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Whether you’re putting away something for a family holiday or trying to get an early start on the Christmas present kitty, there’s no doubt we all could do with saving a few extra pounds each month. But aside from living on the bare essentials, are there any other ways to grow your rainy day fund?
We dug out some money saving secrets from expert bloggers with simple tips to downright innovative suggestions. And while all were quite inspiring, we’ve whittled it down to ten of our favourites:
I’ll admit we haven’t been in a while, but I use to frequently visit our local charity shop and we picked up some amazing little finds in there! Mini toy planes and helicopters (which would always make my plane-mad little boy’s day) and also some fantastic books that were like 1/20th of the price you’d buy it new for. There really are some great finds to be found in a charity shop when it comes to treating your little one/s!
Alex is a mum of two little boys and writes as a way to capture her thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
A daily money habit I have centres upon a big old Heremes jars. Every day this year, since 1 January, I have been adding to it at the rate of a pound coin a day, or seven pound coins per week. Do this and it’s the equivalent of a savings stamp scheme, for Christmas: by 1 December, you’ll have more than £300 to spend on presents, festive food and travel. Best of all, planning ahead in piecemeal like this takes the worry out of budgeting for Christmas.
The award-winning Miss Thrifty never pays full price for anything and describes herself as ‘a woman on a mission’.
Don’t keep up with the Jones’ – Probably one of the biggest ways you and decrease what you spend is to be happy with what you got. There will always be people who have more than you. They will have better cars, nicer homes and a zillion and one more outfits. So when you go to buy something ask yourself if you really need it or are you buying it to keep up with everyone else or to try and make yourself feel better.
Kairen is a single mum to two teenagers, two cats, and a veg patch!
I use apps all the time to get money off, special offers and sometimes even free things. I am with O2 for my mobile phone, and o2 Moments app gives you special offers, deals and money off. This is especially good for things such as restaurants, cinema and shopping deals. Download the apps for your favourite brands and sign up for newsletters for special offers and discounts. Nectar app is a good way to get bonus nectar points on your shopping and the search facility within it also earns you extra points. Your Gas and Electric meter readings can also accrue nectar points.
Emily is an avid tea drinker who gives her unique perspective on life as a 30-something first time mum.
Record all your spending on a spreadsheet. Every last penny. At the end of the month you can then see exactly how much you spend on food / petrol / takeaways and this will help you to adjust and stick to your household budget. It also helps me to keep accountable. If I know I’ll have to record that spending it might just put me off buying that extra yankee candle!
Ali lives by the sea in Wales, has just bought her dream home, and is a mum to two little girls and a boy.
We have been Aldi ‘n’ Proud in our house for about a year now. I’ll admit I was a hesitant adopter but my husband pushed for a change after growing tired of my habit of ‘browsing’ – apparently it’s expensive and results in the acquisition of random and unnecessary products. I feel it’s always worth looking into alternative ways to mash potato, but let’s not start that debate here. With Aldi there are things you need to get used to, it’s not all pretty and full of olives, stuff doesn’t look quite so appealing on pallet based displays and the checkout process can feel a bit violent at times. Maybe we’ve become somewhat institutionalised though because now, I sort of love all of those things.
Katie is a brighton based digital marketer with a wicked sense of humour and a love of cheese and gin.
Making a weekly meal plan is such a great thing to do as not only will it help you become more organised when it comes to preparing meals but it will also help you save money whilst doing the weekly shop. I always have a list of dinners that we’re going to have during the week with me when I go food shopping, this helps me focus on what I actually need to pick up instead of buying things we probably won’t end up eating and therefore saving us money. We also stay away from brand name products when we can which really helps to keep the weekly food shop cost down.
Fiona has a penchant for all things pretty and enjoys taking beautiful pictures of the adventures she shares with her small son.
I’m pathologically British. If something breaks, or doesn’t work, then my instinct is to apologise. Clearly, I must have done something wrong. But that doesn’t work if you want to save cash. When I was clearing my debt, I queried every parking ticket (and won, 50% of the time). I asked for refunds when computers broke, or when parcels I sent on an urgent service arrived late. If clothes got worn through after two weeks, I sent them back and asked for replacements or refunds. I even complained about bank charges and managed to claw back over £4,000
Sally is a former journalist who lives in Lancashire with her 10-year-daughter and their West Highland Terrier, and writes the opposite of a ‘glossy lifestyle blog’.
Reduce invisible spending. For me this was things like the odd magazine and the husbeast paying for lunch at work. For me, it is all about planning. I buy a certain magazine every month, so I subscribed to it, which will save me 50% over the year and when I make lunch for Mini, I have started making it for the husbeast too.
Jen – every inch the ‘mum in the madhouse’ – gives creative advice on everything from arts and crafts, to activities, to getting messy in the kitchen.
Listen to good advice. My best financial adviser is my dad who is a shrewd businessman. If I’ve got a money question, I put aside pride and I ask my dad first. Without his advice and foresight, we wouldn’t be able to buy a house.
Kiran is not only a mum but also a writer and editor, and describes herself as a ‘news junkie and social media addict’.
No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk. Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.