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Sunday, 18 August 2013

How we're Saving

I haven’t done a post about how the saving is going for quite a while so I thought I would do an update. The original plan was to fill all of the ISA’s we could between us which would take us to early Summer and we would hopefully be able to go to the bank and talk reasonably about getting a mortgage. This would give us a 10% deposit for a small cottage on the out-skirts of Aberdeen which we would pay off as quickly as possible. Because we have been saving up my salary as well as paying off rent we were hoping that this plan would be very achievable should nothing go awry.

Now that there is a plan to move abroad we aren’t saving to get our own house next year as we aren’t able to own property in the UK while living in a government house abroad. However we are still living with ‘Thrift’ as our watchword. There are great things happening because of this move – mainly that we are getting rid of all of our excess ‘stuff’ and car boot sales as well as selling things on eBay are really helping us top up the ISA’s.

I really enjoy being ‘in charge’ of the money and give The Husband an allowance every month which he can spend on whatever he likes. Out of housekeeping he still gets all work clothes and packed lunches if he wants them as well as his own phone contract paid, so that’s quite a large sum for just frittering away. The housekeeping gets spent on all of those bills that are set in stone and never change and then the bills and things that need to be paid that we can change by either getting rid of the services or cutting back. I take my allowance and then the rest gets saved. Below is a list of the things we spend money on with a percentage sign to show how much each month gets put on it.

Things we can’t change:

1. Rent (17.25%)
2. Council Tax (5.6%)
3. TV licence (0.51%)
4. Subscriptions (0.34%)
5. Contents and Car Insurance (1% each)
6. TH’s Phone Contract (0.69%)

Things we can change:

1. Sky TV (0.75%)
2. Petrol (5.52%)
3. Groceries (6.9%)
4. Gas (3.45%)
5. Electric (3.45%)
6. Allowances (5.17%)
7. Phone and Broadband (1.03%)

I had been saving my allowance for the Girls Trip I had been planning for Edinburgh, but seeing as that has had to be cancelled I am just putting more into savings until I see something I would like. We aren’t saving any money for the gas tank right now as we probably won’t use a full one before we go so we’ve decided we can get by using the wood burner until then. Also because of this great weather and late sunsets no lights have been going on for ages and ages.

Menu planning and shopping around has saved us quite a bit of money and we should be able to save a bit more as we have started to run down the pantry and freezers. I have better lunches that are cheaper than I ever bought in shops as I eat quite a lot of leftovers now. This doesn’t mean we eat fatty or cardboard-like food. It’s a bit easier now that it’s getting colder as we had make more stews, casseroles, or things like toad in the hole. More mince and tatties or Sunday dinners served with a plethora of veg, dumplings or pastry.

We find and cut all of our own wood and only bought a chainsaw when we saved enough PayPal money from selling things online-making it ‘spend neutral’ in my mind. This meant we could cut larger logs in a shorter amount of time so we have been stock piling for autumn for a while now. We cuddle into a soft hot water bottle to keep cosy, just like we did when we were little. Water cleans most tables and worktops and cheap homemade solutions clean most of the rest.

We don’t have a pot for emergencies, although when we do have a mortgage we’ll have to keep one. When we had to get the brakes on the car fixed last month we just had to not save as much that month, but because our money is hardly locked up in stocks and shares we can get to it if there was a big problem. Also, although we rent which can seem like dead money, we also know that if something breaks we can get it sorted without us parting with any money.

When you see it written out like that I think you’d be forgiven for imagining we could have always saved money, however it really was only recently we thought about it. I feel so ashamed. When I think of money that was just ‘blown’ it makes me crazy! Oh well, onwards and upwards! I just have to keep acting like those of my grandmothers generation and save every penny I can.

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