If there’s one thing I love, it’s saving money. I like saving money and getting good deals wherever I can. Here are some of my current favourites:
- Top Cashback – I wrote a post about cashback sites a while back; I try really hard to use a cashback site – usually Top Cashback – whenever I have to buy anything. By using a cashback site, I can sometimes get a discount on what I want to buy – but the main benefit is that I get a percentage of my order as cashback. This amount soon builds up the more you use the site.
- Buying in bulk – Whenever I can, I buy larger quantities of things when they are on offer. That might be loo rolls, paper for S to draw on, whatever. Whenever something is on offer I will buy what I can of it. That does mean the cupboard under my stairs is full of random piles of things, but it also means that if I find myself unexpectedly skint, I still have presents for birthdays, loo roll and tinned food!
- Small savings – This might sound really silly, but it works for me. I have standing orders set up to transfer 5p every week day from my current account to two different savings accounts. And every Friday – the day after my Tax Credits are paid – £2 is transferred to another account. These amounts are so small that even during a tight week or month I don’t really notice them going out – but they slowly and quietly build up, so that I have a small amount of cash to use in an emergency.
- Stockpiling clothes – I shop in the sales for anything S’s size and larger. As well as kitting her out for the current season I can grab clothes for her for the next couple of years too. If you have the patience to trawl through the sales, you can grab some real bargains; I store them in a large bag in my bedroom, and every few months we rummage through and find new clothes for S. The £20 a month I used to get in maintenance paid for new clothes for S, but now that I no longer claim maintenance, I don’t have that extra cash each month to shop for what S needs, so I rely on buying things ahead of time in the sales.
- When things are tight a site like Cash Lady can be a useful way of making ends meet until the next invoice is paid.
- Live without TV. I don’t do this any more, but when we moved into our last home we had no TV aerial so I didn’t get a TV licence. Instead, for a year we watched only Netflix and TV catch-up services. I think now iPlayer has changed (or is changing) so that you need to have a TV Licence to use it, but services like ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are all still freely available over the internet. The only thing we missed out on was advertising!
- Buy tickets in advance. With the summer holidays coming up, we’re going to want to go on day trips. When you pay for tickets to attractions and days out in advance, you can usually get them at a discount. There are often discounts to be had on bus and train fares too, which can help to keep costs down.
- Save change in money boxes. This is a great one to do with kids, but I’ve been doing it for years. Actually, now that I come to think of it I’ve been doing it since I was S’s age and my nan, who lived with us, would give me all her coppers to save in a money box. We have a money box for 1p pieces, another for 2ps… all the way up to 20p pieces. Every couple of days I empty out my purse and S sorts my change into the relevant money boxes. Whenever the money boxes are feeling heavy we’ll empty them out, count the coins and put them in money bags ready to take to the bank. This is one of those things you can do without really noticing but it soon adds up. Sometimes when we come to sort out coins we have over £30 just sitting there!