I told some of my friends that I was starting a blog, women that have known me for years, and who have all at some point been in the exact same position as I was-skint and alone-and asked them what would they have wanted to read or have information on, back then. And it was all about how to save money. So my first post will be about that, but let me tell you-this blog SHOULD be about how can I MAKE money. But I will save that for another blog, another day..
So how to afford your food shop on a budget, how to clothe your kids when you’re poor, how to to treat your kids when you’re skint..that sort of thing? Ok here ya go..my top 13 tips on how to save money like a badass;
•Keep a track of your money, your incomings and your outgoings. If the outgoings are more than what is coming in, you need to make adjustments. Cancel all direct debits that you no longer need-do you really need sky tv? Be ruthless-as my dear old dad has always said -if you aint got it ,you cant spend it!
•If you have debts that are overwhelming you-don’t do what I did and ignore them, people don’t like that! Citizens Advice Bureau is always a good place to start. And as scary as it is , just calling the people you owe money to up, and offering them what you can afford-even if its a couple of £’s per week/month ,its better then nothing, plus it gets them off your back.
•Time to swallow your inner snob-buy food from the “cheap” shelf-you know the one where everything must be sold that day. Pretty much everything can be frozen and defrosted at a later date. I actually couldn’t afford meat when I was on benefits-it was a definite luxury. You can eat healthily on a tight budget too-I will do a whole separate blog on that.
•Go shopping with a list-it will help you stick to budget.
•Get good at cooking if you’re not already. Pre packaged food, is more expensive and full of chemicals that you are not going to want to put into your precious children. Learn some basics, and practice makes perfect. Its a proud moment when you can make a meal out of pretty much nothing.
•No time for fussy eaters in a poor household. If they don’t like it, sorry but they go hungry.
•Go back to our great grandmothers ways, and use normal house hold goods for cleaning. You can pretty much clean anything with bicarb of soda and vinegar!!
•Same as food-when it comes to clothes-lose the snob. You can buy some really nice stuff in charity shops (I still do) bazaars, and people gave me a lot of hand me downs, which I was always grateful for. When there are any sales on, buy for 6 months to even a year ahead.
•Ask your school if they have a second hand uniform exchange programme. If they don’t -set one up. Always ask if they have a school badge that you can sew on yourself, instead of having to buy the blazer with it pre sewn on.
•Take full advantage of club cards where you earn free stuff (like Tescos) I once saved all my Tesco points for a couple of years and bought Merlin passes for my family, so for that year we got into all the Merlin attractions for free. You can also book breaks away and get cinema passes with them too.
•Take advantage of all offers for breaks away. The Sun does the super cheap holidays in there, and there will be others about too-keep your eyes peeled for a bargain.
•Have a look at English Heritage cards-you can join them for 15 months for £54 as a 1 parent family, and that gets up to 6 kids entrance for free. And they are normally historical places where your kids will have fun learning.
•Make Christmas presents for family members. My family have gotten everything from home made jam, to truffles, to cookies. People understand when you haven’t got much money. Make cards. Save old cards and make labels out of them. Make your own wrapping paper. There is so much stuff online now, plus you will probably have loads of fun doing it.
I could go on!! There are so many little ways that you can save money. When you have to, you can get pretty creative at it. And its something that never leaves you. I hope that has given you some ideas on how to save..now go on and be a BADASS.
Until next time..