Being money-minded

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Lily
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Being money-minded

Post by Lily »

So, after the catastrophic pile of horse dung which has been my financial past :look: I'm now very lucky to be debt free (apart from my car insurance currently on my c/card!) and paying a mortgage. I'm earning a decent wage - and I'm still skint. I know I'm not the only one, and I'm getting really worried about the future. It feels like I had approx 8 months of not worrying about money before I started waking up every day with that sick feeling. So, here are the things I'm trying to do to combat this:

- Shopping more at Aldi and Lidl including for things like meat, but this makes me feel so guilty as I'm not supporting my local independent butcher where I can take my own packaging, so I'm feeling double guilt due to excess of plastic. :twitch:
- I'm cycling where I can, rather than driving.
- I'm WFH several days a week to try to save petrol although I much prefer being in the office.
- I've set up a water butt to cut down on my water bills.
- I am looking on eBay and Vinted when I need clothes.
- Bulking out casseroles, etc. with lentils and beans to make the meat go further
- Growing my own tomatoes
- I've set up LED rechargeable lights rather than putting the main lights on

I know I'm in a very privileged position, and if I feel so worried about this it must be a squillion times worse for families, people on benefits, etc. Could we share our money-saving ideas here?

I've spent all morning talking myself out of getting my doggy car cleaned and doing it myself, so I will count that as a win, too. I also cancelled my trip to Greece this year - that was hard, but it will still be there next year. Hopefully!
"You first have to find out who you are. Then you have to be it like mad."

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Squirrel
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Squirrel »

Well done on being debt free, and I don’t think it’s “lucky”, you made it happen!

I’m in a different position in that we’re fortunate to have been financially comfortable, and from that position we made some big extravagant purchasing decisions, and now reality has hit and some serious belt tightening is in order.

I seriously need to rein in my discretionary spending. Some examples just from this week:
- Friends over last night for food and drinks. I had done the main shopping but went to Waitrose to top up groceries and get some presents, so that’s instantly £££. Spent £85 of which £35 was on presents.
- completely unnecessarily decided that we also needed a cheese course, which we definitely didn’t need and the cheeses haven’t even been opened. Went to the expensive cheese shop and bought several cheeses and fancy crackers. £25.
- went to Dunelm to replace a broken bowl which costs £4. Also bought command hooks, an apron and a whisk. £18.
- Bought a dress for £50, RRP was £80 so felt like I was getting a bargain, but still probably shouldn’t have bought it.

I need to stop! So my money saving idea is basically - stop spending so much. I’m going to start by doing a freezer and pantry audit and try and use things up rather than buying more and more. I feel ashamed to type this, I can’t believe I’m being so thriftless.
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Morganna
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Morganna »

I agree with Squizz that you should take credit for being debt free.

Personally, when it comes to saving money I find it easier to cut out big things than penny pinch on small ones, as it's one thing to adjust to instead of a death by 1000 cuts. Different strokes, obviously, but something like no holiday but still eat butter, if you don't like margarine - that sort of thing. It's soul destroying to be reminded that you are skint every time you make toast, but you only miss a holiday for a fortnight (different examples may apply).

Also have you done an audit of any subscriptions? Years ago M was made redundant, and I cancelled newspapers (which we got delivered in those days), Sky TV and other things I can't remember now. I didn't bother getting them all replaced. Now it would be poetry magazines, as I subscribe to lots of them, but I try to avoid putting things on subscription unless I can cancel with no penalty, as it was amazing how much we saved by doing that.

I'm another who needs to curb impulse buying. I've been having a clear out and it's embarrassing how much miscellaneous stuff I have binned, and a lot of it has hardly been used.
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speedy gonzalez
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by speedy gonzalez »

Worth seeing if you can get the magazines online through your local library. Our county libraries have PressReader as does the Uni I work for. We cancelled a Sky a few years ago when we worked out we could have all the subscription services for less than we were paying Sky. Now TV still can't apply a cinema pass that I tried to add a few years ago so I keep getting it for free.
Needless to say I haven't chased it up with them!
Also if you work - check if you can get anything like Perkz.
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Margo
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Margo »

Readly is fantastic value for magazines; I used to spend a fortune now it’s £7.99 a month and I get all my usuals tjere
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Margo
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Margo »

Readly is fantastic value for magazines; I used to spend a fortune now it’s £7.99 a month and I get all my usuals there
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Montana
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Montana »

Could you approach it from another angle and ask for a pay rise, at least in line with inflation (10+ %) if this hasn't already been awarded? I know it's a horrible conversation to have but employers are pretty resigned to wages going up so it might not be as awkward as you might anticipate.

On the cost saving side - could you move to eating meat just once a week or once a fortnight but buy it from the local butcher?

I agree with everyone else that you shouldn't lose sight of your achievement in getting debt free - and your commitment to staying that way.
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Lily
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Lily »

Thank you all for your replies. I kind of have been avoiding this thread a bit because my great plans all went a bit tits :ella: but I wanted to come back to it and feel I can manage stuff again. I have set up savings accounts for Christmas, my car and Rosco (I had to plunder these last month but anyway). I also try send money to my main savings every month which my bruv and SIL look after. One thing I did want to buy this month was a new pair of summer trousers, but I popped into a charity shop & got a very nice pair for £4.99 which made me ridiculously pleased with myself.

I had a few subscriptions but I cancelled them when I moved house. The only one I have now is to The Week. My parents subscribe to Private Eye and we swap papers so that works out well. I will certainly look at the library though as I hadn't a clue that one could get magazines that way.

I like that idea about the butcher, Montana. My fear about not eating as much meat is that I will put on weight and lose muscle tone - I certainly need to get my protein in from somewhere. I tried tofu but it was minging and while I know it's natural-ish I have my doubts about how good it is. Perhaps I could cook veggie meals and have a protein shake or something. I know you can get some from lentils, beans & chickpeas but I don't think that it's enough.
It's soul destroying to be reminded that you are skint every time you make toast, but you only miss a holiday for a fortnight (different examples may apply).
This is a very good point!

Squiz, your random spending is something I empathise with. It's so bloody EASY to go to Waitrose as it's on my way home, but that means that whatever I want to buy is never going to be bog-standard. (Mind you, I made an effort to get some fruit & veg from the local market and it all went off pretty quickly and was wrapped in plastic. :bomb: ) I feel for you for your party as I overspent on mine too. Is it worth taking out a certain amount of cash for discretionary spends so that once you finish it, that's it?
"You first have to find out who you are. Then you have to be it like mad."

My blog, if you are bored
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Roma
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Roma »

Do you eat dairy Lily? Dairy products and eggs etc have lots of protein as have beans, lentils etc. I don’t eat meat (fish only) and I definitely get enough protein without meat. Red meat isn’t very good for you anyway…

I have 2 bank accounts. The first one is for my salary to come in and direct debits, stand orders and savings to come out. Then I transfer a fixed amount to my Monzo account and use that for groceries and spending on fun things.

It’s a very good way of keeping control of my spending and if I go over budget at least I’m aware as I’ve got to transfer more money from savings then.
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Skips
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Re: Being money-minded

Post by Skips »

I have a monzo account that my bills are paid from. I also have various pots that I transfer money into for things I pay annually and holiday/Christmas fund etc.

I currently have a help to save that I pay the maximum into.

Anything left other then goes into our joint account which we use for food/frivolous spends etc.

I always know the bills will be paid and I have enough for other expenses as and when they crop up.
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