Five Frugal Things For May

I can’t believe I haven’t written one these posts since January ! Although I’ve been busy increasing my income I’m still taking the time be as frugal as possible. Here are my five frugal things for May.

  • I have been line drying as much as possible this month. It’s amazing how much electric we save when we don’t use the tumble dryer as much. I’m also checking the clothes that go in the laundry basket to make sure it is actually dirty. If I think we can get one more wear out of it then it doesn’t go in. This is helping to avoid unnecessary wash loads.
  • Instead of spending money on the weekends we have been making the most of the garden and staying home. We have also used the time to sell lots of things we weren’t using. I have a blog post coming soon about all the ways we have made extra money in May.
  • Our television package was due for renewal, we have been on a pretty good deal so far. Chris phoned them more than willing to totally cancel if they couldn’t match our current offer. They went one better and actually reduced the payments further. I know the most frugal thing to do would be to cancel completely but we do make use of it so are willing to pay as long as it stays cheap.
  • I won a £100 shopping voucher last month and used it to stock up. This will save us money from our weekly shopping budget.
  • I’ve started checking Freecycle and Freegle regularly again for anything we might need. I got a brand new packet of printer cartridges for our printer that would have cost us over £20.

 

How To Save Money While Spending Time With Your Friends

Wouldn’t it be nice to make the time you spend with your friends useful as well as fun? Did you ever think that you can actually save a pretty penny by spending more time with your friends? Let us tell you about the best ways to save money in a group and find out which of these you can integrate into your daily or weekly rituals!

1. Friends Who Shop Together Stay Together
Shopping in bulk is one of the classic ways to save money, but buying large quantities of groceries for only one or two could lead to a lot of waste, which is bad for the planet, as well as your finances. However, sharing these groceries with your friends would leave each of you with a well-adapted quantity of groceries. All you have to do is compare shop lists and buy more of what you all need because you will get a better offer on it. This will not only help you save on groceries, but it will also give you a chance to go out shopping with your friends.

2. Carpooling Will Help You Save Quite a Bit
If your best friends live close to you, you could share the car ride to work and save a lot of money at the end of the month on gas bills. Your mornings will get a better start because you will get to see your friends and have a nice chat on your way to work. As for the gas bills, you could cut these off significantly even by sharing the ride with one friend only. But imagine what kind of a change it could make if you split that bill with three or even four of your friends. As a bonus, carpooling is also an excellent example of green transportation.

3. Share Your Subscriptions with Your Friends
Do you and your friends really need to have your very own copies of your favorite magazine? What about your very own Netflix accounts? Sharing these entertainment subscriptions will help you put some money aside, and it will also give you a chance to share your thoughts on the best shows or magazine articles with your friends. While it may not seem like a big save initially, when you put all of these together, you will end up with quite a bit of money in your pocket, as well as some quality time with your friends.

4. Get the Best Group Deals and Have Fun Together
Group deals on restaurant meals and cinema and show tickets are an excellent way to cut down monthly costs. It takes a little bit of research, but you and your friends could pay less to have a lot of fun. Look up your favorite restaurants and find out all about their group offers because you should be taking advantage of their special offers for groups. At the end of the month, the difference in your budget will be a noticeable one.

5. Make Your Very Own Lottery Syndicate
Playing the lottery with your friends could prove to be the best decision you have ever made because it could make you very rich. When playing together, all you need to decide is how many lottery tickets you want to buy and share the costs. By playing like this, you will get a better chance of scooping one of those amazing lottery jackpots, and if you actually win, you will do so together with your friends. This will give you a chance to spend your lottery fortunes together.

These five ideas will give you a chance to spend more time with your friends, but they will also help you cut down on your monthly expenses. Not only will you be putting away quite a bit of money, but you will also get to share more experiences with your best friends.

*This is a collaborative post*

How To Spring Clean Your Finances And Save Yourself Money

Regular readers will know that I’m a huge fan of Spring cleaning. Whether it’s my home, my routine or my finances they all get a good sorting out this time of year. I can’t stress how important it is to check your finances. Not only will it help you spot any mistakes that have been made it can also save you lots of money.

It is too easy to ignore or miss those small regular outgoing payments but they soon add up and could be costing you a lot. I thought I would share my best tips to Spring clean your finances and hopefully save you some money in the process.

The Fine Toothcomb

Set a few hours aside and go through your bank statements for at least the last 6 months. If you have paper statements take a highlighter and cross through anything you don’t recognise. If like me you do all your banking online just keep a notebook next to you and jot down anything unusual.

Once you have done that it’s time to investigate. Ask yourself if you are still signed up to a subscription that you meant to cancel. Also check for duplicate payments, I’ve had this happen before where a supermarket took the same amount twice by accident.

If you find any of these problems action them straight away, leaving it any longer could mean you forget again. It might be a good idea to set a reminder on your calendar so you never forgot those cancellation or renewal dates.

Are You Owed ?

There’s nothing worse than the thought of money that’s rightfully yours sitting in someone else’s account accruing interest.

If you have switched energy supplier in the last six years you could have credit sitting in your old account. A quick phone call to your old supplier will soon tell you if you are owed anything.

Could you be owed PPI ? If you have ever had a loan, car finance, credit card or any other credit product you might be owed money. PPI (payment protection insurance) was widely mis-sold leaving people paying, sometimes unknown for worthless cover. It’s definitely worth checking before the deadline which has been set at August 29th 2019.

Paying Too Much ?

My favourite part of the financial Spring clean is seeing if I can get a better deal for the services and products I already have. If you have any contracts that are coming to an end, phone up and haggle. I haven’t paid full price for subscription TV in years.

Don’t auto-renew anything, always search the market for a better deal. Whether it’s car insurance or mobile phone tariffs, never settle until you’ve left no stone unturned.

Also if you have a credit card check if you are eligible for a 0% balance transfer. We were able to pay our debt down more quickly without the interest to pay on top.

And Finally 

Once you’ve spring cleaned your finances and saved yourself lots of money it’s time to sit back with a brew and congratulate yourself on a job well done. I like to do a financial housekeeping session once a month. But a good clean out twice a year will be just as effective.

*This is a collaborative post*

 

Make Money From Home With The Money Shed – A Guest Post

Almost two years ago I found The Money Shed and my online earning journey began in earnest. I managed to completely pay for Christmas in just two months using the tips and advice from owner Jon and the fellow forum users. Today Jon is here to share some great advice to get you started making money from home.

Earning decent money from home has long been some kind of urban legend. People either get exposed to some kind of crazy scam or equally as bad, surveys offering 50p rewards for your time.I’m happily here to change all that for you and show you 3 easy ways you can earn a DECENT living online!

My name is Jon and I run a website called The Money Shed which is actually the UKs largest community website dedicated to earning money from home! I’ve been at this ‘earning online’ malarky for a great number of years now and have been featured in the press quite a few times as well so I’ve helped a LOT of people out of financial difficulty by earning money from home.

With all that said, here are 3 sure fire ways you can make over £1000 a month from home in total!
1) Web Search Evaluator

If you can use Google or Bing you can do this job! Being a WSE is where you help search engines in terms of the results they present you with. It’s making sure when someone types in the search term ‘Manchester United’ they aren’t getting presented with results for ‘Liverpool FC’. The job entails a fair amount of concentration as you are paid BY THE HOUR at a rate that is well above the UK minimum wage! You can easily make £700 odd a month from this as I used to bring in that amount and that was when I was only doing it in the evenings around my main job! The companies you want to apply with to do this type of work are Leapforce, Lionbridge or Appen.

2) Website User Experience Testing

Have you ever used a website and thought that some of its design choices were a little bit off? Companies likes WhatUsersDo will give you the change to feed that information back to clients and pay you £8-£15 per time. WhatUsersDo is an excellent website that you can sign up to for free. You are assigned work as it becomes available and you are simply asked to go onto the website of the client and interact with it. This might involve pretending to order something or trying out various search options on the site. While you are doing this WhatUsersDo use a nifty bit of software to record your screen so they can see what you are doing. On top of this you need to use a Mic so that you can explain how you feel about the design and layout of the site and pages as you go about doing the task.

3) Earn money doing tasks on your Smartphone

These amazing apps have been around for a few years now. They are sort of an offspring of traditional Mystery Shopping and just involve you going to and taking a photo or two and answering any questions the clients may want. Everything is done via your phone but the pay is very high and you can make a good few hundred each month by doing them. To get started head on over to your App store of choice and download

Apple : Task360, Roamler, BeMyEye, StreetSpotr, Field Agent
Android : Roamler, StreetSpotr, BeMyEye

Set the apps up and you will soon see if there is work available in your location. The work flow on these apps is DYNAMIC so while there may be no work on Task360 for you today in 2 days time that may not be the case! The work generally just takes minutes to do and payment is usually around £5 for the simpler tasks and £7-£10 or the more involved ones that require a few more photos. There’s nothing stopping you generally making around £300+ a month from these apps so they really are fantastic earners!

I hope all this helps you. It’s just a very small fraction of the sort of information we have available on The Money Shed so if you want to earn even more please do pop over to our site and join in with our community as we would love to have you there!

Five Frugal Things For January

Although my focus for this year is increasing my income I’m still a frugal girl at heart. I won’t be going hardcore frugal but I will still be implementing those little frugal wins in to my month.

In January I find I’m at my most motivated with frugality. After the excess of Christmas and the great declutter that comes afterwards I’m more than ready to scale right back.

 

  • I challenged myself to a no spend month, buying only what was essential or budgeted for. I’m happy to report I’ve stuck to it. I avoided the temptation of all the pretty new season things in the shops. My prize £250 gift card did arrive so I have treated myself a little but I’m not counting that as it didn’t come out of the budget.

 

  • After having a huge declutter I managed to sell some things and make some extra money to put in our holiday pot. I used Zeek to sell some unwanted gift vouchers and Ziffit to get rid of some books and DVD’s. I’ve also sold some little bits on the local Facebook selling pages. I have a few larger more expensive items to sell so I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it.

 

  • My eldest daughter Jess gave me a huge bag of second hand clothing for Jake. There were loads of goodies inside like pyjamas, fleeces and tops which you can never have too many of. Lots are the next size up so I will be storing them for next year.

 

  • As we have had to use the central heating a lot more than we usually do I’ve been busy trying to reduce how much electricity we use. I’ve been running around after Chris and the kids turning lights and sockets off that aren’t in use. Do you live with one of those people who think you need every light on in the house, you have my sympathies.

 

  • I have actually managed to stick to a meal plan and shopping list this month. I’ve gone for simple meals that are quick to prepare and make. This means that I haven’t been tempted to indulge in a take away.

*This post contains affiliate links*

Five Frugal Things For December

I’ve really had to dig deep and remember what frugal things I have done this month. I always knew that December wouldn’t be the most money saving month but I had a planned for that fact.

I’m constantly having to remind myself that doing something frugal no matter how small does make a difference. I find it’s like a balancing act between knowing where to save and where to spend. Writing these posts every month has helped me to celebrate the little wins and to identify where we need to improve.

Here’s my five frugal things for December.

1. I ordered something and when it arrived it wasn’t what I expected at all. I was really disappointed with the quality and In the past I would have just put up with it. This time I packaged it back up and returned it for a refund. It’s only a small refund but every penny adds up.

2. Thanks to a good stock of meals in the freezer I have been able to miss a whole week of shopping out. We may have eaten some unusual combinations but nobody has gone hungry.

3. Chris and I sat down and planned our financial goals for 2017. It was good to look back on our successes and useful to see what our failings were in 2016. I’ve got lots of new ideas to incorporate next year. What frugal means is a very individual thing for some it’s living to the extreme and for others like myself it’s about small changes that can make a big difference.

4. With the mixture of temperatures in December there have been some days that we haven’t needed to put the heating on at all. This makes my heart very happy although anyone who visits usually remarks on how cold my house is. I say put a jumper on !

I must reassure you that the kids are never cold I like to think I’m contributing to them having a strong disposition.

5. I’ve carefully packed away the unused wrapping paper and gift bags to re-use next year. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t had to buy any new wrap for a few years now. I highly recommend buying the 10 metre rolls in the January sales.

Five Hidden Costs of Christmas

This evening we made a mad dash to buy Daisy a nice dress before her class Christmas party tomorrow. I’ve known about the party for over a week but it suddenly dawned on me this afternoon that a recent growth spurt meant she had nothing suitable to wear. Although I thought I had budgeted pretty well for Christmas it got me thinking about what other hidden costs the festive season can bring.

Here’s a list of five things that might get missed out when planning a Christmas budget.

1. Batteries There’s nothing worse on Christmas morning than hunting through the junk drawer in search of batteries for newly unwrapped toys. I think a lot of us simply forget to add these essentials to our Christmas shopping lists. Stock up while there are offers on or opt for the more budget friendly rechargeable batteries.

2. Stamps If you send Christmas cards or presents by post you are going to need to stock up on stamps. To keep costs down you could look at using one of the cheaper alternatives like My Hermes.

3. Childcare Are you going to need a babysitter over the festive season ? If you have parties or events to attend you might want to think about this when planning your budget.

4. Unexpected Visitors Keeping a little bit of extra money in your present budget might be a good idea in case people decide to visit unexpectedly. Hopefully they will give you enough warning so you can pop to the shops for some extra mince pies and a bottle of wine.

5. Fuel Both visiting and having visitors can mean an increase in fuel costs. You might need to fill up the car more than usual if you have a lot of people to visit. Being at home more and hosting  parties could see a rise in the amount of gas and electricity you use. Budgeting an extra few pounds in the months before should help cover any extra costs.

There are probably lots more little hidden costs, I think the only way to avoid them is to plan ahead. I hope this post has helped you with your Christmas budget.

 

 

Five Frugal Things For November

November has been a bit of an odd month. It started off well and we managed to squirrel away some extra savings. Along came some unexpected expenses that almost depleted what we had saved. I also find it more challenging to be frugal this time of the year with festive temptations but as always I have tried my best.

1. After another price hike and our special discount coming to an end we contacted our broadband supplier to negotiate a better price. Much to our surprise we came away with a brilliant deal. Our bill is now lower than before the price increase. If only all service providers were as generous.

2. There have been a few birthday celebrations and instead of buying new I’ve reused gift bags and wrap. I also made sure to buy cards well in advance to avoid paying over the odds.

3. I think we are doing fairly well with keeping our energy costs low. With the sudden cold snap turning the heating on has been a necessity. Keeping ourselves and the house well insulated helps. stockings-1816094_19204. A meal plan has been formulated and we have a plan of action. Sticking to a plan will mean we can add a few ‘Christmas’ food items to our weekly shopping list. I have found buying little and often is more affordable.

5. I’m not sure if this one counts as a frugal technically. The bedroom that I won from Dreams arrived, it’s absolutely beautiful and the mattress and pillows are heavenly. We would never have been able to afford such luxury. It will last us for years as it’s such good quality. five-frugalthingsforHas November been frugal for you ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

How To Take The Stress Out Of Christmas Shopping

There’s no escaping the fact that Christmas shopping season is fast approaching or if you are super organised like me it’s already begun.

Christmas can be such an expensive time for everyone, even more so if you are trying to work to a tight budget.

I thought I would share with you some ways you can take the stress out of Christmas shopping.

Vouchers, Discounts & Sales

Never buy any of those wish list gifts until you have checked online to see if there is a sale, discount or voucher available for the items you want to buy.

Competition for sales around the festive season has become fierce in recent years with the introduction of ‘Black Friday’ and star buy sales so make sure you take full advantage of the offers.

Be sure to look at websites like My Voucher Codes where you can find a ton of the latest voucher codes and in-store offers from over 8,000 retailers.hang-tags-234566_1280Online Shopping

With the amount of stores that now offer online shopping there’s no need to even step foot out of the comfort of your house.

I now do about 70% of my Christmas shopping online, not having to brave the crowds or fight the queues has done wonders for my stress levels and of course my bank balance.

Most retailers now offer a free click and collect service which means you are also saving money on postage fees, another huge bonus is that it helps you to focus and buy only what you need without all those till point distractions that cause impulse purchases.

I do the majority of my shopping for the children presents from Amazon as the prices are really competitive and they have a huge range of the latest toys and games.gift-595871_1920Gift Vouchers

The toughest part of Christmas shopping for me is deciding what to actually buy for people, there’s always the worry of buying a duplicate or even worse something they don’t like at all.

If I’m really stuck for ideas I opt for buying them a gift voucher so they can choose something for themselves.

If you would rather buy some an experience or night out, most restaurants and cinema chains offer gift vouchers, I’m sure the recipient would be delighted with an actual experience rather than a physical gift.

Have a look at the Voucher Madness post over on Planner Wealth for lots more ideas about vouchers, there’s also a great easy money saving tips video for you to watch.coupon-472481_1920Start Early 

The most valuable tip I can give you and one I have always followed is to start your Christmas shopping early.

I have saved so much much money by being prepared, grabbing sales and bargains all the way through the year.

Another great advantage of doing it this way is that you can spread the cost and avoid facing a huge expense all at once.

Being prepared means that you also avoid last minute panic buying and missing delivery deadlines, leaving no choice but to pay over the odds and venturing out in what is truly silly season.coffee-1246511_1280I hope these tips have given you some ideas of how to take the stress out of Christmas shopping, if you have any tips of your own leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

*This is a collaborative post*

RachelSwirl

 

 

Five Frugal Things For October

This months post will be a little underwhelming as I don’t feel like I’ve done anything spectacularly frugal in October it’s just been a pretty normal money saving month. I’m also posting a little earlier than usual as Daisy is odd school for half-term for the next two weeks so we will be busy having fun together.

This month has been so busy which has meant we have had a few frugal fails but that’s okay we will put those behind us and move ahead. I should start including those fails in this monthly round up so you can see that it’s pretty normal to fall off the wagon every now and again.

five-frugalthingsfor1. Although we did have to turn our heating on yesterday due to having visitors I’m still counting it as a frugal win that we lasted this far when most other people have already relented. As a rule I don’t like to put it on before November but I’m still going to limit use until then, you can read my tips for keeping warm without putting the heating on here.

2. We have been cooking up some delicious filling Autumnal dishes and saving the leftovers for the following day to stretch our pennies a bit further.

3. We sold some more things from around the house using Gumtree and cashed in the spare change tin we had been saving all year and put the money towards Christmas savings and paying extra off our credit card debt.pound-414418_19204. I have been busy making budget friendly plans for the upcoming half-term, we have paint, glue, stickers and activity sheets at the ready. We are having some friends round and plan to meet them on the park as well (weather permitting) and the rest of the time we will watch movies and do some baking.

5. My cousin and I used to go to the cinema a lot together but since the price of tickets become ridiculous we’ve not been able to go as much. Through work she managed to get us a brilliant discount and we ended paying just £5 for us both so I’m counting that as a frugal win. We watched The Girl On The Train which was absolutely fantastic and as we left I picked up some free activity sheets and posters for the kiddo’s, bonus!

What frugal wins have you had in October ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela