Month: May 2018

Tidying-Up Your Finances: How An Unlikely Book Can Change Your Relationship With Money

Tidying-Up Your Finances: How An Unlikely Book Can Change Your Relationship With Money

I might have a mild obsession with books that promise to be life changing.  I believe every one of them.  I get sucked in.  I do all the things they tell me, then convince other people that they need to read them too.  I’m always slightly disappointed when other people don’t experience the same earth-shattering revelations that I do. They should!

 

Learn how I used the Konmari method to organise and tidy up my finances. This book will get your organizing your home, your work and your budget to achieve a more joyful life. #konmari #tidyingup #budget #finances #lookingafteryourpennies

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

 

When I reflect on some of these books, I realise that not all them were maybe sensible.  With many of them I did not need my life changed in that way.  It was actually fine already.  Most of these sorts of books are not even good.  Some of them are short, poorly-written and with little substance.

 

One book is different though.  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo did actually change my life.  Well at least it changed how I view things (and I mean all things) in my life.

 

What is it about then?

At its absolute core it is a book about how to tidy up your house.  The author Marie Kondo talks you through her programme to tidy your home.  There are several elements to the process and a series of activities to complete.  The end result is a tidy house that never needs tidying again.  Great eh?

Learn how I used the Konmari method to organise and tidy up my finances. This book will get your organizing your home, your work and your budget to achieve a more joyful life. #konmari #tidyingup #budget #finances #lookingafteryourpennies

How is this actually achieved?

The book breaks down the mammoth task of organising your home into categories.  You start with clothes and work your way through to sentimental items.  Unlike other tidying up books this one recommends that you work in categories rather than rooms, so this means gathering up all the cushions from your entire house and then deciding which to keep and which to let go.  And you do that with everything!

 

Learn how I used the Konmari method to organise and tidy up my finances. This book will get your organizing your home, your work and your budget to achieve a more joyful life. #konmari #tidyingup #budget #finances #lookingafteryourpennies

How did this change your life?

Despite being a practical guide to tidying up, it is underpinned by the idea of keeping only the things that “spark joy.”  And that phrase is the most powerful part of this book.  Stop now and just look around you.  Do the things around you make you happy?  Do you love all of them?  If not, why have you got them?

 

When you start to analyse your possessions like this you realise that you will not settle for second best.  It is not OK to accept a life surrounded by stuff that you don’t love.  There is always a version of that stuff that you would like more.  There’s a version that you would love!

This sounds like it could get expensive.  Does it?

No!  For one, when you declutter your home I recommend selling as much of it as you can.  It might not “spark joy” for you but that doesn’t mean that it won’t for someone else.  I made hundreds of pounds when I Konmari’ed (that’s what its called) our house.  I sold clothes, furniture, toys, books, all sorts.  I then used this money to fund replacements for anything that I felt I needed but was not sparking joy.

 

Once you get going with the process, you will find the Konmari spreads into all areas of your life.  You look not just at physical things but at everything.  For example I Konmari’ed my email inbox.  I was getting emails from every company I’d ever bought something from and those emails annoyed me.  I got rid of them.  I unsubscribed.  Now I don’t have to look at them any more.  I did the same for my finances.  And saved loads!

Learn how I used the Konmari method to organise and tidy up my finances. This book will get your organizing your home, your work and your budget to achieve a more joyful life. #konmari #tidyingup #budget #finances #lookingafteryourpennies

How do you Konmari your finances?

Well, I looked at everything that I was spending.  I looked at the variable costs, all the little treats I was buying myself or the impulse purchases and decided whether spending that money on those things brought me joy.  I decided that at the time they brought me a small amount of happiness, but afterwards those purchases just made me sad.  Either I regretted buying that item or I had already consumed or used it and retrospectively I’d rather have had the money instead.

 

When I look at my fixed costs it was a bit more difficult.  Paying my water bill for one, does not spark any joy at all.  But I realised that I could get some joy from trying to reduce it.  Therefore I worked hard to try and bring this cost down and found that achieving that goal was where the joy could be found.

 

With other fixed costs I found that there were ways that I could get rid of them.  Subscriptions were an easy one to review.  I looked at our entertainment subscriptions and considered each one and the amount of joy it brought to our family.  There were some that we had been holding on to but weren’t using so I cancelled them.  The money brings me joy in new ways.

 

If every time you go to spend money you ask yourself “does this spark joy?” you’ll find that you’ll be very reluctant to let that money go.  You’ll actively look for ways to make your money go further so that you can keep some of it and still have the things in your life that make you happy.  But surprisingly, I found that I just wanted less stuff.  More stuff does not equal happiness.

 

Not just a tidying up book then?

Well that’s not true.  But it is not just about tidying-up STUFF.  It’s about evaluating your life, deciding what is worthy and only letting those things in your life.  When you do this throughout your life, you’ll find that there’s a lot more joy sparking moments.

 

Get your copy of the book here, and see what you can achieve.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Learn how I used the Konmari method to organise and tidy up my finances. This book will get your organizing your home, your work and your budget to achieve a more joyful life. #konmari #tidyingup #budget #finances #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Saving Money, 0 comments
Things You Buy Every Week That I Don’t!

Things You Buy Every Week That I Don’t!

Have you ever taken a look at your shopping list and thought “why am I buying all this stuff?”  Every week we buy items that we think we need.  Well, you do!  I stopped buying many of these items because I realised they were expensive and unnecessary purchases.  If you want to save money, take a look at things I don’t buy.

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

Related posts:

Extremely Frugal? Would you go THIS far?

9 Steps to Save Money Every Time You Shop

1. Bin liners

This is the most recent item to be removed from our shopping list.  The day I realised I was buying these bags just to throw them away was the day I vowed to stop buying them.  And we did.

 

Now we just throw our rubbish straight into the bin.  At first I thought this was going to be hideously messy and be a pain to clean up.  Then I thought about it and discovered that it is not as bad as I thought.  Firstly we hardly throw anything away anyway.  We recycle or reuse.  Food waste goes in a special bin or goes on the vegetable patch.  And secondly what does get thrown away is fairly clean.  It’s the plastic seals from the mayonnaise jar or the lids from yoghurt pots.  Anything that is a bit dirty I just give it a quick rinse first.

 

Plus it’s not as though I love my bin so much that I don’t want it to get dirty and therefore need a bin liner to protect it.  If it gets dirty I spray it with a bit of anti-bac and then squirt it with the hose.  Easy peasy!

2.  Laundry detergent

OK, this one I still do buy but I don’t buy anywhere near as much as you probably do.  We traded laundry detergent for an Ecoegg a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back.

 

With an Ecoegg you just chuck it in with your dirty clothes and it cleans them just like your powder, tablet, liquid or gel would.  But the best thing is they last ages!!  I’ve replaced the inside bits of my eco egg once, maybe twice in the 2-3 years that I’ve had it.  And during that time my clothes have come out clean everytime.

 

Eco egg comes with the added bonus of being great for sensitive skin so I love using it for my kids clothes.  It is also fragrance free, so clean things just smell clean and not like anything else.  AND it doesn’t dump a load of toxic chemicals into the environment.  Love it!

3.  Fresh herbs

I started a herb garden two or three summers ago and I adore it!  Not only was a great introduction to growing your own food and a great project for my daughter, but I am saving so much money.

 

I sourced my herbs from various places.  A few I grew from seeds in cut down milk bottles on my windowsill.  Some were cuttings from a friend.  And one or two I bought as established plants.  All in  all it was fairly inexpensive to set up with just the cost of soil and a few pots on top.

 

We now have a great selection of herbs at our disposal.  I love sending my daughter out into the garden to collect fresh thyme for dinner or to get a sprig of mint for my tea.  Plus when the colder months set in I take a load of cuttings and dry them out indoors to use throughout winter.  It really is quite a lovely way to save money.

Here are 9 unnecessary purchases that you making every week. Ditch these items from your shopping list and save money, boost your budget and help get yourself debt free. #savingmoney #groceries #frugal #budgeting #lookingafteryourpennies

4. Aluminium foil

You just don’t need it!  Honestly, think hard about when you use it, and then try to think of a way to not use it.  For nearly every situation I could come up with a better solution.  For example, wrapping your sandwiches in it.  Just get a lunch box or a reusable sandwich wrap.  What about cooking with it?  Use a Pyrex dish with a lid if you are looking to keep in the heat.

 

I’ve not bought foil in a long time and I cannot say that I miss it.  Yeah you might have to be a bit creative at the start but once you’ve figured it out you find it is easy to give up.

5. Shampoo and conditioner

I’ve mentioned this before here.  But I don’t buy shampoo or conditioner.  At least not the normal versions that come in bottles from the supermarket.  I instead buy shampoo bars.  These last for ages and make your hair feel great.

 

I paid £6 including delivery for my last shampoo bar.  I fully expect that to last me 6 months and that is with washing my hair every other day.  The great thing about shampoo bars is that they are zero waste.  No plastic bottle.  And they don’t contain anything nasty that coats your hair in plastic or whatever.  They just let your lovely hair do its thing.

 

For conditioner I just use a little apple cider vinegar mixed with water.  It de-tangles and makes hair so shiny.  Until you try it you probably won’t believe me but it is just as good as “normal” conditioner.

6.  Some cosmetics and toiletries

Yeah I don’t really do make-up or fancy moisturisers or toners.  They scare me really.  I worry about what is in them and whether I want that stuff all over my face, plus I mostly just don’t have a clue what to do with half of it.

 

This said there are increasingly some great products available that are great for your skin and don’t contain all the horrible stuff that I try to avoid, but they are also expensive.  I don’t like spending money.  But you knew that already.

 

There are so many tutorials out there for making your own cosmetics from very few ingredients.  I personally am happy to go without most of the time.  I’ve got a charcoal eye liner, some natural eye shadow and lippy that I can whip out for a special occasion.  The rest of the time I just use coconut oil.  And I get that as cheap as I can too.

Here are 9 unnecessary purchases that you making every week. Ditch these items from your shopping list and save money, boost your budget and help get yourself debt free. #savingmoney #groceries #frugal #budgeting #lookingafteryourpennies

7.  Baby products

I’ve mentioned before that we use cloth nappies so I won’t go on about those again.  But I want to mention here that I don’t buy anything from the “baby” section when I do my grocery shopping.  Literally nothing.  To me it’s all unnecessary.

Related post:

Must Have Parenting Hacks to Save Money

We don’t buy nappies. Or wipes.  We make all our own food so we don’t need purees or special baby crisps and crackers.  I breastfeed so we don’t need formula.  We don’t use shampoos, soaps or creams on our kids.  They get water and the odd bit of coconut oil (again) for most things.

 

When I walk around a supermarket, which is rare, I actually feel quite proud that there is a whole aisle that I don’t need to go down.  I turn it into a game now.  I try to find more aisles in the supermarket that I don’t need to go down by making switches in my home.  It is amazing what you can eliminate.

8.  Food bags

Again I don’t really understand these.  They’re a bit like bin bags.  They serve a purpose for such a short period of time then they get thrown away.  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Plus I can buy reusable food bags in so many pretty patterns, so why wouldn’t I?

 

This one is like foil.  It won’t take you long to come up with ways to replace all the things that you use food bags for.  Storing food can be switched into reusable bags and boxes.  Putting your lunch in them, you can use a lunch box again.  What else could you possibly use them for?  If you think you have a use for them that you absolutely cannot live without, let me know.  I’d really enjoy convincing you otherwise.

9.  Kitchen roll

Yeah we don’t have kitchen roll.  I don’t miss it either.  Visitors that come to my house seem to miss it more than me.  They will look around my kitchen and go “where’s your kitchen roll?”  I actually think it is quite funny now.

 

We stopped using kitchen roll when we decided that it could be replaced by a cloth and a towel.  Both of these things we can wash and reuse.  A cloth wipe can be used to clean anything.  And a towel will absorb any spills.  I’ve seen a few people say “what about things that you don’t want to use a reusable wipe for?”  Well if it really is something so disgusting that I don’t want to put it in my washing machine, then I have old scraps of fabric that I save from really worn out clothes and bedding.  I can use those and then throw away.  You don’t need kitchen roll.

What unnecessary purchases are you making?

If you eliminated all these items from your weekly/monthly shop, how much would you save?  Then work that out over the year?  Then the next ten years?  At what point would you consider it a worthwhile saving?  For me, it’s easy.  These items are bad for my budget, bad for the environment and some of them are bad for our health.  Therefore it is easy to let them go.

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Here are 9 unnecessary purchases that you making every week. Ditch these items from your shopping list and save money, boost your budget and help get yourself debt free. #savingmoney #groceries #frugal #budgeting #lookingafteryourpennies

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Eco-friendly living, Saving Money, 4 comments
This Is Why You Are Poor

This Is Why You Are Poor

If you are one of those people that finds themselves forever without money, then this post might just be what you need to read.  In my experience there are several reasons why people fail to improve their financial circumstances and it is not about earning potential or getting a raise.  I have found myself in many of the situations below in the past so I can completely empathise.  Have a look!  Do any of these sound like you?  Are you fed up of being poor?

 

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

 

Related posts:

Extremely Frugal? Would you go THIS far?

10 things you can do to save money this month and every month

 

  1. You don’t understand money

This one might not entirely be your fault.  I’d say that the average person in the UK understands very little about money.  We know that we need it to buy stuff and that we can get it by working.  For the majority that is where it ends.

 

If that is all you know about money then it is going to be hard work for you to make more money.  You’ll be working for every penny.  Not only that but that hard-earned money will slip through your fingers and at the end of the month you’ll be wondering what that precious cash actually got you.

 

Finance education is so important.  Unfortunately it barely gets taught in schools.  Therefore you have got to do your own research.  Read books.  Visit blogs.  Go to websites.  Even enrol for an online course.  Future Learn has some great courses that can help you get ahead with your finances.  Take a look at my recommendations page for links to useful books and websites.

 

Money is such an important part of our lives.  In order to fully understand it we need to give it the attention it deserves.  Go and get educated.

  1. You spend money you don’t have

Debt!  Pretty much everyone I know has some sort of debt or used to.  If I go back a couple of generations though, debt was far less common.  My grandparents were a rarity in the fact that they bought their own property given their working class background.  By my parents’ generation having a mortgage was considered normal.  For my generation it seems that having debt for near enough everything is normal.  But it is not healthy.

 

Most people get in debt at one point in their lives.  Maybe when they were a student or maybe they had an emergency crop up or maybe they just gradually crept into their overdraft to pay for day to day life.  If you are one of these people then you are probably finding yourself in a cycle of paying off some debt and then something else happens and you are back in debt and then you pay it off etc.

 

You will find that this cycle continues until you do something proactive about it.  Get creative and aggressive about getting out of debt.  You need to break the cycle.

  1. You have no emergency fund

Life is full of those wonderful little moments where you go “Oh great.  Now this happens!”  We call these emergencies or unexpected events but are they really?

 

What about if you tried to plan for the things that might go wrong?  For example my washing machine is making a funny sound.  It’s a few years old and it gets a LOT of use.  Rather than waiting for that to die and then rolling my eyes and cursing, I’ve got the money for a new one waiting.  Obviously I’m not going to replace it until it is definitely broken beyond repair, but when that happens I know that we are ready.

 

You can do this for all manner of events.  What about if you find yourself out of work?  How would you pay the bills?  Having a good sized emergency fund means that you would have money aside to cover that eventuality.  I recommend 3-6 months of expenses.  Therefore if that happens you’ve got enough money to not instantly go into panic mode.

 

If you are looking to get out of debt then having a modest emergency fund is crucial.  Find £1000 from somewhere.  Pull extra shifts.  Sell some of stuff.  Get another job.  Get that money from somewhere.  If you try to pay off your debts without any emergency fund then the first time that something breaks you will be straight back into debt.  Please squirrel away an emergency fund now.

  1. You make no plans for the future

When I got my first job my mum told be to save half of what I earnt, because then it was last me twice as long.  Now that is cracking advice.  I’m not sure 16 year old me really understood the value of that statement at the time but I listened and it served me well.

 

It is so easy to think about what is happening now and prioritise those things.  But what about tomorrow?  There are thousands if not millions of people living in this country that get paid, spend the majority in the first one or two weeks immediately after and then live off next to nothing until they get paid again.  When you truly think about it that is a ridiculous way to live.

 

But it goes even further than that.  How about retirement?  People give this part of their live far too little attention.  For my generation normal retirement could be 30+ years.  I need to consider that a priority because I refuse to spend those years of my life  living in poverty.

 

In the more immediate future, there’s Christmas!  Christmas is the same day every year we have 364 days (sometimes 365) to prepare for it.  But so many people don’t.  Sitting down and deciding what you will need to spend on gift giving events and making a plan to but some money aside each month will take all the stress out of it in November.

No cash left at the end of the month? Fed up of feeling poor? But don't really know why you are in this situation. Here are 6 possible explanations! #budget #debtfree #poor #savings
  1. You don’t have a budget

You need a budget!  You need to know what you have coming in each month and what you you have going out.  You need to plan what you are going to do with anything that is leftover or you need to make plans to deal with any shortfall.

 

The best way to approach this is to account for every penny.  With this budget  you aim to have £0 leftover at the end of the month.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t save anything, actually it means the exact opposite.  It means budgeting for any savings right from day one.  You take all the money you are going to have for that month and decide what it is going to do.

 

Some people do a general budget and hope that that covers them for every month.  This is better than nothing but doing it every month will be better.  This way you can reflect on what you spent last month, making tweaks to this month.  You can increase your savings and investments if you overbudgeted and found you had some left.  You can react to any increases or decreases in income or expenditure that are specific to that month. Plus making time once a month to fully review your finances is one of the best investments you can make.

  1. You let your emotions control your money

“I’ve been working hard recently I deserve [insert normally expense thing here]!”  “I’ve had a tough month I deserve a treat!”  “Ooh! [Insert favourite retailer] have a sale on!”  If you use any of these phrases then you are letting your emotions control your money.

 

I’ve used all of these phrases.  Sometimes I still catch myself saying them and it is only through an awareness that I now stop myself (most of the time) from acting on them.  You need to learn when you are using money to meet an emotional need and actually deal with the emotion.  Buying more stuff is a quick fix.  You’ll soon regret the decision and then you’ll have an item you don’t want and less money.

 

Recognising that this you do this will help you become more aware of how make decisions about money.  If you catch yourself spending money and it is emotionally driven.  Then stop!  Wait 24 hours, a week or even a month and see if you still feel the same about making that purchase.

 

Which one are you?

Or maybe you are two or more.  Or even all of them.  Acknowledging the fact that you are struggling is the first step.  Figuring out why will help you move forward and towards finance peace of mind.

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

No cash left at the end of the month? Fed up of feeling poor? But don't really know why you are in this situation. Here are 6 possible explanations! #budget #debtfree #poor #savings

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Making Money, Saving Money, 0 comments
9 Steps to Save Money Every Time You Shop

9 Steps to Save Money Every Time You Shop

Never knowingly overpaying for something is my goal!  It’s my personal goal AND it’s my goal to help you too.  There are times when you get caught out and have to make a purchase of convenience.   It is normally on these occasions where you end up overpaying.  Some forward planning though and you can all but eliminate these situations AND save money.

 

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on them and make a purchase I may receive a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

 

Before you make a purchase, ANY purchase.  There are several things I want you to do.  Some of them might only give you a couple of pence back in your pocket but once those pence have been added up you could be a fair bit up.  Overpaying is wasteful and avoidable.  Make sure you take the steps below to avoid it.

1.  Do you really need it?

OK!  This once isn’t a way that you can get stuff for less, but it is an excellent strategy for saving money.  When you decide you are going to buy something I urge you to think very carefully about what is motivating you to make that purchase.

 

Just last week I was poised and ready to buy a new toys for the kids.  I’d even completed many of the steps below and was itching to buy it.  However I took some time to review what was driving me to buy it and decided that I felt that all my hard work over the last few months made me deserving of buying this toy.  Once I resolved this in my head I demoted said item from need to want to “just more clutter.”  Look out for my upcoming post on how emotions and money aren’t always a good mix.

2.  Do you have any vouchers?

Christmas just gone I ended up with a few gift vouchers.  I didn’t really know what to do with them at the time so I just shoved them in my purse.  A few weeks later I needed some new bathroom towels and suddenly that John Lewis voucher had a purpose.  Before I knew it I had a complete set of towels and they hadn’t cost me anything.

 

I find that I get vouchers for all sorts of things.  I got a voucher for signing up to Sky and an Amazon voucher for switching to online billing with my insurance company.  Normally I find I don’t need them straight away but when I come to make my next purchase I can check what I have available and make my shopping choices accordingly.

3.  Can you get any vouchers?

Now there’s a great website called Zeek, where you can buy gift vouchers at a lower than face value price.  I’ll write about this properly another day but the essence of it is that people get vouchers, they don’t want the vouchers so they sell them to Zeek who sell them to you.

 

What this means though is that you can buy cheap gift voucher and use these for your shopping.  Ultimately the things you are buying will cost you less.  Some of the vouchers have huge discounts so you can make a real saving.  It is definitely worth considering if you are making a significant purchase, because even 1-2% off could mean a fair bit of money.

 

If you like the sound of Zeek, you can follow this link and sign-up.  You’ll get an extra £5 for going through me.  You’re welcome!

Everyone can save money shopping. Whether you like a bargain or are committed to frugal living. Whether you buy in store or online. Clothes or groceries. These shopping hacks will have you saving money and keeping that budget in check.

4.  Is that the best price?

When I buy stuff I always have a look online to see what the best price is.  Being loyal to one company is great but you normally pay a price for that.  There are some purchases where you don’t need to worry too much about who is supplying it.  For these purchases it literally pays to shop around.

 

The first thing I do is a simple Google search.  The Google shopping results will show up the item you are looking for at good prices.  My next step is to find the company supplying that item at the cheapest price.  However it is important not to stop there.  Before I buy the item I also do a Google search for reviews for that company.  Have a read and see what people say.  If they are getting 4/5 stars and generally people are saying they are great, then go ahead and buy it.  If the reviews are a bit iffy then it is probably worth paying a bit more to ensure that you actually get the product.  Research is key!

5.  How about discount codes?

Once you’ve found a good price, it is now time to see if you can get it for even less.  Vouchercodes.co.uk is a get place to look.  You might find that you can get a few percent off the price by signing up to their newsletter or sharing their website on Facebook.  Things like this are simple and probably worth doing.

 

Things that are not worth doing are things like store cards.  Don’t get in debt just to save a few quid.  There are other ways.

 

Another lesser known way to get a discount is to see if that shop has a Facebook group.  Some shops have a special Facebook group for their shoppers and offer a discount code for the members.  Again a quick Facebook search might get you 10+% off.

6.  How are you going to pay?

Think about how you can save money through your choice of payment.  If you are using gift vouchers as above then great.  If you are not then your choice of payment could make the item more or less expensive.

 

What do I mean? Well if you are buying the item on a credit card that you DO NOT pay off each month then you will be paying interest on that item.  Or if buying that item takes you deeper into your overdraft then you will be paying interest on that item.  Most people won’t factor this in but it will make that shopping trip more expensive.

 

Paying cash will mean that you buy the item at face value.  But if you are clever you can use your payment method to save you even more money.

 

Mr Pennies and I have an American Express credit card that pays us cashback on the majority of our purchases.  We pay this off in full every month so never pay any interest.  And we get to pocket our cashback once a year.  This means that we save approximately 1% on the cost of any item we buy using that card.  Every year we have had that card we have received about £200 back.  Not to be sniffed at eh?  I’ll write in more detail about this later so be on the look out.

7.  Do you have a loyalty card?

Loyalty cards are another fantastic way to save money.  My favourites are my Tesco Clubcard and my Nandos card.  But I would say sign up for them all.  Even if it takes you years to accumulate the rewards you still eventually get free stuff.  I love free stuff.

 

Whilst doing you shopping it is worth thinking about whether you have any rewards to claim.  If you do, use that to influence your choice of shopping location and evaluate whether using those rewards makes that shop the best place to buy.

 

Or you can claim your loyalty points on this purchase and put them towards a future one.  We really like Nandos so we seem to get free chicken a lot.  Does this sometimes mean that I will go there rather than somewhere else? Yeah it does!  But I am always weighing up where I can get the best deal.  Sometimes it is Nandos.  Sometimes it is GBK.

Everyone can save money shopping. Whether you like a bargain or are committed to frugal living. Whether you buy in store or online. Clothes or groceries. These shopping hacks will have you saving money and keeping that budget in check.

8.  Can you get some money back?

I’ve talked before about how to use cashback sites to get money back on your purchases.  Quidco is my favourite and you can find my guide to getting started on Quidco below.  Quidco works best for online shopping but that doesn’t mean you can’t do a bit of window shopping first.

 

There have been several occasions when I’ve been in a shop and thought “I wonder if I can get cashback on this?”  Checked Quidco, seen that I can and bought it online instead.  Again you might be able to get a few percent back but you will need to go through Quidco first to get to the website.  AND your cashback may be declined if you have used other discount codes, such as those mentioned in point 5.

 

If you follow this link, you’ll get an extra £10 cashback on your first purchase.  Win!

 

Related Post:

The Ultimate Beginners’ Guide to Quidco

 

9.  What about the receipt?

If you’ve bought something in a shop then save the receipt and get the app: Receipt Hog.  It is a simple idea in that you upload a picture of your receipt and they give you coins.  Get to a certain number of coins and you can turn them into Amazon vouchers or PayPal.

 

This one is a bit of a slow burner but I just scan my receipts in as soon as I get them.  It takes a few seconds and then I can forget about it.  One day soon I’ll be able to trade all those coins for some cash.

10.  The bonus tip!

If you are buying something to replace an old one, have you thought about flogging the one you don’t need any more?  Yes you might think that it is not saleable but people will buy anything.  Stick it on Gumtree or Facebook market place and see if someone is interest.  You may end up with a few quid back in your pocket as a result.

Same stuff just for less

It is highly unlikely that you will be able to do all of these steps for every purchase.  But a couple of them each time could save you a fair amount of money.  If you think about how much you spend a year and then take 1% off of that.  It would probably be a nice amount of money.  What about 2%?  Or 5%?  Taking these steps will gradually reduce the amount you spend meaning that the money you save can be used for more important things.

 

What is the best deal you’ve ever got?  And how did you get it?

 

Disclaimer:  Remember the information you read here does not represent financial advice.  Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you.  Read the full disclaimer here.

Everyone can save money shopping. Whether you like a bargain or are committed to frugal living. Whether you buy in store or online. Clothes or groceries. These shopping hacks will have you saving money and keeping that budget in check.

Posted by Charlotte Jessop in Saving Money, 0 comments