Reduce spending and make more savings
20 ways we have saved money this year
I began my frugal journey after reading a blog by EMMA DREW
I learnt how to cut down on my outgoings, how to do a frugal budget and find ways to earn money passively, earn money on top of my day job. This journey has been so successful I am not looking at ways to cut my mortgage in half and retire early. this is a dream I never though possible.
This year I have started one of Emma’s courses to help me polish my skills in blogging and earning money online. Here is the link to the course Turn your dreams into money by Emma Drew
1. Made a budget and opened a saving account
Having a budget is the only way we could manage our income and outgoings, this was the hardest part of the 5 year plan, we had to look at everything we spent and where our money was going and keep on top of it by looking at this on a weekly basis. It was here we identified how much money we were throwing away. We have now set up standing orders to ensure we are regularly saving every month.
2. Got double glazing
We got double glazing this year, wow 😳 what a difference that has made, we hardly had any heating on this winter, I rang up the company and asked for a quotation, they came out and gave me a ridiculous quote and I said that’s not in my budget. They came back to me multiple times with different prices, this was last summer, so I wasn’t in a rush to get them done, I explained to the company that I would save up over the next few months and come back to them. However they rang me and offered me a price I couldn’t refuse. Hence we got new windows and doors.
3. Cancelled television subscription
This little outgoing was almost £100 per month, I’m not a television fan, but hubby loves it. My rationale for this was, we had sky and another movie subscription, hubby was working shifts at the time so we never really used it.
4. Stopped paying parking fees
So parking at work costs £60 per month. I have found local places to park and I walk into work, sometimes I can fit in a mile walk before work and a mile walk back to the car, but there are closer places to park if the weather isn’t good.
5. Took lunch to work
Being a ceoliac this is not a difficult challenge, however if lunch and coffee is £5 a day, that’s a massive saving too.
6. Stopped having takeaways
Again not too difficult with my diet, but we try to cook most of our meals, so if we fancy a Chinese takeaway it is more practical for us to cook it instead of trying to find a gf friendly takeaway.
7. Changed car insurance
This was a recent saving, some organisations do a multiple car deal where they insure both cars, we have consequently saved £45 per month
8. Stopped all bank fees
By paying off overdrafts and switching accounts to get a non charging account we have saved over £600 per year.
9. Got a smart meter
We can’t see the savings of this just yet as it is a new addition, but by boiling the exact amount of water and turning lights off the meter gauges how much electricity we are using and this is making us be more savvy
10. Stopped gym membership and a number of memberships that I did not use
How many magazine, gym, professional subscriptions do you pay each month? I recently cancelled my prepayment certificate as I wasn’t using it, I also cancelled the union subscription as again I’ve paid it for a number of years and not used it, that has saved me £30 this month already.
11. Bought yellow sticker food
There are some great Facebook pages related to food budgeting, I currently follow a local one that shares yellow stickers from our local supermarkets, they even discuss the times when the supermarkets reduce there products.
12. Shop at cheapest food stores
So locally we have Lidl and Aldi where we can get cheaper priced foods, we also have a market in the city centre. So intead of using the large supermarkets and spending ££££s we try to economise and purchase food at cheaper stores to keep the costs down.
13. Completed diy projects instead of paying someone
This has been a fun way to save money, so we have a number of jobs to do and in the past we have paid someone else to do them, it’s the natural thing to do when you work full time, however we made the decision a month ago to do our own jobs if we could. We have changed our gate in the garden which we were quoted £200 and we made a plant box. We plan to decorate the kitchen and lounge over the next few months. So massive savings can be made doing odd jobs yourself.
14. Stopped phone upgrades
We calculated how much money was going out of our bank on mobile phones, we both upgraded every time it was up for renewal, however last year I stopped upgrading, I now save £30 per month. My contract now suits my needs and I watch each month to check I do not go over my allowance.
15. Printer ink alternative online
We got a new printer last year and decided to get our ink online as it was much cheaper, we buy a cheaper version and again save £££££s.
16. Home made gifts
I love making things and have sold some items online and at craft fairs, I have also made items as gifts for friends and relatives and again this has saved us some money too.
17. Reduced alcohol and unhealthy snacks
Another hard decision, however health wise it is a must, we are not great drinkers but it is a treat that we could reduce, or look at alternatives. I would love to make our own brew providing it was GF 🙋🏼
18. Buying used goods
We now look at everything we buy and work out how many hours we need to work to pay for it, so if it’s £50 and we earn £10 per hour, that’s 5 hours work, this makes us really look at the value and whether we need it or not. Another thing we do is go back to the budget and see if it’s affordable as well as wait 24 hours before purchasing. We also consider the 2nd hand value, can we get it cheaper 2nd hand?All of these practices help us to budget wisely.
19. Bike to work
I can only bike to work occasionally as I often tutor after work and it wouldn’t be very professional turning up hot and sweaty! On a more serious note I need my books and resources to teach too. I do know a number of people to bike to work regularly.
20. Car savings
A change of driving style can save ££££s, using the gears effectively. Removing all the items from the boot will reduce the weight you are carrying and therefore save money.
We invested in a hose and cleaning products as we have 2 cars and hubby likes them to be clean and shiny, to get the car washed locally it costs £5 per car, I persuaded hubby that we only wash one car a month, that lasted 2 months. So if we washed one car a month that’s a £60 saving, however we were spending probably double or triple that.
By making all these savings we have managed to get rid of our overdrafts and plan a future where we are in control of our money and lifestyle rather than our finances controlling us.
If you have any ideas I can add, or things you have saved on let me know