Putting my ducks in a row

I have to apologise for the lack of a giveaway which I promised. I have taken on way too many commitments lately and need to cross some off before I take on more. One of my 101 in 1001 tasks involves writing down all my financial data so I know where I’m at. There’s a reason I have avoided that task for so long. The truth is not pretty. But there is now only 19 days until we attend the adoption information evening and get the application pack (and you KNOW I’m filling out the forms asap) and that really means it’s time to take stock of…everything. My finances, Dave’s finances, our spending habits and where we tend to haemorrhage money etc. I realised yesterday that despite having not so much to live on we really could be spending it all a lot more efficiently. Especially with the impending first winter month’s heating bill. And in fact simply BECAUSE we have not so much income is the best reason of all to use it more efficiently. It ain’t going to be easy but it’s going to be well worth it!

The plan includes:

  • changing banks – between us we’ll save up to $15 a month in fees between us. $180 saved in a year simply by having lower bank fees! That’s a lot of money we’re just giving away each year.
  • My writing is set to make me more money than ever this year.
  • We’ve replaced a lot of our lightbulbs with eco bulbs. We don’t know if the savings are that noticable to our power and the fact that they have mercury in them (how is that ECO??) makes me mad but the theory is that we won’t have to buy any lightbulbs during the time we’re living in this place.
  • Planning meals for the next week or more at a time
  • More home cooking (I actually don’t miss takeaways hardly at all, only one place
  • Not turning the heater on until as late in the day as possible
  • Not running a load of laundry or dishes until the load is as full as possible. It costs the same for a half empty or full load.
  • The spare change jar – it’s actually surprisingly effective once you get into the habit.
  • Selling all the stuff we don’t need or use. I’ll donate the rest. Having clear spaces makes it easier to be creative and lifts your mood.
  • Not buying new stuff. Do I really need it? Chances are the answer is no.
  • Dave is taking on lots of cash work. Computers always need some sort of help.

We’re lucky, Dave has a work car with free petrol. In an ideal world we’d walk places, eco-changes as well as fiscal ones. But for now we’re doing what we can where we can in a way that won’t overwhelm us. Do you have any ideas that I haven’t thought of? I’d love to hear them.

And just so this isn’t a photoless post here’s my finished cat and mouse skittles. They only took me 9 months to finish!

Cat and mouse skittles

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5 Comments

Filed under Fiscal fast, making stuff

5 responses to “Putting my ducks in a row

  1. jen

    which bank are you going with?
    mine seems to charge so much and every cent counts

    that skittle set is so so cute

  2. Sounds like you have some good strategies. Wish I had some financial tips to share. I’m horrible at saving money…horrible. I partake in retail therapy waaaay too much. Luckily, Mark is tight with his money, so between our two incomes we do OK. But we could save a lot more if I’d buckle down.

    And I must tell you…your cat and mouse skittles are adorable!

  3. My bank just sent notice they are going to charge me 16 dollars a month unless I maintain an average balance of 10,000. That’s not going to happen so I am going to switch as well. These days it seems like the cost of everything is creeping higher and higher. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much until you figure it out on a per use or yearly basis.

  4. The change jar does work. We had more than $200 in small change – all from me following my husband around and picking up all the change he kept leaving around on the counters.

  5. Hi, I’m a bit late joining the party, I have only just found your site and have added it to my favourites. On the economy thing; I too, do all the things you have on your list, plus I saved about £300 [I’m in the very expensive UK] changing all my insurances around. Go on line to compare for the best deals. My daughter bought me a Panasonic breadmaker and I now make a loaf for 40p or less, which is better than the £1.20 in the shop, so it is one of those things that pays for itself eventually. I also have a raised garden for veggies [which I am currently sharing with a few slugs! ugh!] and I have three chickens ~ one of whom is going on for 13 years old, but the other two are youngsters. I always figure that when I am broke I can live on egg, chips and bread and butter! I spin, knit and sew and really enjoy being economical, but not frugal. [p.s. you can knit/crochet whatever a lap blanket out of odds and ends ~ ideal for TV evenings ~ and the heating can be lowered one or two degrees].

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