Just the same as last year, January has been a rather expensive month with a few things breaking including the washing machine. I think I might have to start a separate savings fund just for January emergencies! On the positive side, these unexpected emergencies have given me the motivation for this month’s five frugal things.
Five Frugal Things For January
Five Frugal Things
In a bid to lower our gas bill which is always higher this time of year I’ve been following the advice I wrote in a previous frugal blog post. I’m usually home alone during the day so I’ve made the effort to wrap up warm instead of switching the central heating on. I’ve been wearing a thick fluffy dressing gown over my clothes and made use of the many blankets and throws we have. This has really helped to keep me nice and warm and I haven’t once felt too cold.
I’ve also been making sure the doors to empty rooms have been closed during the day to prevent drafts and keep the heat from escaping. In the early evening, I will also go from room to room closing the curtains and blinds which seems to be working well too.
Books are my favourite things to spend money on but I’ve banned myself from buying any new ones in January. Instead, I’ve made use of the local library and their free audiobook app. There are so many books to choose from to listen to and you can borrow them for two weeks which is plenty of time to listen to them.
I’ve also been reading some of the free books I’ve downloaded over the years to my kindle, I do a quick search for free books each month and there are always plenty to choose from.
I have always been convinced that once one thing breaks a few more things are sure to follow and this was definitely the case in January. First, the washing machine stopped spinning and then the car needed a new part when these things happen it’s easy to get in a panic about how much repair costs are going to be. Instead of getting in a panic we did some research, ordered the parts we needed to attempt a fix and got on with it.
Luckily the car part was something Chris could fix himself but despite trying to repair the washing machine it didn’t work. After some more research, we realised it would be more cost-efficient to replace the washing machine. Of course, before we made a purchase we looked carefully at the reviews and options and chose one that adjusts the cycle time to the weight of the wash load which saves us money in the long run.
Having to replace an appliance does actually turn out for the best sometimes I think, our old washing machine hadn’t been running properly which in turn was costing us more money. With a new cost-efficient appliance I’m hoping we can make some nice savings on our energy bills.
This month I’ve really concentrated on the survey websites that I’m signed up to, making sure I complete the surveys as soon as they land in my inbox. I’ve also signed up to some new survey websites too, some pay quite well and others just a little bit and in my opinion and experience even the one’s worth pennies soon add up. Surveys are so easy to fit into your day and are often interesting to complete too. By far my favourite website is Prolific Academic but I also recently updated my survey tips blog post if you are looking for some ideas.
Fresh Air For Free
With no money in the budget for entertainment and fun this month we decided to make full use of our local parks and outside spaces. We are lucky to live in an area where we have lots of different spaces to choose from and the majority of them have free parking too.
If we are going to be out for a few hours I make sure I pack a few snacks and take our drinks with us to avoid the temptation of buying anything.
Related article: Five Frugal Things For January 2020
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