Monday, 4 February 2013
small change/big difference
A few weeks ago, i was approached by vouchercodes.co.uk to participate in a two weeks savings challenge. In the challenge, you try to make ways to save pennies instead of spending them on luxuries or little things you do not need. I talked to Gilles and we were set to go.
I do not work. We live on Gilles's wage only and do not claim for benefits and once bills are paid, rent is paid and food shopping is paid for, we don't have an awful lot to play around with. We rent our house at the moment from a dear friend and would love to eventually have our own little house somewhere in the countryside. The dream though just seems so far out of reach and it is disheartening to think it might not be any time soon. We would like chickens in the garden and to be able to walk to the farmers market for our fresh fruit and vegetables. Just a better life and environment to let the girls grow up in. I shall admit now that we are not that great with money. We have no savings, we don't have monthly budgets and we don't do meal plans.
Meal planning: We sat down and set out a budget for the two weeks for our meals. We planned them in advance and only bought what we needed for those meals. We live right opposite the supermarket, so it is so easy for us to just go over everyday and spend more than we should and to just buy things for the sake of it and we often do. We ended up spending half of what we would normally do by sticking to this plan! I wish i had started to do this along time ago.
Unnecessary spending: Living right in the town centre, it is so easy for me to take the girls up the road to the shops and spend money. It is usually so we have something to do. We like to go and play in the Disney store and go to the pound shops to pick up craft supplies and we LOVE going to the clothes stores. This usually ends up in at least something bought for either one of the girls. The last two weeks, i have just left my purse at home. We still get to look at everything but it takes away the temptation. The girls don't expect me to buy things so i am lucky in that they don't really care if they are brought something or not. They just like to get out and watch the big screen in the Disney store.
A savings tin: My best friend gave me a vintage money tin for Christmas and this is the perfect excuse to use it. It is so encouraging seeing those pennies and pounds in there and knowing that we would have just wasted that money away if we hadn't put it in the jar. So instead of buying some new paints that the girls don't really need because they have three other sets of paints in the draw, i just put the money i would have spent in the tin.
What i have learnt from this two week challenge is to try and get past that instant gratification of spending and buying new things as soon as payday comes along. Materialistic things are not going to make me any happier and spending now will stall our final goal even longer. I need to hold on to our family dreams and know that for every pound we save, we are one step closer to a better life for us all and that is the most important thing.
This post was in association with vouchercodes.co.uk. They are running a competition on twitter this week so make sure you are following them.
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