This is a collaborative post
I’ve always been so upfront about the fact that I’m terrible at saving money – I’m not sure why. I’ve often wondered if it’s inbuilt when you prefer to splurge than save a few pennies. It always used to shock me that even if I got a pay rise, the same 0 would appear on my bank balance, and it’s down to my day to day habits. These days, with our little toddler – we live pretty frugally and don’t really go out in the evenings, which helps massively.
However, with the mortgage looming every month and costs building up for childcare, food and petrol, I’m keen to put my mind to it and get on top of the finances to see where we can save a little. For me, any changes have to be small ones, as I don’t like feeling like I’m deprived all of a sudden (any plans to reduce my Lion bar intake are a no go I’m afraid!). It’s all about balance and I’ve been testing out a few things that are making quite a difference.
getting the best travel deal
As geeky as it sounds, I did do a fair bit of research into train fares and worked out that at the moment it is better for me to get daily returns. Apparently Southern Rail are going to bring out a part time weekly season ticket, which would be amazing, but they have let me down on all other fronts, so I’ll believe it when I see it! When travelling at off peak times, you can also pre-book your ticket and get some amazing deals, though this is often not possible for commuters.
consolidate those debts
When we bought our house, we quickly felt the pinch. Lawyer fees, moving lorries as well as not having a washing machine from day one meant that we used our credit cards. But a couple of years later and those debts are still with us; it can be hard to clamber out of the hole so to speak. Although it’s not for everyone, taking out a small loan to pay off your debt with the minimum amount of interest can be worthwhile.
coffee on tap
There is no way I could give up having my daily coffee as it really keeps me going during the day. I usually have a morning coffee after dropping Emma to nursery and as it goes have been testing out coffees…the current verdict is that FCB (Flying Coffee Bean) is the best! The other day I had about 2-3 hours sleep and it felt like the cappuccino was fed to me on a drip. Anyway after this, I also have a cafetiere to have a cheeky cup when I fancy, a whole pot all for me.
check your subscriptions
I’m so bad for signing up for trial offers and then completely forgetting about it. I think these companies see me coming! But going over your bank statement with a fine toothcomb and cancelling any subscriptions you no longer need is a great way to save up to £100 a month.
being organised with bulk deals
Now don’t get me wrong, you won’t catch me with 400 rolls of toilet paper from Costco, but there are a few deals in the supermarkets that help from time to time. Especially with nappies, wipes and formula, I’ve managed to save a little by finding the best place to buy it from. The nappies we usually buy 3 packs for £10 from Asda and it’s great to save a little where we can! I also think that Poundland can have some great deals on household products, but equally can be cheaper than £1 elsewhere.
remembering every little helps…
Someone once told me that with healthy eating, you should apply the 80% good and 20% a little bit naughty rule, and I try and do the same here. It would be utterly miserable to be penny pinching all day everyday, but a little bit here and there helps and it feels good to put a little bit aside for when the mass present-buying begins! We are also going on a big family holiday soon so even more little things to buy for the numerous family members that we hardly ever see.
Do you have any money saving tips? Let me know in the comments below!