This month has really been a time to reflect on the past six months and, amongst all the list-making, I do feel that I’m starting to re-evaluate my goals for this year and make some long term plans for me and D, my career, our house (mostly patchworking) and our future,
With that, comes the ever-present need to continue watching, monitoring and (hopefully) growing our finances. So what exactly is it that I’m ‘saving’ on this year?? I think I gotta get serious with the ‘nitty gritty’ side of being frugally fabulous – when I write about my ‘previous London life’, it seems almost a million years ago. All that Starbucks-guzzling, Whistles-wardrobe-stuffing and band-chasing seems lost in the midst of time, babies and DIY-obsessing. So how do I really know HOW to save on what I’ve already cut back? So, six months in, I gave myself a little financial refresh – here’s what I’m doing…
BE METICULOUS – OFTEN
It seems like the most BORING job in the world, but someone has to do it. And until you can afford an accountant to balance your incomings and outgoings, it needs to be YOU. At the moment, I am finding it easiest to manage my finances on a fortnightly basis. Every two weeks, I painstakingly go through my bills to stay on top of my finances. YAWNSVILLE, I know BUT – at this point in the year I have paid off 75% of my overall debt, so it’s gotta be worth doing, right?
I had this Joy Jar idea back along – a little jar (beautifully decorated with lace, it was) for all the money you save each month (no matter how little). Despite my retirement from High Street shopping, I’m still a great believer in treating yourself to something off the wishlist. So, whatever the dream, keep your joy jar brimming with whatever you manage to save and that necklace, vintage dress or holiday will seem that little bit closer!
GIVE YOUR HOUSEHOLD BILLS A SPRING CLEAN
With my break up, came all the necessary paperwork, bills transfers and a new consetina file to stuff it all in. BUT, it was also a great opportunity to give my bills a bit of an overhaul and I managed to lower my electricity and gas bill by £12 a month – based on current meter readings and usage over the past 6 months. What’s more? My electricity and gas company of choice, also recommend a re-check every 3 months so, to get the best out of your bills, take advantage of this regular overhaul.
LITTLE LISTS…LITTLE LIFESAVERS
List-making is a way of life for me! Shopping lists save time and idle wandering, meal planning saves precious time with Miss D and a little extra cash in the bank (not to mention space in the wastebin) and even wishlists give you a, sort of, focus. Lists provide the limits that we need, sometimes BUT they are, in themselves, limitless. Starting small, I’m in the process of setting myself daily, weekly and monthly goals and so on and so forth. These aren’t all financial, it has to be said, but does put the four quarters of life into a stark (and often exciting) reality.
If there’s one thing to take from years in fashion retail, as discussed with my equally fabulous friend this week, who is busy scaling the dizzy heights of Liberty these days, it’s that you possess the unequalled ability to shop SEASONS AHEAD! Once a fashion retail muggle, you will forever be shopping the trends rather than what’s just hitting the shops…so how does this save money? Well, whatever your shopping style, you’re bound to find the best out-of-season bargains exactly then, out of season. If you’re serious about bargain hunting in the wardrobe department, why not take a little bit of Pinterest and Vogue around with you and keep your eyes open for winter coats in the heat of Summer and Summer skirts in the January sales. My mind is already turning to customising one of my favourite winter capes and just how I could integrate some Bradshaw-inspired dusk pink into my blacker than black wardrobe!
Do you feel the need for a little financial overhaul? What tips do you have for penny pinching?