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 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

Money Monday – How Being Disorganised Can Cost You Money

Being disorganised isn’t just about your house being a little untidy, forgetting a birthday or missing a dentist appointment, being disorganised can cost you money as well. In this weeks Money Monday post I’m going to share with you some ways being disorganised has cost our household money and the tips we’ve implemented to stop it happening again.

how being disorganised can cost you money

  • Buying Duplicates

This can apply to so many areas of your life from buying groceries, tools, clothes or toiletries if you don’t know what you own then you will waste money buying duplicates. I’ve lost count of the times we have ended up with 3 bottles of sauce or 6 shower gels all because I didn’t check my stock before making a shopping list. I have even bought a whole new wardrobe of Summer clothes for Daisy before finding a box full of things from the previous year that I had stored away for her to grow into.

Nowadays I combat this by simply checking what we have before I go shopping for anything, it really is that simple by taking a few minutes to check you can save yourself a ton of money.

  • Check That Balance

Have you ever gone to check your bank balance and noticed that you haven’t got as much money in there as you thought you had ? being disorganised with your finances can cost you so much money, you need to know how much your household bills actually are and also check that you are not paying for anything extra you didn’t know about like a long forgotten subscription or that you’ve been charged twice for something.

I recommend you give yourself a financial check up every 6 months at least, keep a spreadsheet of your outgoings and cancel anything you are no longer using, also check your bank statement regularly for an discrepancies. You might also want to keep a spending diary if your outgoings have gotten a little disorganised so you can see where your money is going.

pound-414418_1920

  • Missing Deadlines

I profess to be a pretty organised person but I don’t want to embarrass myself by admitting how many times I have missed a deadline and it has ended up costing me money, signing up to free trials and offers is great but when you forget the deadline for cancelling and end up paying for an extra month of the product or service then it really defeats the object. I have also missed deadlines on earning opportunities when I haven’t checked what date they had to be completed by.

Nowadays if I take out a free trial I work out the date I need to cancel it by and write it down in my diary (bullet journal)  where I know I will see it in plenty of time.

To stop me missing deadlines for earning ops I keep a separate journal where I note down the date something has to be completed by, I’m also really careful now not to take too much on so I can easily meet those deadlines.

I hope this has been helpful for some of you, by taking simple preventative steps and making little changes you really can save yourself some unnecessary spending.

Have you ever wasted money through being disorganised ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

When Being Frugal Really Pays Off

 

Since the start of this year we I have been trying to be extra frugal when it comes to how much gas and electricity we are using and when I checked our bank account last week I was in for a nice surprise in the form of a refund for being in credit with both accounts, I finally had proof that being frugal really does pay off.

2019

The good news didn’t stop there, as we are always in credit on both accounts our overall monthly payments have been reduced as well, with the cuts we have already made this year to our outgoing expenses this gives us so much more wiggle room to grow our savings and pay down our debt.

Sometimes it’s hard to see an overall result when you are doing very small things frugally everyday, I’ve felt like some of the choices we have made this year about where and how to spend our money have been leading us off the path from our goals but I’ve realised that the small changes I make everyday mean that we can make some mistakes and be a little frivolous every now and again.

Here are the things we have done so far this year that have made a huge difference

  • Only used the central heating when absolutely necessary.
  • Hung washing out to dry at every chance even in Winter.
  • Been a stickler for switching lights and plugs off when not in use.
  • Reduced washing loads by checking if clothes are really dirty.
  • Cancelled Sky TV.
  • Cancelled Netflix.

I know there is so much more we could do but for now I’m happy with the changes we have made, I don’t want to live an extremely frugal life I’m just happy to save my family some money so we can enjoy little treats and days out throughout the year and eventually be totally debt free.

What have you done this year so far to save money ? let me know if you have any hints or tips on living a more frugal lifestyle I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

 

How To Stay Frugally Motivated

Reaching any goal takes a lot of hard work and staying motivated every day can seem difficult, some days living a frugal and money saving lifestyle is easy and other days it’s really hard. Sometimes you want to throw the towel in and spend spend spend, you don’t want to cook anything you want a takeaway, you want that shiny new piece of technology, that expensive pair of boots, you feel trapped, frustrated and very fed up.

I think that the word “Frugal” still carries a lot of stigma with it, some people think that being frugal means a boring existence of self deprivation but to me it means looking for an alternative way for my family to live the lifestyle we want whilst living on a budget and spending less money.

I thought I would share with you a few things I do to keep motivated when I’m feeling like this.

safari

Let Others Inspire You

There’s nothing to pull you out of a frugal funk quicker than reading how other people are living a frugal lifestyle, look to others for inspiration and motivation. People are sharing their ideas with you to help you on your journey so take those ideas and adapt them to fit into your life.

You can read this post and this post to find out which frugal and money saving bloggers are my favourites.

Make a List

Write a list of all the reasons why you want to be frugal, what are you saving money for?  what are you financial goals?  where do you want to be in 5 years time? when you have made the list put it somewhere you can see it every day ,even a small step is a step in the right direction.

Minimise Temptation

If you are tempted by all those great sales or special offers that land in your inbox daily then unsubscribe from them all, unfollow them on Facebook and Twitter as well the less temptation you come up against to spend the more you will stick to your money saving goals.

Compare Feelings 

When I start to feel fed up with being frugal I compare that feeling with how it feels to be in debt, to have no family car or a regular family holiday, to constantly worry about if you have enough money to cover all the bills, to dread pay day instead of looking forward to it, the feelings of wanting to spend and the unfairness of not being able to pale in comparison.

I hope this post has given you some ideas for when you are feeling unmotivated, do you have any other ideas to help with staying motivated ? I would love to hear from you leave me a comment below.

Angela xx