Weekends are the daddy, it’s official.
Having come to the end of a flat-out week, I spent all this morning up at the yard with Inka. We had a bit of a wobble last night, when she decided to do motorbike impressions towards the jumps, race in at about 100mph and take off a good 8′ too soon… I think riding under the floodlights may not be the way forward in future 🙂
I’ve also got time today to post something I’d been meaning to for a while because I realised after I’d published it that my budgeting post was a bit rubbish! It’s because I’m so ridiculously conscious of what I spend anyway, so I thought I’d share some of the other things I do to keep track of the cashish.
It might be I’m just teaching my grandmothers to suck eggs, of course, so feel free to leave a rude comment saying so if I am 🙂
My budgeting (for the original challenge of Laura’s, click here) starts with this:
A few years ago, when I was doing mainly cash work, with a few cheques, I had no idea what was in the bank. One day, I looked at my statement to find I had hundreds of pounds less than I’d thought – with nothing to show for it.
So I started writing down everything that comes in and everything that goes out. It might sound stupid but I still, in that book, write my monthly salary at the top of each page, then the direct debits that go straight out underneath. I then write down everything (to the £5) I spend as I spend it, so I know exactly where I am at any one time.
It sounds ridiculously anal. But it does work.
Other money-saving things I always do are:
– Set aside money every month (I transfer it every month to an online savings account). I class it as holiday fund between January and August and Christmas fund between September and December. It spreads the cost of both and it’s also an insurance in case something goes wrong.
– Buy loose rather than packed fruit and vegetables wherever possible. The sneaky supermarkets will have a big sale sticker on a box of mushrooms, but if you look at the price per kg (and watch Asda, they price some by grams and some by kg, the cheeky buggers) and you’ll see the loose ones are still much cheaper.
– Buy own brand. Supermarket toothpaste, shampoo, painkillers, cleaning products etc are just as good as the brand names and cost much less.
– Get online deliveries. I know Maria mentioned this and in my case, although Tesco say has a £3 delivery charge, it would cost me at least that in petrol to get there and the temptation to buy what I don’t need is removed.
– Make use of pound shops. I mentioned my two giant bottles of washing-up liquid for 99p bargain but they also do loads of brand name products. I like Johnson’s Holiday Skin, for example, but don’t like the £4ish price – but they do that in the 99p Store (can you guess how much?!) They also do tea, coffee and other food and drink but just watch that those are actually cheaper than in supermarkets – they have to make money back somewhere!
– Join Quidco. It’s a site which collects together retailers and if you click on to their sites from the Quidco link, and then buy things, you get cashback – and it’s all legit. You can go through the site to insurance websites, credit cards, all sorts of retailers and can end up with lovely free money for things you were buying anyway, result!
– Make use of loyalty cards. I save my Nectar points up till Christmas, then shop through the Nectar site for presents – you can get loads of books, CDs, DVDs, home stuff on there and it’s basically free. and if you’ve used a Nectar card for Sainsbury’s petrol too, you’re even more quids in 🙂
On top of that, I’ve been making the most of the seasonal produce with my current breakfast obsession:
Carrot cake porridge is still such a winner – but so is this:
Chopped apple, microwaved with mixed spice until soft, topped with almond butter sauce (2tsp each almond butter and milk with a bit of maple syrup), vanilla Munchy Seeds and home made granola – perfect 🙂
What are your ultimate money-saving tips?