Living on next to nothing challenge - Day 1 of 40



  • mandymad
    mandymad Posts: 18 Forumite
    Also, if you do your shopping in the last half and hour of them closing, then you'll get all sorts of bargains, stock the freezer with them. Every bit helps.
  • mummytofour
    mummytofour Posts: 2,636 Forumite
    Watching this as my DH has just resigned and will be leaving work on July 31st if not before as he may be put n gardening leave. I am going to uni and we wont get my student loans etc until oct, we have 5 kids a whacking great mortgage and nursery fees to pay so the kids dont loose their nursery places!!!! I am sure its doable..
    Debt free and plan on staying that way!!!!
  • AnnieP_3
    AnnieP_3 Posts: 97 Forumite
    ceridwen wrote: »
    Can I stick in a thought here? I'm wondering whether you can do a bit of "shuffling" with the bills - in my own case I have changed the Council Tax from 10 payments a year (leaving 2 free months) to 12 payments a year (a basically equal part each month) and that leaves a smaller bill on those months it was payable anyway. A consideration now Council Tax bills are so large. I'd ring them now and ask for that if you dont have that already - to start with immediate effect.

    I'm not up to speed on mortgages these days (dont have one anymore:D ) - but wondering if there is any scope for asking your lender for a "payment holiday" for 1 or 2 months if you explain the circumstances to them.

    Re fuel and water bills - are you maybe using less than your direct debit amount each month and could ask them to reduce the amount they take accordingly? Could be - if you're lucky - that you are in credit to them. If so - ask them to send you a cheque for that credit - so smile sweetly at them over the phone and explain circumstances and hope you get a nice helpful person who knows where you are coming from and will expedite the sending of that cheque.

    NB: I've done a post on my blog on budget/simple living website links - check them out - you might discover some useful stuff in your reading. Click on my "name" here for link to my homepage. Its the 20 April posts you are looking for - look on right-hand sidebar for "Tranche 2 - food links" and "Budget/simple living links".

    Oh be careful of this. Back in 1986 I did this as at the time so many circumstances in life changed, I could forsee a problem paying my mortgage.
    At the time the 3 months I deferred came to about £400, I found out later that it was not put on to the end of my mortgage, which I thought it was, ended up costing me over £4000 15 yrs later. It was not explained to me at the time, so be beware.
    Good luck
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Well...apologies for that thought then on payment holiday from mortgages. Just as well someone who has done that came along....whoops! As I said...I'm not up to speed on mortgages these I haven't had one for a while.:silenced:
  • Hi

    I agree with the payment holiday idea, my mortgage lender has, without fee switch us over to interest only for up to six months so we can get stuck into our DMP, we may have to reduce payments when it goes back up but I have a feeling we will be a lot better off by then, we are becoming more and more money savvy by the minute with this forum.

    So far I have found I can make 80 quid just by switching home insurance provider (at the same price as my current one) and my sky bill is now halved as I phoned them and we went through all the channels we actually watch and dont watch and we were paying for all sorts of crap! We get free national and weekend calls for free, our phone bill is usually 3 quid a month.

    As for the time between jobs, this may sound harsh but can you really afford a month off ???

    It if were me I would be down an agency getting some office temp work data inputting or reception work or the like, there are loads of jobs to be had!

    Good luck

    K x
  • Well best of luck with your quest! I have a few suggestions...

    Firslty look at all your bills that you can't avoid, mortgage, utilities etc and see what you can do to reduce these. So speak to your bank about a payment holidays, ditto for everything else that you should already have on direct debit. They may be prepared to give you a month off, reduce your payments temporarily or even change your payment date to suit you better. If you have Sky or Cable, tell them you're leaving and they should reduce the costs for you.

    Secondly, food's always a big expense, especially at the moment so careful planning and restraint is required! Going back to my student and travelling days, I'd have to say that meat is probably the most expensive thing so try and cut it out or reduce it until you get paid again. Meals like beans on toast, jacket spud with beans etc cost less than £1 and are filling and good for you. Veg stir fry was another firm fave, though you obviously have to buy the veg loose and chop them yourself. This applies to all fruit and veg, never buy stuff pre packed, the loose stuff is always best. And I always go shopping late in the day and follow the man with the price reduction gun for real bargains!

    Definitely take packed lunches to work, leftovers from previous night's dinner are good and soup is a great cheap thing to make with leftover chicken, veg etc. If you're interested, I can post my recipe! I reckon I can make about 10 or 12 portions of chicken soup for less than £5!

    If you want to be really skanky and cheap, I used to "borrow" toilet rolls from places when I was a student, that can save a few quid. Ditto for sachets of condiments! And I used to have proper showers when I went for a swim / gym which saves on hot water!

    And now I just make sure I get invited for Sunday tea at my mum n dad's every week!

    That's all for now, though I'm sure I'll come up with some more in due course. I lived on virtually nothing for weeks on end when travelling and at uni so it can definitely be done!
    No Unapproved or Personal links in signatures please - FT3
  • shell_girl
    shell_girl Posts: 642 Forumite
    Hi the mortgage holiday is your best bet imo- depending on how the repayments work. I'm with Halifax and they've always been really good about payment holidays and then my payment goes up by about £2 per month afterwards- I'm also entitled to overpay when I can so if I have a flush month (rare but they do happen!) I can whack £50 or so on it which helps in the long run. They have a list of things that are acceptable reasons for mortgage breaks- including changing jobs, new car and home improvements- even Christmas.

    Also like others have said- find a way of earning some money- ebay, amazon, mystery shopping, temping or casual bar work. Maybe have a look at the make £10 a day challenge for some ideas.

    Good luck!
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  • megmog
    megmog Posts: 6 Forumite
    I've started using for food shopping and it has cut my weekly shopping bill from £80-£100 to £50-£55 per week! I print off the shopping list and then go and get it myself.

    We still eat just as well as we did, but there is less wastage, and we now go for some own brand and value goods instead. BTW the value mayonnaise at Tesco IMHO tastes better than Tesco own ... and it actually has less fat.

    Its amazing how easy it is to miss the supermarket offers when you don't have a list. Well. . not so amazing when you have two kids in tow and limited time!

  • How about looking on the make an extra £10 a day in april challenge thread there will be loads of ideas on there. Would have to agree with everyone about ebay its so easy once you have given it a go and if your not sure how much to price things at then have a look at similar items on there that should give you some ideas at what they are selling at. Mystery shopping is deff worth a go as it will keep you occupied and keep your mind from spending

    Good luck keep us updated!!:beer:
    Proud to be Dealing with my Debts

    Lightbulb Moment 1st April 2008 Total Card Debt £2100/£1815 ~ 5th June 08 Total Overdraft £500 Total Car Finance £5000 £2 Challenge £4/£40 Next to attack~Littlewoods £275/£239
  • As you have two lawnmowers in your shed, how about putting one of them to work - grass is beginning to grow and there are probably plenty of people who would pay £5 - £10 to get their lawns looking nice.

    On a serious note - 72 days with no income and 2-3 mortgage payments looming within that time (not to mention the rest of your bills) - it might be worth a call to your mortgage provider - they may let you take a payment holiday or allow you to just pay the interest for a few months. After 72 days you're bound to be behind with lots of bills and even going onto interest-only will help take the sting out of getting back on your feet. You're very brave!!!
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