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  • FIRST POST
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,680Posts
    • 4,342Thanks
    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 30
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    • 9,969 Posts
    • 62,254 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Yes, I have done the “dying tidy” thing too. The only thing is I think we probably need to make sure it is kept up to date. So if our circumstances change for any reason then we would need to make any alterations. This is especially true of wills.

    It might sound morbid but having dealt with 3 estates, 3 funerals, nursing homes and end of life care then I confirm it is better to be prepared. It can save your loved ones a lot of stress and heartache.

    I actually felt better when I had done it.

    I know I have mentioned this on the widows thread but one thing I would just like to advise.......

    When you take out life insurance put the policy in trust. The proceeds bypass the will and go straight to the beneficiaries. This can be used then to pay for funeral expenses, clear any debts, pay any inheritance tax due, without your beneficiaries having to struggle to pay out up front.

    It speeds things up and avoids a lot of unnecessary complications. When my husband died I sent off the claim on the Monday and received the cheque on the Friday.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Mar 18, 12:16 PM
    • 15,628 Posts
    • 43,365 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I need to do the annual cleaning up of statements etc I have a tidy file, in case I pop my clogs, having had to deal with the sudden passing of my husband. I did all the finances so knew everything but he didn`t, I tried to show him but he would have been very stuck if I had passed first.

    I decided that all this would be too much for the children so decided to make life easier for them. I think it is called `dying tidy`
    Originally posted by kittie
    Actually - being quite pragmatic about it - and I think this is all the more necessary for those who are single/live on their own/childless in some ways.

    I can see quite clearly that it's likely to be my (anonymous) solicitor dealing with things. Leaving things as "tidy" as possible should hopefully mean less "chargeable by a solicitor time" being taken out of my estate - ie more going where I've decided it will go.

    There's nothing I can do basically about the fact that, at a very personal level, it's rather unlikely to be the case. By definition - a person living on their own is probably going to be "found" some days after the event so to say. Personally - that's how I want it actually. I wouldn't want someone to come along when I was "halfway Home" and get me carted off into hospital (particularly the NHS of the early 21st century... - with the chances of alternate neglect and keeping me alive against my will). When I'm found - I will have safely "gone Home" some days beforehand and there's no risks of any mistakes being made regarding me. It will be quite clear I really have Gone. Though I'm afraid I can't think of any way to ensure it's a "practical" type person that won't be bothered by the situation - some things one just has to leave to luck and hoping it's a more "logical" type person than "emotional" type person that turns up.
    WAY TO GO IRELAND! - WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY

    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 11th Mar 18, 1:33 PM
    • 36,732 Posts
    • 472,813 Thanks
    pigpen
    I have a folder with all my bits together.. insurances, various credit agreements (solar panels and the likes.) I don't have a will ... *waits for the telling off* ... but I have a copy of OH's mothers.. and have clarified her position on various aspects.

    more stuff thrown at ebay.. I think I need to make a much greater effort and get more out of the house and more pennies in.. .. and I'm still up to my ears in decorating
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    15/05/2018 £53528.71 (2.41% int.)
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 11th Mar 18, 1:45 PM
    • 953 Posts
    • 6,597 Thanks
    flubberyzing
    I think the idea of a "dying tidy" is an excellent move!
    We lost dad unexpectedly in September, at the relatively young age of 62. He was a life-long "almost-hoarder" of "collections". He collected stamps and postcards mostly. He'd buy them and then do nothing really with them.
    Mum made the decision to sell off his collections and give the proceeds to my sister and I. For a number of reasons I suspect.
    1: So she'd have something purposeful to do.
    2: So my sister and I wouldn't have to do it in more of a hurry when she dies, in order to get their large house clear.
    3: So my sister and I can enjoy some "under the radar" inheritance early.

    Just this past week she's taken the bulk of it to an auction house in Derby that specialise in this area, with a view to it being auctioned in around May/June. We expect something in the region of 8-10k, so a tidy sum!
    Because it's fun to have money!
    • ScotinLondon
    • By ScotinLondon 11th Mar 18, 5:54 PM
    • 323 Posts
    • 3,768 Thanks
    ScotinLondon
    I haven't been on for a while, but I have been going through our bills, utilities more so. Little things have been reduced - Sky, Telephone all done...a little bit saved there.

    Grocery bill is being reduced every few months by £10 at a time. Still on a mission to reduce food wastage...I will get there but it will take time.

    Next on my list will be gas & electricity, which I am loathe to do, as i know how difficult it is to get problems sorted out when they mess up (I work in an industry where I deal with them on a daily basis). We will switch but I will need to do some more research.

    Re the conversations above - my brother & I are trying to get my mother to take an interest in the house finances, as both our dad and mum are at that age for when anything can happen. She gets bored quite quickly but we are trying.

    For me and hubby - we have no offspring - i will be eventually giving a list of everything that my hubby will need to know with the executor of my will. The reason for me doing this is because my hubby has an autoimmune disease that can give him a brain fog and/or worse, so I need to make sure that i can provide for him but also protect him so any unscrupulous people out there.

    Hope everyone has a good rest of the weekend.

    SILx
    Last edited by ScotinLondon; 11-03-2018 at 6:42 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling
    D17/J18 £75.27; J/F18 £64.79; F/M £124.01; M/A £40.05/£130.00
    CCC - £26.00
    Lunch2work 14/20 J18; 10/19 F18; 3/17 A18
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    • caronc
    • By caronc 11th Mar 18, 6:34 PM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,359 Thanks
    caronc
    I really ought to do some "dying tidying", not my paperwork or will as these are in decent order though my "bills/receipts" file needs some work but my general house clutter. I think it will need to be a project done bit by bit....

    No savings as such this weekend but no unplanned spends either. That said my almost 30 year electric whisk died yesterday so will need to replace that. It certainly didn't owe me anything so can't complain.
    GC - Feb18 £68/£120, Mar £104/£150, Apr £164/£200, May £96/£120
    GC YTD 2018- £487/£710
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 12th Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    • 36,732 Posts
    • 472,813 Thanks
    pigpen
    I just heard back from the mortgage company, they have lowered my payments by £150 a month!!! And my council tax (which must be wrong) has been set at £21 a month.. increasing my monthly disposablt income to a whopping £500!! I might be able to pay off a bill next month if I have all that spare!! Fridays are going to be so much more affluent with £74 a week extra to pay off other debts!

    All cash from sales is going off the BG balance.. I am still insisting it is wrong and that they come check the meter is installed correctly.

    1 item posted today

    Foods shopping done for a week for a whopping total of £24. I have a sack of potatoes and tray of eggs and a furit box delivery tomorrow which was £22 too.. but that should keep us going.

    Flour.. I need to look at alternatives to wheat stuff.. just to see if it helps my hysterical tummy which is massively better since not eating meat!

    I have 2 poorlies today .. nearly 2 and 22 ... they are both watching Bing in the other room... toddler TV!! So I have 4 loads of bedding and towels and pjs to wash.. and somehow get dry in this very soggy weather.. I need a lotto win.. I don't need millions.. just £100k would do! I'm not greedy.
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    15/05/2018 £53528.71 (2.41% int.)
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Mar 18, 10:02 AM
    • 11,991 Posts
    • 75,047 Thanks
    kittie
    I did it!! just added the rest of the necessary amount to the monthly bills savings pot. Wow, being frugal this and last month has been very worth while so far, any extra later this month will now slide over to a real savings pot, for my house move. Living with a cash amount is key for me, I can physically see the notes being removed from my cash wallet and that makes me think twice about going out for a drive for something to do. I can have free entertainment here, cycling, allotment for starters
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Mar 18, 12:07 PM
    • 11,991 Posts
    • 75,047 Thanks
    kittie
    my whole morning has been free home made ready meal is in the oven with hm crumble made from home grown apples. I have entertained myself the whole morning by going on a bike ride, talking to fishermen, other cyclists, a walker and a swan. I have added to my fitness for free and while I was out, free roomba vacuumed all my open plan living area. Roomba was paid for in november 2015, (comparing cost with a paid cleaner). Now I am euphoric for free, the exercise plus the sunshine plus the lovely scenery. Happy me
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 14th Mar 18, 8:21 AM
    • 3,179 Posts
    • 7,985 Thanks
    tori.k
    Dinner sounds delicious Kittie, good news on the mortgage pigpen hopefully things will get a little easier for you.
    It beginning to feel like im trying to take on the national debt as the mortgage application went in on Monday.
    There is not going to be enough hours in the day to get both places ready so will have the cost of the two houses for a month to give us time to paint and clean both houses through.
    im going to broke for months to top up the emergency fund, as the new house has gas central heating so want an extra 1.5k in that fund for the eventual replacement. never having gas before I have no idea how much a combi boiler cost to run, so a bit in the weeds about the running costs in the new house for a while.
    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/ 870
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 14th Mar 18, 11:18 AM
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    kittie
    you will need painkillers tori, that is such hard work over the month. When we moved here we had the overlap and managed to move a lot ourselves and prep the house but no painting and we ached for a long time afterwards.

    I want the overlap here and have everything crossed that I find a home which has had tlc from its owners

    I wasn`t going to spend money this month but have run out of fish, I buy it from cornwall, I portion, vac pack and freeze. They have an offer this week so it is arriving on friday and to get free p and p I had to spend a fair amount but heyho, it is nice having such fresh fish straight from the dock. I also needed some organic tinned beans, made an order with realfoods and am back from sainsburys, if we get any snow then I want the fresh food tucked in the fridge. CC for the two online orders, cash for the rest.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 14th Mar 18, 11:37 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Thank you for the recipes. I am eagerly watching my bananas in the fruit bowl waited for them to really ripen for cake making at the weekend. Nanas fruit cake recipe looks yummy too.
    I received some long overdue work expenses so they have been put into a savings account ready for this months credit card bill. This bill will include the costs from my recent holiday so will be higher than usual. Think I'm on track to keep within my new monthly spending target but March feels like a long month.
    Tori sounds like hard work but so worth it in the long term.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 15th Mar 18, 1:12 PM
    • 11,991 Posts
    • 75,047 Thanks
    kittie
    I have been spending online, I have been wracking my brains for what to get a dd for her birthday and didn`t want to give her money. I found it, was trying to find ways of getting through swarms of flies when out on my bike. Yay, she is an athlete, runner/cyclist and these will be perfect for her. I got one for winter and a cool one for summer. They are basically worn around the neck and can be pulled up over the lower face and up over the head
    http://www.buffwear.co.uk/

    sportspeople love them
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 15th Mar 18, 2:02 PM
    • 9,969 Posts
    • 62,254 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Kittie.....I now have a page in my diary where I jot present ideas down, so if I think of something or someone mentions something they like then I write it down before I forget.... and of course it will give me time to shop around and look for the best deals.

    I have already got a nice little list so hopefully no last minute panics for birthdays or Christmas.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 15th Mar 18, 7:23 PM
    • 741 Posts
    • 5,204 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    Dinner sounds delicious Kittie, good news on the mortgage pigpen hopefully things will get a little easier for you.
    It beginning to feel like im trying to take on the national debt as the mortgage application went in on Monday.
    There is not going to be enough hours in the day to get both places ready so will have the cost of the two houses for a month to give us time to paint and clean both houses through.
    im going to broke for months to top up the emergency fund, as the new house has gas central heating so want an extra 1.5k in that fund for the eventual replacement. never having gas before I have no idea how much a combi boiler cost to run, so a bit in the weeds about the running costs in the new house for a while.
    Originally posted by tori.k
    Good evening Ladies

    Pigpen - congratulations on the new mortgage.

    Tori - I don!!!8217;t envy you the next couple of months but good luck with the move and I hope it all goes swimmingly well. (I hate moving house.). Talking about combi-boiler running costs, we live in a 1930!!!8217;s semi, with gas central heating and a combi boiler and the gas bill is about £55 a month. We!!!8217;ve just gone onto a meter, so it may change. Also my husband is currently unemployed but claims he only puts the central heating on during the day when it!!!8217;s snowing outside. (He runs hot and rarely feels cold.).

    I budget £120 a year for the boiler!!!8217;s annual service but I have a wonderful plumber who, half the time, refuses to charge me. He installed our boiler and reckons it has a life span of about 20 years. Ours is a Vaillant and my plumber says that their parts are usually interchangeable between models, unlike Worcester Bosch, which makes them cheaper to maintain.

    Thank you, everyone, for your money saving inspirations. I!!!8217;ve just started my new job, where I have absolutely no internet access, so will be even more absent from MSE than usual for the foreseeable future. It!!!8217;s a fixed term contract; I!!!8217;m trying to be optimistic but I don!!!8217;t expect it to last beyond Christmas, so will try to save as much as possible from my pay packets, while having to cover almost all the household bills until DH gets a new job.

    - Pip
    Last edited by PipneyJane; 15-03-2018 at 7:31 PM. Reason: Added something
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 16th Mar 18, 6:38 AM
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    tori.k
    Thank you Pip, im hoping for similar bills, this a newer well insulated house compared to what we currently live in, i work outside and currently of an age where I run hot, so prefer it on the cooler side, everyone has to work round me on that
    Came home to a message from our broker to say our mortgage has been agreed in full subject to valuation which is being done on Tuesday.
    im back working every weekend until August I actually don't have a day off now until March 26th this is the worse time of year for us to move, but that's Murphy's law. and the extra money over the next few months will make life a lot easier.
    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/ 870
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Mar 18, 7:03 AM
    • 11,991 Posts
    • 75,047 Thanks
    kittie
    How far away is your new home toi?

    Nothing here for me yet, nothing to buy, I think potential sellers in my chosen areas are sitting tight at the moment. There are a couple of cottage types which look like high maintenance money pits and a bungalow that has been sorely neglected, with a watercourse down the side. The bungalow is far too expensive for what it is and looks like a probate sale

    My own work pension went in today instead of sunday, it is only just over £400 but will pay an unexpected annual bill, another bill to add to the never-ending list. Apart from presents and fresh food, I am pretty well scraping what I can from this month. I must add however that in a `normal` year I would have just been buying whatever and drawing from my savings to pay off the cc. I still feel pretty pleased with myself and have upped the fresh food spending ie have made an abel and cole order for next week
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 16th Mar 18, 1:53 PM
    • 36,732 Posts
    • 472,813 Thanks
    pigpen
    my boiler is on the blink.. not hot water or heat.. 2 poorly offspring and a son with reynauds.. it is hit and miss if it will come on ... I hate it..

    I was revenous earlier so cooked a huge pan of quorn mince and veg and ate until I was full.. low fat and really filling..

    Twinkle is going in the pushchair for her nap and I need to sew the nose back on her dog hat and clear some kitchen and sort swimming gear for tomorrow.

    I paid 50 off my gas bill today and the page glitched and said it had not been paid so I sent it again.. now they have £100... ggrrrrrr
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    15/05/2018 £53528.71 (2.41% int.)
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Mar 18, 5:52 PM
    • 11,991 Posts
    • 75,047 Thanks
    kittie
    pigpen can you leave the boiler on a low thermostat temperature because of the nasty few days coming up.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 16th Mar 18, 7:37 PM
    • 3,179 Posts
    • 7,985 Thanks
    tori.k
    That really sucks Pigpen with luck its hopefully something cheap and easy to fix.

    How far away is your new home toi?

    Nothing here for me yet, nothing to buy, I think potential sellers in my chosen areas are sitting tight at the moment. There are a couple of cottage types which look like high maintenance money pits and a bungalow that has been sorely neglected, with a watercourse down the side. The bungalow is far too expensive for what it is and looks like a probate sale
    Originally posted by kittie
    Its just a 12 mile move for us Kittie, its been the same story here with very little decent properties coming on to the market, we don't have the time or the money for a total referb. the only reason we managed to get this property is the vendor is looking for a fast completion and we had everything set up from a house falling through we were the lowest asking price offer but the best position.
    The right house will turn up for you, probably when its the most inconvenient these things are sent to test us for sure.

    irrational fear of the underwriters i've spent barely anything so far this month but will have mutiny if i don't do some food shopping tomorrow I think DH will divorce me if mash spuds or frozen mix veg turns up on his plate for a week at least
    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/ 870
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
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