Wednesday, 26 February 2014

How I saved £82 in one day

I had a good look at my account today and have managed to save £82 by making some changes. This is how:-

  • Bikram yoga I love you but at £39 a month, I cannot afford you. Goodbye x
  • I was still paying £10 a month for a sports subscription that I purchased for a one off event (fail). Good bye x
  • Possibly a bit naughty, but I have cancelled my contact lense subscription. They were increasing to £33 a month from March. I have glasses and 6 months worth of lenses so, for now, good bye x
So glad I checked my account. Once I find a new job, this £82 per month I have saved will be put towards my debt. 

Ciao xx

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Extreme Cheapskates

I have become a little obsessed with TLC's Extreme Cheapskates. I think my boyfriend is becomming a little annoyed with it! Some people on the show really are extreme, but some things, kind of make sense......I am trying to be more frugal and this show has some good tips, my favourite are below:-

Extra Extreme

  • Obtaining wedding anniversary presents from the bins
  • Presenting said wife with dead flowers
  • Family of four sharing a bed
  • using one light bulb for the house and removing it to move rooms
  • feeding family members cat tuna 
  • asking neighbours for left overs
  • cooking meals in the dishwasher
  • refusing to have guests over
  • asking other diners for their left overs
  • refusing to buy toilet paper

Thursday, 20 February 2014

The week so far......

Ok, I have not achieved only spending £10 this week in 'spends'. In hindsight this sum may have been too optomistic for me, but on the plus side this is the least amount of money I have spent in a very very long time to the point HSBC telephoned me yesterday to check if I was happy with my account as they had noticed my lack of transactions!!

Of the £20 I have withdrawn this week I have £9.59 left which should suffice until Monday.

I am thinking of setting up a spreadsheet to properly track my money during March. I use to really scoff at this idea and laughed at one of the secretaries in my old office who would diligently input what she spent each day into one. I'm starting to think she had the right idea.

I have though now recieved the music magpie money, quidco cash back and the deposit back from my old flat and have paid £513.82 off my credit card with the biggest debt. I was really shocked to learn that despite paying £240 minimum repayment in January that only £20 of that was capital!

Ooh, I had to leave the National Portrait Gallery. I forgot it was half term this week (London is busy enough with normal tourists let alone british school kid tourists!) so I am going next weekend instead. Until I find a new job I am aiming to visit a free museum/gallery each week.

Ciao xx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


There is an interesting article on Daily Mail today discussing Which? view on the supermarkets secrets to make us spend more.
I have nearly been caught out with some of these before. A few years ago I was attending a bbq. As we know it is customary to 'bring a bottle'. Now the bottle I really wanted was JD but I couldn't afford it. This was however the time when pre-mixed spirits in a can begun to appear and Tescos had JD in a can (hallelujah). I immediately picked up a pack of four. However, unusually for me at the time I actually did some maths and realised that four single cans was actually cheaper than a pre-pack of four, by almost a whole can! The difference was quite remarkable so I assume it was a pricing error, but now I don't know. How many people were caught out with that I wonder?

I have though recently been caught out with special offers advertised with similar products. I attended Waitrose (my nearest supermarket) and purchased kale and courgettes. I believed the kale was £1 and the courgettes £2. However, when I checked my receipt I realised they cost more. Upon inspection, I had picked up the wrong bags of kale and courgettes but the display was very confusing and I am sure many people would have been caught out.

In terms of my money, I have not spent anything since Saturday, however, despite having every type of spice in the house we are missing vegetable stock so I need to go out and buy some.

Ciao xx

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunny Sunday

I managed to achieve a zero expenditure day today which I am really pleased about.

As the weather was unusually nice my boyfriend and I decided to go to Richmond Park. It also seemed like the whole of London had the same idea!! It did however make me think and realise that I am lucky living in London and that there are many free things I can do and that I should take advantage of my free time at this stage. Therefore, My plan for the week is looking something like this:-
  • Monday - wait for my meat delivery and complete two job applications.
  • Tuesday -  job hunt in the morning, walk in the afternoon
  • Wednesday - get up early and head off to the National Gallery, job hunt in the afternoon
  • Thursday - sign on/job hunt
  • Friday - job hunt
I have plans this weekend, seeing a comedian on Saturday (long standing plans) and christening on Sunday. Hopefully all I will be spending this week is my oyster fair to and from London and job centre plus a few drinks at the christening. I am therefore aiming for my spending to be less than £30. I already have about £15 on my oyster card so I intend on withdrawing £10 tomorrow and see how long it can last!

What do you do for free in your town? 

Ciao xx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Rainy saturday

I lied yesterday about not spending. I owed £50 on a store card so I paid that off. I also bought a present for my niece's christening today which was £23.95 (inc p&p). I also got 10% cashback via Quidco. Other than what I owe my boyfriend from our holiday last month, I should (fingers crossed) not have to spend any money this week other than odds and ends like milk.

The total of my debt is now £17780.37.

Since the weather is terrible, and ebay has a free listing weekend, guess what I am doing this weekend?!

What do you do on rainy days?

Ciao xx

Friday, 14 February 2014

The Big Shop outcome

So, The big shop came to £81! I'm incredibly annoyed by this. On the plus side I shouldn't have to spend anything today. I am going to make a Valentines Day  roast dinner from a £5 chicken we bought last night (last week we made 9 meals out of a £5 chicken - more details in the future) plus use the bottle of champagne my lovely secretary gave me when I left work last year.

I also purchased a meat deal yesterday via my credit card's 'offers' (paid by though by debit card) for £29. We will have enough meat to last us 4-6 weeks so hopefully food shopping should be cheaper over the next few weeks as we'll only need basics like milk and veg.

I should add that at this stage my goal is to make my redundancy pay stretch as long as possible in case I am unsuccessful in finding work. But I want to start getting into the habit of keeping costs down so that when I obtain a new job (or the money runs out - god forbid) that I won't need the extra income and can use it to pay off my credit cards. Currently, I am making the minimum repayments, however, I do intend to pay off a bit short term. I have made some money via music magpie and I have a lot to sell on Ebay. In addition, I am owed a deposit from my previous flat and have some sums due via Quidco. I intend to pass all these additional sums onto my credit card immediately.

When I moved into my new flat I had to pay 6 months rent in advance. This means I don't have any rent to pay for February, March, April or May so for the next 3.5 months my minimum out goings (my share of bills, credit card repayments and mobile phone) come to £737.27. However, I am in receipt of Job Seekers' Allowance and the way we divided the bills means my boyfriend owes me £45 each month so at the moment the minimum sums I have to pay out are £405.39.

I hope you have a lovely Valentines Day

Ciao xx

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The big shop

I am off to do my weekly 'big shop' now. Last week it was nearly £90 and that will NOT be happening again today. I need to reign the boyfriend in! In the future I am hoping to spend no more than £30 a week on the food and household products. I do not think I can achieve this today as I need to buy washing powder and I generally buy a 'family' pack.

Today has been a rather high spending day. I had to travel by train to my home town for funeral and ended up purchasing breakfast and lunch so all in have already spent £30. My boyfriend and I take turns buying the big shop and it is my turn this evening so all in I will probably have spent £90 odd today. I have a christening next weekend but otherwise I have no plans (yet) for next week so I am hopeful I will spend very little next week (fingers crossed).

How much do you spend on your weekly big shop?

Ciao x

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

This is me....

I am in debt. Just over £18k. I am a spendthrift and things must change.

My aim over the next two years is to pay off all my debt, start saving, obtain a mortgage and buy my own property.

This blog will be a mixture of my attempts to pay off my debt, find a new job and in general lead a more frugal life such as cooking from scratch and 'make do and mend' plus a few other things that spark my interest.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.

Ciao x