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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,681Posts
    • 4,236Thanks
    trailingspouse
    Making savings before it's too late
    • #1
    • 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    Making savings before it's too late 22nd Dec 17 at 11:28 AM
    I decided to do a full audit of all our expenditure over the last 12 months. This was prompted by the realisation that, although we're still in the black, our savings are much reduced compared to this time last year. I really wanted to know the answer to the age-old question - where does it all go??

    As a result of a lot of number crunching and general faffing on, the end result is a list of things that we need to do next year to ensure that our savings don't disappear completely and we end up in the red. I thought I would share it on here. And if anyone has any better ideas...

    - stop having hair dyed. I started to go grey at 19. Now that I'm 57 I've decided to embrace the grey. This will save about £400 a year.
    - reduce gas and electric usage. We'd got a bit lazy and had it on 24/7 - now it's off from 10pm until 5am (we're up at 6). And the gas fire doesn't go on until the evening.
    - check that we're with the best supplier. We weren't!! Looks like there are substantial savings to be had.
    - I was already an Aldi convert, but tended to go to our nearest supermarket (Sainsbury's Local) for top-up shops. Aldi is only a little further away, so will make the effort.
    - make sure we're using the cheapest fuel locally. We'd got into a habit of always going to the same place, but it turns out it wasn't the cheapest by quite a long way.
    - shop around for the best deals on connectivity - I always feel ripped off by mobile/broadband etc anyway, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we can get the same deal for less. This is OH's specialist subject, so hoping for significant savings.
    - PayPal. OH seems to have a bit of a PayPal habit. It's hard to say what exactly we've been buying via PayPal, and I'm sure it was all a bargain, but nevertheless an awful lot of money went that way. Needs to be brought under control.
    - cash. I think I very rarely use cash - most spends, even quite small ones, go on the credit card so that I get the cashback. But still, the amount of cash we withdraw seems a lot. Next year I'll start keeping a record of it.
    - buy less wine!!!
    - keep track of the (monetary) gifts we give to the kids. They're all grown up now, all in reasonably well paid employment, and generally heading in the right direction. We need to learn that they don't need us!!
    - keep a lid on what we spend on holiday, particularly on meals out. The last time we were away, we had every meal out apart from breakfast. Some were just snack-type lunches, but even so - it all mounts up. There's no reason why we can't buy some nice bread, some local cheese and some fruit and make up a picnic.
    - have fewer take-aways. We actually don't have that many, maybe one a month - but it would be cheaper to keep a few Chinese-type starters etc in the freezer. And probably quicker than waiting for a delivery!!
    - keep an eye on best before dates - again, I'm pretty good at this, and I wouldn't chuck something out just because it was after the best before date. But still, things need to be used!
    - use up the alcohol we already have!!
    - tumble dry everything in one load. I do a dark wash and a light wash, which is fair enough - but there's no reason why they can't go into the tumble dryer together (I dry them overnight on the radiator first, so the tumble dryer is just finishing them off).
    - reduce waste - what are we throwing away?
    - cancel the Santander credit card - it was worthwhile when we got the full cashback, but now that it's capped at £3 per category, the max you can get is £9 - and there's a £3 fee to take off. So - we'll use the Asda card for everything (0.5% cashback on everything, or 1% on spends at Asda, and no fee).
    - for things I can't get at Aldi, go to Asda to take advantage of the 1% cashback, and also the cheap fuel.

    That's the list so far. It'll be interesting to see where things stand next year at this time. Fingers crossed.
Page 21
    • CurlyTop
    • By CurlyTop 5th Feb 18, 10:01 PM
    • 355 Posts
    • 1,916 Thanks
    CurlyTop
    Have any of you found a good place to buy candles? Last time I looked they had really jumped in price. I mean plain white long burners for power cuts, not fancy smelly ones lol
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Hi Mar data

    I spotted chunky pillar candles at different height in bog standard white/ cream in asda in a pack of 4. Think they were about £5. Not sure if this is a good price.
    I got there - I'm debt free and intend to stay that way. If I haven't got the cash, it doesn't get bought. It's as simple as that.
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 6th Feb 18, 8:47 AM
    • 3,328 Posts
    • 20,549 Thanks
    purpleivy
    A Roomba isn't a total solution, but it helps me keep the big areas sorted for day to day cleaning. I have had tennis elbow in both elbows, and shoulder problems. I'm generally keeping these at bay these days, also have facet joint inflammation in my back. If I'm careful I get by with no/few problems.

    The floors I use it on are travertine (tiles) and carpet. The main big area is all tiled, upstairs landing is carpet. Upstairs bathroom and guest room are laminate.

    I find it works best if I make a little barricade in our open plan sitting/dining/kitchen and do it in 3 sections. You DO need to keep your floor clear, otherwise having to pick up before you set it off is a barrier to regular use! I find it 'humps' (sorry!) the IKEA Poang chairs, so tip those on their side and use as part of said barricade. I have boxes under the sofa to stop it getting under there and the same under the bureau, as it sometimes got stuck there too.

    I have been very pleased with it. When someone asked how good it is, my reply was 'not as good as T***** (son) at doing the job, but better than T**** (hub!). To be fair, my hub is a quality washer upper!

    Would I purchase again? Yes, in my circumstances.
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 6th Feb 18, 9:19 AM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    purpleivy I have two roombas, I rate them 100%. Bought the first when neighbour got a cleaner at £22 for 2 hours a week. I worked out that roomba would pay for itself in 5 months. It does a fab job, I hardly ever need to make a barricade, just shut doors and cannot believe the amount it picks up, even though it is just me and a stove. It works great on downstairs which is tiled with rugs and I keep it parked in a corner of the dining area

    Then a year later I bought another for upstairs, it parks on the landing and cleans tiled bathroom floors and sisal carpets all over upstairs, even up to the stair edge. They are amazing robotic machines, I got genuine roomba from online suppliers. The first one when I was not coping with house cleaning, after husband died suddenly. It picks up so much dust that surfaces hardly ever need dusting. I did need shortcuts as I have an allotment as well as continue to cook from scratch as well as trying to keep hobbies going. Roomba is perfect, my neighbour ditched the cleaner after a year. So in relation to that comparison, my roombas are now working for free
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 6th Feb 18, 9:31 AM
    • 14,465 Posts
    • 136,144 Thanks
    mardatha
    I've got a Jimmy. Well two Jimmies. One is living (allegedly) and a husband, the other is a hoover. Only the hoover Jimmy has a nice big smile and doesn't moan.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 6th Feb 18, 11:50 AM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    lol, mar. My hubbie used to go up and vacuum without me asking and he put dishes away. It was such a shock when I realised that I had to do it all, that the dishes were not going to wash themselves. He used to do all the house maintenance like oiling hinges and repairing stuff, all for me now, so getting a robot to clean is good. I do the oiling of hinges and render repairs and I am good at it, if I say so myself but floor cleaning!! pah, a robot can do that and it is loads cheaper than getting a handyman in because I am too busy cleaning
    • purpleivy
    • By purpleivy 6th Feb 18, 1:48 PM
    • 3,328 Posts
    • 20,549 Thanks
    purpleivy
    The best was when my son was living at home between university and moving south to start his first job. DD (who has ME/CFS) and I miss him terribly! I learned with him that I needed to focus on his strengths when asking for help. Great at cooking dinner. Just don't leave him in charge of an iron or a potato peeler.....either burns or blood would be found!

    My DH was nattering about me having a cleaner, but I don't WANT a cleaner. I would rather work £20/week less at my job ( home based garment alterations and repairs) and do my own housework. I did do one thing last year though and that was have my ovens professionally cleaned. That was expensive but worth every single penny! I also managed to barter altering a bridemaid dress for a friend at choir. WHen I went away with dd and parents, she ironed hubs shirts for him. It was a busy time of year so he appreciated it too.

    The room is very big Kittie, 14-15m long! Anyone know of anyone with the Scooba, that does a wet clean?
    "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"
    Trying not to waste food!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Feb 18, 1:11 PM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    I have one of these mops, the very best I have ever ever used. I can whizz around the whole downstairs very quickly and I have a cream textured stone

    https://shop.vileda.co.uk/vileda-easy-wring-clean-turbo.html

    Not spending anything much at all, a bit of milk, algae cleaner and a whole box of my special 85% dark chocolate, each bar lasts about a week.
    • mumofthetwins
    • By mumofthetwins 7th Feb 18, 2:09 PM
    • 925 Posts
    • 3,919 Thanks
    mumofthetwins
    Thanks for such a great thread kittie .. I'm a lurker who is coming out .. hope you don't mind.
    There's so many fab tips
    Just want to say as well I am mega impressed a choice bar will last a week .. that's some going mrs .. mine normally lasts an hour if I'm lucky lol

    Lisa x
    This time I'm sticking with it !!
    Feb £45.14/£300 7/10 NSD
    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Feb 18, 4:23 PM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    Hi mum, I know I post a lot but it`s not my thread, I also think the thread was a wonderful idea and I am not the only one who has been able to focus because of it. The chocolate, haha, it is bitter almost black but the best thing is that a thin piece satisfies that craving and I own up to being a chocoholic. It really does stop the cravings. I would be a gonner if ever the old cadburys came back, that one made from good stuff, melted in the mouth, ahhh the stuff of dreams from the distant past
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Feb 18, 5:19 PM
    • 3,060 Posts
    • 7,382 Thanks
    tori.k
    Had a massive saving of 113k today, as the house we we're buying finally fell through
    We've been SSC for nine months think it must have been the longest a non- chain property has taken with no end it sight we've left the offer on the table but informed the vendors EA we are now looking at other properties, we always have been but this is the first time we've booked a viewing on a different house with the same estate agent.
    I'm going to stay positive about the experience and try and focus on the savings we make now will be less needed on the mortgage needed ,no point on thinking about the money already lost it all part of the house buying minefield.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Feb 18, 6:23 PM
    • 3,119 Posts
    • 20,835 Thanks
    caronc
    Nipping out of lurking to say hello.
    This is a great thread and very apt for me as my gross income in the past 12 months has halved....
    I've not much to add to the fab tips on here, my "doing differently" for 2018 is grocery shopping every 8-9 days rather than every week. Not a bick change but does mean I'm being better at "shopping" from stores and in theory I should get a "free" week every so often which will either be used to cover higher spend times when my offspring visit or get stashed into my morthage overpayment fund.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Feb 18, 6:41 PM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    tori, that is gutting. There is a programme on tonight about new housing developments. I am going to watch it, I have researched the development plan for one area that I am interested in and there will be development, not on a huge scale but new houses nevertheless. I am quite tempted by a brand new house, had one twice, both unusual and there is always snagging. Gardens are small but insulation is very good. Could be interesting. Don`t forget tori that as one door closes, another one opens

    Caron, I am glad you came on here, I have always admired your gritty spirit, the way you cope with stuff
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Feb 18, 7:00 PM
    • 3,119 Posts
    • 20,835 Thanks
    caronc

    Caron, I am glad you came on here, I have always admired your gritty spirit, the way you cope with stuff
    Originally posted by kittie
    Thank you kittie - there are lot (too many) of us soldiering on, one way or t'other. IMHO you either make the best of the hand you're dealt in life or give up. I've never been a quitter (to my cost at times )
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Feb 18, 7:46 AM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    four days to go and I can start serious re-jigging of finances, ie making sure cc is zero, taking cash out for my wallet in a drawer and transferring savings.

    I will be on a roll once I start adding to my brand new savings account
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 8th Feb 18, 8:40 AM
    • 3,060 Posts
    • 7,382 Thanks
    tori.k
    Cheers Kittie.
    Sadly new build is not on the table for us, our budget doesn't stretch to the size of the house we would require for the amount of cars and motorbikes we own.
    Insanely the house itself is fairly insignificant. As we are outside people by nature with all the outside carp that goes with it, surfboards kayaks and mountain bikes on top of all the vehicles, so need accessible outside space, there is plenty around that would be ideal just they are 50k more than we have to spend ( always the way) we are looking for semi detached with a mid terrace budget but I have faith something will turn up
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 8th Feb 18, 7:10 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 1,074 Thanks
    blackcatsx2
    Tori, Iím sorry to her about the house purchase. The system in England is so frustrating - things can go on for months and then fall through. Sometimes itís the buyer and sometimes itís the seller but itís always painful when things go wrong. However, Iím sure you will find the perfect place soon - a semi on a terrace budget isnít impossible to find, just a bit harder to find.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Feb 18, 5:43 PM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    I took some cash out yesterday, first time for months and have added £60 to my cash wallet, kept in a drawer, which I use for all shop purchases and petrol. I also filled my tank and now have £115 in my cash wallet. I need to increase that to get back to what I kept in the house previously, I only owe my cc £80 and will pay that off on monday, which is when the true savings start. I even factored council tax in for april, so think that everything is correct with no hidden surprises going forward
    • caronc
    • By caronc 9th Feb 18, 6:18 PM
    • 3,119 Posts
    • 20,835 Thanks
    caronc
    so think that everything is correct with no hidden surprises going forward
    Originally posted by kittie
    I'm just about happy with my budget (or rather the spreadsheet that it's on....), I think I've factored in everything, though I'm waiting for the new council tax charges to be announced and also what my pension increase (if any) will be. Thankfully I have started a small "unexpected expenses" fund as the fence between myself and my neighbours has collapsed so I won't have to dip into my home improvements/major repairs fund to pay that. We'll split the cost so it won't be a huge bill. No doubt as the year progresses I may need to tweak categories but fingers crossed I've not missed anything too expensive.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £63/£120
    GC YTD - £118/£240
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Feb 18, 7:38 AM
    • 11,349 Posts
    • 69,631 Thanks
    kittie
    I am going to make myself busy today as I think it could be a temptation day, ie spend to compensate for gloomy weather. I`ll get busy in my sewing room, with bag ready for the cs

    I clean forgot about amazon prime, must put that on my m/s money bills, due in 2 weeks and my cc has now gone to statement, which I will clear on monday with the £80. So a very fresh clean start on monday, nothing owing to anyone
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 10th Feb 18, 8:43 AM
    • 3,060 Posts
    • 7,382 Thanks
    tori.k
    My CC is up to £172 annoyingly with have another £25 in fuel before it's paid on the 16th as the lad forgot his MOT was due yesterday so will have to ferry him to work until Monday,
    Have a viewing for an odd house next Saturday totally different then anything we have considered but it's time to start thinking out of the box, it backs on to church graveyard so be no lie-in's on a Sunday with the church bells. It's a step off the road into the living room which I hate but has a separate dining room so could flip the rooms and does have the outside space we need, and the compromise has to be made somewhere.
    I'm barely spending anything at the moment, between work and housework. Next months shopping will hurt a bit as I've all but caught up with my food cupboard, still have plenty of cleaning/ bathroom stuff and a better idea of how much we are now using so I won't overstock in the future.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
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