Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Painless Savings in painful times

Ok, so we all know the credit crunch is here to stay, and now economists are saying that this isn’t even the worst of it and could even topple from being a ‘Recession’ to a ‘Depression’ (The old joke goes that Recession is when your neighbour loses their job, a Depression is when you lose yours). Obviously, it’s no joke, so we’ve all got to do more than *think* about tightening the belt – we’ve got to get a thinner and longerlasting belt too.

Most of us are doing this already, but I thought what else can we do? It already hurts so much to work all day, and not really splurge even though every day is a slog in the 9-5 grind, or a fulltime job at home caring for others.

My thoughts this year, over and above what we did last year:

- Hubby will continue to have his hair cut Chez Moi, rather than a hairdresser. Perhaps he’ll go to them twice a year rather than say 8 times. Saving? Around £50.

- Less meat. So far we’ve only cut what what we spend by getting deals etc. This year we will actively cut back on meat, especially red meat, and enjoy more locally sourced vegetables, including reduced prices ones if we shop at our local market or late in the day at the supermarket.

- Less clothes. OK, it hurts for a girl to say this, but really I should try to cut back. I can then save money and if I buy good quality items at second hand stores, I will also be more eco-friendly as well as helping a charity. Win/Win all round. I make exception for shoes which I cn

- More pension – I currently pay into a private pension but if I can I would like to upp this, because in the current market your pension payments are buying you more for less than they used to. This is called Pound Cost Averaging – drip in slowly and you will hopefully have a safer time in these storms.

- Less waste. Eat whatever we buy – nothing goes in the bin. We have bought more and more from the fruit and veg market over the last 12 months, which means we can buy just 4 tomatoes if that’s all we need, rather than a shrink wrapped pack of 8, of which 2 may end up in the bin. It’s also greener as involves less packaging.

- More discounts – There’s no harm in asking, and if asking saves an average of 10% of some purchases, we’ve gained 10% in our pockets.

- More Free clicking – I will click as many offers and free cash-earning clicks as I can in 2009, to hopefully beat last year’s extra earnings.

- More working for ourselves – We’re self employed as well as having full time jobs, so the more we can earn the more cash we can save, and in the current market cash is king.

- Less energy – Use less gas and electric where possible and switch every 6 months if this offers significant savings, or other bonuses such as Nectar points, cashback or vouchers.

These are my ideas so far – what do you have planned – what are you going to spend more on (to reap rewards in the long term) or spend less on (to save cash)?


Slice of life said...

You are talking to my soul. Wow, we are on the same path.

This year I am going for a slight glut of vegetables, which I wish to barter with at work for handmade gifts, for family and friends. I tried to barter the other day with a lady and she looked at me as if I was nuts. Someone else said, when you get more veggies, I will swap you some of my items... So we have a start. As close to organic veggies from me and beautiful gifts for my family for birthdays and Xmas.

Meat is so expensive isnt it. we eat it only at the weekend. although tonight we are having prawns, but that is because I am defrosting the fridge and freezer ready for the tiles to be laid on the floor.

Cant wait to see how you put this into action

Maisie said...

I bought a set of hair clippers 14 years ago whilst I was pg with DS1, neither hubby or the 2 boys have been to a barbers/hairdresser since.

The clippers cost £25 and we have had the blade sharpened once cost £5.

so £30 over 14 years - £2.15 per year for an average of 30 haircuts a year and obviously decreasing.

SGist said...

Hi everyone, I am so glad we're all on the same page - these things can only help us save cash! I think that if we all pull together and discuss various things we are doing this can have a wonderful impact on someone else.

Slice Of Life - with the economy as it is, you won't have to wait long as I believe bartering has already started in a small scale but will grow.

I trade food and drink items with some friends and soon we hope to have more meals at eachothers homes. This will save on cooking energy, ingredients to some extent and of course help us to cut back on going out!