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  • FIRST POST
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 22nd Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 3,200Posts
    • 5,138Thanks
    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 38
    • kittie
    • By kittie 1st May 18, 3:37 PM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    In the 70s (or 80s nor sure) when there was terrible austerity, hubbie came home and said that they (the staff ) had all voted to go onto half salary, rather than any lose their job. It was out of the blue, we had 3 children and I was not working although I was a frugal mum and thank goodness I was. We had no debt but no savings at all, barely kept above water, ate beans and tomatoes from the garden and very little else. Priority was the mortagage, many people were losing their homes. Got through that but it was a lesson and a half

    We didn`t manage to save much though, not until I was past 50 and thank goodness we had the children when we were young. I had a job and everything we had, we threw at paying off the mortgage capital, an endowment mortgage, which gobbled up many people, who did not get enough endowment insurance back to pay it off. I never thought we would get to being comfortable in our old age and this only happened because of paying the mortagage off early and then we really could save hard
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 1st May 18, 4:31 PM
    • 10,846 Posts
    • 70,699 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Tell me about it, yet when you warn youngsters just starting out to have at least 3 months living expenses saved, you are told you are talking rot
    Originally posted by suki1964
    I found the perfect answer to that one.......

    I had been nagging my youngest spendthrift son he needed an emergency fund....I got nowhere.

    One day he came home really upset. He thougt he was gong to be sacked. There had been a bust up at work, he had the manager from hell.

    Always one to seize an advantage I said "you know what I'm going to say, don't you". He said "are you going to give me a lecture on why need a emergency fund".

    I just smiled and said "no, darling I am going to tell you that what you need is a "f... you" fund". that has become family legend.....

    Well he was gobsmacked because I don't swear as a rule. But it worked...I had shocked him so much that he actually took it on board.He knew exactly what I meant.

    From then on he was a reformed character. He taught himself and now he is so good he manages my investments for me.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 1st May 18, 4:34 PM
    • 10,846 Posts
    • 70,699 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Yes Kittie I remember those days......it was tough going at times.

    Thanks for the cbd oil tip.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 01-05-2018 at 4:37 PM.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 2nd May 18, 9:50 AM
    • 3,330 Posts
    • 8,813 Thanks
    tori.k
    I got our bissell carpet washer after hiring a rug doctor a couple of times at £50 a pop it was a no brainer and its paid for itself a dozen times over.
    Ive been lucky with both my lads both have been sensible with savings, but it could have easily gone the other way, as there wasn't a lot of spare income when they were younger, but they grew up with mothers true cost mentality much to the amusement of my husband. I've always measured the cost of a want against the hours needed to work for it, as I hated my old job and found it was often unsurprising how much something looses its appeal once you find you have to work an additional 20/30+ hrs to pay for the thing.
    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) 137,360
    • caronc
    • By caronc 3rd May 18, 7:52 PM
    • 4,855 Posts
    • 29,485 Thanks
    caronc
    I discovered today accidently that I'd been a bit too enthusiastic in shuffling cash out of my current account to various budget accounts and "tilly tidying" on the 1st of May. My income comes in at varying points in the month and I hadn't properly taken account of peaks of d/ds coming out at the beginning of the month. Sorted thankfully before any problems arose but I need to be more mindful of this especially on the back of a heavy spend month like April was. Although I have an overdraft authorised I don't want to use this I've managed, apart from once when my wages were mucked up, never been overdrawn and don't intend to start now especially when I have the money just not in the right place! I'm definitely on a learning curve with this .....

    On a more positive note my mortgage is now below £40K, I can't pay anymore big (or little) chunks off until December but hopefully by the end of my current fixed deal in Nov 2020 it will be as near to £20K as I can get it without living on bread & water!
    Last edited by caronc; 03-05-2018 at 7:55 PM.

    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 3rd May 18, 10:02 PM
    • 826 Posts
    • 5,972 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    I got our bissell carpet washer after hiring a rug doctor a couple of times at £50 a pop it was a no brainer and its paid for itself a dozen times over.
    Ive been lucky with both my lads both have been sensible with savings, but it could have easily gone the other way, as there wasn't a lot of spare income when they were younger, but they grew up with mothers true cost mentality much to the amusement of my husband. I've always measured the cost of a want against the hours needed to work for it, as I hated my old job and found it was often unsurprising how much something looses its appeal once you find you have to work an additional 20/30+ hrs to pay for the thing.
    Originally posted by tori.k
    This deserves more than a “Thanks”. We forget just how hard we have to work to have Pounds in our pockets. One of my friends used to be a computer contractor in Silicon Valley - she had a spreadsheet which worked out how much it cost her to go to work (time and money). It factored in mileage, childcare and other costs for commuting. Once you added it all up, some jobs just weren’t worth applying for at the rates on offer.

    - Pip
    "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
    • kittie
    • By kittie 4th May 18, 8:21 PM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    yes it has to be the same for anything and apart from necessities, it really then becomes a case of want and not need. The exception being if there is spare money and it is a much wanted item, when it will be enjoyed

    Speaking of which, I just ordered myself some specialist cycle clothing suitable for a curvy woman. It took me ages but at last I found a site that makes cycle kit for real women and not stick insects on bikes. I only wanted a gilet to start with, but honestly they are all based on stick shapes ie straight up and down and they end on a 14, which I definitely am not. So I have ordered pedal pushers, a gilet and a cap to go under my helmet and next time around it will be a jersey and in time a thin jacket. This all arose from today because suddenly it was too warm to wear my windproof fleece, so to heck with it
    • kittie
    • By kittie 6th May 18, 11:39 AM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    I have spent a bit this weekend, online, ken follett century trilogy, all 3 books for a total of £12 from lowplex, haven`t used them before but certainly a lot cheaper than amazon. I have decided that I need physical books to read in bed, rather than using my kindle. These books will last me a very long time and if they are as good as the kingsbridge trilogy, then I will read them over and over again

    I have plenty of sewing fabrics but cba making a summer nightie. I have 2 strappy nighties but wanted another short sleeved one and the last one from patra was so comfortable, so I have another on the way, soft jersey cotton

    I am keeping busy at home with the gardening and allotment and house maintenance, it does keep me out of (spending) mischief. I will be glad when the money for house/contents insurance goes out and the current money startes building again, so that I can do some actual saving. I want to add to ns&i. This savings emphasis has only been ongoing since february and is already making a big difference
    • kittie
    • By kittie 9th May 18, 6:45 AM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    I just `invested` in bedding for show ie to stage my bedroom when I come to sell. 10 pieces and on last clicks price on qvc, two sets of singles. Blowsy, sumptuous and I know I will get my hand snapped off if I give one set to each pre-teen dgd afterwards. I have got silk bedding, from when I went through that `money means nothing` phase after hubbie died. My cotton sheets had been washed too hot and had shrunk and become stiff, so they went to a cs and I bought new silk and several items too, wish I hadn`t but thats life

    I want to be using these silk items and they don`t last that long anyway when used, so was faffing about trying to get pristine sets together for potential viewings and failing because they were slipping and sliding, so I gave up the sets idea. When the new shiny, non-silk, sets arrive, they will go straight onto an empty bedroom shelf, only to be opened when I sell. It was a good bundle, including cushions. All I need is a dash of colour over my pale cream ottoman and I have the perfect dark pink welsh blanket for that

    Must put that spend on m/s money plus the `large` electricity bill for winter, I purposely did not send readings in over winter. I dithered about ordering fresh fish this morning from cornwall but did the sensible thing and went to see what I still have. Enough for this month, I almost got carried away and need to tighten the belt a bit to the end of the month now

    Tori, how is progress?
    Last edited by kittie; 09-05-2018 at 6:48 AM.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 9th May 18, 11:27 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 714 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    I've been away for a few days - partly work and partly leisure. It was good fun but it was lovely to get home and have a bowl of homemade soup from the freezer and a slice of toast for tea last night and the bliss of a cup of tea at home this morning when I got up!
    Whilst away i met the family member who wanted to "borrow" some money. They were actually very civil to me but constantly implied that I'd missed an opportunity to lend them some money which I found amusing. They have borrowed from someone else but haven't yet done any of the repairs to their vehicle so still they aren't doing any work. According to them they are going to have a great summer, making lots of money ....it just reminded me of Only Fools and Horses "this time next year we'll be millionaires". I'm so glad I didn't agree to lend the money - it really would have been throwing good money after bad. I'm also glad that I've met up with them and had a chat so there's no need to worry about their reaction any more.
    Kittie - I love new bed linen and I do think that it is so attractive when showing a house to viewers to have fresh, neat bedding.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th May 18, 12:49 PM
    • 17,429 Posts
    • 48,431 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    "An opportunity to lend money" - - yeah right....of course it was(n't).

    "An opportunity" sounds like you'd have received a good rate of interest on that money they were after as a loan - and I don't suppose for one second they were planning on paying you any interest whatsoever
    If you feel like you don't fit in in this world, it's because you are here to help create a new one.
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 9th May 18, 1:00 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 714 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    A good rate of interest! I'm certain they weren't even going to pay the money back let alone any interest and nor would that even cross their mind. They talk the talk and I think they believe they deserve to borrow the money and I even think they initially plan to pay the money back but the reality is very different. I also tried to ensure that they understood that I wouldn't be lending in the future. I explained I was saving hard for retirement and had tied up all my money in long term savings ..... they weren't listening by that stage of the conversation.
    • PollyWollyDoodle
    • By PollyWollyDoodle 9th May 18, 1:13 PM
    • 1,156 Posts
    • 24,691 Thanks
    PollyWollyDoodle
    I'm glad you didn't lend it, and glad that the first encounter has gone ok. It doesn't sound as if they have any idea about money - and that's probably why you'd never see it again, they genuinely mean to pay it back but after a while they just don't think it matters. As long as someone else is willing to lend it, they'll carry on.
    "Inconceivable". "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
    • MaryLou18
    • By MaryLou18 9th May 18, 2:19 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MaryLou18
    I think most people live to their means.

    In my experience, when I have more money- I treat myself more, cook less, go out more and buy clothes i don't really need. I then end up with no money at the end of the month.

    Since becoming self employed in September, I have had to be really frugal. I stopped buying expensive makeup and now research the best and cheapest, I rarely have takeaways, i don't buy clothes I don't need and I shop at cheaper supermarkets.

    I have just as much money as I did when I was wasting it on rubbish I wanted but didn't really need. It is all mindset. I hope that I can continue to be frugal and break through the cycle of being left with no cash at the end of each month.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th May 18, 2:25 PM
    • 17,429 Posts
    • 48,431 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    A good rate of interest! I'm certain they weren't even going to pay the money back let alone any interest and nor would that even cross their mind. They talk the talk and I think they believe they deserve to borrow the money and I even think they initially plan to pay the money back but the reality is very different. I also tried to ensure that they understood that I wouldn't be lending in the future. I explained I was saving hard for retirement and had tied up all my money in long term savings ..... they weren't listening by that stage of the conversation.
    Originally posted by Blackcatsreturns
    Gotcha on that one - I've learnt recently there is a "blank/I'm not quite with you" look that some people put on their faces if they want to make out they don't understand you. Said "I'm an idiot/I'm absent-minded/I don't understand" look fulfils the purpose (as far as they are concerned) of being able to pretend they don't know what you're on about. Some people would rather be thought to be thick than devious imo.

    Whilst, all the time, they are perfectly well aware what you're saying/how they ought to behave.
    If you feel like you don't fit in in this world, it's because you are here to help create a new one.
    • mumf
    • By mumf 9th May 18, 6:56 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 667 Thanks
    mumf
    In the 70s (or 80s nor sure) when there was terrible austerity, hubbie came home and said that they (the staff ) had all voted to go onto half salary, rather than any lose their job. It was out of the blue, we had 3 children and I was not working although I was a frugal mum and thank goodness I was. We had no debt but no savings at all, barely kept above water, ate beans and tomatoes from the garden and very little else. Priority was the mortagage, many people were losing their homes. Got through that but it was a lesson and a half

    We didn`t manage to save much though, not until I was past 50 and thank goodness we had the children when we were young. I had a job and everything we had, we threw at paying off the mortgage capital, an endowment mortgage, which gobbled up many people, who did not get enough endowment insurance back to pay it off. I never thought we would get to being comfortable in our old age and this only happened because of paying the mortagage off early and then we really could save hard
    Originally posted by kittie
    We went through all that.We now have no debt,mortgage paid a good few years ago,and only now ( in our 50's) can we save.That is happening only because I changed jobs,but it means more travel and a massive learning curve! Nothing has
    ever been easy.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 10th May 18, 7:49 AM
    • 3,330 Posts
    • 8,813 Thanks
    tori.k
    Your where I plan to be in a couple of years Mumf.
    All's well thanks Kittie. The boxes are slowly (very slowly) finding homes, Ive reclaimed our front boundary off the tenanted neighbours, Their landlord had graveled a small half meter strip to our steps, and ive planted up lavender along it as a visual marker, im sure it was done to keep things tidy but if we decide to sell this place in the future just seems easier to make sure there is no confusion over boundary lines. worse that can happen is I spend a couple hours removing gravel back across the boundary kerbstone.
    I finally can get rid of the supermarket reward credit card we have I didn't see any point on keeping it when it moved from cashback to vouchers as I don't shop in store, But DH won the discussion with the save it for Christmas and he would do the shopping there no way im stepping foot in that place at Christmas, now they have drop the reward to 0.2% and our fuel has dropped considerable there really is no point in keeping it as we can have another cashback card paying 0.5%. Im not to keen on this whole £99 pound hold they are planning to roll out, the hold is fine until the online banking messes up, so would prefer to pay for fuel from the station rather than automated my car only holds £30ish of fuel max
    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) 137,360
    • kittie
    • By kittie 10th May 18, 8:41 AM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    there are no card reading petrol pumps around here, not anywhere but there is still a garage with a very helpful owner, who will do car jobs and who fills the car with petrol. Good old fashioned service. I like cash for petrol anyway
    • Blackcatsreturns
    • By Blackcatsreturns 16th May 18, 7:17 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 714 Thanks
    Blackcatsreturns
    Evening all. I've just done a quick review of my household bills and even though I thought I was in control of them I found that my internet provider had changed my monthly charge (making it higher obviously). When I rang them they couldn't explain how that had happened and have said they will refund the overpayment. I also recently changed my mobile phone package after speaking to one of their customer service assistants. We went through usage etc and changed the tariff to supposedly save e money. Guess what? My first monthly bill has gone up. Just building up the energy to make a phone call to them - will have a cup of tea first. Just shows me that I can't be complacent although a couple of years ago I have to confess that I probably wouldn't even have noticed.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 16th May 18, 8:49 PM
    • 12,444 Posts
    • 78,973 Thanks
    kittie
    I have to sit on my hand for 2 days. Insurances left today and I want to pay my cc bill, 350 but will wait until 18th or the pinch point today and tomorrow will be too pinched. I still don`t know if I will be able to actually transfer anything into a savings pot this month. I feel pretty good at paying for the insurances and will add some to cc as I like to end the month with zero, anyway my electric bill was higher because of late winter and that is paid off too

    Crikey yes blackcats, so important to keep a close eye on bills. Its a steep learning curve but worth it, just to be able to get that extra into savings
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