living on a tight budget

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red
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226291 red
Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:07 pm

grahamhobbs wrote:
boboff wrote:The key to long term success with this I personally think is record keeping.

I use microsoft money to plot all expenditure, and income. .........


My gran used to have a load of jam jars in her larder, each week she would put a penny or tuppence in each, they were for her various expenditures and included jars for peoples birthdays.


i do the modern day equivalent - i have a savings account and a spreadsheet - and put what i need to put aside for each 'jar' into the savings account :)
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226295 baldybloke
Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:40 pm

I try and work out my needs and wants. Things I need I budget for, and things I want I save for. Quite often by the time I saved for something, I no longer want it.
I try and avoid supermarkets except for tinned goods (usually own brand), preferring to support independent shops and market stalls. Supermarkets try and tempt you to buy things you don't need or hadn't budgeted for. So when going shopping, have a plan and stick to it. Another useful tip is to pay with cash and leave the credit card in the wallet. It's easier to budget using cash especially if you only take the same amount as the previous week's shop, with an extra fiver kept in a separate pocket, just in case.

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226302 Thomzo
Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:20 pm

My tip is to walk to the shop. That way you only buy what you can carry.

I do hope your house is sorted out soon. It sounds like it's a long way forward.

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226304 battybird
Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:26 pm

Doing a menu for the coming weeks meals usually helps the pennies go further. I am sure you do that anyway! I find that I spend less if I buy the "regular" stuff as an internet shop and dont actually go to the supermarket / shop in person. Except when you do a late night foray to get the reductions! Hope it all works out for you ..sounds like things are getting a bit more positive :hugish:
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226443 Flo
Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:01 pm

It's not the budgeting that is hard but the continuous sticking to the budget and thinking about the budget that is wearing. And having to do it for a long time is wearing. Once you get to the point where you feel worn down with budgeting it's easy to get to the next point on the road of "it's not possible".

As Annpan mentioned, it's the total lack of treats that really wears you down. And if you have nothing else much to do but worry about the budget, well vicious circle.

And there does come a time when there really is no more slack in the system. At which point it's a case of needing a strong mind to take the weak matter in hand.

I've had some hard times and faced penny pinching but not with the back ground to you Annpan. I'm not sure that I could manage it.

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226447 Green Aura
Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:53 pm

I'd agree with all the above. I've got a couple of other suggestions - make a list of "staples" that you get every week and a slightly longer term menu plan (so you can be more flexible if prices vary from week to week), then keep a small amount of your budget to take advantage of any real bargains (which might include the odd treat in the reduced section!).

The worst thing about a really tight budget is you can get stuck repeating things because they're cheap! So have several different mince recipes etc and try to vary things a bit.

The only other thing is there are some things I'd rather do without than buy cheap - namely coffee and cheese. So we used to buy them in smaller quantities and use them sparingly, but at least they tasted of something when we had them. Your items might be different but do think about them.
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226463 TheGoodEarth
Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:57 am

How about bringing down other household bills? Try moneysavingexpert.com
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226541 okra
Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:17 am

TheGoodEarth wrote:How about bringing down other household bills? Try moneysavingexpert.com


Good advice - We got into a habit of reviewing insurances on renewal and household bills annually

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226768 Annpan
Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:33 pm

Well that is us into week 3 now. We still have plenty of staple foods in the cupboard and we are buying 1 or 2 'big buys' a week (loo roll, nappies, washing powder - each of which cost around £5)

I've also kick started my ebay shop (link at the bottom :wink: )


I am limited in the amount I can do just now for the other stuff
we are locked in a fixed rate electricity doodah for another 12 months (been in it for 2 years and the prices are much lower than standard rates)
no gas
cheapest broadband (for a decent speed in our area) - Talktalk
cheapest mobile packages - Giffgaff

No chance in me getting a part-time or evening job, it would mean dramatically changing our lifestyle and, while I don't mind living on a budget, I am not willing for the GIT to have forced us to change the way our family lives.

I make a little something with my own business, hopefully that will grow in the future.

Once we get back home it will be easier, but I think we will keep our target at £50 a month.... that means there will be the occasional £20 for a family day trip, and to save up for other treats.

Thanks again everyone. :mrgreen:
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226825 Zech
Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:24 pm

You mentioned washing powder...

I've recently tried making my own liquid from recipe #5 on this page: http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/

I've only used it on a few washes so far, but it seems fine for 'everyday' washing, and for smellier things I'm adding extra soda crystals as well. I chose that recipe because I had the ingredients in the house, the others might be better. I also calculated the cost: 30p for a bottle (half the quantity in that recipe, and more concentrated so it would fit in the bottle. I used home made soap - I guess it would cost a bit more with bought soap, but still cheap), compared with £4.30 for our usual stuff.

It was easy to make, so maybe worth a go?

Oh, and it settles, so needs shaking thoroughly before each use.
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226881 greenorelse
Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:50 pm

Always remember good old vinegar and lemon juice for cleaning. Make your own shaving oil/toothpaste etc.

For anyone in a job but on a tight budget, get paid in cash, weekly. There's no obligation on the part of employers to pay in cash (in the UK) but if enough people demand it, it will happen.

Pay all bills at the last minute, in cash.

Get rid of the tv.

Get rid of the mobile phone.
There is no question. Cap and Share or TEQs is the answer. Even Cap and Dividend!

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226884 bonniethomas06
Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:58 pm

Zech - what are the brand names for Borax and Washing Soda over here? Looks interesting, I might have a go.

P.s - your cat is excellent!
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Annpan
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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226892 Annpan
Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:53 pm

I use dri-pak soda crystals and borax (though now it is 'borax substitute')

I think I found the £50 challange relatively easy because I already do all that stuff :mrgreen:

I still use Cheapo McCheap biological washing powder because I don't feel anything else gets rid of the smells and stains as well, and is still cheap. Another thing I still use is washing-up liquid.... I tried other things but nothing is as good an all round cleaner IMO.


We did our weekly shop last night and it came in at £22... we didn't buy any meat this week (we have some in the freezer) and there are a few things we couldn't get... I think this week we will have a little left over :cheers: :cheers:
Ann Pan

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #226997 yvette
Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:45 pm

Have been on a very tight budget since November when my OH lost his job, and thanks to the good advice and support of people here I am learning fast and getting better at it. £40-£50 a week like you. I understand where you're coming from when you say you don't have the choices you are used to. I found this very hard to begin with. And I also miss experiences more than things - there's an exhibition at the V and A that I want to see, but its too expensive....boo!
I go along with all the suggestions about planning, shopping less often and keeping to a list, and stretching the more expensive ingredients. Like Susie I check my bank balance a lot - just had a refund because the building society deducted our home insurance twice!
But I have found I have also got very creative about bringing in bits of extra income - its only a few pounds here and there but it does help. I make and sell felt, but also since people heard I was looking for extra income I have been asked to bake cakes, work an extra hour three days a week in an after-school club and even take up someone's jeans! Sometimes I do it for money and sometimes for swaps. I am planning to sell tomato plants and herbs at work in May when they are ready, and am sowing loads.
Once I started to think in those terms, I see opportunities everywhere!
OH has at last started to get some interviews, so we hope he'll be back in work soon. But we both feel that even if he is earning again, we will continue to practice these economies so that we can start to pay down our mortgage more quickly. Just keep your eyes on the prize - your home will be lovely and worth all the waiting. Karma will take care of the bad builder!

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Re: living on a tight budget

Post: #227005 Annpan
Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:41 pm

Thanks for the ideas... YES! I was planning on selling plants but I had forgotten, thanks for reminding me :mrgreen:

We already sell eggs and surplus veg, but I planned on doing more of that this year.... I did once make lots of jam and chutney to sell, then got a bit worried about what you are and aren't aloud to sell.... so I didn't.

Apparently the people who used to live on our land grew strawberries and folks would come from far and wide to buy these amazing strawberries... it payed their bills for them for several years.... So why is it that in the 4 years I have been there I have only managed to grow a handful of, let's face it, substandard strawberries :roll:

Unless people want to come from far and wide to buy courgettes I had better start focusing more on the soft fruits... :mrgreen:
Ann Pan

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some days you're the lamp-post"

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