Tag Archives: savings

Black Friday (UK) deals

What a busy day bargain hunting, but not for the same bargains as the masses of other hysterical people.   I don’t think it has ever taken that long to get to town, are they savings though?  Most of the ones I saw online were based on RRP prices from July, but needless to say there were bargains to be had.

I did most of my research online and, as such, I then nailed 6 xmas presents today!   I spent less than £100 looking for toys.  Bargain hunters seem to aim for the high end electrical goods but these will depreciate in value quickly, but toys at a 1/4 of the price?  That’s Christmas sorted for my nephews and nieces.  Quite pleased with myself actually.

That is the point of living on a shoestring, you are delighted with any saving you can find!  You all know I was worried about Christmas and how to afford it.   It’s tough and scary, nobody wants to fail as a parent.  They want happy faces on their kids, so I strive to do that.  I don’t care if I don’t have brand new clothes or things in my home, those times will come again I am sure.

Still hopeful some of these competition entries pay off, haven’t won anything notable for a while.

Next week is December, still some shopping to get done but most of it will be online I think.   I am lucky that where my office is, is right on a major high street so any additional shopping is done on my lunch hour.  This saves extra trips in the car as well, see how I count the savings now?

How boring a life that is, but necessary.  If I have learnt anything from this debt nightmare it is how to find the things you need for less.  That is a life skill I will hold on to if (when) I win the lottery!

We can all dream……..

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For once my ex doesn’t cost me money

Today was a day of saving money.  The major thing that comes out of debt, and the demands of those wanting the debt is that forces you to look at ways to save money.  Ordinarily I would put off looking on comparison sites as it is time consuming and somewhat boring.  However, we are where we are now..

The first moneysaver was I cancelled the gym.  I have a bit of gym equipment at home (not worth much so I can’t sell it!) so I figured if I use my bike more then it is not worth going.  That was £30/month saving me £360 a year.

The second one, I needed the ex.  I have changed the mortgage life insurance due to multiple blunders by my current provider, but it did force me to question how much I was paying.  Went on one of the comparison sites and got the same policy, with extra benefits for £21.15/month compared to my current £47.45/month.  Why did I need my ex?  well she is still on the mortgage of course and thus joint cover is needed.

Asked her and, of course, she jumped at the chance to get free life insurance.  She, of course, fails to realise this is not life insurance but insurance that pays off your mortgage if you perish.   So actually, more reason for her to drop off the planet!  Joking, the kids would be devastated..

So today I have saved £360 + £290 = £650/year.   That is fair whack, especially for someone in my precarious position.  Now it gives me the enthusiasm to look at everything else I can lower costs on.

a week of being thrifty

I would have loved to have done this experiment by choice, but sadly it was out of necessity.  As you all know, my readers, money is very tight right now.  So I am trying to find multiple ways to get round this problem.

This week I formulated a plan to see how little I could actually spend in a week, and what I could cut out.  Don’t get me wrong, I have cut back on a lot already, but this was a little extra.

The key is lunch, don’t eat one!   Or…don’t take your wallet!  I’m not joking…if you eat a decent breakfast and drink a few pints of water you can last.  Also, if you buy a pack of 6 apples and 6 bananas from your local supermarket then that is your lunch for the week.  I also declined the lunch visits to the local village with work colleagues where pastry shops live!

Dinners are easy, I spend a lot of time on the web entering various competitions but this time I spent time looking at local shopping deals.  Being as all the major supermarkets are within 5 minutes driving distance from my home this made sense.  I managed to get a week’s worth of shopping for myself and the kids for twenty pounds.  Never underestimate the power of looking up voucher codes, or 2 for 1 offers.  They save you a fortune.

I also have a bike, and I have used it a fair bit.  Saves on driving.  The bike also adds to my chin up bar, push up bars and swiss ball.   This means I cancelled the gym membership too, as I only really used it for heavy weights, running machine and to sob gently in the steam room where nobody could see me!

I detest being in this position at my age but needs must.  As I live on my own, it only matters that the kids have healthy, good food to eat and the bills are paid.   Which they are.

Even the usual threatening letter from the HMRC yesterday didn’t make me break into a nervous sweat, as it threatened me with a debt collector.  This is no bad thing as they phone you anyway and you can negotiate a payment.  Again that is thrifty, why you ask?  Well, the HMRC won’t put me on a payment plan so they pass the debt to a debt collection agency.  But, that afore mentioned agency are happy to accept a payment plan as long as they get the money.  How ironic eh?  The irony being that if you flip the HMRC the bird and ignore the letter, you get a better deal.  That is only for fines of course, not major debt.

So, not a bad week, still got money in my wallet which is very rare nowadays.

lost a bit of weight too..not sure if that is the lack of food or stress!