Help Me with a No-Spend Month

We're all in this together, remember, so while the world is collapsing around our ears it might be nice to have a place to talk about new-found frugalities and old-fashioned eco-living. And mooncups.

Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby ches » 22 Oct 2010, 23:02

I have now added a bag of sweets, a 6-pack of beer and a bottle of wine to the supermarket shop. I agree that the luxuries you might otherwise sneak (at twice the price) should be in your cupboard if you're trying to budget.
BLPT Guidelines thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4477&p=48324
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby CherryPop » 23 Oct 2010, 12:33

If you have a landline/television - ring up your provider and say you want to cancel. They'll most likely offer you a reduced rate for several months to keep you with them - we have phone and tv with sky, and decided we wanted to do a no-spend year (which really, is just NOT going to happen :oops: ) so we rashly rang up and said we wanted to cancel, and they gave us the basic tv package free for 6 months and half price line rental for the phone.

Don't make non-essential phone calls, never phone anyone during the day, it makes a massive difference to your phone bill. Basically wait for people to call you ;)

Make those jumpers for Ellis using wool from your stash...

Sell any excess slings you've got lying around, you can always buy them back when you're more flush...
Mama to J born 10.3.09 and BabyPie born 21.11.12
Blogging: http://mynameis-beth.blogspot.com
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 23 Oct 2010, 20:29

cherry219 wrote:If you have a landline/television - ring up your provider and say you want to cancel. They'll most likely offer you a reduced rate for several months to keep you with them - we have phone and tv with sky, and decided we wanted to do a no-spend year (which really, is just NOT going to happen :oops: ) so we rashly rang up and said we wanted to cancel, and they gave us the basic tv package free for 6 months and half price line rental for the phone.


That would probably work for all utility providers. Have a look on one of the price comparison sites then phone up your supplier and say you've discovered you can get a better deal elsewhere and can they better it? If not move.

Agree with Ches about budgeting for necessities. We're members of The Wine Society and because we buy a (mixed) case at a time then I restrict my amount per bottle much more than if I'm standing in Oddbins thinking 'Oh, it's just one bottle, I'll treat myself'. Any wine merchant where you have to buy in bulk will have the same effect, although I think Majestic is slightly less effective than somewhere online.
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby camper » 24 Oct 2010, 10:18

If you have a car, fill up on petrol when you do your supermarket shop - the petrol's often a bit cheaper (especially if they given you money off on the receipt like Sainsbury's used to - obviously I've no idea if this is still the case!) That way you don't have to keep buying petrol at other times and making all those extra munchie-type purchases in the garage.
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby camper » 24 Oct 2010, 10:21

Oh, and just thought - consider getting rid of your landline and using Skype instead. I'm pretty sure skype calls to landlines and mobiles are usually cheaper than calling from your own landline or mobile and as you can see the credit going down, it's quite a handy way to budget.
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby jvnt » 24 Oct 2010, 11:24

camper wrote:Oh, and just thought - consider getting rid of your landline and using Skype instead. I'm pretty sure skype calls to landlines and mobiles are usually cheaper than calling from your own landline or mobile and as you can see the credit going down, it's quite a handy way to budget.


Does anyone still have a landline :wink: we haven't had one for three years!
jvnt, mother to The Boy, August '09, Baby Dragon, January '12 and HP May '14.
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby RedRum » 24 Oct 2010, 11:40

I was just about to blether on about never buying cuts of chicken but always getting a whole one even if you're not doing a roast, as I can usually get at least three or four meals out of it, but then of course remembered that you are vegan. I would definitely agree with bulk making of soups, sauces, stews etc for freezing as a great way of saving money, as you can usually get a couple of next week's meals from last week's shop iyswim, rather than spending a week eating the same thing because you're making it stretch.

Could you offer to take family/baby pictures for friends to make into cards or give as christmas gifts? I know it's hard sometimes to put a value in what you do because it's so hard to get perspective on what your own work is worth, but I think you're photos are exceptionally beautiful, and definitely something I'd pay for.

I don't know if you already do this, but I recently made up a spreadsheet with all my monthly incomings and outgoings, being really honest with myself, and it was SO helpful to be able to see where the money was actually going, kind of like calorie counting for a few weeks to get yourself into better eating habits! It really helped me to get a grip on my finances, rather than just being a bit in denial about it all.

If I think of anything else I'll let you know!
Mama to R (2007) and J (2015)
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby Seriously_Nutty » 24 Oct 2010, 13:22

i'm utterly useless at all things monetary! not helped by the fact i like to shop when i'm feeling sorry for myself (i.e broke) to cheer myself up....... tends to lead to a bit of a cycle of disaster!!!

still, i will buy your hats to help you out and cheer myself up! ahhhhh see we're all happy now :D
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby Piegea » 24 Oct 2010, 18:34

I would

draw up a meal plan for the month, using as much of what is already in the house as possible
do a massive shop at the start for all dry goods
shop once a week with a strict list for fresh stuff (at a time of day when you aren't hungry!)
if you get the urge to splurge, write down what you want somewhere and promise you will buy it when you have sold some hats etc.
write a list of free activities/treats that you can refer to in times of need (nature walk, all pile in a bubble bath, story time at the library)
DD, R - Jan 08
DS, E - Jun 10
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby skip » 24 Oct 2010, 21:30

Pagea2 wrote:if you get the urge to splurge, write down what you want somewhere and promise you will buy it when you have sold some hats etc.


I like that idea Pagea.

KG - your creative stuff is SO, SO beautiful, you MUST try to make some money from it. Please.

I've just set up a swap with someone for making her newsletters look professional in exchange for a discount staying at her writing retreat :D

And I picked up a little extra work just from an ad in gumtree for proofing/copyediting which might pay for the xmas present to ourselves we didn't manage to get last year: A working shower - now that we have toasty hot water going through our pipes I want to enjoy it!

Just bunged a load of stuff on ebay too - feel a bit guilty selling the dress and shoes a friend bought me to be her bridesmaid but... I'm never going to wear them again (cocktail dress and stilettos! I spend most days in my PJs!) so.... shhhhhh.
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby skip » 26 Oct 2010, 11:47

Thanks for the utilites advice by the way - rang up today and knocked £107 off our gas and elec for the year! :D Also found out we're quite a lot in credit (probably due to the 7 bloody months we had no gas at all!) so hopefully we'll be able to claim a rebate after the winter bills are paid up.

DEFINITELY worth checking these things - a while back we changed car ins and saved over £100, even going from 3rd party to fully comp - they just sneak up the prices if you renew and don't query...
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby shye » 26 Oct 2010, 11:52

Skip wrote:
DEFINITELY worth checking these things - a while back we changed car ins and saved over £100, even going from 3rd party to fully comp - they just sneak up the prices if you renew and don't query...


So true. We change companies every year because the same company is NEVER cheapest on confused.com two years in a row!
Mummy to E (nov 08) and Birdy (dec 10)
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby jvnt » 26 Oct 2010, 12:01

shye wrote:
Skip wrote:
DEFINITELY worth checking these things - a while back we changed car ins and saved over £100, even going from 3rd party to fully comp - they just sneak up the prices if you renew and don't query...


So true. We change companies every year because the same company is NEVER cheapest on confused.com two years in a row!


Thirded, I very rarely renew anything yearly automatically except stuff where I don't have a choice of providers like TV or where there's a qualifying period like health insurance. Even if you go with the same company they will often give you a discount or something extra when you phone them and say you're thinking of going.

Not quite relevant for this thread but for anyone with their own business I always let any advertising lapse and then then phone me (their bill) and they offer me something extra to renew.
jvnt, mother to The Boy, August '09, Baby Dragon, January '12 and HP May '14.
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 26 Oct 2010, 21:09

Oh, if you have any saving make sure it's in as high an interest-paying ISA as possible. I've just moved my cash ISA from one account to another (same provider - M&S) and the interest rate is 6x the old account!

I would also say that generally you should try and save at least some money each month however low your income so that you have a bit of a buffer against unexpected expenses.
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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Re: Help Me with a No-Spend Month

Postby blossom » 27 Oct 2010, 10:11

Just wanted to say I'm glad you started this thread. I am terrible with money and need to sort myself out. I keep putting my head in the sand about it :oops:
Sugarpie Nov 2007, Twinkletoes May 2011.
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