Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Budget Cuts

So it is time to face up to the fact that we cannot manage to get out of debt or save up for the future without some really dramatic changes to our spending habits.  I believe that even a few months of cutting back will have its rewards. 

There isn't actually much we can do about some of our direct debits without cutting off the phone altogether.  Tempting sometimes, but I have only just started my blog and would like to keep broadband if possible.  So the areas we will target are food, petrol, and entertainment.

We are dividing our goal into monthly and three monthly segments We have already decided that we do not need to purchase the following for the next three months:  clothes, books, going out, and we will reduce eating out too.  That was the easy part!  We don't eat out much, we have enough clothes for a little while, and we have an inexpensive on demand tv service which gives us movies and tv at our convenience.  (We are considering cutting the tv service, but when the nation goes digital we will not have any tv whatsoever except for on demand---because we have an ancient aerial hanging off the house which will not pick up the digital signal.)

I would like some maternity clothes, but can manage on what I have and make a skirt if necessary.  And I insist that the family gets to eat from the major food groups each day.  I will have to compromise on our food choices, but all of our meat and eggs have to be at least free range as usual.  I am afraid fairtrade may go out the window for a month or two.  But we will do our best.

So here are a few of the ideas we have been discussing to try to cut our spending over the coming months.  I will let you know which ones worked for us when we have tried them out.

  1. For January, cut on food bills by eating from the pantry and freezer, setting an extremely low budget, and using store reward vouchers to pay for food.  (I usually save them up for gifts and treats).
  2. Pay money towards the credit card on the first of the month, so I cannot spend it.
  3. Take out cash for food and petrol and make it last the month.  The amount will vary each month according to what is in our pantry already.
  4. Declare one car off road to defer having to get a tax disc and MOT until we have saved up for it.  (This will work better if I am still off sick---but I hope to feel better soon).
  5. If I do return to work, take up some freinds' offers of childcare to save some costs of the childminder.  (I would offer to barter, but it is illegal to provide childcare "for reward" in this country unless you are fully registered.)
  6. Cut down on extra car trips to save petrol.
  7. Other Half will do some overtime shifts and sign up to do some agency work on his spare weekends to bring in more money.
  8. I will start doing some craft projects to sell at a craft fair in July.
  9. We will gather items which are suitable for a car boot sale in the spring.  (Years worth of boys clothes come to mind---since I am having a girl this time.)


  1. Have you read the Suze Orman book called Women and Money? She has used an incredibly cheesy picture of herself for the front cover but the content is inspiring. She's written a whole slew of books I imagine you can get at the library in Saffron Waldon.


    P.S. You're lucky you don't drink.

  2. I have seen some programmes Suze Orman did years ago on PBS. I like her work. I will check my library, but she is not as popular here I think....

    Yes, I realise that I am able to save money simply because I don't drink, smoke, and I am happy being a homebody much of the time! Heck, I haven't been to the cinema in over 4 years now and don't realy miss it.