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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,830Posts
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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 34
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 30th Mar 18, 10:24 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 19,304 Thanks
    Siebrie
    I had an hourlong meeting with my new boss yesterday (finally! First one since she started in November), which was supposed to be about last years accomplishments and this years objectives, but only was about our communication. We agreed on certain things and worked out a way forward, and all seemed good. Then, this morning, she did two things she had promised to stop doing to let me be in charge (as I always had been until she barged in). This job is not sparking joy anymore

    Now I need to make some tough decisions... there are plenty new jobs out there and I have good qualifications and experience. On the other hand: the company is likely to move abroad end of 2019, and they will have to lay me off and pay me out (about 1 annual salary!). Do I stick it out that long? Do I want to have a new similar job? Do I want to go back to school? I have parental leave 1 day/wk now, and if I change company, I will have to be there for a year before I qualify again. We want to move to a more conveniently laid-out house and I need to be employed for the new mortgage.
    Wombling to wealth 2018 773.48 = 659.50
    Still a womble 2017 #25 7116,68= 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 3.483,31= 2,969.05
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 31st Mar 18, 7:37 AM
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    tori.k
    Its a hard one Siebrie there is no harm in exploring your alternatives with other companies and interviewing, most mortgage lenders employment isn't an issue as long as your out of any probation period and it would be easier to move with employment then a student stipend.
    I guess the question is a year's payout worth the stress.
    Then I shouldn't comment as I've spent years working my way down the ladder and ended up in a minimum wage job I love

    Me and DH had our first house moving moan yesterday, well I moaned and he took it on the chin like a champ he had the day off and sod all got done so today he's got a list to work on, so no excuses.
    I've decided we need a day off so if DH can get a Wednesday off work at the months end, we will head off to the Isles of Scilly for the day the Scilly travel company runs a locals day trip offer 25 return, its not much but will be a break from the current routine, just getting out across the ocean will blow the cobwebs away if nothing else.
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 4th Apr 18, 8:14 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,958 Thanks
    kittie
    Nice and steady again this month, paid some into cc account and now have some surplus in there. I also paid some into my 12 month bills account, my safety net. I am aiming for 508 every month for 12 months and this would cover a years bills approximately. This is my safety net and I am hoping not to touch it after the 12 month of saving into this.

    I will continue to pay bills out of current account as now and my aim from end of february next year is to feed that 508 into a better savings account every month, rather than feeding the bills safety net. I am being fairly careful with money but not going without treats and good food. It would be very easy to spend to excess and not have anything to save but good old kondo has helped and I am happily using what I already have, rather than getting the endorphins from spending

    I never did add to my cash wallet but will do that next week, I still have enough in there for a full tank of petrol and some groceries. Getting a veg box from AnC is good, makes me use what I have before the next box arrives. Some super special double cream will be in there today, to top hm scones, a special, sometimes, treat. Small pleasures
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 4th Apr 18, 5:38 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 687 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Well, 11 days of flu has helped with minimising expenditure, losing weight and no alcohol consumption. Not recommended though. I'm just feeling a bit better now but very tired.
    Siberia, your work situation sounds tricky. I agree with tori, there's no harm in seeing what jobs are available. If you find a new job that suits you, then the potential redundancy payment becomes a less significant consideration.
    Tori, I think you are moving house this week? I hope it goes well. It's happened very quickly.
    Kittie, well done on your monthly bills account, that's a great achievement.
    I've got some savings maturing now which I will need to re-invest. Whilst I'm happy to get some interest on my money, rates are very low. I think I've mentioned before that I've had a mortgage when interest rates were up to 15% and now I've got savings the rates are really low. Still, at least I've got savings.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 5th Apr 18, 6:32 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,958 Thanks
    kittie
    How is it going Tori? keep us updated

    I won 50 on premium bonds and that has enabled me to transfer the rest to my bills account, the full 508 is in there this month. Nice and early, two months worth so far

    I am going to view a fixer upper house this afternoon, never ever thought I could manage to do one up but have found, via recommendation, a company of surveyors/architect who would project manage.It is 1930s with 3 bedrooms one bathroom, one shower downstairs, kitchen and 3 reception rooms. I am aiming for potential future proofing ie to dining/kitchen, living room, study/bedroom, shower room/toilet plus 2 bed upstairs with ensuite jack and jill and second bedroom with big walk in dressing room/store. It has a very large garden, which will have to be got into shape via landscape designers also to future proof but I will have room for an allotment behind it. Tori will know, I am excited, scared, apprehensive all at the same time. I won`t sell my house until it is move-in ready. I can get money together via my sipp (inherited) and then buy an annuity when it is all finished and mine is sold. That will give me financial stability. I will know by teatime, if it is for me
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 5th Apr 18, 8:40 AM
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    tori.k
    Thats fantastic Kittie, sounds like it could be the best of all worlds a sound investment and could be easily adapted to one level living if required (a lot) later on.
    I felt physically sick when we signed the papers for the new house. the deposit alone would have paid outright for the first terrace house I purchased in the early 90's
    we are all signed deposit, stamp duty and fees all paid current house is a pigsty so im quite glad im back to work now till Monday.
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 6th Apr 18, 6:18 AM
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    tori.k
    What did you think of the house Kittie? Any chance Kevin Mcloud coming round for tea and cake
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 6th Apr 18, 10:41 AM
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    kittie
    Tori, it was vile. EA photo showed a pretty old style house with a 10 foot conifer in front to the left. In reality they had had to hack through the tall jungle in front to get to the door. Inside it was skanky, damp, cold, mouldy, stairs were 4" treads very dangerous and steep with just enough room at the bottom for the door to open. Constant road hum too. The EA sucked me in, said it would be very suitable. Upside is that I have learned fast. They see an older person and associate that with `sucker`

    I did spend a bit yesterday, deliberately stuffed some cash into my pocket on the way out, guessed it might be too good to be true and I would be tired. Bought a `cook` ready meal and a pudding. Was so nice and worth the money

    Looks as though I will be saving rather than spending on a house, unless something comes up soon, before the school holidays. I shall resign myself and cultivate patience
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 6th Apr 18, 7:12 PM
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    tori.k
    So sorry to hear that Kittie, good job you are happy and secure where you at the moment, Fancy 15mins of fame you could call in the location location location TV program
    im sick of moving already and have a strong urge just to have a massive bonfire and start from scratch I swear stuff just multiplies on its own, doesn't help that I still have six large boxes of my inlaws bits that DH can't bring himself to part with. this will be the third time they have moved from one attic to the next, I have got him to agree to transfer the slides to a digital format there is thousands of them from both our families ( now showing my age ) it going to cost around 150-200 but would be worth it he's out of sight out of mind and it's just going to pass the issue onto the kids at somepoint and I wont have that.
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • caronc
    • By caronc 6th Apr 18, 7:24 PM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 27,000 Thanks
    caronc
    I admire your stamina with the house hunting/moving kittie and tori.k, the thought of moving freaks me out a bit as I've lived in this house for more than half my life. I love the place to bits despite calling it "the house that falls down" so hopefully it's not something I'll have to think about for a good few years.

    April is turning out to be another spendy month though all budgeted for. I finally got my final gas bill today after switching suppliers earlier in the year. I knew I would owe them money and had roughly worked out what it would be, I was pleased to just be slightly over 1 out in my calculations. I got the email first thing and then got a call later this afternoon to check I hadn't cancelled the direct debit authority. To save faffing about I hadn't so they could collect what I owed. The chap was a bit pushy in trying to persuade me just to pay there and then but I'm afraid my stubborn streak kicked in as he raised my hackles a bit so they can just collect as per the email outlined, as I pointed out if they hadn't been so slow to bill me they could had the payment by now....
    GC - Jun 206/230, Jul 211/150, Aug 105/140, Sep 152/160
    GC YTD 2018- 1186/1390
    • ScotinLondon
    • By ScotinLondon 7th Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 3,830 Thanks
    ScotinLondon
    So during the last few weeks - had to get car insurance - shopped around and got it cheaper than the quote.

    Little savings coming here and there.

    Food budget, we have reduced and I think it can be reduced a bit further. Reason being that DH's autoimmune disease doesn't seem to like alcohol at the moment, so we will now stop buying alcohol. Only problem is that we have a lot to use up. We will monitor it and then if it comes to be the case then that is the case. We will find somewhere for all the alcohol to go - probably family.

    One good bit of news - got a PPI payment, more than I expected but better than nothing. Just need to reclaim the tax on interest.

    Next stop during this weekend will be to shop around for a new savings account, not that rates are good. Also decided that the next payrise will go straight onto the work pension. I am overpaying the mortgage but as I am in the final year of this product, any changes now will be not be enough to negate the ERC. So will continue to pay down as much as i can.

    Hope everyone has a good rest of the day.
    SILx
    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
    GNSD 18/31 J18; 15/28 F18; 7/31 M18; 7/30A18
    • pigpen
    • By pigpen 8th Apr 18, 10:58 PM
    • 36,830 Posts
    • 474,026 Thanks
    pigpen
    I am wondering if I need a new bank account.. my current one has no overdraft, no charges nothing at all other than the basic bank card.. it does function for me but I don't know.

    I have just started a new ISA as an investment I hope.. so I will see how that pans out. Here's hoping for a decent return on it.

    My next big thing is paying off my credit cards. I will get them gone.. one has just 300 left.. it is next on my hit list.

    The food budget has been reduced.. so we will see how that goes.
    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.)
    08/07/2018 52998.57 (2.41% int.)
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 9th Apr 18, 6:43 AM
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    tori.k
    There is money to be had with switching regularly pigpen, be nice if loyalty was paid once in a while but it isn't, so get switching
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th Apr 18, 6:43 AM
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    kittie
    pigpen, lots of people start ISAs thinking they are the best savings vehicle but we all can earn up to 1000 interest in a year without paying any tax. There are savings accounts that would give a far better return than ISAs.

    My pensioner bond matured and the cash was in my bank this morning, I have already transferred the whole of it into a savings account elsewhere. The house pot

    I completely stopped being euphoric re house hunting, learnt too much about EA devious ways. I am seeing 2 today, an hours drive from here, I found on the net last night that one has a vehicle business next door. Anyway that property does not look maintained, even I would have put preservative on the fencing plus they are asking 60k more than it is worth if it were top notch. I will go because I have the appointment but the EA spiel will go out of one ear and I will be asking carefully constructed questions. That house plus a brand new one, with no photo of the garage or its access nor a mention of the rat run `street` which I discovered by going onto the village site. Should be interesting and no wonder I want really to stay local, an area that I know well, warts n all
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Apr 18, 8:22 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,958 Thanks
    kittie
    Took 100 cash out, first time in a while. Petrol tank is now full and all I needed to spend yesterday was 5 on a lovely toasted sandwich with salad and a mug of tea and it wasn`t in a dive, just a good value cafe local to where I was viewing. M/S money is still pretty well the same as the actual current account, good. My cash purse now contains 120 and my everyday purse 23, I will be putting some of the coins into my car, I always keep some in there for car parking etc

    I am very much on track to do well with savings this month. Later I will add all of june`s bills to the current in m/s money, to make sure there are no big surprises and I need to add more cash to my cash wallet, which is my cash float. I have ample food in the house, so see no need for a suermarket shop

    Last house view later this morning, I am 60% sure it won`t be for me, it is a cottage, won`t be for me if it is too dark, so I will be switching lights off downstairs. After today, I will sit and wait for RM alerts only in my chosen areas
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th Apr 18, 6:14 PM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,958 Thanks
    kittie
    cottage didn`t do, was too open at the back and no lights there so was far too unsafe for me re burglars. Was also too dark downstairs, I need light for crafting. Now I sit back and have learnt to be content and patients, Rm will come up with alerts in 4 different areas. The costs of moving to a new place are putting most off selling

    I sorted a few bits of paperwork and remembered about the air ambulance appeal, some good people always having to work so hard to get donations in. No-one thinks they need it until they do so I set up the dd. Air ambulance and hospice are my two charities and it is better that I did a dd for air ambulance. I did a yearly one, helps me keep track of my finances
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 10th Apr 18, 8:36 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 687 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Scorinlondon and pigpen, I have been looking at savings accounts for 2018/19 and there are not very inspirational rates available. I've found a bond that tracks Bank of England rate plus a % that I thought might be ok. It has a minimum of 5000 deposit. My regular saver has just matured so I need to save up the difference between that and the 5000. I am much better at saving for a defined target than just saving in general.
    My cutting back expenditure challenge is slightly behind target. I am trying to reduce my spending by 10% this year. Quarter 1 figures are 91% of last years average. Quite close and it hasn't felt like I've had to make sacrifices just be more thoughtful with spending. Having flu for most of the start of April has helped reduce spending!
    Kittie you are very sensible with your potential house move. Some Estate agents are fascinating aren't they!!! I read some of their write ups on Right Move - extraordinarily badly written works of fantasy. Do you ever look at the "take a look at this" thread on the house buying/selling thread. Very amusing.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 11th Apr 18, 6:41 AM
    • 3,268 Posts
    • 8,610 Thanks
    tori.k
    That's seriously the truth Kittie, RE moving costs was bad enough settling the conveyancing bills, now its all the little things you forget about like fitting a phone line and changing locks that are starting to add up.
    Moved 250 across into the emergency fund im bringing this up to 3k as the gas boiler is fine but 10 years old so makes sense to put money away for the replacement.
    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/ 2127
    Save 12k in 2018 #76 3000/6000
    • kittie
    • By kittie 11th Apr 18, 7:09 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,958 Thanks
    kittie
    Yes I agree, even the new house had many hidden costs, putting rails and curtains up, shelves etc. The old houses are sometimes neglected and sometimes just let go because old people cannot face moving and no maintenance is done

    It is my cc that is the money drainer on a day to day basis, I never use it for day to day when physically shopping but online it does add up. I haven`t used it for 7 days, last was a just giving. It would be nice if I could avoid using it for some more days. It looks as though I will be able to actually save for the house this month but I have decided instead to go hell for leather to boost my 12 month one-off bills account. I am going to aim to get that filled with 12 x my monthly aim, then any savings will really be savings. When the 12 month account is full, I will class it as my emergency savings net and will withdraw and replace if needed. I wonder how long it will take me to get that 12 months in there? I have 2 so far

    I really am not spending much at the moment, I have all the hobby stuff I need, all the food I need
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 11th Apr 18, 2:56 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    White_musk
    Katie......yes stress is toxic for fibro isnt it, probably the worst trigger for a flare up. Hope you find something to help.

    I also ditched the wheat......in fact I have gone completely grain free, sticking to a largely Paleo diet. It has helped me enormously.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    Sorry, I know this is an older post but LL I totally agree about the Paleo diet. I have chronic arthritis and an autoimmune condition and I cut out wheat, simple carbs, legumes and suchlike and my health has improved so much. My GP said that while he officially couldn't recommend this diet he knows it is by far the best way to eat for my health.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
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