A quickfire post after yesterday's semi-recycled tip. Readers - after eight years of gym membership I have gone cold turkey and walked out on my gym membership. It's not because I don't exercise. I do - I love it. When my children were small it was a way of multi-tasking - carving me-time and obtaining a shot of endorphins without resorting to drugs and alcohol. I did keep up with sex and rock n' roll 'though. Anyway I digress. Why do I go to the gym? 1. To catch up with my friend. 2. To find out the latest gossip about what our gym instructor is up to with other members of the class. 3. To get fit. 4. To burn calories. 5. To get some me-time. It occurred to me that I can get all those things and cancel my membership and multi-task. If I run with the dog I will free up 30 minutes to have coffee with my friend, find out the gossip have some double me-time (run and gossip), burn the calories, get fit and all for free.
Total projected annual saving so far: £2,968.00 Silver lining bonus: I don't have to watch sweaty alpha males strutting their oversized stuff around the gym anymore.
OK so strictly speaking this is tip one revisited. But - it got me thinking about essential luxuries. There are those things that are essential - food, mortgage, council tax etc. Then there's the luxuries - gym, beauty treatments, impulse clothing. But, and this is one one big but, I could never class as a "luxury" my visit to the hairdressers. Well, four visits a year actually. I have had my fine mousy hair coloured since 1983 and recession (we can officially call it that from today) or no recession you will have to drag me kicking and screaming from the hairdressers. So, I totted up the cash I'd saved since I stopped buying papers and magazines. It works out at £6.00 a week. As I get my hair done approximately every 13 weeks that's £78.00 - enough to pay for the cut and leave a small tip.
I am aware that these tips may not be relevant to some people. My aim is to show how one formerly wasteful member of the spend, spend, spend generation can save without suffering (too much!) Today Mr Credit Cruncher and I decided to ditch the second car. It wasn't an easy decision as we have three very active children and both work (him full-time, me part-time). We have run two cars since the last recession (1991)when our first child was born and I went back to work. Back then both our jobs were in places that meant two train or bus journeys. Over the years things have changed. Mr Credit Cruncher now works just 400 metres from a train station. I, on the other hand work 25 miles away in a place that would require a bus, two trains and a taxi to get to before 8.30am! The decision was made for us recently when a driver went into the back of Mr Credit Cruncher's car. As said car is only worth £300 we would need to invest in a replacement that would need a loan. We did the math. The modest motor vehicle we were thinking of would mean monthly repayments of £114.00, add to that petrol, tax, insurance, MOT, servicing and ware and tear it worked out at around £200.00 total a month. A massive saving of £2,400.00 a year.
Total projected annual saving so far: £2,608.00 Silver lining bonus: I can turn the "For Hire" sign off in Mum's Taxi and put my feet up instead of racing around all evening!
I usually buy a Daily Mail during the week, a Guardian on a Saturday and a Mail on Sunday or Observer on a Sunday. I have been checking out the online sites and comparing them to the actual papers. Not only do I get the same stories but in the case of the Daily Mail they often appear on the site up to two days before they appear in the paper. I have washed out an old pickle jar taped it up and slit a whole in the top. I plan to put the money I would normally spend on a paper in the jar. But I'm not a total skinflint I will still buy a Sunday newspaper. By stopping buying papers six days a week I will save £208.00 a year.
Total projected annual saving so far: £208.00 Silver lining bonus: No more trips to the recycling centre with stacks of flyaway papers.
Welcome to my website. So why? Several reasons. Until the past year I had led a very comfortable but wasteful life. Yet over the past 12 months I have seen friends lose jobs, friends fear for jobs and a general grey gloom of doom. My conclusion was thus. 1. As I'm self-employed its probably best to start tightening the belts. 2. How much money have I wasted over the years? 3. Life is short I want to live it to the full but on as little cash as possible. 4. Every cloud has a silver lining. 5. Spending less can be fun. Follow my journey.......................