With the house move coming up I have been thinking of ways to budget as our monthly bills will be increasing. I will need to use the "Do I really NEED this" or is it because "I WANT it?"method when buying things. Either way I need to start being careful with money especially as we will be starting to save for our own house. This means reducing our monthly costs and being sensible with what I buy!
I have never been much of a saver to be honest and don't have any whatsoever however, I can save if there's something I really want and can put my mind to it. What I have found that is a great way of saving are these money tins that you can only open with a tin opener. A few years ago before I went abroad to work I managed to save over £1000 in less than two months from tips at work. I find that using these tins makes me want to save and not open them until they are full. If you put notes in them you will save more. So I recently bought a few of these and have labeled each one for a different thing I am saving for. One is for new furniture and bits and pieces for the new home, one is for Amelia's savings and the other is for other random expense that may come up, for example if the car was to break down. I will continue to save until they are full or I know there is enough in there for each thing then either put it into my online bank account or spend it and then start a new tin.
This is something I am terrible for! We spend £60-£80 a week on the food shop on two of us! Amelia doesn't eat too much so I won't count her, but we waste so much food in this house. Andy works all week so he doesn't even eat at home only on his days off so basically what I spend is all for me!!! God I sound greedy! But honestly half of it ends up in the bin as it has gone off before I've had a chance to use it. I really need to start meal planning and writing down each meal for the week and then buying just the ingredients for the meals. I bet I could cut my costs down to half! I just buy too much random crap which we don't need.
I like to be organised but these are usually just to-do lists. I have recently starting jotting down lists of items that I actually need instead of items that I want or actually making sure I save up for the items. I then go down the list purchasing each item in order of importance.
Making the most of bargains
Previously I was never a bargain hunter, I would throw vouchers in the bin and not take up offers that smacked me in the face. Now I get a ton of vouchers through the post for supermarkets and boots and I put them towards the weekly shop or if I need some baby items for Amelia. I also search for cheaper bargains online where as before I would just buy the first item I saw even if it was the most expensive. Also a fellow blogger has been very helpful introducing me to the world of bargain hunting!
Have you got any tips on how to budget? Especially with meal planning as that's my downfall.