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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,680Posts
    • 4,278Thanks
    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 29
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Mar 18, 8:50 PM
    • 3,407 Posts
    • 22,563 Thanks
    Sounds amazing LL (pun intended)

    My dinky tea pot and strainer arrived late this afternoon so I enjoyed a blissful cup of "proper" tea in my favourite mug while snug indoors listening to the rain batter off of the conservatory. One of though "priceless moments" so reckon it was £8 well spent.
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £68/£120, Mar £70/£150
    GC YTD - £193/£390
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 8th Mar 18, 8:09 AM
    • 3,104 Posts
    • 7,684 Thanks
    What an amazing trip LL, Kittie im keeping my fingers crossed that this is the one.
    We are now officially broke, offer was excepted due to our position, so the clock is ticking,
    Mortgage application is being done Monday this is a very straight forward deal as the property is only 10 years old and no changes other than a conservatory has been added (no building regs required)so looking to a 12 week completion date.
    its a little higher than i wanted on a mortgage but it doesn't need a new kitchen or bathroom so that money we would have spent out on the house that fell through so its around the same but im unsure now if this will be our last move, being newer its bigger than we would require so would have the option to downsize one last time if we wanted.
    Already told DH holidays are off the table for the next couple years to bring our plan back on track i still intend to be mortgage free in ten years or sooner despite the extra outlay. which is possible luck willing but will be tight for the first couple years.
    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
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 8th Mar 18, 1:46 PM
    • 9,626 Posts
    • 59,757 Thanks
    Hello everyone........I have a confession to make.

    Today I was accepted on to my college course so I celebrated by buying myself a handbag I have been lusting after.

    I know, I know, but at least it was on sale. £40 instead of £110.

    Getting very cold here again, apparently more snow is on the way.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 8th Mar 18, 1:50 PM
    • 9,626 Posts
    • 59,757 Thanks
    Great news about the house.

    Tough about the holiday but maybe you might be able to pick up a last minute cheapie or groupon deal.

    As a solo traveller I struggle to find travel bargains at times but if there are two of you then you can get some really good deals.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 9th Mar 18, 2:41 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Lessons learned - handbags at bargain prices don!!!8217;t need confessions, they need celebrations.
    Tori that is great news about the house, really exciting and I am sure you will get that mortgage down really quickly.
    I have a couple of birthday gifts to fund this month, one is a cash gift and I am waiting for suggestions for the other but will stick carefully to my gift budget as this was an area of ridiculously high expenditure last year. I know my family would rather we spent time together than getting expensive gifts and my change in spending habits is to help me retire a bit early.
    I have a Mother!!!8217;s Day present already which I bought using vouchers from my credit card. I need to buy a card and I am going to attempt to make a cake to take to my mums on Sunday. I am not a proficient baker by any stretch of the imagination but I know mum will appreciate my efforts. Any suggestions for a foolproof cake recipe?
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 9th Mar 18, 2:43 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Drat - I tried really hard to avoid apostrophes in my last post but one sneaked in. Very irritating
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 9th Mar 18, 5:33 PM
    • 9,626 Posts
    • 59,757 Thanks
    The apostrophes are an absolute nuisance. I wish they would fix the problem.

    I am not very good at baking either - understatement of the year.

    However I can just about manage a banana cake, it seems pretty foolproof.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 9th Mar 18, 6:23 PM
    • 36,551 Posts
    • 470,834 Thanks
    I am quite good at baking I just hate doing it.. I hate the mess and the clearing away and the time it takes and to top it all ... I do not like cake!

    I don't buy for birthdays or mothers day or any of that commercial rubbish.. I get my children a birthday present for under £20 and OH for fathers day..

    Today I turned off my heating.. until November.
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    23/02/2018 £54281.28 (5.15% int.)
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 9th Mar 18, 8:55 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Mmmm I love banana cake. Do you have a recipe?
    I agree that there is too much commercialism associated with the various !!!8220;days!!!8221; valentines, mothers, fathers etc but I know that it means something to my mum. Neither of my brothers live in this country and they forget to even send her a card!
    Easter is also highly commercialised now and is another excuse for the shops to try and extract our money from our purses. I shall try to resist the barrage of Easter offers.
    Well done for turning off your heating. I!!!8217;m not quite ready to do that yet. Soon, I hope.
    • Gem-gem
    • By Gem-gem 9th Mar 18, 10:57 PM
    • 2,680 Posts
    • 8,026 Thanks
    Drat - I tried really hard to avoid apostrophes in my last post but one sneaked in. Very irritating
    Originally posted by Blackcatsreturns
    Hello,I'm a lurker. I had the problem with apostrophe and onone of the forums someone posted a link o how to sort it out. Do you have an I-phone? I do and I had to going into settings ... the keyboard ( just going to find the crumb path then will hopefully give you the rest of the instructions).

    Setting .. general... keyboard ... smart punctuation ( turn it to off) that should sort your issue with the ' out.
    Last edited by Gem-gem; 09-03-2018 at 10:59 PM.
    £2 Savers Club 2018 no 1 - to fill up the pot
    Save £12k in 2018 no. 56 - Jan £1630/£6,000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Mar 18, 5:55 AM
    • 11,594 Posts
    • 71,904 Thanks
    I check my bank accounts every morning, ever since someone took money from a cc, I see that my april statement has just been issued. I managed to keep on top of it and have just paid over the last £95 to clear it. So another clean start to the next month. I use cc online a lot, for added safety

    Its time for me to cut back on electricity this month, used extra last month, keeping the house fabric and myself, warm. I filled gaps in the freezer with blocks of ice and that certainly lowers the running cost, they will stay in a top empty drawer. I have an unexpected bill of £400, should have noted it in m/s bills but forgot. I will be able to pay it this month and might even be able to top up the bills account to the right amount. It has been a fairly frugal month so far but march gives quite a good savings opportunity, probably the best in the year. I still have a lot of food so will use what I have during next month too

    over 65 bond matures soon and I will be taking it in cash, £1200 in interest and must remember that I will be paying tax on any interest over £1000. I shall `save` an extra amount in my bills account, calculate 25% of any interest over £1000. All to easy to forget about interest and that extra bit over the right tax amount will add up to a small bonus at the end of the year
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 10th Mar 18, 10:42 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    I've followed the apostrophe instructions so let's see if I've done it right. Thank you gem gem for the info
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 10th Mar 18, 11:02 AM
    • 20,006 Posts
    • 32,932 Thanks
    Apart from me... we have our moments but we have a laugh and conversations and I love that we can enjoy each others company... 6-13 is THE most horrid age.. whiny and naggy and so demanding and never a minutes reprieve.. And I've had the most evil toddler today.. she is vile when she is hungry or tired.. today she was both.
    Originally posted by pigpen
    I've found I absolutely hate 14.5 onwards, DS seems to just be coming out of the other side, he was 18 last weekend.

    Not much on the money saving front due to the birthdays we have this month. Popping out shortly for 2 mother's day gifts, but don't intend spending much. It's also one of my Gran's 94th birthday next week.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 10th Mar 18, 11:45 AM
    • 9,626 Posts
    • 59,757 Thanks
    lessonlearned is my basic banana cake recipe.......

    I actually use less sugar than stated. It is a matter of choice. You can also jazz it up......with things like choc nibs or vanilla. I am happy with the plain version.

    200g self raising flour
    150G sugar
    1 egg
    3 ripe bananas

    (The more ripe the banana the sweeter it will be, so just adjust the amount of sugar to taste).

    Around 30 minutes at 180.


    Kittie..........are you may twin. .I am now monitoring my energy consumption carefully. I have a smart meter now so I can keep my eye on how much I am using without having to trek down to the cellar to read the meter. Last night I altered the time settings on the boiler and have turned down the thermostat. Hopefully the worst of the cold weather is over. Like you I hate being cold. I seize up.

    I Supplemented the heat in the living room with candles. I also have a bioethanol fire for when it is really cold. Unfortunately the previous owner to this house blocked up the chimney and flue. I will make sure that my next house has either working chimneys and flues or an outside wall.

    I chose bioethanol rather than electric in case of power cuts. Still undecided about whether to have a proper log burner in my next house. I can think about that one.

    I think I was either blessed or just lucky with my boys. I loved their teenage years. We had such fun. We sailed through them with never a cross word, just plenty of laughs and good times. For me the first 5 years were the hardest. The eldest did not sleep much until he started school. The youngest had speech problems at first so the terrible twos were very hard because he found it difficult to communicate. I was just so tired all the time. Now they are In their 30s and they are just fab. .

    Anyway better get cracking, went through my wardrobe, 3 Black bin liners ready to take to the charity shop. I will do another sweep when the winter is over and I have hopefully gone down a dress size.

    Next week I am aiming to tackle the kitchen cupboards. Now that I live alone I think I can get rid of loads of crockery and equipment I no longer use.
    • janb5
    • By janb5 10th Mar 18, 12:38 PM
    • 1,825 Posts
    • 6,535 Thanks
    Here`s a tried and tested one which is delicious!


    4oz butter or margarine
    6oz caster sugar
    8oz self raising flour
    2 eggs
    2 large or 3 medium, very ripe bananas
    2 teaspoons honey
    ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

    Heat the oven to gas mark 4; 180C
    Grease a 2lb loaf tin.
    Mash the bananas with a sturdy fork.
    Cream the butter and sugar together and mix in the eggs
    Add the honey and cinnamon
    Mix together the two yellow sludges you now have.
    Mix in the flour.
    Scrape into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes then lower the temperature to gas mark 2; 150C and cook for a further 30 minutes.

    * I sprinkle demarara sugar on mine before baking *.
    Last edited by janb5; 10-03-2018 at 6:16 PM.
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 10th Mar 18, 4:15 PM
    • 36,551 Posts
    • 470,834 Thanks
    I have loads of banoonies need using up.. alas I have no flour because I heard inkling of a squeaker and binned the whole lot.

    I have a tummy bug still doing the rounds.. we are now halfway through week 2..

    Ebeasting going fairly well.. I need it all to disappear super fast yet I never get chance to list anything new.. I just photographed one box full which will hopefully clear some of my gas/electric bill .. they are charging me double what my usual bill is and I think they are still running 2 meters, not just one.. I haven't used any more than usual.. I have gas CH and a hob.. I am certain they have messed up.
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    23/02/2018 £54281.28 (5.15% int.)
    • janb5
    • By janb5 10th Mar 18, 6:15 PM
    • 1,825 Posts
    • 6,535 Thanks
    What you could do pigpen is to mash three bananas at a time and bag it in the freezer for when you feel better. Also forgot to mention that this cake freezes well.
    • janb5
    • By janb5 11th Mar 18, 12:17 AM
    • 1,825 Posts
    • 6,535 Thanks
    I`m not sure which thread it was on but someone posted a link to an amazing fruit cake with condensed milk in it- absolutely gorgeous so thank you.( Nana`s fruit cake - and gave a link to a site called The Simple Things.) Slight mistake with conversion for gas oven but otherwise perfect.
    • mama67
    • By mama67 11th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    • 1,310 Posts
    • 16,227 Thanks
    My grandmother always used to say a woman should have some money her husband knew nothing about!!!

    If mine knows I've got any I don't have it for long, not that he's profligate, but it always seems to fall to me to sort anything. I prefer he makes the effort occassionally, so I keep quiet
    Originally posted by Katieowl

    I have the same problem. So I tell him I earn less than I do so can put the difference into a secret savings account.
    2 adults, 2 boys ( sportsmad-big eaters) (21 & 18)
    My mother always served up leftovers we never knew what the original meal was. - Tracey Ulman
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Mar 18, 10:05 AM
    • 11,594 Posts
    • 71,904 Thanks
    I need to do the annual cleaning up of statements etc I have a tidy file, in case I pop my clogs, having had to deal with the sudden passing of my husband. I did all the finances so knew everything but he didn`t, I tried to show him but he would have been very stuck if I had passed first.

    I decided that all this would be too much for the children so decided to make life easier for them. I think it is called `dying tidy`
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