:53:15

Also look at transferring your credit cards. Lots of info on www.moneysavingexpert.com if you don't already use it.

fuzzpig Thu 10-Oct-13 15:18:22

Are you getting any benefits or do you think you may be entitled to any - worth seeing somebody at CAB to do an entitlement check. Always worth finding out what's available if you are struggling and there is surprising help available in places - for example we get capped water bill because DS has severe eczema.

I would spend a few weeks writing down every single financial transaction, cash/card/online etc as that's really the clearest way of seeing exactly where you are going 'wrong' - you might be surprised what you find as some spending is so automatic that we don't really think about it until we see it written down.

When you go food shopping do it with a list and stick to it. I've saved myself at least £10 a week doing this (I know it doesn't seem like much of a dent in £1500 but it soon adds up)

Do you have a farm shop nearby? Ours sells the most lovely veg and it's cheaper than local supermarkets.

I use my slow cooker as much as possible - using cheaper cuts and less energy.

I'm also trying to cut down on car usage, and am saving quite a surprising amount per week in fuel costs.

Can you eBay any unwanted items to help pay for Christmas, for example?

specialsubject Thu 10-Oct-13 17:43:16

you need to cut back £1500 a month? Wow!

if times are that hard then be sensible about Christmas. A nice meal and those decorations you already own, and a few small presents for your own children. Tell the rest of the family that due to financial issues, there is to be a 'no crap present' pact this year.

bonus - hours saved doing boring shopping!

fuzzpig Thu 10-Oct-13 18:20:12

If your mobile contract runs out, keep your phone (or if it's on last legs buy a cheapo one) and switch to giffgaff - I only pay a fiver a month for a recurring 'goody bag' (not a contract so can cancel at any time) which has plenty of texts and 60minutes, plus if anyone else calls me (mobile, landline whatever) I get more free minutes. DH is switching to them when his Vodafone contract ends which will save £20 a month, huzzah grin

How much is your credit card bill? I would definitely prioritise that rather than saving as the CC is getting interest too presumably?

Karbea Sat 12-Oct-13 14:44:26

I've turned off all the electrical items that I can get to easily and I've turned the heating down to 18 ( it's freezing in the house) sad
But worst of all I've been to lidl and still spent £56.99 which I think will last until Tuesday when ill need to shop again, I got bits for lunch today, tomorrow and Monday, and I got a chicken (I'll do a roast tomorrow), curry sauce, I'll use the rest if the chicken and some veg and make a curry on Tuesday and some mince and chilli sauce, so will do that on Monday.

Clearly I can't economise because my usual waitrose shop is normally about £60 and I can walk to waitrose and I had to drive for nearly 20mins to get to lidl...

What am I doing wrong? People feed a family for a week on £50, it's just me and DH and 4 cats and a dog. I got the cat food yesterday so that shop was just us and the dog :/

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 12-Oct-13 16:05:50

What did you buy? Did you meal plan?

lougle Sat 12-Oct-13 17:02:16

It's surprising how shopping can run away with you. I meal plan. Feeding 2 adults and 3 children Monday-Saturday, 4 adults and 3 children on Sunday.

Shopping list:
2Frubes 9X40g£2.00£4.00
1Tesco Everyday Value Sponge Pan Cleaners 5Pk£0.19£0.19
1Heinz Baked Beans In Tomato Sauce 415G X 4 Pack£2.50£2.50
2Mini Babybel 240G 12 Pack£2.00£4.00
9Tesco Bananas Loose£0.12£1.10
1Tesco Leeks Loose£0.62£0.62
7Tesco Brown Onions Loose£0.25£1.76
5Tesco Baking Potatoes Loose£0.48£2.40
2Tesco Courgette 3 Pack£1.25£2.50
3Tesco British Whole Milk 2.272L/4 Pints£1.39£4.17
2Tesco Gala Apples Min 6 Pack£1.00£2.00
1Tesco Pudding Rice 500G£0.99£0.99
3Tesco Malted Milk Biscuits 200G£0.39£1.17
2Hovis Soft White Medium 800G£1.00£2.00
1Tesco Red Split Lentils 500G£1.09£1.09
1Lynx Africa Shower Gel 250Ml£2.40£2.40
2Tesco Everyday Value Tomatoes 500G£0.88£1.76
2Schwartz Italian Herb Seasoning 11G Jar£1.50£3.00
2Tesco Everyday Value Orange Juice 1 Litre£0.65£1.30
1Tesco Red Peppers Each£0.65£0.65
1Tesco King Edward Potatoes 2.5Kg£2.50£2.50
2Knorr Beef Stockpot 112G£1.50£3.00
2Knorr Stockpot Chicken 112G£1.50£3.00
1Tesco Fresh British Double Cream 600Ml£1.68£1.68
4East End Chopped Tomatoes 400G£0.39£1.56
2Tesco Beef Mince 500G£2.00£4.00
1Tesco Cherry Tomatoes 650G£2.00£2.00
1Tesco Everyday Value Smoked Back Bacon 300G£1.64£1.64
1Tesco Creamfields Mild Cheddar 400G£2.25£2.25
1Riverway 12 Traditional Pork Sausages 681G£3.00£3.00
1Tesco Pimento Stuffed Olives 160G£2.00£2.00
1Tesco Coconut & Almond Milk Conditioner 500Ml£0.80£0.80
1Tesco Wholefoods Green Split Peas 500G£0.68£0.68
2Tesco Wafer Thin Honey Roast Ham 205G£1.70£3.40
1Tesco Aubergine Family Pack 700G£1.50£1.50
1Tesco Everyday Value Closed Cup Mushrooms 350G£0.75£0.75
1Tesco Arborio Rice 1Kg£2.00£2.00
1Tesco Graffiti Aubergine£1.00£1.00

Total: £70.23 plus £10 on belly pork = £80.23

Meal Plan:
Saturday - Spaghetti Bolognaise
Sunday - Roast Pork with Roast Potatoes and Mediterranean Vegetables (courgette, aubergine, tomatoes), followed by Rice Pudding
Monday - Lasagne
Tuesday - Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice
Wednesday - Mediterranean sausage casserole
Thursday - Leek, Mushroom and Bacon risotto
Friday - Jacket Potato with Beans and Cheese

3 x children's packed lunches each day (sandwich, frube, fruit, biscuit)
1x Vegetable for DD3's vegetable station at school
2 x packets of dry goods for DD3's investigation table at school.

£80 is quite an expensive week. I have managed a full meal planned week for £35 recently.

Ememem84 Sat 12-Oct-13 17:16:37

If you've got any foreign currency kicking around try and change it back. Post office will change 1/2 euro coins and I think dollar coins too.

Have a good clear out and sell anything you haven't used worn etc for a year on eBay. If you have sky, think about either cancelling or down grading your subscription. Or if like me you're in a non vat paying part of uk tell them to take the vat off your bill. I called them and told them we were paying too much over all and asked to cancel and they knocked 50% off for the next 6 months. We are considering losing sky movies and sports. But dh won't give it up.

Use boots card for shopping if you have enough points and need things, give cc to someone else to look after so you have to ask for it if you want to spend. Look for cheaper internet energy supplier or try to negotiate bills/lower cost. Cancel gym membership. Start running. Walk everywhere. You'll spend less if you have to carry.

Also meal planning. Get right inside store cupboards and be inventive.

None of the above is easy. But it is doable. We had to start cutting back. To save for house. In the beginning it's no fun. But once you get used to it it's ok. Think of the end goal.

Bluecarrot Sun 13-Oct-13 10:00:23

Bit late but have a look at http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/money-help

It's a step by step guide to facing where the money goes and how to stop excess spending sometimes without noticing ( changing to cheaper gas and electric supplier)

Anticipating need is a big thing. Eg, lets say you notice your tyres are looking a bit thin and you estimate you have 3 months left before they need replacing...start keeping an eye out for sales and you might get a third or more off. Look into bulk buying cat and dog food if you have the storage space. No idea what the shelf life of it is but since you know you will need it eventually...
Ditto for household products like loo roll, dish washing liquid or tablets etc (btw, lidl w5 all in one tablet was one of the top in which reviews... But only go there if passing anyway!)

I love Dave Ramseys envelope system. If you google youtube you can hear his whole "financial peace university" seminars. I listened while doing housework first time so its not a big time commitment. My favourite quote of his is "act your wage" Simple but effective I think!

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