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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,680Posts
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    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 12
    • fionaandphil
    • By fionaandphil 10th Jan 18, 6:19 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    fionaandphil
    I meant to mention that if you have your own mobile phone, Tesco Mobile are very good for SIM only. I pay £7.50 per months for 250 minutes of calls, 5000 texts and 500MB of data, way more than I use. Its also on the O2 network so has good coverage for where we live in Lancashire. They may have a cheaper deal now but my phone needs upgraded this year so I will wait and do it all at the same time.
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 10th Jan 18, 6:58 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 1,181 Thanks
    blackcatsx2
    Thank you FionaandPhil
    I need to look at my mobile phone expenditure.although I am on Sim only, the monthly cost always seems to be more than I think it will be.
    Iíve been tracking all my spending since last January. I know I spend too much but the annual figure is terrifying. Last January was my lowest spending month and then it crept up and up. (New Years resolution appears to have been abandoned by February). Iíve set a target to reduce overall spending by 10% this year but not compromise on holidays so some categories of spending will need to reduce by more than 10%. No need to worry too much about me cos there is lots and lots of excess that can be trimmed!!!
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 10th Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    • 963 Posts
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Definitely recommend using Billmonitor to find the best deal for your mobile - details on the MSE pages.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Jan 18, 8:14 AM
    • 12,189 Posts
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    kittie
    My cc statement for this month appeared today and I still put unplanned buys on the card, house plants this time , I will enjoy them for a long time. I bought them for a trolley, so can wheel them to suitable places. Open plan area so will be good for `dividing` areas

    I shall make sure to put that on my month spends on m/s money, luckily for the end of this month, which is when there is leeway

    Am I the only one who has no inclination for a holiday? I went on a cruise, my only cruise ever, solo and came back with terrible bronchitis, went on a plane to scotland and caught a very rough cold. Went to malta with hubbie and he spent the whole time in the room, caught bronchitis. I get so wary of using someone else`s pillow, hearing people cough and cough in the rooms along the corridor. I get simple pleasures from being at home, just cycling in areas protected for nature, or sitting knitting in a sunny window and listening to an audible book or pottering on my allotment. I think not going away allows me to have the occasional bigger spend as long as It is allowed for and I still save
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 11th Jan 18, 8:23 AM
    • 963 Posts
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    PollyWollyDoodle
    Every time I go away I wonder why! I spend huge amounts of energy and time preparing, arranging for cat to be fed, packing etc, and then pay money to (usually) sleep in an uncomfortable bed and, if it's self-catering, cook in a poorly-equipped kitchen! As I'm self employed, holidays cost me double as I'm not able to work for those days, too.

    I'm being flippant, of course holidays usually offer new opportunities and there are still a few places left on my list that I'd like to see, but it has to be something really worthwhile for me.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 11th Jan 18, 8:25 AM
    • 14,908 Posts
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    mardatha
    All my life I longed for holidays but the husband hates going away. We only ever had 4 days at the most and mostly in Scotland. Now I don't have the energy - and I watch the news full of delays, cancellations, nightmares at airports and train stations etc and am quite content to stay at home
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 11th Jan 18, 9:32 AM
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    tori.k
    It wouldn't bother me so much nowadays Kittie, we've traveled a lot over the years and I started to struggle with the long hauls ( Washington will be the last) I actually now prefer days out and my own bed.
    DH is basically a big kid that always needs entertaining he gets fearful of the jobs I will make him do round the house if he's not working, it's very much out of sight out of mind with him on the smaller day to day jobs.
    I do factor in £1500 a year for entertainment, seems a lot to some, when you think it's £30pw it's the cost of a couple of take outs or a tv package that others may choose to have.
    I'ts surprising how far money can stretch when you separate it out into categories, keeping entertainment separate does show how much homebodies we really are during the winter months especially.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
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    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 11th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
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    Ilona
    I do like my holidays and days out, I need to get out of my village into wide open spaces. My passport ran out a year or so ago and I have not renewed it, I have no wish to join the throngs at the airports.

    I have two walking holidays a year, seven days/140 miles, lots of days out, midweek stays around the UK, (drive and walk), my treats. This is why I am frugal with my day to day living expenses, so I can afford a car, hotels, hostels and travel.

    Ilona
    I love skip diving
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 11th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
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    trailingspouse
    Made the switch in December from Utility Warehouse to British Gas. We were averaging £137 a month for gas and electric combined, and our first payment to BG has just gone out. Only £75 a month. Yay - pretty much a 50% saving!! Happy days.

    I know what you mean about holidays PollyWolly - we're self-employed too, and if you start adding in how much you're not earning to the cost of going away you would never do anything!! We're off to Australia in August (grandchild over there, due in June), so that's going to be 3 weeks without pay. But I keep reminding myself that a) it's not good for you to never have a break and b) we work hard for our money - we should enjoy it and c) grandchild!! Priceless!!
    • Mrs Salad Dodger
    • By Mrs Salad Dodger 11th Jan 18, 12:59 PM
    • 750 Posts
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    Mrs Salad Dodger
    Ilona,
    what an energetic person you are! Mind you, doing the things you love is a sure way to happiness & contentment

    Have a great day everyone

    MrsSD
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 11th Jan 18, 1:45 PM
    • 2,085 Posts
    • 7,149 Thanks
    Ilona
    Ilona,
    what an energetic person you are! Mind you, doing the things you love is a sure way to happiness & contentment

    Have a great day everyone

    MrsSD
    Originally posted by Mrs Salad Dodger
    Thank you. I'm starting to think about my spring walkabout, where from and where to. Do I need to buy new maps, or can I use the ones I already have. I do believe the answer to physical and mental health is mostly down to exercise. I walk three miles every day, 50 minutes at a fast pace.

    Yes, have a great day everyone, make it so.

    Ilona
    I love skip diving
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Jan 18, 3:38 PM
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    kittie
    fast walking Ilona, I don`t walk fast any more, cycling is much better for my knees hips and ankles. I used to do a lot of walking, fell walking, started when doing mountain leadership, very many moons ago but nowadays I get good exercise and fresh air from cycling. I went out today, just 6 miles but muddy lanes, reeds and rushes on the sides, two swans and one car and one tractor. Birdsong and no other sounds and that is why I prefer to be here rather than go on holiday. I was useless in the heat of malaysia and the heat of maltese ancient ruins. Tbh I far far prefer the temperate climate here and local cycling is free, keeps me in touch with nature and my circadian rhythmn
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Jan 18, 3:44 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Kittie, I'm not inclined to bother that much about holidays per se any longer.

    I've had very few ever - courtesy of the "dreaded single supplement" and low income to pay for them anyway and so I usually couldnt afford them.

    Now I've given up flying anyway a few years back and it would be all the more difficult to have any.

    Add that I'm doing my best to make my house as comfortable as I can manage for myself - so I've got a nice comfortable 5' wide bed/plenty of bedding. I eat healthily and it has to be vegetarian or vegan. Even vegetarian food isnt nearly as easy to get as "mainstream" food. Plus where I am has to be warm and I can guarantee my house will be.

    I would like to see a lot more places yet - but, with the way I personally think (and I know many wouldnt think that way) then I tend to think "Well I'm in my 60s - so I think I'll maybe just leave further travelling until after I'm dead actually. Then I'll explore/explore/explore big-time". When you have the way of thinking I do - then...yes...you can and probably do make really long-term plans for what you fancy doing.

    Looking at things the way I personally do - then why would I want to leave surroundings I've made as comfortable as I can and an area that isnt overpopulated to have holidays in areas with lots of other tourists there too and I'd probably go onto a beach and start counting bits of plastic rubbish that might well be there and going into the sea and maybe finding that's full of human "gunk" too. If I wait till then - I get perfect beaches/perfect seas/perfect amount of "company" etc etc - so why would I do it now?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 11-01-2018 at 3:48 PM.
    *******************
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 11th Jan 18, 7:44 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 1,181 Thanks
    blackcatsx2
    I have family in Spain so thatís where I go for ho,udays. Itís a very familiar location for me, I know the routine associated with airports, I know the hotels I like so it feels like a comfortable place to be to relax, catch up with family and enjoy some sunshine which is a real bonus. There are lots of places in the UK that I want to visit. Visited some lovely places here last year and hope to see more this year.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 11th Jan 18, 8:48 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl
    I live in a place considered to be a holiday destination. I joke that I moved here so I never need to go on holiday again, I find holidays quite stressful, had a couple of dodgy experiences in my yoof, I loathe and destest camping, and I love my own bed. My idea of bliss is time off at home, so I am with my dogs, and can spend my time pottering around the house,
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Jan 18, 9:37 AM
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    kittie
    Doh, I had some under bra chafing yesterday, wires!! I have ordered two cotton non-underwired bras today. If I wasn`t so boobylicious then I would go without indoors, depending on what I am wearing on top. That is another sum of money to put on my list, for paying off next month. I could feel the restriction while I was knitting last night and the wires against my ribs, uncomfortable

    My weather station says -2 and the patio is shiny so I expect lanes and paths are dodgy at the moment. I will have another session outside about 12pm, cycling and breathing in fresh air, makes me feel good as well as knowing that it is helping me to lose weight and is keeping my heart in good condition. My anenoneter is absolutely still so there must be some awful fog around
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 13th Jan 18, 9:43 AM
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    tori.k
    We've got the rain back today, spent the last two days in a t-shirt at work chilly start but soon warmed up, so the house now looking like a laundry once again, not sure if I'm doing more washing than normal or it's just because I'm not getting it out on the line as often due to heavy rain.
    Found out how expensive asda now is did manage a few good buys for us, I've never been able to make a tomato soup that hubby really likes he prefers Heinz that he can't have very often due to the sugar 50p a tin see him 12 for the year, we mainly eat just veg due to DH diabetes
    With some coffee, flour and a cereal for the lad I managed to spend £13 of my £50, I don't spend much in the supermarket as the norn anymore but struggled with the volume of choice, I guess I've been shopping in the cheaper supermarkets for so long I've gotten used to limited lines of products.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 13th Jan 18, 10:41 AM
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    trailingspouse
    It is a shock when you go back to a 'normal' supermarket, isn't it tori.k? I do all my shopping at Aldi now - it only opened here a couple of years ago, but it's within walking distance (only take the car for the big weekly shop), and saves me having to drive the 20 minutes + to the nearest Asda and Sainsbugs. But there are a few things I can't get there, so I end up at Asda (for the 1% cashback and the cheap fuel) and I wander around thinking 'how much??'

    Having said that, one of the things I can't get at Aldi is Actimel, which OH takes for an iffy tummy at the suggestion of his GP. It's just been rolled back to £2 for 12. I also bought a half-price 2018 diary (another £2, reduced from £4). So that's OK.

    There's very little at Aldi that I don't like (I tried their washing powder one time but went back to Persil), but ours is quite small so there are some things that they just don't sell at all. But we're getting a new Lidl sometime in the next year or so, and it looks set to be bigger than our Aldi, so that'll help - and it'll be within walking distance too!!

    In fact, thinking about it, when we first moved into this house, the town had a small and uninspiring Co-op, and nothing else. Everyone went to the next town, where there's a large Asda, Sainsbugs and Morrisons. Since then, we've now got a Sainsbury's local, an M&S Food, an Aldi, and a Lidl on it's way. It's made the town centre a much busier, livelier place, with a consequent knock-on effect on the other local businesses.
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 13th Jan 18, 12:21 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,724 Thanks
    Katieowl


    In fact, thinking about it, when we first moved into this house, the town had a small and uninspiring Co-op, and nothing else. Everyone went to the next town, where there's a large Asda, Sainsbugs and Morrisons. Since then, we've now got a Sainsbury's local, an M&S Food, an Aldi, and a Lidl on it's way. It's made the town centre a much busier, livelier place, with a consequent knock-on effect on the other local businesses.
    Originally posted by trailingspouse
    It's a bit the other way here, I only have local Mr T and Aldi, we lost our Co-op about 18 months ago, and we got B&M which seems to have made town even deader
    have found out that Asda delivers here now too, which has helped the choice a bit.
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 13th Jan 18, 5:37 PM
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    mardatha
    I live in the middle of nowhere and am so glad that asda and sainsbugs deliver to me. For £3 they do it all and bring it, it woul cost us that in diesel to get there and back, nevermind the hassle of doing the shop itself.
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