You’ll be surprised how much money you can save by making little changes in your lifestyle. Over the past three years; we have gone from 2 salaries to 1 and have had 2 children which has increased our expenditure extremely, however, every month we manage to survive and still live the life we want. Living in London is extremely expensive but we have managed to pay over £5,000 of debt on one salary. These 16 things we stopped buying has been a real game changer in our finances.
I’m not claiming to be in the best financial position because we have a long way to go but the little changes that we don’t necessarily notice have made a big difference in our finances. The list below will include a rough estimate of how much money we save annually with alternative solutions or hacks. Don’t forget to Pin for later
- Television/TV subscription
- Bottled Water
- Fizzy drinks/ Juices
- Hot drinks
- Don't buy individual items/ Buy in Bulk
- Gym Membership
- Being Brand Loyal
- Going to the Hair salon
- Buying reduced food for the sake of it being reduced
- Using vouchers and coupons because I have them
- Phone Contract
- Getting into debt to buy new things
Television/ TV subscription
Many people come to our house and are shocked to not see a television as a center point in our living room. When my husband and I got married we agreed that will not buy a television partly because as Christians we thought the television had no benefit to us. Plus if we really want to watch something we have access to it online. Additional benefits of not having a television are playing out now; that we have had children because I am able to control and select what my children watch.
Matthew 6:22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. – I interpret this scripture as what you watch determines your views and insight.
Savings: We have saved money on the cost of buying a television in the first place, we are also saving on the need to buy a television subscription. Just to give a rough guide on how much we have saved and how much we will save every year. The average good quality television cost over £1000/ $1400. A basic TV subscription is about £30 a month which adds us to £360 a year plus if you own a television, you have to pay for tv license which £150.50 a year in the UK.
Total Savings every year excluding the cost of the TV: £510.50
We tend to not notice how expensive and how much it adds up when we are constantly buying bottled water. A lot of us are also brought up believing that tap water is less healthy and more poisonous because of the smell of chlorine but there is a simple solution to changing that; if you put a jug of water covered in fridge the chlorine taste will disappear, you just need to make sure that you replace it every 24 hours because there wouldn’t be enough chlorine to prevent bacteria growing if you keep it in the fridge for longer without changing it.
I used to love sparkling water and it had to be a particular brand because of the bubbles, it cost £1 per litre plus the average bottle of water is about 80p.
Savings : If we drink about 5lts a day on average as a household and each bottle cost 50p that means you will spend £2.50 a day on water. That is £17.50 a week, £70 a month and a whopping £840 a year.
Pre-packed/ prepped fruit and vegetables
It comes as no surprise that convenience cost more money. supermarkets charge you to cut your products for you. Prime example: FRUIT; you buy a whole pineapple (800g and peeled yourself) and it will cost you £1, you buy pre-packed chopped pineapple and for the equivalent size you will pay £4 meaning you are being charged £3 for conveniences. This premium expense goes across most pre-packed products.
Solution: Buy food that is fresh and whole and pay yourself the premium and chop it up yourself. This goes for microwave meals and grated cheese as well.
Savings: Using the pineapple theory as an example, if you a super pineapple fan and you buy it twice a week which is equivalent to buying one big one. That is £4 a week, £16 a month, £192 a year
Just to add up the total savings just from the three items above before we continue, we have saved a grand total of £1542/ $2000.
Perfume is an expensive luxury and the majority of people never finish a bottle before buying a new one. I was a victim of consumerism and I had the desire to smell nice and different every week. I found a solution that feeds my new smell craving and I save a lot of money in the process.
Solution: Request for perfume samples. Head to different perfume stores and ask for samples, they will not say no because that is what samples are for. To increase my collection of samples, I also apply for samples online. Check out my ebook on how to get free stuff.
Savings: the average perfume cost £40, let us say you buy 2 perfumes a year, that is still £80 you could be saving.
I am not a heavy make up user but the principle still stands, I refuse to spend £40 on a foundation if I can just get samples for free. I haven’t bought makeup in over 2 years however my makeup bag includes benefits mascara, Estee Lauder foundation, Lancome foundation, MAC primer, smash box primer, von don lipsticks and more and they were totally free.
Savings: Just an estimation of £100 a year, I know it can cost a lot more when you move on from high street brands.
I am not going to pretend that I do not eat out, I do go out once in a while to a restaurant for dinner but we hardly order takeaway. I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen so I try and cook fakeaways which are a lot healthier and saves us a lot of money.
Fizzy drinks/ juices
We made a switch from fizzy drinks and juices to sugar-free squash and tap water. This simple change improves our health and reduces our sugar intake and it saves us a lot of money. I use to spend about £4 a week buying juice which only lasted a few days.
Savings: £4 a week, £16 a month, £192 – not including the drinks we buy when we are out and about.
Solution: Always carry a bottle of squash or water.
Buying a coffee every day is a big expense people look over and not realise how much it adds up to annually. The average latte cost £3.25 and with my dietary requirements, I had to pay an extra 50p for soya milk, making it £3.75 – imagine I got a latte every day before work. This will add up to £18.75 a week, £75 a month, £900 a year.
Solution: Make your own coffee and if you do not like the taste, trust me after a while, your taste buds will adjust and you will start to like it.
Don’t buy individual items – Buy in Bulk
Have you ever noticed that things in smaller shops or convenience supermarkets tend to be more expensive? Well again, it is because you are paying for convenience and that is why I stopped buying individual items. I buy most of my toiletries in bulk when they are on offer. For example, dove shower gel cost £4 a bottle, I buy about 10 bottles when they are on offer for half price. Toilet roll – A small pack can cost about 50p per roll for a pack of four. If you buy a pack of 24, it will cost about 33p per roll.
Pack of 4 – £2 – £12 a month – £144 a year
Pack of 24 – £8 a month – £96
Total savings: £48 a year
Going to the gym is a nice luxury, I always say before you join a gym give yourself 1 month to train every day and if you’re able to sustain it then you should join a gym; but most people, if they are anything like me, will start going for a bit then after 2 months i will stop will but the payments continue. Being a mum has made it nearly impossible to find the time to go to the gym and that is why I work out at home and I do. it saves me needing to travel and the extra bonus is that saves you money I have compiled a list of 10 workouts I do at home to stay in shape.
Other things we stopped buying
Brand names loyalty: Being frugal requires being open to trying different brands of products.
Pedicure – I have a DIY beauty treatment at home every once in a while
Going to the hairdressers – I use youtube to teach me how to style my hair. I use to spend £40 every 6 weeks to get my hair done.
Savings: over £300
Buying reduced food because they are reduced – I am a super yellow sticker/tag shopper and I am very proud however I use to buy food clearly knowing I wouldn’t or couldn’t eat it purely because they reduced. I am now super selective about any reduced foods I buy.
Using vouchers and coupons because I have them – I have started to sell any coupons or vouchers I do not need via eBay.
Clothes – Recycling old clothes has saved us a fortune. This includes kids clothes. People feel comfortable giving me their old items because I am open to receive. I have spent less than £50 on my kids over the last year when it comes to clothes. I have no problem wearing second-hand clothes.
Phone contract – By not falling into the trap of getting an upgrade. I am paying £5 a month for a sim only contract with the better benefits than I got when I was paying £35. I am saving £30 a month. This adds up to £360 a year
Taking on debt to buy new things – if you can not afford it, then don’t buy it. I know it is a difficult concept to apply but save your money and buy what you want rather than getting it on credit can save a lot of money.