Five Frugal Habits

With a few exceptions, you might have noticed I don't do "look at what I brought" posts, This is mostly because I don't buy stuff. Well I do, but I'm very careful what I spend on. Thrifty, frugal, tight - call it what you like but by hell it works.  Last month, a bare few days until payday I found, despite a week of holiday at home, going a bit mental in Lush, putting 10% of my paycheck into savings, I still had a few pennies in the bank. Not bad really, even more so if you saw my actual paycheck!!

My top frugal tips??

Give it ten minutes before you part with the cash. 

Whatever it is you are buying, leave it sitting in your basket for a few minutes and really rationalize it to yourself. If its clothes, does it work with the rest of your wardrobe.  Do you really need that new whatever-it-is or can you revamp the old one. If you are online shopping, check if someone has it cheaper. If you use Amazon, always check the other sellers - often they might have the same item cheaper than Amazon are selling for. This is especially good if you don't mind about "nearly new".

Get budgeting, and actually use it!!

I use Toshl as a budgetting app, which you can also use online. I input all my monthly direct debits, to come out automatically, then set a budget to live on for the rest of the month. Because my income changes month to month (ah the joys of retail) I use this, rather than checking my bank account to see how much I've spent. Whatever you use, acutally use it. Everything I spend I put into the app, even if its only a 99p ebay bid. The only way using these apps work is if you put in everything, even the pennies. I always manage to keep (reasonably) within my budget if I actually bother imput the data.

Budget for food

Pretty much essential in my view. Mr O and I have an account for all the household bills,  and we put in extra to cover food. This covers everything, so for instance, if we decide on a take out - it comes out of that and we have a bit less money to spend at the supermarket. We also write a shopping list for everything we need and find the cheapest store for it, using MySupermarket. If its a big shop rather than picking up essentials (or I've fluffed it on doing a list - it happens), we also use the scan and shop devices, so we have a running total of how much we've spent.

Shop Savvy

Research the hell out of anything expensive you are going to buy - make sure you are buying something that's worth the money. Think in terms of longevity and quality and always look a little above what you want to spend - as sometimes you can find a much higher quality, and better fit for you, item for just a few more pounds. Sometimes you can find something perfect for much less than you think if you research, but always build in a little flex - something fantastic might be discounted to just above the price range you put in that search engine. Similar theory applies to things like bags and shoes - a £25 pair of boots that will last until you wear down the heels are good, a £50 pair of leather boots that last years with a re-heal every now and again is a much better idea.

Don't spend it if you don't have to!! 

This falls into two categories - borrowing and posting. If you just want to read that book or watch that movie, use your library. Especially with craft books that I might not be able to find in my bricks and mortar store - if I'm thinking about it I will happily pay the 50p reserve charge to check it out before I part with my money. Same if I am only going to read a book once. When I say borrowing I'm not only talking libraries - specialist equipment for whatever hobby's you might have works too. We are always sharing brewing equipment, or decorating/mechanics tools amongst friends. Yes we could buy our own Jack with ease, same as they could buy a tall ladder - but why if you can borrow one for the hour or so you need it?

As for posting, always always always factor into the price the postage charges when buying online. I've lost count of the amount of times I was outbid on something on eBay by someone who on the face of it was paying less, but ended up paying more with p&p. Sometimes that 99p bargain ends up the same as buying in the local shop when you think postage.

So those are my top 5 tips, what are yours??

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