Before I had Teddy I was working full time and near enough all the money I earned was spent on me. As soon as I had paid my share of the bills, everything else was to spend on whatever I wanted and I didn’t think twice about it. As soon as I found out we were expecting a baby we started watching our money a little more, trying to save where we could as we knew that we had a lot of new things to spend our money on. Cots, prams & endless amounts of nappies all cost money. Team that with the fact that maternity pay is shocking and you really do have to tighten the reins.
I did a whole post on HOW TO SAVE MONEY WHEN HAVING A BABY full of money saving tips we used that helped us not go overboard and i’m so glad now, looking back, that we saved money on certain things. A friend of mine recently was talking about money being tight & possibly taking out a payday loan which is absolutely fine IF you can afford to pay it back, but it got me thinking of ways to save your money where you can!
Now I am getting ready to back to work (I have two weeks left, SOB!) and I will be earning similar to what I was earing during my last six months of maternity which was half my full time wage, which I know is a lot better than some people, who are only earning statutory maternity pay. Which is pretty much JACK SHIT. It’s ridiculous. At the beginning of the year Aaron & I put together a list on how we plan to save money where we can, especially as we have a holiday booked for July!
MY TOP MONEY SAVING TIPS..
01. Have A Goal in mind! Are you saving for something special? Whether that is a holiday or a new hand bag, visualising what your end goal is, is going to make you more likely to achieve it.
02. Cut Down On Fast Food! We are so bad for ordering takeaways and I bet the majority of our money goes on convenience food. It’s just so easy, especially after you’ve spent three hours getting a baby to sleep. The last thing you want is to start cooking a meal! I’ve started making a more conscious effort to prep food in advance & use our slow cooker, and it has definitely made a difference on the amount of takeaways we order.
03. Use Your Points/Rewards where you can. Since having Teddy I have racked up Boots points a lot quicker and now rather than picking up wipes or snacks for him with my own money, I save about £10-£20 worth of points and then use those to buy things he needs. Especially baby snacks, purely because I like to try Teddy with new foods every so often and rather than spend money for them to be wasted if he doesn’t like them, I can use my points!
04. Plan Occasions In Advance such as birthdays, anniversaries ect. At the beginning of the year I write down all the birthdays & special occasions we have coming up in my diary. At the beginning of every month I will flick through and see what we have coming up for that month, buying all the cards I need & budgeting for any presents we need to buy. The last thing you want is to remember last minute about a birthday coming up & panic buy! I always end up spending over my budget when I do that!
05. Swap Branded Items For Cheaper Alternatives. We have been doing this for a couple of months now and it’s definitely made the biggest difference! We are obsessed with a program called Eat Well For Less where they remove all branding, packaging and swap some for supermarket own brands, then they put a family to a challenge to see if they can actually tell the difference! We made a conscious effort to pick up cheaper alternatives to our favourite brands and the amount of money you can save is crazy! I did a whole post on SHOPPING ON A BUDGET which has really helpful tips. This is possibly my number one money saving tip!
06. Write Down All Expenses, rather than trying to guess when your bills are due and how much they are (like I do), write them all down in a notebook or diary. Aaron has a notebook that he writes everything down & checks it off when it has been taken out the bank. We have online banking which monitors that as well but having it written down on paper really helps.
07. Sell Unwanted Items that you don’t need or use anymore. We have sold so many of Teddy’s things that he has outgrown & we don’t have use for anymore. I’ve kept the special bits but anything that was taking up space went straight on EBay, even if you only get £10 it’s money to save.
08. Check Deals Online before you buy. I always go online and type in the item I want and find out where it’s cheapest. You can get some really good deals going through online shops rather than large high street stores. There is also DealsDaddy, They have voucher code for clothing, accessories, shoes, home décor, furniture, pet supplies etc.
I hope this post has helped give you some ideas to save money! What are your money saving tips?