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  • FIRST POST
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,680Posts
    • 4,369Thanks
    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 22
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Feb 18, 8:48 AM
    • 15,850 Posts
    • 43,879 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Shuddering at the thought of going through too much hassle re my finance planning. I just don't want to know - would rather spend my time on other things.

    Nice and simple - at all bills are on direct debit except those that can't be/would be more expensive if they were basically.

    So I know I have 3 months of the year where there is a "yearly" bill to pay out of that months income - the tv licence month (£145 duly going out extra), the yearly gas service month (£85 going out extra) and the insurance month (£256 going out extra). Christmas costs me less than £100 I reckon (cards/a few presents/I might have a more "special" meal or two out with friends).

    So I'm okay for some "spending money" every month (it's just the case that 4 months of the year there will be a bit less than normal).

    With a little bit of cash to one side "just in case" and a bit of "cashflow money" in the bank account not to go overdrawn accidentally or if some minor "must purchase" comes up. A bit of savings (though not very much at the moment - as the house took so much of them for renovation work) and the system "works".

    Also got a bit of health care insurance - so that I shouldnt have to pay a big bill myself at any point if an expensive health care need comes up and the NHS is awkward about paying for it (eg I've got to the agegroup where many start developing cataracts). Fingers crossed that will never happen to me obviously - but a friend of mine that moved here recently too was gobsmacked to be told recently that she would have to wait a year (!!!!!!!!) in between first eye and second eye being done (though the "proper wait" between eyes is 4-6 weeks and she'd been blithely assuming that that is what would happen...).

    You know you've become very cynical about what money you might need to pay healthcare costs for the NHS when you know you could just whip out enough cash to pay for a long (ie expensive) taxi ride to a hospital if an ambulance was needed/called - just in case it took literally hours (rather than a few minutes) to get to the caller. Followed by - you've seen the hospital "restaurant" - so you've also got enough money to one side to pay take-aways to bring food to you...
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-02-2018 at 8:56 AM.
    *******************
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 24,834 Thanks
    caronc
    Shuddering at the thought of going through too much hassle re my finance planning. I just don't want to know - would rather spend my time on other things.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I'm a numbers person so have worked with a spreadsheet for years, just not as detailed as this one. Apart from direct debits, I mainly pay everything by credit card and settle it monthly so what my bank balance says I have and what I actually have are two very different things. The spreadsheet keeps me on track (in theory anyway)
    GC - Mar £104/£150, Apr £164/£200, May £96/£120, Jun £206/£230
    GC YTD 2018- £605/£940
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Feb 18, 10:23 AM
    • 15,850 Posts
    • 43,879 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Each to their own on that one.

    But I couldnt be doing with that personally.

    I hate paperwork of all descriptions with a passion and if my time is going to be given up for something I don't want to do - then I'll minimise it (unless I'm being paid a reasonable hourly rate for it - I wish...).

    If there's a financial benefit of £100's or £1,000s per hour for doing something - then I'll do it. I have done paperwork involved with things like opening loads of building society accounts back when (as I realised I'd be "paid" £hundreds per hour for that) - but for NMW or nothing = nope....
    *******************
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 10th Feb 18, 11:23 AM
    • 3,190 Posts
    • 8,092 Thanks
    tori.k
    I been brought up with a take care of the pennies the pounds take care of themselves mentality,
    I guess it depends on what your end game is, due diligence now will put me into a position to retire earlier, so every penny I can shift towards that aim is more than worth it.
    In your case you feel you would waste time, with me I will gain it.
    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
    • maryb
    • By maryb 10th Feb 18, 12:07 PM
    • 3,746 Posts
    • 46,121 Thanks
    maryb
    Kittie, it's so annoying when you forget about the one-offs isn't it? I eventually made a list of them so I would remember January iswhen I need to pay xyz etc but I still got caught out occasionally because after the DDs left school, there weren't so many and I let the list get out of date. What helped was scrolling back through MS Money to see the entries for the relevant upcoming month in the previous year. It's also quite interesting - in an oh yes, I remember that sort of way
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Feb 18, 12:28 PM
    • 12,189 Posts
    • 76,438 Thanks
    kittie
    Shuddering at the thought of going through too much hassle re my finance planning. I just don't want to know - would rather spend my time on other things.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    each to their own, money

    Taking care of the pennies has enabled me to have a nice house, lots of hobbies, to buy what I want when I want. If I need care in the future then it will be platinum standard, if I need any operation eg hip replacement (touching wood) then I will be able to get it when I want. Not bad for a lass who slept with her 4 sisters in one bedroom in a small old liverpool terraced house, which was ready for demolition and married a man who slept in one bed with his brother in his family home. Me and my husband started life poor and skint but had aspirations and a money saving ethos. That continued when people were falling flat at the 15% mortgage rate. I very quickly learnt to keep tabs on every single penny
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 10th Feb 18, 6:38 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    I!!!8217;m almost the opposite as I never really worried about money or taken care of the pennies. (Hangs head in shame). Although I have managed ok because I!!!8217;ve earned well and done ok with buying and selling houses. But I had accumulated a lot of debt in the past. I was brought up in a Council flat but we were actually quite comfortably off with money. So for me keeping track of my money is a good discipline and an eye opener. I!!!8217;m changing my approach to money with the aim of retiring early. This thread is a perfect place to learn and be inspired by others. Ps after password change fiasco Friday I!!!8217;ve had to change my user name from Blackcatsx2
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Feb 18, 7:20 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 24,834 Thanks
    caronc
    Seems to have been a few folk sideswiped by the password change....
    Shame there wasn't a warning so people could check their details were still current.
    GC - Mar £104/£150, Apr £164/£200, May £96/£120, Jun £206/£230
    GC YTD 2018- £605/£940
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 10th Feb 18, 8:07 PM
    • 3,498 Posts
    • 32,045 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Shuddering at the thought of going through too much hassle re my finance planning. I just don't want to know - would rather spend my time on other things.

    Nice and simple - at all bills are on direct debit except those that can't be/would be more expensive if they were basically.

    So I know I have 3 months of the year where there is a "yearly" bill to pay out of that months income - the tv licence month (£145 duly going out extra), the yearly gas service month (£85 going out extra) and the insurance month (£256 going out extra). Christmas costs me less than £100 I reckon (cards/a few presents/I might have a more "special" meal or two out with friends).

    So I'm okay for some "spending money" every month (it's just the case that 4 months of the year there will be a bit less than normal).

    With a little bit of cash to one side "just in case" and a bit of "cashflow money" in the bank account not to go overdrawn accidentally or if some minor "must purchase" comes up. A bit of savings (though not very much at the moment - as the house took so much of them for renovation work) and the system "works".

    Also got a bit of health care insurance - so that I shouldnt have to pay a big bill myself at any point if an expensive health care need comes up and the NHS is awkward about paying for it (eg I've got to the agegroup where many start developing cataracts). Fingers crossed that will never happen to me obviously - but a friend of mine that moved here recently too was gobsmacked to be told recently that she would have to wait a year (!!!!!!!!) in between first eye and second eye being done (though the "proper wait" between eyes is 4-6 weeks and she'd been blithely assuming that that is what would happen...).

    You know you've become very cynical about what money you might need to pay healthcare costs for the NHS when you know you could just whip out enough cash to pay for a long (ie expensive) taxi ride to a hospital if an ambulance was needed/called - just in case it took literally hours (rather than a few minutes) to get to the caller. Followed by - you've seen the hospital "restaurant" - so you've also got enough money to one side to pay take-aways to bring food to you...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    It reads to me that you are very much aware of your income, your expenditure and when payments are due, a buffer in your working account and some savings. If a simple way of dealing with your finances suits you,that is great.

    I can see that those with several income sources/investments might need something more detailed though.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Feb 18, 9:28 PM
    • 12,189 Posts
    • 76,438 Thanks
    kittie
    (eg I've got to the agegroup where many start developing cataracts). but a friend of mine that moved here recently too was gobsmacked to be told recently that she would have to wait a year (!!!!!!!!) in between first eye and second eye being done .
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    worse than that money. A son in law in wales has been waiting over 12 months for his second eye to be done. My neighbour waited 11 months and hip replacement is being rationed as it is not seen as life threatening. Saving money enables choices
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 10th Feb 18, 10:07 PM
    • 11,104 Posts
    • 29,663 Thanks
    suki1964
    I have to admit I've been very cavalier about money most of my life, earned it, spent it. It really has only been these past few years I've started to think about how I spend , and what I spend it on

    I don't keep detailed records, I wouldn't know one end of a spreadsheet from the other, but I am "enjoying" my bank app

    I'm now cash free so it's debit card all the way and it's eye opening to see where my money is really going - my car mostly . But no public transport, me and he working different directions and start/finish times, we need 2 cars

    I can see how book keeping is important, but I need to keep it simple and pain free
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • caronc
    • By caronc 11th Feb 18, 9:10 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 24,834 Thanks
    caronc
    I find a spreadsheet the easiest way for me, everything in one place and I know "where I'm at" at a glance. A banking app would work less well for me but I know my kids use them.
    GC - Mar £104/£150, Apr £164/£200, May £96/£120, Jun £206/£230
    GC YTD 2018- £605/£940
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 11th Feb 18, 9:55 AM
    • 3,692 Posts
    • 5,550 Thanks
    bouicca21
    Like Money I CBA to faff round with spreadsheets and the like. I've always had to be frugal, always had a horror of debt, so I suppose I've effectively done the planning in my head. Being retired and being mortgage free has made the finances so much easier but Christmas was expensive, various annual subs went out in January and two unexpected repairs have pushed me back into extreme MSE mode. But I've done it before and I can do it again. I could sub myself from savings - but I've got cataracts and when they need doing they will be done, no way am I going on a waiting list.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Feb 18, 10:09 AM
    • 12,189 Posts
    • 76,438 Thanks
    kittie
    suki, I have that reality check from being on the MK thread and having taken a small house worth of nice goodies to the charity shop. If only I had been better able to differentiate want and need when I was younger. These days I tend to decide I might want something and sleep on the idea, more often than not I have changed my mind by morning

    I do know that any furniture bought in the last 4 years is having to work harder and to have potential for space downsize in the future (maybe 10 years). In the meantime I either find a house that can accomodate my many hobbies and all my furniture, or some of my nice quality furniture will have to go, the stuff that is darkand older but I am still hopeful of finding a big enough home and deferring the actual furniture disposal until I need to
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Feb 18, 12:55 PM
    • 635 Posts
    • 1,678 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    I'm late to joining the thread but better late then never eh?

    This year is proving to be an expensive year. We have a lot of family occasions/events coming up that it's hard to keep track of.

    I did the whole moneyhaul thing at the end of January and set up a new budget for February and onwards. This includes future annual expenses. I work best with different pots so have set up numerous ones for different things. I have a main account where my bills/direct debits come out of then a seperate account for entertainment funds. All other accounts/pots are set up for the annual expenses and a set amount is divided between these each month. What is not spent will go towards creating a buffer/sweeped towards another savings account.

    I was lucky to receive an inheritance towards the end of 2017 which enabled me to finally pay off my debts and add the rest to savings I had already accrued, I basically have enough for a house deposit right now. However I'm choosing to stay at home as long as possible in order to build up my savings so when I do decide the time is right, I'll be able to put down a decent deposit and have enough left over to finance future renovations. I don't want to put these on credit.

    I've always been more of a saver then a spender. My debt was never down to wreckless spending, it was down to the decision of wanting to end my PCP deal and pay for the rest of my car outright and then I had some private dental work done, which I thought long and hard about. I always ensured I paid off lump sums each month and aimed to get the debt paid off as quickly as possible. So effectively the money I used each month to pay off the debt is now diverted elsewhere.

    The only reason I have recently started to use a credit card is to obtain cashback and to build up a regular credit history so when it comes to applying for a mortgage, the lenders can see I'm responsible with money management. It shall be paid off in full each month and each time I make a transaction, I transfer the money from whichever pot necessary to another account ready for when the bill is due.

    My way of money management may be confusing to others but it seems simple to me. I always find the simple things complicated. I can see where my money is going and check my online banking most days to make sure everything is running smoothly.

    I'm on track to save at least 6k this year through directing maximum amount into a help to buy isa and a 5% interest saving account. Any additional savings will be a bonus.

    I don't think I'm doing too bad for a 25 year old single parent. I'm just wanting to secure a future for me and the boy. I'm always looking for ways to cut back/save money and I think carefully before I buy.

    The thought of debt terrifies me and I think this is due to learning that my brother at the age of 22 managed to wrack up 38k worth of debt. This involved debt he'd already accrued and because he wanted to buy a new car. It's taking him nearly 5 years to pay this off after being bailed out and most of that was due to him receiving some inheritance too which cleared the final amount of debt. He still hasn't learnt though and remains to be a spender without thinking and money burns wholes in his pocket.
    Check out my Diary
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Feb 18, 2:00 PM
    • 12,189 Posts
    • 76,438 Thanks
    kittie
    I love it chandelier, old head on young shoulders and welcome here
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 11th Feb 18, 3:20 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 18,821 Thanks
    Siebrie
    I have a bit of a sneaky way to save: I put money in a saving account my dh can!!!8217;t see. We are saving for 3 big items this year: the buffer to !!!8364;10,000, dh!!!8217;s every-3-years trip to his motherland, and moving house.

    We went to the bank for financial advice about moving house, and the advisor said all would be covered by the sale of the old house. Fine. However, in Belgium you have to pay a 5% or 10% deposit on a house when you make an offer, and you lose this money to the seller if the offer falls through. So, even though, technically, we could borrow money against our current mortgage, I don;t want to do that. With our incomes, there should not be a reason to borrow that amount (!!!8364;17,500 = 5% of our maximum mortgage). So, I syphon it off to a savings account that is linked to our only current account. He can see the money going there, but not the total. He can also see that the amount for his trip is growing nicely, to keep him happy
    Wombling to wealth 2018 € 549.29 = £ 483.30
    Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7116,68= £ 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.483,31= £ 2,969.05
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 11th Feb 18, 7:28 PM
    • 58 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    A bit cross today - eating out is so often disappointing and usually over priced. Had a family lunch which included young kids so chose a well known pizza chain. Took vouchers and no-one drank alcohol but even so the bill was steep. I wished that I had made lunch at home as it would have been relaxing as well as much less expensive. Next time eh? Have managed to write a whole post without an apostrophe as they seem to be going haywire at the moment !
    • LameWolf
    • By LameWolf 11th Feb 18, 7:36 PM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 115,992 Thanks
    LameWolf
    I find a spreadsheet the easiest way for me, everything in one place and I know "where I'm at" at a glance. A banking app would work less well for me but I know my kids use them.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Me too - I have spreadsheets for just about everything.
    I don't have a smartphone, so apps are of no use to me.
    LameWolf
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 12th Feb 18, 11:03 AM
    • 3,190 Posts
    • 8,092 Thanks
    tori.k
    I've been a little spendy for my own sanity yesterday, ordered a telephone amplifier for my mother and picked her up a watering lance and bits ( not that it looks like it will be needed anytime soon)
    She is fiercely independent an I expect nothing else going forward with her she freely admits she can't hear the phone in dad's office if the lounge TV is on but won't have an extension in there, and she's anti anything connected with old age, and my siblings are cowards so I'm the sucker that has to always play the bad guy.
    It will play out the usual way I will set it up, she will moan to my siblings that I'm treating her like an old lady then in a week be recommending her friend gets one
    The new watering lance is to deflect from the old lady telephone amplifier
    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
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