One element of the blog that I haven’t really got going on yet is what I call thriftiness. Anyone who knows Phil will know that he is pretty tight, and since I’m on maternity leave I am very focussed on our budget, originally with the view to living off one salary. Our goal is to be able to live properly off one salary, and by that we mean being able to afford holidays and savings and to fix whatever needs it or buy a new car when required. Not just survive on a day to day basis.
We also know that the costs of everything are rising, and at the same time our expectations are rising too: we are less tolerant of the cold, we want our equipment to work properly, we don’t always want to buy the cheapest clothing. I also am aware that we are blessed to live in a great house, but we will want to move to a bigger house and there will be some non negoitables – a downstairs loo, a garage, more bedrooms and a driveway. And once you have them you can’t live without. I will want an equally nice bathroom and this sort of size bedrooms for instance. And this all needs money.
We can’t be certain that we will always be lucky with jobs. Phil’s work in the civil service keeps being reorganised, and my contract has always been temporary. But we have done ok so far. So this points to needing to be careful with what we’ve got, and to make the most of the riches we have.
Here is a little list of things we have been doing to be thrifty, and I will add more as I go:
- know what is coming in and going out, in particular the fixed costs.
- put money aside for holidays, savings, home repairs
- plan ahead for upcoming spends so you haven’t spent all your money by mid month
- set an amount for food, entertainment, clothes and luxuries. stick to it. carry over the deficit each month. (entering December at a loss sadly)
- try to reduce fixed costs through negotiating contracts and minimizing use – think shutting doors to keep warmth in, using free minutes first
- break the cycle of shopping, browsing the shops and needing new clothes when you don’t actually
- shop in aldi (ace tip!).
- keep money in the bank rather than in “things” – buy supplies when required unless there is a compelling reason not to (we don’t need 10 bags of pasta!)
- meal plan so you don’t need takeaway
- plan treats so that you don’t feel you are missing out and have a blow out
I’ve also been casting around for inspiration and have found this website to be of interest – www.frugal.org.uk
What do you think? How do you stop the spend?