Browse Tag by Money saving
Finance

Finding Deals to Pay Necessary Bills

Take the time to save money

There is always a good time to sit down and think about your finances, to work out if you could actually be saving a little bit more than you already are. Savings don’t just have to be for a rainy day fund. Instead, you could be looking to a family holiday or to make sure your Christmas presents are extra special this year. So here are some suggestions for you to make sure you aren’t spending unnecessarily when you could be preparing for something big.

Bills

The bane of everyone’s life, bills. From electricity to water and everything in between we don’t want to pay them but we have to. Fortunately, there are options out there to help you save. Starting with household bills, consider using comparison websites that are designed to specifically reduce your outgoings. You might think it isn’t worth it, but actually, the savings can be quite significant especially with so many companies competing for your business.

In addition to running the house, you also have the other expenses. The ones we don’t need for heat or health, but we wouldn’t be able to do without. These are your phone, internet and other subscriptions. Once again you should be looking at comparison websites for your internet, but don’t be afraid to give your provider a call if you think you aren’t getting the best deal. Often the customer service representative is under instruction to keep business and will therefore go above and beyond to help you.

Finding Deals to Pay Necessary Bills

When it comes to mobile phones, the cost can be staggering. This is especially true when you have a family that all want their own data and text message options. However, the providers of these plans are starting to get wise to this and as a result fairer prices plans like Xfinity Mobile phones are starting to become more popular.

Make sure any bill you sign up for is done with thorough research. It may seem tiresome, but you’ll be thankful when you’re feet are up on the beach next year.

Food Shopping

Our grocery bills are also one of those things that can be significantly affected by having more mouths to feed. The average cost of a weekly food shop for a UK household is up to £89, but it can be reduced by shopping around and once again using the internet to help.

There is a bountiful of websites out there which are offering discount codes and vouchers to use in supermarkets around the country, so make sure you are taking advantage of these options when you are getting out there to shop.

There can sometimes seem to be a social stigma attached to using vouchers, but there shouldn’t be. We should take pride in finding good deals and paying less for our weekly shop when possible.

Once again, don’t think about the stress now of findings these deals. Think about the happy faces at Christmas when your hard-earned savings has helped the family to extra gifts.

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DIY tips

10 Top-Tip’s To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

Projects made easier

With Ian being multi-skilled we are very lucky when it comes to DIY projects around the home as there isn’t much he can’t turn his hand to. We find that we very rarely need to call in help from tradesmen as Ian is more than happy and capable to do things himself. This helps us hugely when we are working to a budget on a project.

Ian worked for a family run business for many of years. He really enjoyed his time working for the company. It is working for this company that he managed to do an apprenticeship as well as gain his skills and knowledge needed for his chosen career which was to become a fully qualified electrician.

Whilst working for this company he would work on many of different sites. He would work alongside many of different tradesmen and this is where he gained a lot of extra skills – skills that are very handy today!

Two of our sons are now following in Ian’s footsteps. Our eldest son Danny works on different jobs on different sites. He also works alongside different tradesmen and is also learning different trades just like Ian did. Bradley our youngest is currently at college on an engineering course which he is really enjoying.

We have put together a list of ways you could help yourself save some money when working on a D.I.Y project yourself at home

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

10 way’s you could help yourself to stay on budget with your D.I.Y projects:

  • Plan ahead– Good planning saves you from any surprises that could occur later in your project that is not planned or budgeted for. Good planning saves you time and money. It helps you to be organised and prepared for the job in mind.
  • Set a timescale – Set a timescale per job to work with, allowing enough time to complete it safely and to plan. That way you will know roughly how long each job should roughly take.
  • Set a price – Set yourself a realistic budget to work with. Try your best to stay within your budget. I know it is easy to get sidetracked when busy but keeping track of your outgoings will really help you keep track of the money being spent.
  • Allocate jobs – Do you have a friend or family member in the trade? Call in favours from friends and family. You will probably be surprised how many will be more than happy to lend a hand for a few hours. This will help you keep to your timescale and also help you keep within your budget.
  • Always shop about to find best prices – It is always worth shopping about to see what deals are about. You never know you might just find yourself a great bargain and be pleasantly surprised. Also try and borrow tools needed for jobs rather than buy them, money saved here can be saved or spent elsewhere if needed.

Take notes of everything and always have them to hand – It always pay to check everything twice

10 Top-Tip's To Help You Stay On Budget With DIY Projects

  • Communication – Communication is an absolute MUST. With drawings, measurements or even written instructions. Anyway in which you find helps you communicate with anyone helping on your project then do it. It helps massively and could save from missed communication problems which could result in delays or even prove costly.
  • Keep track of everything – It always helps to keep track of everything so take notes where possible. Of time on/left on jobs, budget spent/left, jobs done/left to do. Keep hold of all receipts collected and also contact details of any tradesmen used.
  • Pitch-in – Don’t be afraid to get stuck in. Bring out any hidden D.I.Y skills you may have, make the tea, clear up, fetch/carry. It all helps at the end of the day and time is money.
  • Make compromises – If you find you are getting a little to close to your budget for comfort then have a little re-think…..do you really need all of your chosen items? could you make a few changes to possibly get something a little cheaper or even do without one or two items? opt for cheaper if needed.
  • Work as a team – A little give and take on a project is always needed. We all have our own way of doing things, our own skills etc, but working as a team is always best. Sit down together and put a project plan together. Put a list together of jobs to be done and agree an order in which you all agree to work in.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help where needed

We have done so many different D.I.Y projects at home, our latest being our garden where Ian called in help as it was in urgent need of a makeover and he has friends in the trade. We all got stuck in and helped them the best we could but they done the bulk of it. Ian will turn his hand to many jobs but one he hates is plumbing and drainage so he avoids those sort of jobs and leaves them to the drainage services. To be honest I don’t blame him either!

Do you have a job you hate doing and leave to the experts?

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Finance, Lifestyle

Saving for summer

Saving for summer

Saving for summer

Being a parent and trying to save money can sometimes prove very difficult. Even more so for summer activities and a family summer holiday. I don’t know about you but it often feels as if money evaporates before our eyes. As the saying goes “every little helps”. A few small changes to spending habits can help a great deal and make quite a difference to the savings pot.

Saving doesn’t have to be boring, you can still have fun and save at the same time.

Here are a few saving ideas that may help you save a few pennies for summer:

  • Are you one for going off of lunch dates with friends? Try and cut out on the expensive coffee shops or pub lunches, try and meet for a picnic or even play host and take turns to lunch at each others house. That way you could save a few pounds but your still meeting and having fun.
  • Do you meal plan? Meal planning we find also helps watch the pennies. If meals are planned out in advance for the week it helps with budgeting the funds, it helps to cut out on the impulse buying and also food waste. I am guilty of always impulse buying and buying the “I may need this” item. I am always buying food products and forgetting that they are there and before I know it the food has gone out-of-date. Having a list to stick to and a budget in mind has helped massively. I now try and do online shopping to save the risk of temptation.
  • Voucher codes are always worth looking out for to help keep the costs down. A quick look online could help reduce your bill.
  • Having a sort out of unused items could bring in a few pounds to your saving pot. I think we are all guilty of having a junk area and unused things shoved to the back of the cupboard.  It may be worth having a sort out and advertising the products for sale, someone could grab a bargain and you make a few pounds.
  • Have a closer look at your usage to see what you truly need/use. We recently reduced our TV and internet package as half the channels we didn’t even watch. We are also going more energy-efficient around the home. In the long run the savings here will help keep costs down.
  • Comparison sites is always worth a browse. We never just auto-renew our insurances/contracts we always take a look at the end of every contract. This helps to keep the bills down each month.
  • Walking where possible saves us money and keeps us fit. Being a two car family due to both working and needing a car this means double the car bill. Where possible we leave the car at home and walk. This saves on wear-and-tear on the car, petrol and also parking fees.
  • Grow your own is something we done last year and really enjoyed. Have you ever tried growing your own fruit and veg? this saved us money last year and we hope to do it again this year. Home grown tastes so much better.
  • Try out cheaper brands in store, you never know you may be surprised and even like the cheaper brand. If you can change just a few items to a cheaper brand that could save you a few pounds to add to your savings pot.

These are just a few ideas that may help with saving a few pounds to put towards something for the summer. We are off on a few family holidays over the next few weeks, making a few changes will save on having to apply for a loan. Some may say short term loans can be a good solution but we would rather avoid loans as much as possible.

Do you have any good money-saving ideas?

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Kid's corner

Money-saving help

Money-saving help

Lee and Bradley would like to write about money-saving. Over to Lee and Bradley for kid’s corner.

We have recently been looking into how much money we get/earn each week. We have recently noticed that we need some money-saving help as we admit to wasting our money each week and have nothing to show for it….Well we are teenagers after all!

What we have done is, on our computer we have made a spread sheet of all our money earned doing odd jobs and added pocket-money given, as well as our money spent and what it was spent on. We have done this for one week and the results so far are.

IMG_0562We earned:

Lee – £25

Bradley – £15

We spent:

Lee – £20

Bradley – £11

Saved:

Lee – £5

Bradley – £4

We earned a  fair amount in odd job’s this week and with our pocket-money on top took us to a good amount but we then go and waste it at school in the canteen and whilst out with our friends…..As teenagers do we guess.

Looking at our outgoing’s and what we spend our money on we are going to work this week on minimising this and getting some more money saved next week…Well try our best to anyway.

Well we have managed to save some of our money this week this is already a bonus compared to other weeks so already this project is helping us. We work at our local market, we help them set up in the mornings before school and then go back and help them pack away after school, we help do this twice a week, on a Monday and then again on a Wednesday so this gives us a little extra pocket-money each week, we are planning on helping their more in the school half-term week so this will help us get some extra money to give our savings an extra boost, we can then get the football tickets and computer game quicker that we are saving for.

The family investments project is really helping us with some money-saving help, we are learning how to budget our money and learning that we can save for bigger and better things.

Disclaimer: This is a follow on post as part of a project we are working on. 
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Kid's corner

Money saving challenge

Money saving challenge

 

Lee and Brad are like any other kid’s, they love money……Well don’t we all!

When it comes to saving on the other hand, well then they are not so keen. We have started working on a money saving challenge run by family investments, by doing this they will be able to have a closer look at incoming’s and outgoing’s to see where they are going wrong when it comes to saving money, it will also give them a better understanding of money and what they could achieve by saving.

The minute they have money it burns a hole in their pockets and they feel the need to spend it, they then go off and waste their money and nine times out of ten they have nothing to show for the money that they have just had.

We have asked the boys what would be the one thing that they would love to be able to just go off and buy if they had the money to do so. Lee said he would love to be able to buy a football ticket to go off and watch a spurs game with his mates. Bradley chose to save for computer bits.

We have set them both a money saving challenge, we have asked them to work out how much they both could earn in one week via doing odd jobs, saving pocket-money etc and see how much they can manage to save.

Lee and Brad have never really had to save for anything really as things they wanted we have either just gone and got for them, put it on a gift list for either birthdays or christmas or we have added the rest of the money to money given to them as a gift. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing us doing this.

We are keen to see how this money saving challenge will help the boys and keen to see if it gives them a better understanding to the value of things. They have a money-box and a saving chart at the ready and they are very keen to get saving.

What age do you think is a good age to help kid’s understand money saving/value of money? Lee is 14 and Bradley is 13.

Fingers crossed this gives them more of an understanding! update to follow soon.

Disclaimer: Lee and Bradley was sent some items to help them keep track on their money-saving. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.
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