Your 2023 money goals -- how do we get there?
8 answers /
Last post: 15/04/2023 at 8:26 am
With the Cost of Living crisis hitting families across the UK, many of us are wondering how we'll stay on top of our finances in 2023.
In association with Aldi, here's the place to share all your top tips and tricks, get ideas for saving money, and learn how to budget effectively as a family.
See the latest money-saving ideas, and be sure to share what works for your family; from the best way to find bargains, to how to save on your energy bills.
Together, we can stay in control of our finances for a happy and prosperous 2023!
I know it might sound mad, but I'm actually thinking about next Christmas already! Last year kind of snuck up on me, and I didn't have enough savings to get the kids anything good; ended up putting it on my credit card. I will be able to pay it off in a few months, but I want to make sure I'm not in the same position next year.
I've actually already got all my wrapping paper, cards, etc for next year sorted, as I bought them in the post-Xmas sales. Now I'm trying to put away £20 a month in a separate savings account just for presents, plus checking the sales often to see if there are any bargains I can buy now for next year.
Batch cooking helps a lot. Don't forget to keep the freezer full as it uses less energy to keep things cold and putting in plenty of your ready made meals will do that well.
When heating a kettle only put in as much water as you need.
Put a steamer on top of a saucepan you're using to cook two things in one place.
My biggest tip comes from the world of lightweight camping, believe it or not.
It involves an adaptation of the "Three Piles" technique of kit selection.
So, make a list of everything (and I mean everything, even down to that Freddo you bought last week) you spend money on over the course of a month (if you can manage three months, even better).
Then divide those things into three "piles".
Into Pile A, put all the essentials: the electric bill, mortgage or rent payments, telephone costs, debt repayments, and so on. Everything that you have to pay so that you don't end up homeless or seriously ill. Leave the shopping out of this for now.
Into Pile B, put all the things that you pay for regularly and are nice to have, but not essential: TV and streaming subscriptions, holidays, school fees, nights out, that coffee from the coffee shop, and so on.
Into Pile C put everything else (again, apart from your shopping): impulse buys, little treats, etc.
Then look at your shopping. Get your itemised receipts, and sort your shopping item by item into those same Piles. Essentials in Pile A (potatoes, rice, all the things that make your basic meals and essential toiletries) non essentials (wine, beer, biscuits, chocolate, that fancy soap that only you use) in Pile B, and impulse buys in Pile C
Get rid of Pile C. Make a resolution that from now on, that stuff doesn't get bought or paid for.
With Pile B, you have two choices. First, treat it as Pile C and just get rid. To do that, though, would probably mean a big lifestyle change, and not only will you be unhappy, but it's likely to be unsustainable. So instead, look at B closely. Is there anything there that you don't really use? If you're only watching BritBox for an hour a week, is it really worth the £5.99 a month? Do you need that gym membership? Could you take coffee in a flask? Anything you can do without, put in Pile C and get rid. The rest goes into Pile A.
Now take a look at Pile A. Is everything on the list really essential? Is there anything you can cut down on, or get cheaper elsewhere or by changing brand? If so, do that.
How much you can save by doing this depends on your spending. If you're already on a low income there a good chance this won't save you a penny, as you're probably already pared to the bone. If you're on a level of income that should be enough to support you, but isn't doing, you can make some surprising savings.
To give an example, one of my work colleagues has a coffee from a famous coffee chain every day, as does her husband. That's five or six days a week, for around 45 to 50 weeks a year. So, based on a medium latte, that's roughly £7 a day. Over 45 weeks, that makes around £1500 a year on coffee, or for them, the equivalent of two and a half months rent. That's quite a saving if they bought a couple of flasks and a jar of Gold Blend!
We walk or ride our bikes as much as we can now to get somewhere, I know its not so easy with little ones and is weather dependant, but that 10 min car journey to see my parents, we cycle it instead.
We also take pack ups with us when we go into town shopping to resist the temptation to get a sneaky Subway.
We only ever go to the cinema on a meerkat day and always take our own snacks. In fact we usually go around lunchtime and take a packed lunch lol
My tip is to always take a packed lunch when you are out for the day-it really helps save money and kids really enjoy a picnic-better than a packed cafe or pub. If it's raining we have a car picnic! If we do cave and have fish and chips or maccy d's we take the picnic home and have it for tea.