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  • FIRST POST
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,680Posts
    • 4,340Thanks
    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 23
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 12th Feb 18, 8:36 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    My parents are the same Tori K- brilliantly independent so very hard to help without causing offence. Mum is late 80!!!8217;s but still cooks every day from scratch. I!!!8217;ve managed to introduce one ready meal a week to give her a rest, however she still peels, chops and cooks all the accompanying veggies. My dad (in his nineties) is very put out that he can!!!8217;t still change ceiling light bulbs! I!!!8217;m very lucky to have them.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 12th Feb 18, 8:37 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    I forgot the peril of using an apostrophe in my last post ...
    • kittie
    • By kittie 14th Feb 18, 6:58 AM
    • 11,824 Posts
    • 73,791 Thanks
    kittie
    I just splashed out on packaging, I am in throes of sorting out the garage/workshop for moving, just keeping essentials handy. It is a good time for me to get most of the the garage `move ready`. Found a site called kraft packaging and they have just what I need. Ok expenses have to start sooner or later, so this one will just come out of what I was going to save this month. I am glad I was frugal last month. already paying dividends
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 14th Feb 18, 8:37 AM
    • 3,155 Posts
    • 7,926 Thanks
    tori.k
    I'm lucky enough to get all that from work saves me the job of breaking down the bulb boxes.
    Beginning to think we should advertised this place to include swimming pool for the next tennent
    Garden is so waterlogged be glad when this weather front has passed day three of an annoying headache due to the low pressure, but probably more likely got to book into the opticians and change my reading glasses, this business of getting old is very tiresome an expensive
    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/ 0
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 14th Feb 18, 7:42 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    For a long time I did not even try to tackle the garage - it was OH territory. I know he would have wanted to tidy it up for me but time ran out for him so after he died I kept the door firmly shut. When I finally ventured in there I used to pick things up, move them and put them back down again. Once a heavy box fell on my foot so that put me off for another few months. Any excuse really.
    However now I have really felt ready to start clearing things and progress is being made, slowly but surely. There are even clear spaces on the floor now. Some things have been sold, some dumped and some free cycled.
    Tori I hope the rain stops soon and your new swimming pool drains away to give you the garden back.
    I think I have also managed another post without a rogue apostrophe.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Feb 18, 7:47 PM
    • 3,625 Posts
    • 23,663 Thanks
    caronc
    I'm trying to talk myself out of taking advantage of the MSE "Heartier" meat offer, I've used them before and liked their products but it is a definite "want" rather than "need" and I do have more than enough in my freezers. I've parked the thought just now but this is one of the areas where I know I can be a bit impulsive spend wise.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Feb 18, 6:18 AM
    • 11,824 Posts
    • 73,791 Thanks
    kittie
    blackcats, it has taken the MK thread and time and willpower to get through the garage. I have to consolidate today, try to make a space in the middle. I have my own hobby stuff in there as well as house maintenance stuff but already much has gone. I dreaded starting it two years ago but progress is good and at long last the walls are clear, high shelves and mezzanine (storage! ) emptied. I want to get to the tip early today, car is full and heavy, then I will start to load again, I am determined to get it all finished this week. I ached so much in bed, damped it all down with painkillers but the persistant shoulder ache remained all night.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 15th Feb 18, 11:25 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    On the subject of tidying/clearing it would be great to get some advice from the lovely, wise people on here. In the garage there are a few things that belonged to OH parents. I never knew his dad and there are a few things that belonged to him - not valuable items and whilst they might have some sentimental value they don!!!8217;t have any memories or sentimental value to me cos I didn!!!8217;t know his dad. There is no other family to give them too and I am in a dilemma about them. I don!!!8217;t want to box them up and put them away for a few more years and then have the same dilemma about what to do with them but I feel a bit strange about giving them away or throwing them away. Examples of the things are a Toby jug, some postcards from his travels with the navy, an old first aid book that he has written some notes in, his very old driving licence. So things that are personal to him but as I didn!!!8217;t ever meet him they aren!!!8217;t really personal to me but perhaps too personal to put in the bin. Any advice gratefully received. Thank you
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Feb 18, 2:22 PM
    • 15,369 Posts
    • 42,847 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    On the subject of tidying/clearing it would be great to get some advice from the lovely, wise people on here. In the garage there are a few things that belonged to OH parents. I never knew his dad and there are a few things that belonged to him - not valuable items and whilst they might have some sentimental value they don!!!8217;t have any memories or sentimental value to me cos I didn!!!8217;t know his dad. There is no other family to give them too and I am in a dilemma about them. I don!!!8217;t want to box them up and put them away for a few more years and then have the same dilemma about what to do with them but I feel a bit strange about giving them away or throwing them away. Examples of the things are a Toby jug, some postcards from his travels with the navy, an old first aid book that he has written some notes in, his very old driving licence. So things that are personal to him but as I didn!!!8217;t ever meet him they aren!!!8217;t really personal to me but perhaps too personal to put in the bin. Any advice gratefully received. Thank you
    Originally posted by Blackcatsreturns
    No use asking me - I don't do sentimental - so I'd just be checking through for anything worth selling or that someone might like as a gift. The rest would just get binned.
    Fastest way to get a headache = try and make someone that thinks for themselves conform to local "group think"
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 15th Feb 18, 3:50 PM
    • 1,100 Posts
    • 18,284 Thanks
    Siebrie
    A local or navy museum may be interested?
    Wombling to wealth 2018 503,29 = 435.79
    Still a womble 2017 #25 7116,68= 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 3.483,31= 2,969.05
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 15th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
    • 20,071 Posts
    • 33,126 Thanks
    Spendless
    Thanks for explaining its apostrophes doing it, Ive been wondering for a while!

    Well, my working through the toiletries was working.
    Yesterday DH told DS he'd gone and bought some more deodorants cos they werent any. There is but they are all tidied away in the mirrored bathroom cabinet when no-one thinks to look! So we now have more

    On the plus side, almost at the end of the last but one body scrub, then can move on to the 'good' stuff. I have 8 mini body-washes to use before I will 'allow' myself to use the big bottle that was a present. It's unlikely that I'll use the minis before DH goes away and fetches a shed-load back from his trip, but I have a plan to be rid of the little bottles by my birthday at the end of September. DS should be starting Uni then and they will go to him as 'emergency' toiletries.

    On the grocery front, I seem to be doing either well on the packed lunches, or well on the evening meals. I haven't seemed to co-ordinate both yet. Next challenge.
    • private_helen
    • By private_helen 15th Feb 18, 5:49 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 173 Thanks
    private_helen
    Blackscatsreturn- that's a difficult one. I always feel better about giving stuff away rather than throwing stuff out, but as you say some of the stuff is perhaps of no particular wanting to anyone other than family. Are there no wider family members that may want the very personal stuff for their family tree, genealogy research?

    An alternative might be to scan all the documents- perhaps put them on disc or upload them to a free site (I use flickr for images), and then part with the originals?
    • Jaymie kate
    • By Jaymie kate 15th Feb 18, 6:25 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    Jaymie kate
    That is quite an awesome list! I could read it over and over again to remind me of all those things. Thanks for sharing!
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 15th Feb 18, 7:38 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Thank you for your views on OH fathers stuff - some helpful suggestions. Money I am glad I did ask because you are right some of this stuff can just go in the bin such as a chipped and cracked jug which probably came from a pub and a hip flask with no lid. Father in law was an alcoholic so actually there!!!8217;s a fair few drink related items in the stash.
    I will scan some of the papers and photograph some of the things and then let them go.
    I feel better already about the decision making process. I was definitely overthinking some of this.
    Thank you.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 15th Feb 18, 7:38 PM
    • 3,625 Posts
    • 23,663 Thanks
    caronc
    Examples of the things are a Toby jug, some postcards from his travels with the navy, an old first aid book that he has written some notes in, his very old driving licence. So things that are personal to him but as I didn!!!8217;t ever meet him they aren!!!8217;t really personal to me but perhaps too personal to put in the bin. Any advice gratefully received. Thank you
    Originally posted by Blackcatsreturns
    I'd be inclined to keep the jug and postcards and dispose of the book/driving licence. Your local ex-servicemans club or historical society might be interested in having the postcards.
    GC - Jan18 55/120, Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200
    GC YTD - 391/590
    • abbe89
    • By abbe89 15th Feb 18, 9:24 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 1,111 Thanks
    abbe89
    I've been reading all of your posts, but realised that I haven't really posted anything myself!

    Things seem to be going well so far.
    -I've bought very few coffees/lunches out since starting my new job. I could go down to zero, but sometimes it's nice to treat yourself! I'm maybe doing it once a fortnight now, not every day - so that's a huge saving.
    -my cupboards and freezer are slowly emptying. My current tactic, particularly with the meat in my freezer, is to defrost it, bulk cook meals and then refreeze. It then makes it much easier and more convenient! And it means all I've bought for the last few food shops has been fresh fruit/veg, dairy and the odd pack of ham!
    -now I'm working regular hours, I've been able to set my thermostat properly, rather than cranking it up when I finally get in from work!

    The one area of my original list I've not done so well on is toiletries - I've still been buying them, but not quite as many. So half a victory at least!
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 16th Feb 18, 3:53 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 380 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Spendless and Abb! - little steps add up don!!!8217;t they. I have made small adjustments this year and have managed to use up surplus stocks of toiletries, candles and freezer contents. My mum gave me her surplus stocks of wine so that!!!8217;s saved me buying any wine for the next few months while I use that up! I work from home but found that I would go for a walk at lunch time and end up buying coffee and lunch so now I have a quick bite to eat at home and then go for a walk. It helps to re-energise as well as save money. I have also designated Thursday night as soup night. It uses up the last of the veggies in the fridge and means that weekly meal planning has one less meal to think about. It!!!8217;s quick, easy, cheap and nutritious.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Feb 18, 4:45 PM
    • 11,824 Posts
    • 73,791 Thanks
    kittie
    Blackcats,you have probably started on the fil things but I know that at first it was hard to get rid of hubbies things, his various sporting medals and so on, lots of things but I found that doing one at a time made it easier. Then all of a sudden I was down to half, then down to a dozen items and now I have six treasured possesssions and funnily enough, all things he made from wood. His input was in them and that made all the difference. I even shredded his letters to me from 1969, no point keeping them for the children to peruse, they were personal.

    My personal pension went in today instead of sunday, nice surprise, so I have taken cash out for a small food shop and for my cash wallet. There is 300 in my wallet now. I can also put some money into my bills savings account, I need to put 508 in per month, I don`t know if I will achieve that this month but if I don`t then I will have to make up the shortfall over the following months. I think I will be frugal again, for the rest of february
    • TM6
    • By TM6 17th Feb 18, 9:40 AM
    • 868 Posts
    • 3,988 Thanks
    TM6
    Join Me?
    If anyone would like to join me on my Fiscal Fast, short term or long term, I would love some new faces / friends to join in or encourage me


    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73714561#post73714561
    "One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much was in my bank account, nor what my clothes looked like but the world may be a little bit better because I was important in the life of a child."
    • Katieowl
    • By Katieowl 17th Feb 18, 11:18 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 1,681 Thanks
    Katieowl
    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.

    Originally posted by Siebrie
    My grandmother always used to say a woman should have some money her husband knew nothing about!!!

    If mine knows I've got any I don't have it for long, not that he's profligate, but it always seems to fall to me to sort anything. I prefer he makes the effort occassionally, so I keep quiet
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