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    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 2,934Posts
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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 35
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 11th Apr 18, 4:45 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    White_musk
    This is a brilliant thread. I hope you don't mind me jmping in.

    My biggest worry is not using savings but topping them up instead. I also really need to cut down on fripperies. I live in a small one bed bungalow with almost no storage and have got a home for everything. If I keep buying stuff I don't really need I'm going to end up in a pickle.

    Most of Aprils bills have been paid as they come out via DD on the 1st. My utilities are on the 21st, that's all to pay now. My downfall is the bay of E. I love that site and spend too much time and cash there so that is going to stop. I have an order on it's way for something I do actually need but once that arrives - no more!

    I do need a haircut. My hair is down my back and I can't cope with it anymore so appointment is booked to have it done next week. Not sure what that will cost but I have to have it done. I was a deep mahogany red-head but am going grey at an alarming rate of knots, so plan to ask the hairdresser what she recommends so I can stop dying it red and allow it to go au natural.

    I have cut my food bill down to £50 a week, that includes dog food, household supplies and toiletries. Since moving my gas and electric have gone from £100 a month to £60 so that's better but if I am going to add to my savings at the rate I want to I need to stop spending just because.

    You have permission to smack my hand if I spend on Eb*y on rubbish.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Apr 18, 7:36 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,962 Thanks
    kittie
    I just opened a direct saver instant access with ns&i. I already have some premium bonds with them. It was a doddle to do and has interest at 0.95%, my bank gave me 0.2%. I put a few £ in to test and it went through instantly, so I put the bulk of my safety net savings in, leaving only a small float in my bank saver, just for bumps and pinch points. No contest, this is where I am saving from now on. I make sure, always, that I have the padlock at the top in the tool bar

    My savings are scattered here and there and I am going to check interest rates later. I think the yorkshire building society is 0.5%, so that will be transferred for definite
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 12th Apr 18, 7:48 AM
    • 3,277 Posts
    • 8,650 Thanks
    tori.k
    Your not the only one White musk i've been trying to about 12 weeks to find the time to get into the hairdressers.
    Im so tired I could curl up and cry, on the upside it makes me rather decisive, DH reminded me I hadn't given thought to curtains our current home the smallest window takes a 90' by 90' so 15 mins before the shop closed I hit up B&M and grabbed 5 pairs of curtains and still had 10 mins to spare.
    Ive blown this months decorating budget by £40 but unlikely to get all the jobs done before payday, so I decided I borrowed £40 as it will balance out.
    Lad has pick a dark sapphire blue paint for his room that im a bit dubious about as his room is only 18ft by 10ft but he has to live with it I pick him some light grey curtains and bedding with keeping the ceiling coving and woodwork white im hoping it wont be to dingy being north facing.
    On a positive note the cream carpets came up lovely once I put the bissell cleaner over them, so don't have to worry about replacing them from the off.
    Im currently hating the new house but another two weeks and the worse should be over and things will settle down.
    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
    • maryb
    • By maryb 12th Apr 18, 8:41 AM
    • 3,912 Posts
    • 48,596 Thanks
    maryb
    Tesco bank internet saver offers 1.25% which includes a 12 month bonus so you would have the hassle of switching after a year. But I have used them and was happy.

    You can get 1% with Nationwide if you have been a member for a year, otherwise 0.75%. But any old account you have not used in ages would qualify. If not, then Coventry Building Society offers 0.9% easy access

    I have not bothered moving savings for the last year or so because rates were so low. But now they are going up there is some point to it again
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 12th Apr 18, 8:44 AM
    • 10,593 Posts
    • 67,386 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Hello everyone.....

    Hello WHite Musk......nice to see you over here.

    Well first of all......this last few weeks I have been careless with both my diet which means my fibro is not that great. My own stupid fault. I have spent too much on food and didnít eat right (for me). So a resounding could do better. An unexpected weekend in London didnít help the budget either. But it was fun.

    My house goes on the market next week so I shall be house hunting too. A bit of trepidation but I do need to move to somewhere I can future proof for my old age and this house wonít cut it.

    I do need to switch banks but as I may need to apply for a small mortgage for the house move I have decided to hang fire on that because I donít want to run the risk of damaging my chances by having too many credit searches. I can sort all that out afterwards.

    The college course is going well. It will give me the certificates I need to get insurance so that I can start a small sideline business. I want to work from home so Will need to take that into account when house hunting. So much to think about.

    WM. I have stopped being naughty with my online spending......No more using Amazon as my own personal lending library and no more EBay clothing bargains....

    I have been offered a job (dare I say it with an estate agent ). Please donít shoot me. Anyway Iíll think it over. If Iím honest a little extra money wouldnít go amiss. I would only want part time though.

    The good news is, I checked my utitility accounts and I am well in credit, even after this long never ending winter.

    Miserable day here, I have a massage later today and need to do some food shopping.

    Photographer coming on Monday so will probably spend most of the weekend trying to get everywhere looking itís best ready to launch this house onto the market next week.

    Wish me luck.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 12th Apr 18, 8:49 AM
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    • 67,386 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Ps re the hair. I am a Silver Fox. It has been white for years. I tried a colour last October, everyone immediately said they preferred it white. So I had it all cut off last week to get back to my natural colour. It is currently a Judi Dench style pixie crop. I do like it and I have had loads of compliments.

    It will save a lot of money if you go au naturelle. I also find my hair is in much better condition if I donít colour it. I appreciate itís a matter of personal choice though - some ladies like to colour their until the bitter end.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 12th Apr 18, 10:55 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
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    kittie
    I just sat down after being at the hairdressers, gone from judi dench to a bit longer on top. I only need to go every 7 weeks, it is pure silver and thanks to eating more protein, is also getting thicker. It became quite thin after the big stress a few years ago, takes ages to grow back and only did that when my life settled

    I decided to pay cash, so now my cash wallet is right down but still has enough for petrol and a few groceries. It was getting that new bank account did it, I am determined to get that 12 months safety net in there asap and every bit helps

    Good luck with the job LL
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Apr 18, 5:58 AM
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    kittie
    I check my `used frequently` bank accounts every morning after an attempted `steal` a few years ago, all is in order and nothing added to my cc. My new direct ns&i saver is live and will be very useful for my house savings, I have arranged transfer from yorkshire to current and now that ns&i is live, as soon as yorks is in current then I will arrange transfer of the whole amount plus a few extra £ to ns&i.

    I spent a while a few months ago, taking some cash out of my sipp and putting it into various bank accounts, towards my new house. The ns&i account is good as it is government owned and is safeguarded well over the FSCS limits. At some stage I will have to show proof of funds and it will be much easier to show the ns&i dashboard summary.

    I have managed the pensions for hubby and myself for 12 years and at my stage of life, it is important to have most of the pension fund in non-risky accounts. I will still keep a % in (safer) shares that I can deal but the rest has to be in cash for my peace of mind wrt the volatitility of world markets. Sipp cash only earns interest of about 0.1%, hence me having other plans to stabilise my future pension, hence me needing more than one savings account. I do think of the sipp/which lent the house money as completely separate from normal savings. Most people who have works pensions have no idea about the background management but when dh left work, his pension had to move and that is when I took it over. Now I make it work for me and will eventually be happy to have an annuity with part of my current house proceeds. That is the background to my unusual financial position, understandably I want to get it all settled before I am much older and with minimum stress but I do remember to keep that and my everyday savings completely separate on paper
    Last edited by kittie; 13-04-2018 at 6:50 AM.
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 13th Apr 18, 3:14 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 651 Thanks
    White_musk
    I have an ISA and another small savings account that I top up monthly, it means I have a safety net and also something to leave my DC when I finally ping from this mortal coil. The problem is I have recently moved house and while have done all the minor work this house needed I still need a new boiler and kitchen and I am debating a new bathroom. I knew all these things needed doing when I bought so all in the budget. It's now finding the energy to deal with the upheaval. I am going to get some wallpaper and start to decorate. I will leave the kitchen as that would be a waste of time and money but the rest while not desperate I want to do to put my stamp on the house. So, do I go for a slightly cheaper kitchen or say bu**er it and raid the savings? I hate decisions like this.

    Hi LL and Kittie, friends from another thread.

    My Bay of E order arrived, I shall not be visiting said website unless it's for something I really, REALLY need and not just something I want. (Sits on hands).
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • maryb
    • By maryb 13th Apr 18, 4:18 PM
    • 3,912 Posts
    • 48,596 Thanks
    maryb
    Kittie are you worried about inflation in the future? That's my worry. I can remember in the 1970s people retiring on good pensions and a few years of high inflation later they were living in penury.

    We both have final salary pensions though most of mine don't kick in for a while but they have limited indexation so it wouldn't take too many years of inflation to whittle it away.

    I'm wondering whether to leave some funds in shares as a hedge against inflation
    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 13th Apr 18, 6:12 PM
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    kittie
    no maryb, I intend to get an escalating annuity. It will easily keep up or exceed inflation. One of the reasons I have left it to this age is that I get a better rate at my age. I know an annuity is a risk ie dying sooner rather than later but all pensions (except sipps) die out with the person unless provision has been made for a time guarantee (5 years)for the full pension then afterwards half going to the spouse.

    This is what happened to pensions from the instant my husband died:his state pension stopped, small private pension came to me for two more years then halved, his sipp was transferred to me. I was incredibly glad of savings when that happened. Imagine if the total income was 2 x state pensions + the whole small private pension. Then suddenly it was half, with no warning and this is reality. The bills don`t stop

    Personally, I know exactly what my monthly pension income is now and I know I need to increase it, to give me a comfortable life for the rest of my life ie warmth and potential help like cleaning and gardener

    my reasoning for the very first sentence is that I don`t expect inflation to get too high
    Last edited by kittie; 13-04-2018 at 6:16 PM.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
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    kittie
    I have a small teachers pension and just had to print the P60 and this made me do a few sums. State pension + £79 a month pension from husband + very small teachers pension. (I am not counting that very important sipp) = a just ok amount but would need to be topped up monthly for definite if I am going to have that sufficient guaranteed income in old age. Trouble with the sipp is like with most financial institutions, anything could happen and I want my pension income all wrapped up in a security blanket

    Seeing my total in black and white makes me realise that I am doing very well to save what I do. It helps not having a mortgage
    • maryb
    • By maryb 13th Apr 18, 10:48 PM
    • 3,912 Posts
    • 48,596 Thanks
    maryb
    Sounds like you should be OK then. Most of our pensions are final salary so we don't need to buy annuities with the relatively small bit of defined contribution pension pots we both have.

    But no-one can predict the future. (otherwise I wouldn't need a pension I would have retired rich a long time ago)
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 15th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • 78 Posts
    • 688 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    On the subject of savings, I made an effort last year to put what savings I have into the best accounts I could find. This is a good step forward for me as I previously didn't bother. I assumed all interest rates were low and so it made no difference. However my own banks savings rate was 0.01% and so I moved my money to NS and I and to a couple of other accounts paying around 1%. My bank rate and the low rates at other banks are almost insulting they are so low and I'm sure lots of people like me just leave their money there because it is easier than moving it around. So now that interest payments have gone into the accounts I am pleased with myself as "every little helps". I am still working full time so I use an ISA too. I need to get on and open this years ISA rather than spending any more of the morning reading these threads.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Apr 18, 7:09 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
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    kittie
    I have yet to finish transferring yorkshire bs cash to ns&i, meanwhile it languishes in halifax but after reading about the potential cyber attacks from russsia, I have decided to quickly put cash into my cash wallet, sooner rather than later. I will be `borrowing` from that halifax money and dripping it into ns&i at a normal savings rate later. I call it a loan from myself to myself. I always felt secure when the cash wallet was full, just now I only have enough for one tank of petrol and one grocery shop in that wallet. This is a time when good personal records are important, so that I never get overdrawn
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th Apr 18, 10:34 AM
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    kittie
    it is not easy to move your own money. I went to get cash this morning to find that my card was blocked at the supermarket so I ended up going to town, paying for parking and waited for the bank to open. It was blocked there too.They were on the phone a long time, getting me sorted. I got the cash out now but blimey heck what a palaver. It took the bank person quite a while and she was diverted from one department to another at head office.

    Head in hands, yes I know it is for our own safety but the real fraudsters get away with it and we ordinary savers have to go through hoops.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th Apr 18, 7:04 AM
    • 12,446 Posts
    • 78,962 Thanks
    kittie
    ns&i is now live and it was so tempting to put every £ into it but I am realising that it takes a few days to get payments transferred. I have put some £ back into my halifax savings because transfer is instant. I cannot tell you how comforting it was to have that instant safety net, rather than waiting days and wondering. Plan of action now is to re-build that safety net to 2 months of my 12 month plan and the rest can go into ns&i

    All my records were messed up because of halifax but thankfully it is sorted now, I am back to normal cash in the bank, some in truly instant savings and a nice cash amount in my cash wallet. This moving money jiggery pokery is done
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 17th Apr 18, 8:02 AM
    • 3,277 Posts
    • 8,650 Thanks
    tori.k
    Money moving through my hands at a rate of knots this month.
    House has turned up all kinds of niggles that you half expect but hope don't show up.
    Moved £250 into the emergency fund saver and started a regular saver to drip feed the emergency fund through worse case if we need the money I lose the little interest it would gain.
    Looked at boiler insurance but decided to just pay ourselves instead, the gas combi boiler is already 10 years old so probably will need replacing sooner rather than later, If luck smiles it will last a few more years to allow me to save for a new kitchen as I would like to box it in rather than it staring at me every time I walk into the kitchen.
    The sapphire blue the lad picked for his bedroom actually looks great, but it was am absolute nightmare to paint with, I've never been a huge fan of dulux but was like trying to spread treacle on the wall I gave up with the roller and brushed painted the room for a better finish, so he has the colour he wanted and I have tennis elbow.
    I still haven't got hold of BT to get the telephone line sorted I need to do this tonight as it will be two weeks at best before services will be connected wont hurt to have a couple weeks without broadband
    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
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 18th Apr 18, 3:45 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 688 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    I like my N S and I account because it is out of sight and does take a couple of days to move money in or out of it. I have a savings cushion with my bank account, however, I can see it every time I log into my bank account. As I have confessed on here previously I am by nature a spender not a saver so I keep basic emergency fund and the rest is tucked away out of sight.
    Tori - I hope new house spending settles down soon. Overall are you happy with your move?

    Last time I moved there were lots of bits and pieces to buy - things like a washing line spike, energy saving light bulbs and a cutlery tray. I spent a fair bit of time and money on amaz*n buying these odds and ends.
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 18th Apr 18, 5:02 PM
    • 5,521 Posts
    • 25,949 Thanks
    Slinky
    Kittie, just so you're aware, if you're using cash as part/all of your house purchase, you will be required to show the source of every entry of £1000 or over through your bank accounts for the previous six months. That's even if you're just moving it around from one account to another. It's part of the money laundering regulations. I had to spend ages with copy bank statements showing movements from account X into account Y etc when we purchased last year. The annoying thing was I'd done it all a few months before on a house we pulled out of buying - there's a bank holiday wasted I'll never get back. It wasn't even useful for the subsequent purchase as too much time had gone by so I had to do it all again.
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