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vand

Budgeting challenge - minimising expenses

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What are you guys and gals doing to minimize your wasteful expenditure?

I consider my outgoing already low by most standards, but I've decided to challenge myself to be absolutely ruthless and lower them even further. I'm going to aim to shave £1000/year.

What I've come up with so far:

 

- Cancelled my gym membership.

I had gotten out of the habit of using the gym and don't feel the urge to go back, so this is an obvious easy win. I generally just do running now, and if I need to work the upper body I'll just do some chinups in the local park every other morning.
£35/month saving

- Amazon Prime Membership. 

Currently paying for 2 AP memberships as my wife has it also. No need. We can share accounts. Gotta go.
£7/month saving

- Cut the wine budget.

I'm mainly a wine person, and reckon I spent £1500 on wine last year (3 bottles/week @ £10 avg per bottle)
Wine is perhaps my biggest luxury, but this can be trimmed. Aim for £1200. Fancy wines (£15+ from Vivino) will be a very rare treat. I actually found a few labels that I really like at £7/bottle, so those will be my mainstay.
£25/month saving


- Replace cooking fat.

I've long avoided cooking with hydrogenated seed oils, so my go-to was usually butter. This was expensive. We probably got through 2 tubs of lurpak a month just for cooking. I'm going to replace this with lard. Lard is actually a fantastic cooking fat (not unhealthy at all), and it's much cheaper.
£5/month saving

Total savings: 5+7+35+25 = £72/month = £864/year

Not quite at the £1000 saving yet. I'll have to think of a couple of other bits to trim.. :) 

 

Edited by vand

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I do this every 6 months or so just go through my whole list of direct debits and see what can get the chop.

Always worth seeing if sky/virgin will cut your bill, same with gas elec, home insurance. I did a really thorough sorting out once and it saved me around 4k a year although one major factor was i was able to switch my mortgage rate for a much better deal.

One thing i REALLY should cut back on is buying food out. I do it literally every day and always spend between £5 and £10 on my lunch. BUT it’s a luxury that I really enjoy so i still do it as if you can’t enjoy the small luxuries in life then whats the point!

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Bills:

I managed to miss the date to cancel respectively change my energy delivery contract. I would be able to save between €50 and 100 a year. I will put down a date next fall to check the latest contract offers.

I should go about to cancel my external post box, which I do not really need where I live. They began charging for that two years ago and I did not get around to cancel the contract, yet - €20 a year. I should do that this weekend.

I should look over my telecommunication contracts and cancel my extra WiFi card. I needed this before I got a higher data volume on my cellphone - €5 a month = €60 a year. Scheduled for this weekend as well.

Habits:

Not stopping at the supermarket every morning and evening to get quick and easy things to eat for work and the evening. If I prepared things myself, I would most likely save 50% - €5 a day = €1110 a year.

All in all a potential of an ounce of gold a year...

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I have this down to a fine art I believe, I don't waste any money and only spend on household bills.

No TV, no gym, no alcohol, wear all my sons hand me downs. Hell I only flush the toilet once a day. 👍

I make one teabag last all day and don't have milk!

I spend about £350 per month. Missus buys the grub but she is tighter than me. 🤣

Edited by JunkBond

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We go through periods where we look at potential savings, in the last 12 months we made a couple of changes:

Binned Virgin, £75pm, accountant told us we could claim internet through the business from home, so saved from the household bills (although a smaller bill still needs to be paid via the company), we then got Netflix at £9.99pm and I have to say I am pretty impressed, wish I hadn't given my password to half the family though!

We have been in our house for 5yrs now and haven't got a reason to move, so we installed Solar, just over £5,000 for a 4.4KW system, been in 10 months and on average saved us 60% on bills (we set the timers on the Washing machine and dishwasher to take full advantage)

Our local M&S does the reduced food around 6.45/7pm so always have a look if we are passing and freeze any suitable purchases. I dont buy in lunch, just make a sarnie or nuke a soup

I also like my wine, I tend to prefer St Emilion (£8-£12) or Chateauneuf-du-pap (£13-£20), but this is more a request for Bday/Chrimbo pressies, I dont drink as much as you so lasts me a good few months.....If I do find myself short I can always buy decent wine for "clients"......

Cheers

DK

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1 hour ago, AuricGoldfinger said:

I do this every 6 months or so just go through my whole list of direct debits and see what can get the chop.

Always worth seeing if sky/virgin will cut your bill, same with gas elec, home insurance. I did a really thorough sorting out once and it saved me around 4k a year although one major factor was i was able to switch my mortgage rate for a much better deal.

One thing i REALLY should cut back on is buying food out. I do it literally every day and always spend between £5 and £10 on my lunch. BUT it’s a luxury that I really enjoy so i still do it as if you can’t enjoy the small luxuries in life then whats the point!

 

Cheers.

I'm only counting stuff that I'm directly responsible for.. my wife handles half our bills including utilities/insurance and she is clinical in this respect (not so much in discretionary spending, but it's her money). And she haggles good.

I should get a £200 reduction in my car insurance when its up for renewal later this year due to having 1 year's no claims, but difficult for me to count.. but for some strange reason I don't really consider this a saving (more a bonus). 

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2 hours ago, KevinFlynn said:

Bills:

I managed to miss the date to cancel respectively change my energy delivery contract. I would be able to save between €50 and 100 a year. I will put down a date next fall to check the latest contract offers.

I should go about to cancel my external post box, which I do not really need where I live. They began charging for that two years ago and I did not get around to cancel the contract, yet - €20 a year. I should do that this weekend.

I should look over my telecommunication contracts and cancel my extra WiFi card. I needed this before I got a higher data volume on my cellphone - €5 a month = €60 a year. Scheduled for this weekend as well.

Habits:

Not stopping at the supermarket every morning and evening to get quick and easy things to eat for work and the evening. If I prepared things myself, I would most likely save 50% - €5 a day = €1110 a year.

All in all a potential of an ounce of gold a year...

 

Yes, that's how I like to think of it. I think there are many of us who could find that sort of savings improvement if we were really ruthless enough. A good financial spring-cleaning habit is worth 30-50 oz of gold over a working lifetime if you look at it that way. Or perhaps another way to look at it is it brings retirement/financial independence 5 years closer.

This is not about deprivation and opening yourself up to tail end risk because you skimped on insurance, it's about getting rid of stuff you have accumulated that you just don't need. I could think of another few bills that I could cancel that would easily take me past the £1000 mark, but so far I'm not willing to make those changes.

Edited by vand

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You could always buy Lurpac as it was originally, in 500g blocks @vand The tubs are actually mixed butter/rapeseed (terrible name) oil to soften it. 

Lard is fine but for some things, you can't beat butter.

I'm a wine drinker too. My palate is my own and may not be up to your standards, but you can get some great wines in the supermarkets for £5-7/8 a bottle, often cheaper if you buy 6 bottles of the same at a time. All depends on what you like of course. 

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I recently visualised my income as sovereigns and expenditure in terms of how many I give away. That focused the mind on what is important and brings sadness at the loss of so many sovereigns to the bank and the government. 

Spend on the important things, kids grow up fast make the most of them. Save yes, but live today, for tomorrow you may be dead. :D

 

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We've easily trimmed another £40-50 from the monthly grocery budget by agreeing to switch from premade baby milk formula to milk powder, now that baba is a bit older.

Challenge met: £1000/year saving hit and surpassed :)

Edited by vand

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I am usually skimming my grocery bills for any object that cost more than €2,00, a habit that I have from the time that I was on social welfare and would not allow myself to buy items over €1,99. I then reflect if I should have bought it, if would buy it again and if there would be a cheaper alternative.

Sometimes it is a dedicated 'luxury' buy, like some quality juice or preprepared food I got today. I'm lying down sick and need something to indulge in... Reflecting what I'm buying helps me to keep my grocery shopping in check, as I will see to that I only get two or three more expensive items in a weekend basket. I also took some time and calculated which would be the cheapest packages in mass consumed items, like paper handkerchiefs or toilet paper - I do not need to leave an artistic expression with my toilet paper ^_^

It is a bit different with food items - I tested to change my standard beverage one category down pricewise and it did taste horrible, so I stayed with my former choice.

And I am still one to blow a budget on a couple of nice filet steaks for me and the family when I am visiting... But it is nice to know that the basics are kept in check...

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17 hours ago, Kman said:

My personal philosophy is it's better to put energy into making pounds rather than saving pennies 

For people already generally on top of their finances this may be true, but for those struggling (which lets face it is most people) it is better to cut expenditure first and learn to live on less. Improving yourself to earn more has more long term potential but it does not happen overnight, and is not as easy as slashing costs. Besides, unless you learn to control your costs, you'll fall prey to lifestyle inflation and it won't matter how much you earn, you'll always spend it all and have nothing left over.

Edited by vand

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34 minutes ago, vand said:

For people already generally on top of their finances this may be true, but for those struggling (which lets face it is most people) it is better to cut expenditure first and learn to live on less. Improving yourself to earn more has more long term potential but it does not happen overnight, and is not as easy as slashing costs. Besides, unless you learn to control your costs, you'll fall prey to lifestyle inflation and it won't matter how much you earn, you'll always spend it all and have nothing left over.

Yeah I think sometimes I get stuck in the idea that everyone can be a chief (in terms of money making), but most people are Indians 

That's not to put anyone down, everyone's brains and natural talents are different

Not to hype myself up but I have made a good amount doing online stuff, starting from nothing 

But maybe me saying "replicate me" is about as helpful as Usain Bolt saying "run fast!"

You either have the knack for something or you don't 

I appreciate this post sounds pompous

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24 minutes ago, Kman said:

...

I appreciate this post sounds pompous

It does ^_^

But whenever I am comparing my brother's life, who is making a multiple of what I am making, to my life, I am happy with where I am.

As vand was saying, not falling onto raising your standard of living to the extent that you could afford will go a long way towards keeping money in the house.

A former girlfriend of mine came to Germany with five years of school, two kids in tow and an extended family expecting to be taken care of - there are some things you cannot compensate with hard work only.

 

Edited by KevinFlynn
corrections

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1 hour ago, vand said:

For people already generally on top of their finances this may be true, but for those struggling (which lets face it is most people) it is better to cut expenditure first and learn to live on less. Improving yourself to earn more has more long term potential but it does not happen overnight, and is not as easy as slashing costs. Besides, unless you learn to control your costs, you'll fall prey to lifestyle inflation and it won't matter how much you earn, you'll always spend it all and have nothing left over.

I don't think it's a matter of cutting costs for the sake of it unless you really have to of course. I think it's more a case of cutting out waste and unnecessary spending. I guess this means thinking before you spend anything and the old adage "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" is perfectly true.

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1 hour ago, KevinFlynn said:

It does ^_^

But whenever I am comparing my brother's life, who is making a multiple of what I am making, to my life, I am happy with where I am.

As vand was saying, not falling onto raising your standard of living to the extent that you could afford will go a long way towards keeping money in the house.

A former girlfriend of mine came to Germany with five years of school, two kids in tow and an extended family expecting to be taken care of - there are some things you cannot compensate with hard work only.

 

I am happy to share everything I know though :(

 

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3 minutes ago, sovereignsteve said:

Are you still raking it in Kman?😉

.uk domain wise it gets harder every year, the amount of good domains dropping goes down and savvy people pick up temporary exploits for their catching scripts and catch everything for a period of time

The end of right of registration for .uk and general release this year is going to be veryyy interesting, A lot of money is going to be made, hopefully by me lol fingers crossed but we shall see :ph34r: 

 

 

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