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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
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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 13
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 13th Jan 18, 8:44 PM
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    suki1964

    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
    If it weren't for Tesco , our town would have died completely a few years back, the recession hit badly here

    We have a lidl as well, and three heaving Spars. Just before Christmas Home Bargains opened and that too is really helping the town. Before you had to travel 20 miles to a larger town for choice

    I shop in lidl, just using tesco for some items, Persil,cat food and flora proactive for example. Luckily our Tesco isn't huge so not too much choice

    Last time I went to Asda, I just panicked, left my trolley and left the store
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 13th Jan 18, 9:18 PM
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    blackcatsx2
    My new years money saving resolution is to shop mainly at Li*ls with occasional top ups at Sains for items I canít get at Mr Lís. Only 13 days into the year but so far so good lol. I think the fruit and veg at lís is brilliant quality and value. Had fish and chips from the chippy tonight and really enjoyed it as a treat.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 14th Jan 18, 3:36 PM
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    kittie
    I don`t have any shops in walking distance, so am used to having food stashes and making my own bread and grow much of my own veg. I am making a very big effort to eat from the freezer for the savings reason plus the fact that I only have until about june before the allotment is producing again. So far so good and I have already used up a small freezer worth. The money in my purse is not diminishing at all, not on petrol either

    The plants arrived and are great but I decided that tbh they need their own outer pots but I found one for each plant, amazon and each one was just a few £. There was an indoor plant gap, looks much better now

    So far so good wrt the amount in my current account, I will be able to fund my tax bill at the pinch point, without dipping into savings. Car insurance this month too. I should be able to make a donation to a savings account at the end of this month and will be on a roll from february, first taking out a chunk towards the years bills and whatever is left will be for daily expenses, food and the rest into savings
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 14th Jan 18, 9:02 PM
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    blackcatsx2
    Iíve got a tax bill to pay too this month. Itís not too bad and Iíve got enough money put aside to pay it and if Iím careful for the rest of the month I can pay the accountants bill without dipping into main savings. Dinner from the freezer tomorrow and Tuesday then away from home on a work trip on Wednesday so cheap shopping week this week - fruit, veg and milk. Still got some Christmas chocolates left to ensure a balanced diet.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 15th Jan 18, 9:59 AM
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    tori.k
    Just reconcile our accounts, not been a good a month as I hoped, we have 10 days left of our month as I zero budget to my payday in our day to day account. I'm only just getting use to having the cost of DH car in the mix as he had a paid for works van with his last job.
    I've changed the way I do things this year with set savings going out at the beginning rather than whatever left at the end of the month to be a bit more ridged with the budget and I've all but run out of money, I have enough for petrol and probably enough loose change between us for any fresh stuff we may need. I still have almost £40 on a gift card but that's another 20mile round trip so will keep that for next month and just use the co-op in the nearest village for milk, it a royal pain living in the sticks at times, but I'm determined not to break into the savings.
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Mortgage Free (stage 3) 140000/ 1500
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 15th Jan 18, 10:56 AM
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    trailingspouse
    I remember living out in the middle of nowhere - lots of advantages, but lots of disadvantages too.

    When we bought our current house, I was concerned that it was on a main road close to the town centre. But everything else about it was perfect, and there always has to be a compromise of some sort, so I decided to put up with it. It turns out I love being this close to town!! I can walk to the supermarket, the doc, the dentist, the hairdresser, the coffee shop, the pub, the post office, the chippy - it's great!!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Jan 18, 11:22 AM
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    kittie
    everyone works differently, whatever suits their own circumstances.

    I remember in 70s/80s, hubbie coming home and said that they had had a vote at work, everyone got to keep their job but everyone was suddenly on half salary, oh that was tough. I think ccs had just come out and I owed about £60, no idea about the fact than minimum payment increased the debt in leaps and bounds but I managed to pay it back, one small salary, mortgage 15%, remember those days? I sat on a bed with a notebook and every single spend went down, I took a sum out every week and divided it into envelopes, some for this, some for that. It was such an eyeopener for me. I grew veg and we went camping for holidays and bit by bit we and the country, came out of that mire.

    What a lesson that was and I openly admit to never being in debt since. Many people lost their homes. I save now, for me and a comfortable old age and most of all, to be there for my adult children and grandchildren. Work, health and safety, targets, HR and bullying, it all adds up and the stress in our younger adults is palpable, so my saving is also a safety net for them. I don`t make a song and dance about it but I am the one most able to save

    So I take stock at least every month now and yes I spent too much after my husband died but almost three year on and I am through that dark tunnel. Not quite saving much yet but will be soon, once I know I have the bill feeder account stocked up with money for a years major bills
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 15th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
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    tori.k
    I can see where I've come unstuck it's where some debit payments when out after the Christmas bank holidays for stuff purchased before, I didn't account for them when I shifted the savings across so it came out of January's budget rather than December,
    Our savings are destined for a lump sum overpayment for the mortgage. We were self employed for years and wasn't smart enough to make better pension provisions so came late to the pension game. So need to remove our housing costs to be able to consider retirement, I didn't plan to get old so fast
    Debit to Credit (stage 1) 3652.34 completed 15/10/16
    Debit to Credit (stage 2) 6299.09 completed 25/06/17
    Mortgage Free (stage 3) 140000/ 1500
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
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    kittie
    I just paid my tax, it was niggling at me, to get it paid on time, so it is done and I still have enough buffer. Car insurance will be paid on 20th after my personal pension is in. These are both important bills and I`ll be glad when both are paid

    HMRC owe me a refund and I am still waiting, in the tenth week now, thinking it has to arrive any day. They must be mad busy at the moment but its a shocking wait to get my own money back

    Tori re getting old, yes it doesn`t half come fast once you get to 50
    • mardatha
    • By mardatha 15th Jan 18, 5:21 PM
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    mardatha
    Tori I live way out in the sticks and find online shoping the way to go. I can sit on sainsbugs or asda site and cut and trim and slice until my weekly bill is just what I want it to be. And over the course of a month I can factor in all the wee extras that I can't afford in one week.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 15th Jan 18, 6:29 PM
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    trailingspouse
    I have my tax ready in an interest bearing account, and will pay it on 24th Jan - plenty of time for it to get to HMRC by 31st, and maximises my interest. (Well, I suppose I could earn more by not paying until 30th but I like to give myself a bit of breathing space in case of problems!)

    Then it's a case of putting money aside for the next installment in July. And corporation tax in December. And VAT every quarter. I have separate banks accounts for each, so they don't accidentally get spent. Every time an invoice is paid I put the VAT element into the VAT account. Every time we pay a dividend I put 20% into the Corporation Tax account. And then once we've paid ourselves, I put yet more money aside to cover our personal taxation.

    Add in the amount of VAT that's included on the things that we buy, and the amount of money we send to the government in a year starts to mount up. Shame they don't seem to know what to do with it.
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 15th Jan 18, 7:28 PM
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    blackcatsx2
    I remember 15% mortgage interest rate. It was my first mortgage and we were completely ignorant and naive about financial matters I revall getting a letter from the building society on a regular basis that said your mortgage has increased by £x from next month. We had very little spare money and just about managed to keep our heads above water.
    Problem is when things eased up with lower interest rates and increased earnings I just spent the spare money ! It was also an era when property prices increased rapidly and our circle of friends traded up to a bigger home regularly, the bigger the mortgage the better was our 1980s mindset.
    I have taken a long time to get to a different mindset and to prefer to save rather than to spend. I still have a tendency to spend though and the amount I spent on gifts last year is eye watering. I still want to give nice presents but will try and buy thoughtful slightly less expensive gifts and plan ahead so as not to buy last minute gifts. Christmas and birthdays are absolutely fixed dates so no excuse for not being organised.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Jan 18, 8:33 AM
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    kittie
    blackcats, it still makes my stomach churn, how on earth we made it through, I don`t know. We moved down, housewise, after buying our first house, det on a cul de sac in leicester, we had to move to n wales anyway and bought a cosy little semi. Much better and still second hand furniture but a much better safety margin. That was a learning lesson and a half.

    I have had stashes and aim to save ever since those awful scary times, which I think could easily happen again only in a differnt guise eg big companies going bust
    • blackcatsx2
    • By blackcatsx2 16th Jan 18, 8:59 PM
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    blackcatsx2
    Ironically when interest rates were at record high levels I had a mortgage and now Iíve got some savings the interest levels are at a very low rate. Hey ho!

    I feel for the workers from Carillion and for the workers in companies owed money by them. All of a sudden income stops and the company doesnít pay its bills. How on earth could that happen with such a big company. I hope that those impacted have some emergency money to fall back on but I think that many wonít.

    When my hubby was unable to work because of surgery and chemo we were lucky to have 6 months sick pay (obviously lucky is a strange term to associate with cancer treatment but you know what I mean). However, we did have credit card debt as well as usual bills to pay and the last thing we wanted to do was worry about money.

    His terminal illness insurance claim was initially refused because he wasnít terminally ill enough - seriously!

    Of course we managed and our financial affairs were ok by the time he died so he didnít have to be concerned about me from a financial perspective but I wish we hadnít had to go through the worry of money whilst going through the trauma of terminal illnesss.

    Sorry if thatís a morbid post - I can look back with understanding now and Iíve taken important lessons forward.

    On a lighter note in my first house we saved up and bought replacement kitchen units one at a time each month and took them flat packed home on the bus. Luckily it was a small kitchen so only took us 12 months to do
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Jan 18, 8:05 AM
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    kittie
    On a lighter note in my first house we saved up and bought replacement kitchen units one at a time each month and took them flat packed home on the bus. Luckily it was a small kitchen so only took us 12 months to do
    Originally posted by blackcatsx2

    those were the days.

    In thse days, real ground coffee was a luxury, oh that smell in coopers in liverpool. Memories, the second hand dining table that we painted lime green, the orange sofa

    It is amazing how quickly credit cards and debt, even if minor, became the norm and thence came the transition from a simpler life to a life full of `things`
    Last edited by kittie; 17-01-2018 at 8:10 AM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 17th Jan 18, 8:25 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Ironically when interest rates were at record high levels I had a mortgage and now I!!!8217;ve got some savings the interest levels are at a very low rate. Hey ho!
    Originally posted by blackcatsx2
    With you saying that - that's the first time the cynical thought has struck me to wonder if there is a connection between the virtually zilch interest rates we've had for the last few years on the one hand and the fact that statistics indicate that the older the agegroup = the higher the amount of savings that agegroup has.

    So - I'm guessing it's the baby boomers that are deemed to have the highest amount of savings and it almost feels like a tax specifically on our agegroup iyswim. It's ironic that I spent my younger days feeling like I couldnt have much in the way of savings if I wanted to - in case I became unemployed and the DHSS/now DWP grabbed them (whereas I'd safely made sure I had the benefit of my own money myself if I spent it). Now I don't have to worry about that any more (as my income is pension) I feel like I still can't have much in the way of savings - as it will whittle away gradually with inflation.

    I feel like if I had £x worth of savings then I'd need to add £y to it every year to "bridge the gap" between "interest level actually paid" and "interest level necessary to keep pace with inflation". So I'd be actually "running to stand still" and the first £y I put into my savings each year wouldnt count at all - as it would be necessary to keep my savings at the same value.

    Also wondering what interest rates are like in other countries - I guess I've just presumed they're as downright low as they are here? The logic behind the cynic argument would be that other European countries would also have very low interest rates but non-European countries (eg China) might actually have decent interest rates. I can feel some googling coming on as to how their interest rates compare with ours....
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 17-01-2018 at 8:32 AM.
    *******************
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 17th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
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    tori.k
    This year is turning into " always something" kind of year so far, Yesterday saw a £100 for two front tyres for DH, I do budget for car cost, so the money was already there but always seems to be something, be nice to have a month where nothing needs sorting.
    It was our wedding anniversary yesterday as well, it's not something we usually celebrate which is pretty lucky as DH forgot so he cooked tea out of guilt and which helped softened the blow of I need new tyres
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Jan 18, 11:00 AM
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    kittie
    It was our wedding anniversary yesterday as well, it's not something we usually celebrate which is pretty lucky as DH forgot so he cooked tea out of guilt and which helped softened the blow of I need new tyres
    Originally posted by tori.k
    lol,I like it

    money, don`t forget to count in the fscs protection

    I tied myself into fixed rate saving with close bros but they are tied in with no opt out, so when I need money for a new house, I will not be able to draw on them, hence all other savings are instant access and I use lesser known building societies too, like national counties and shawbrooks
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 17th Jan 18, 11:45 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I know about the "protection up to £85,000" thing on savings.

    But, with negligible interest rates, one could put, say, £10,000 into savings in Year 1 and find that come, say, Year 5 those savings would have gone down even if one hadnt touched them at all (ie because they would have gone down "in real terms" after 5 years inflation had been higher than 5 years negligible interest).
    *******************
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • 12,192 Posts
    • 76,449 Thanks
    kittie
    money I put savings into icesave and that crashed, luckily it was protected and I got the money back. Yet another lesson and fscs is the first thing I check. Not forgetting that groups of banks/building societies can be grouped under the same umbrella. there are lists somewhere on the net. Only the unbrella is protected
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