Monday, 30 September 2013

How can we save money?

It doesn't seem to matter whether we are earning very little or more than the average person, we always seem to be struggling. If you earn too little, benefits etc don't seem to cover things, if you earn too much, tax takes away half your wage before you have even got it in your bank account.

Money is the main thing that Daddy Hazelden and I always argue over, we don't mean to but it definitely causes us to stress sometimes. I really do believe money is the root of all evil!!! We recently had a major struggle when Daddy Hazelden was out of work for a month, we have always lived to our means, so when that wasn't there anymore, it was very tough for a while.

I am a big budgeter so it isn't that we just go throwing our money around and wasting it, I calculate things to last penny, meal planning and buying cheaper alternatives, yet we still manage to come up short more often than not.

Things aren't helped by the cost of day to day living seeming to be permanently on the up and even when trying to be careful how we use ammenities like water, gas and electric, it doesn't change a lot in the end because they only go and increase the cost of it!!

I know we are definitely not the only family in this situation. I think it is hard because we always want better for our kids than what we had, even if what we had wasn't really that bad.

I'm always on the look out for new ways to save/earn more money especially with Christmas on the horizon.

Some things I do to cut down on costs and save money :

* Buy things second hand - whether that be from local selling sites, ebay or even charity shops there are some bargains to be found.

* Buy food in bulk - if there are offers on things like bread, meat etc, buy more and store what isn't needed yet in the freezer

* Buy cheaper alternatives - not everything you have to buy needs to be the top brand name, honestly they taste the same, just look at the aldi adverts!!

* Shop around - this goes for food, toys, clothes, utility bills - compare the prices of things before buying, you could save yourself a pretty penny.

* Swapping toys, books etc - I don't take credit for this idea, some of my friends came up with this concept in an attempt to bring down the cost of Christmas -  this way your kids get something they didn't have before and all it has cost is postage.

* Get out the blankets, jumpers and hot water bottles - I have seen a lot of people already saying they have turned their heating on and with the cost of gas and electric constantly on the rise, this could become expensive. So instead, put another layer of clothing on, snuggle up together under a blanket or pop that hot water bottle in your bed.

I think in the long run it is good to try and save as much money as we can and a good thing is, is that it shows our children a little bit about the value of money too.

When my girls have pocket money to spend, they will pick a few things that they want and I will point out that the cost and that for instead of buying so and so they could buy two or three different items, stretching the pennies out further. Now when they get money from the "tooth fairy", they pop it in their piggy bank and save it until they have a few more pennies to spend. Small things but every little helps as they say.

What other money saving tips do you lovely readers know, would love if it if you could comment and share.

xxxx

28 comments:

  1. If you need something for the home i.e. a new dining table but aren't fussed on style, check out websites like freecycle. You wouldn't believe how many actually get given away. We got a desk from there a few months ago :)

    Lauren
    mrshippoandme.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. My mother is amazing at making a meal out of anything, literally. I however am not. But don't be scared to throw stuff together! Also, save everything, every single penny. I clear out my wallet weekly of change under 50p and put it in a big glass bottle. We have saved loads so far :) x

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    1. ooo I do that too with my change and save it up all year for Christmas spends x

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  3. Have you signed up to Quidco ? If you check your insurances when they comes up for renewal you can often save money plus get cashback. You should always check via quidco if you are buying anything online as you can gety cashback on lots of things.

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    1. I haven't signed up, thanks for the advice x

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  4. My husband's work has a Christmas Club scheme where money is taken from his wages every month - we then receive a lump sum in November ready for Christmas shopping. Takes the pressure off, and because we have always done it we don't miss the money from his monthly wage.

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    1. Nice thing for his work today, certainly takes the stress out of it x

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  5. we always seem to struggle and unfortunately tend to borrow from family members alot which i hate doing. I do the change in a big glass jar, meal planning, we save all our clubcard vouchers until xmas and always look for coupons and voucher codes when shopping x

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    1. It is just tough sometimes isn't it!!!

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  6. I feel you, some nights I can't sleep when I think where to get the money to pay for bills or this & that. I love the Swopping Toys & Books idea for Christmas, maybe I should start one over here. Thanks for sharing your tips =)

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    1. I think it is just nice sometimes to know you are not alone in your situation!! hope my tips have helped x

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  7. My kitchen cupboards haven't seen brand names in a long time!

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    1. there just isn't any need is there!!

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  8. Love the swapping toys and books idea. Freecycle is great, we got a great sandpit on there a few years ago and its still going strong! #mmwbh

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  9. I'm a big fan of bargain food shopping, budgeting and cooking meals from nothing!

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  10. You've got some great tips there, I'd love it if you would link this post up to #ThriftyThursday on my blog. Popping over from #PoCoLo :-)

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    1. Just linked up :) thanks for popping by!! x

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  11. Have you watched Jamie Oliver's "Money Saving Meals" on Mondays - I love eating and budgeting so this is two birds, one stone!

    Also we have a separate bank account for unexpected costs (like car, bills, broken washing machine etc) and also a separate account for the kids. I transfer an amount of money from the main account into these account each month. That way I know there's always money for shoes, MOTs etc.

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    1. I haven't watched that programme, love your thinking with that!!
      Great idea about the separate accounts, nice to not have to worry if there is an unexpected cost to pay for x

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  12. I relate to this, we're on a tight budget too. We're also planning a wedding, which seems to be a free for all for people demanding sky high fees. It's a stress, that's for sure!

    #PoCoLo

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    1. weddings can be expensive, I done mine fairly cheap, bought my dress from ebay x

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  13. I relate to this, we're on a tight budget too. We're also planning a wedding, which seems to be a free for all for people demanding sky high fees. It's a stress, that's for sure!

    #PoCoLo

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  14. I am so with you on this - Ross and I argue only about money! I think the swapping toys idea is a great one - I'm going to suggest this to my brothers and sisters! Thanks for linking to PoCoLo x

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