Hurrah! Embarking on a money saving adventure.

Taking the plunge and making a big commitment to save money. Figure if I keep an online diary it’ll be extra motivation to stick with the challenge.

We’re a family of 3 living in a tiny 2 bed house. Want to move somewhere larger in 2 – 3 years. Husband and I each earn around £26k p.a. and have relatively low monthly outgoings – no credit or store card bills, got cheap-to-run vehicle, don’t bother with expensive clothes etc. If we were really frugal, we could get by on one of our salaries most months. I need to do an SOA, but it’ll be a task for the weekend.

But we save NOTHING! I’m so ashamed to admit that. If it’s there I spend it. Looking at bank statements, Tesco swallows a big chunk of my money! So, I am going to have to ‘hide’ money from myself. I’ve got an alleged savings account linked to my Natwest current account, but it’s too easy to transfer from one to the other.

I’m going to open a harder to access savings accounts (not sure which or where) for emergencies. Planning to stow 2k there. Until I’ve opened that account I’ve given a bundle of cash to my mum, because I couldn’t bear the shame of asking her for it back. It’s only £200 at the moment, but it’ll be £200 saved this month and that’s a start.

Ultimately, I want us to save 20 – 30k over the next 2 years, quite where I’ll stash that I’m not sure – somewhere I can’t dip into it and it can hopefully get a bit of interest. Seems a colossal amount at the moment, so if anyone wants to share their success stories then I’d love to hear them.

I know this is going to be a challenge. My motivation is through the roof now, but there will be times when my willpower is put to the test. I know keeping this diary will help keep me focussed on the task. Fortunately, the husband is committed to this too, so hopefully we’ll be able to help keep each other going.
Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D


  • *mudangel*
    *mudangel* Posts: 119 Forumite
    A good day. Went out and would normally buy coffee and snacks for family, which ends up about £10. Today, we took a flask of coffee, packed sandwiches and fruit. :)

    Put the tumble dryer we never use on eBay, cancelled a load of regular payments including gym (but I work out at home and run), Lovefilm, Spotify etc. This should save me about £80 per month.

    Paid out £35 for cat's vaccinations last night, but had to be done. He could do with a dental at some point, so that'll be about £100.

    Car insurance is due. Husband just renews automatically with Direct Line. Anyway, got him to use a comparison site and we saved about £106. And, instead of paying monthly and getting charged extra, he's paid it all in one go. So, that's about £150 saved on what he could have paid. Think he was quite impressed with my thrifty ways. :)

    More stuff to go on eBay later and I could get a load of DVDs down from the loft to flog on Magpie - got £100 out of that last time!
    Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D
  • Hi good luck x
    Electric and Gas Predators 17/£700 :(
    :j:j:j October make £10 a day challenge :j:j:j
  • davenport151
    davenport151 Posts: 647 Forumite
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    edited 10 June 2012 at 9:23PM
    Hi Mudangel. Just reading through your post I thought I was reading my own story - 3 in a tiny 2 bed terrace, low monthly outgoings, Tesco swallowing any extra income.
    Then I read it again. The amount of income is what we earn between us!
    I have started a massive effort this year to save, just to have some cash put aside. What I tend to find that works for me is if I save some money or have a voucher I transfer this amount to a savings account. Similary if I earn extra. I find if its in my purse I spend it on nothing in particular (eg Mr T's)
    I set my food budget - anything saved from this goes in the account. This used to be my main downfall.
    This is obviously where online banking is really useful. Then at a certain point I will transfer this to a less accessible account.
    For me its easier if I dont have the money in my purse in the first place. Take out a budgeted amount each week. Or less if it will stop the over spending.
    Good luck! (although would love to be in your situation!)
    Back on the trains again!

  • *mudangel*
    *mudangel* Posts: 119 Forumite
    Thanks, both! :)

    Davenport, thanks for the support! Yes, does sound like our situations are pretty similar. Very inspiring to hear all you are doing!

    It's funny - 8 years ago I was a single mum getting by on hardly anything. It was a struggle, but I managed my finances well because I had to. The more I've earned, the more I've frittered the money away. And, I was probably happier back then because I felt empowered by the control I had over my money. So, I do have good habits, but...erm... I need to blow the dust off them. :)

    Love the idea of setting a weekly budget! Did a Tesco shop today, but bought stuff like lentils, risotto rice, onions etc. which I can make into cheap meals and freeze. Took out £30 cash and I'm going to try to make that last the week. If I leave my debit card at home it's another barrier to me buying stuff.

    So, today's been another good day. Spent £12.34 at Tesco, which is okay, because the stuff should last. Added to that the £6.49 I spent yesterday (friend's 30th birthday party - bottle of Merlot on half price offer and card), I've spent £18.83 this weekend. Not a bad start, I think.

    Put another couple of bits on eBay. Husband just got DVDs down from the loft, so I'll start putting them on Music Magpie now.

    What's really odd is how much I'm enjoying this and that, although it's early days, it's bringing the family together. My daughter (she's 10) is getting involved too. She helped cook lentil curry and rice, then we went geocaching, because it's free and fun.
    Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D
  • davenport151
    davenport151 Posts: 647 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Mudangel - I loved the idea of giving the money to your mum to hold for you!
    I will follow your diary with interest. I have been a bit lax on preparing and batch freezing at the mo so really need to get back onto that.
    I'm guessing you've been over to the old style board. Lots of inspiration there.
    I know what you mean about managing more easily (?) on less.
    Back on the trains again!

  • *mudangel*
    *mudangel* Posts: 119 Forumite
    Davenport, giving money to mum has definitely been a good idea. With money, it’s definitely out of sight, out of mind.

    Out of interest (and sheer nosiness), is there anything in particular you are saving for or just saving because it’s a good idea?

    Targets for today:

    Sort out childcare vouchers – yeah, I’ve never bothered with this. Shocker, eh?
    Don’t spend any money. Nothing. Nada. I don’t need to buy anything today, not even petrol. J

    Targets for the week:

    Live on the food we have bought (though may need to stock up on fresh fruit and veg mid-week).
    Clear out the bedroom. I need to sort my clothes out, decide what to keep, what to give to charity shops, what to eBay. If I can declutter a room a week, it’ll also make living in a tiny house a bit nicer.
    Cycle to work at least two days. It’s a 20 mile round trip, but I enjoy the exercise.
    Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D
  • *mudangel*
    *mudangel* Posts: 119 Forumite
    Oooh, and no, I've not been to the old style board. Will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip! :)
    Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D
  • davenport151
    davenport151 Posts: 647 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Thats ok, i'm nosey too. My main aim is to have some money behind us. That LBM moment when you realise exactly how much you spend on things you dont really need.
    Ideally I would like to move but not sure if that is a possibility at the mo. I definately need to update our kitchen though. Another idea if the moving is not a poss is to have a conservatory built on. So anything will go towards this.
    I love a no spend day too. I am working 2 extra days this week so that helps (I do 15 hours usually).
    Back on the trains again!

  • *mudangel*
    *mudangel* Posts: 119 Forumite
    Davenport, I’m utterly sure you’ll get there! We thought about extending our place too, but it’ll still be a tiny house and the main problem is our daughter’s bedroom is just a box room. There’s no scope to extend that and she’ll need more space when she’s older.

    Yesterday went well! Achieved both targets – didn’t spend any money at all and emailed our finance department to give them all the necessary info for sorting childcare vouchers. And, I cycled to work today.

    Haven’t started decluttering the bedroom, that’s a job to start this evening if there’s time.

    Tomorrow will be more of a challenge. Each Wednesday evening my parents come round to play cards and have a meal. We take it in turn to provide the food/drink. Normally involves a couple of bottles of wine and some nice food. So, I’m thinking about sparkling white wine and orange juice instead (is that a mimosa?) That’ll mean I just buy one bottle of wine. I’ve got a shedload of risotto rice, so I’ll make a huge risotto and hope everyone eats it all, because can’t freeze rice. Got onions, got stock, not sure what other veggies I’ll use. Would normally spend £15 - £20 on the evening, but tomorrow the aim’s to have change from a tenner.

    Target for today:

    Add to Music Magpie order. The DVDs are listed, but there’s a load of CDs to go on too.

    Make today another no spend day.

    STOP PRESS: How fortunate was that?! Just got given a bottle of Chardonnay - the friend whose birthday I went to the other day drank a bit too much and has given away the booze she found at her desk this morning. I'm not much of a white wine drinker, but reckon I could put that with orange juice or will it taste minging?
    Just bought a new house with the help of this site! :D
  • davenport151
    davenport151 Posts: 647 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Mmm not sure about the chardonnay with the orange juice.
    The sparkling wine with it sounds ok though. Its not bucks fizz is it? I think thats champagne and oj. Perhaps you could save that for a treat? The risotto is an excellent idea.

    well done on the cycling to work. A 20 mile round trip - thats impressvie. I work in the next village whilch is only a couple of miles.
    Back on the trains again!

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