For a while now I have been coping on a very low income. Even when with my daughters father I was scraping by and then since having to leave my job I have had to adapt hugely. This is even though I wasn't exactly having much of life's luxuries anyway and by luxuries I mean clothes when I need them, occasionally getting my hair cut, a social life.
My ex partner was on a higher wage still did these things and more yet objected tome getting our growing baby the next size up of clothes. Since becoming pregnant most of my money had gone towards G anyway but since becoming so short of pocket I very rarely have any to spend on myself and without these series of tips I'll be posting I'd be living in black bags!
I'm starting a voluntary position at my local hospital soon to help me get on the path back into work, but even then I will be on a tight, maybe slightly improved budget. I hope these simple saving tips will help others, whether you are not even scraping by, coping but never affording anything beyond groceries and bills or doing a bit better and wanting to be able to save for a holiday, emergencies, something more expensive you need or for your children.
This is the second of the budget tips & advice posts I'm doing and this one is really simple.
If there's something you need try not to buy it from the first place you see it. If you do more often than not you can end up kicking yourself when you find it/see it being sold cheaper elsewhere.
I've never really understood why people shop in Waterstones when books are always cheaper know second hand isn't for everyone and it of course can limit your choice but you can buy books cheaper in certain supermarkets, online (Amazon etc) or cheaper bookstores such as The Works.
I understand wanting to support local people and businesses. I can't afford to right now but that doesn't mean I don't support it.
Another example - there's a specific toy/toys that your child/children want for Christmas. Shop around and find the best deal or if you don't have time to trawl the web etc join a site that might already have found the best deal for you.
A good site I joined on facebook recently is Bargain Finders Group. People share where they have seen great bargains and it can save you loads of money, especially on the run up to Christmas when I'm sure most of us need to make the pounds stretch further. They also have a social group so if you want any advice of where to look you can ask there.
Amazon is great for having brilliant deals on popular sought after products. You could maybe save 50% or more than you would have done just picking it up in say Toys R Us.
Of course the internet has made is so much easier to find a good deal. If you're not specifically looking for goods, but instead more along the line of experiences, treatments and the like, Groupon, wowcher, kgbdeals and a variety of others are great.
Even if you can afford to consider expensive treatments lipolysis, invisible braces, even a brain and body MRI scan which I've just spotted this evening to name a few you're not going to say no to 60% * off.
Anyone who's got a TV, in the UK at least will know about price comparison websites for car, home insurance etc. What's great is that you can use them to check your energy bills and see if you can save money by switching suppliers. This time of year, if any energy bills are on most people's minds, so it's worth a look. Don't forget to check to see if you or a relative might be eligible for the warm home discount too.
Then there's your general groceries shop. For me not driving and being ill I find it easier to just stick to one supermarket/shop but they all have different deals on/better prices for certain products. Aldi which has become 'trendy', is fantastic. so is great if you can get to one. Even saving the pennies counts as they all add up! Most would welcome ways to be frugal in the current financial times but especially if you are finding you're really struggling try to shop around.