How To Save More (And Spend Less) In 2017

When it comes to our savings, it is well known that plenty of people cannot resist a little dip into the pot when the going gets tough.

Despite promising themselves they won’t, they often find their savings depleted by the end of the year with nothing to show for it. But we all want to save more and spend less, don’t we? Saving more can be easily achieved. There are a variety of ways in which this can be done.

 

 

Cut back on any unnecessary expenses.

Is that Netflix subscription really needed? If not, cancel it and put the subscription cost into a savings pot. It wasn’t missed anyway so better to boost the savings than keep up an entirely unnecessary subscription.

Empty pockets of change everyday.

Whilst it may seem like a small amount, this will soon add up and make a nice addition to a savings account.

Develop some side hustles.

People often have hobbies that can be monetized – these should be taken advantage of. Homemade jewelry sales, dog walking and even shopping can be made into monetized hobbies. Who wouldn’t love being paid to shop? Make some money and save it for a rainy day. Even better if the hobby is free or fairly cheap!

Get cashback.

When I say this, I mean in one of two ways. Use a cashback site like TopCashback or Quidco when buying online. Why not generate some extra cash when you are spending some? Another way of saving is to get cashback out when paying in store for something and putting it away in a savings pot. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this if a large amount of cash or if you are really struggling, it is also a quick way of saving up some money if in need of a quick fix.

Sell your unwanted things

An obvious choice but something people are reluctant to do. I have resisted selling some stuff ‘just in case’ but realised that this was not helpful to me or my savings account. Plus it left my house cluttered and left me feeling down as it just seemed to be everywhere. I’ve made almost £80 in the past few days which I will be placing in my savings account for a couple of months to gain some interest (as well as a little extra here and there when I can afford it) and then paying back my last remaining debts (that aren’t my credit card) to my dad and my friend. I hope to be debt free this year or even debt free apart from my credit card and will do whatever I can to achieve that.

There are plenty more ways in which people can save more and spend less in 2015. It is all about taking a step back and taking a long, hard look at your finances. Cut out any unnecessary spending, develop some side hustles and getting rid of spare change into a money pot can all lead to a bigger, better and bulging savings account come the end of the year.

 

Best Places To Find Budgeting Advice

Budgeting advice.. we all get given it, sometimes by people we don’t want to hear it from. But where exactly are the best places to find budgeting advice?

I’ve had my fair share of unwarranted budgeting advice given to me over the years. Normally by people who are budgeting worse than me! Whilst our household hasn’t exactly got a cast iron budget for everything, we do have averages and try to keep to them. There are obvious places like debt planners who help with budgeting but that isn’t what I mean. So where do I go for budgeting advice?

First things first, I would definitely check out the Budget Planner on MoneySavingExpert. I go through phases of using MSE but I have found it can be really helpful in assessing where I am going wrong. Whilst Steve has a fairly certain income every month (if there is any difference, it will be an increase from overtime rather than less money), I am self employed and working from home so my income isn’t concrete, much as I would like it to be. I always make enough to just about cover my share of the bills and then a little bit more but it can often be tight which means pulling tighter on the purse strings wherever possible. The MSE forums are also fantastic – speaking to like minded people and sharing budgeting tips is great!

Another place I find useful for budgeting advice is Pinterest. It sounds crazy but you can find plenty of pins on the site leading to great articles about budgeting and moneysaving. I even have a dedicated board set up so I can pin all these helpful articles to read at a later date.

Best Places To Find Budgeting Advice | Information On Where You Can Educate Yourself Budget-Wise | www.keeneonsaving.co.uk

Another odd place that I find amazing budgeting advice is on various Facebook groups. Two such groups that I love for budgeting tips in regards to every aspect of life are FMFOAB Budget Matters and Frugal Homemaking & Living. I don’t necessarily check in every single day but I will read any posts that pop up on my newsfeed – and I’ve taken some amazing advice on board from these pages.

My Nan also offers me some budgeting advice – things she did in the 50’s, 60’s etc that worked for her. Of course some things aren’t going to be relevant to life today but she has given me food for thought over the years.

Finally, my last place to gather budgeting advice would be personal finance and money saving blogs. There are so many out there, all who offer a unique aspect on budgeting. I often find information on these blogs that I would never have thought to have taken on board. I’ve then tried them and had success with them. Find a few blogs that you love and subscribe to them – they will be very handy in the long run.

Where do you go for budgeting advice?

 

Reduced Food – Why Such Animosity?

I don’t know about you but I love visiting my local shops when I know the food is about to be reduced. It also helps that my Mum works in the local shop and if I am not down there when stuff is being reduced and she is finishing her shift, she will pick up some stuff for us that she knows we like. What I don’t understand is the animosity reduced food receives – as if it’s poisonous!

Do people not realise that this food is reduced because its best before date is about to expire – which means IT IS STILL IN DATE, PEOPLE. Some seem to think that reduced food means that its gone off and that it will make you ill but really, how silly you can be? Shops can’t sell anything that is out of date which is why they reduce it. They would rather sell it for pence than throw it away – at least they’ve made a sale then!

Another thing some people fail to realise is that best before dates often don’t mean much. Most people I know do the egg test when using eggs past their expiry date and don’t worry about that but worry about eating reduced food – where is the logic in that? Eggs are probably one of the food items that would make you most ill if they had turned! Of course, take the expiry date into account but use your eyes and your nose. If it smells okay and looks okay, it probably is okay. So what if that cheese is a day past its sell by date? As long as its not gone off or mouldy, why waste the money you spent on it (and let’s face it, cheese isn’t always cheap) by throwing it away?

reduced-food

Image used with permission from Emma at www.fromalditoharrods.com.  Edited by me.

I often buy reduced food and stick it in the freezer – it is then good for another month. My uncle actually really likes these quiches that the Co-Op sell but they are so expensive. He lives near Clacton so when my mum sees one reduced to mere pence, she picks it up for him and freezes it until he comes down next. He gets a treat that he loves and she doesn’t break the bank buying it.

I’m glad that I’ve taught Jack to be careful with his money when it comes to shopping. If he has pennies to spend, he always weighs up his options carefully but I have also taught him to spot a bargain. He knows where the reduced food is stored in our local shop and will often pootle off to that area before calling out to me that he’s found something we should get. When they are selling beef joints, gammon steaks, sausages and the like for mere pennies when they’ve still got a day or two on their expiry date, I am hardly going to refuse, am I? In this day and age, I have to be careful with our food budget – especially with two fusspots – so if I can cut costs on my grocery shop, that’s what I am going to do.

I even face animosity in my own home about it. Steve will eat reduced food but he will moan about it – so now I tend to peel off the stickers of food before making it. He can never tell the difference and we get a nice meal that hasn’t broken the bank.

Do you buy reduced food? Do you understand the animosity towards purchasing items at a lower price that are about to expire? Surely in this tough climate its something we should all be doing?