We all know payday is the best day of the month. Live like Kings for a week and paupers for the remaining three… Who’s with me!?
We’ll change that! Right here, right now.
Last year I decided to quit my job as a Recruitment Consultant and become a stay at home Mum (full time cleaner, chef, snot wiper, kids’ taxi & expert Packed Lunch maker upper amongst a whole host of other, equally glamorous, tasks). It was a far cry from the court shoes, smart dresses and blazers that I had become so accustomed to.
Organisation has become second nature to me since I left my job. Money is tighter but needs stretching further than Stretch Armstrong can manage. Meals need to go 5 ways instead of 4 & it was a danger in itself leaving me in charge of our disposable income when I had the temptation of Amazon at my fingertips!
Quick Tips Before You Start:
- Set up a savings account in conjunction with your main account
- Buy a ceramic savings jar or 2 for change
- Write down your income & outgoings
- Keep EVERY receipt for a fortnight so you can see the odd £10 here and £5 there goes
- Buy an organiser/diary
Write down your income & outgoings:
This seems like an obvious one but it’s important you know exactly what is coming in and what is going out. How can you budget if you don’t know what you have to budget with?! Take into consideration the finer details like hair cuts, school dinners, shop trips. Add these payment dates to your diary/organiser so you know what’s coming (or going!) & when.
Top Tip: Once you have your disposable income sorted, take out a reasonable proportion of that in cash & use this in the first instance for shop trips, hair cuts, petrol etc.
Limit unplanned shop trips to 2 per week:
This is the wasp amongst a swarm of honey bees. You need milk, ran out of bread, forgot the custard (again), it happens to us all. Use cash & only take enough to cover what you actually NEED. You don’t have to completely sparse out, add a chocolate bar if you must, but take a list! The second you go without a list you’ll need 74 bags for life to carry it home.
Top Tip: Always take a list!
Meal Plan & Do An Inventory: Before I write my weekly shopping list, I check & document the contents of my fridge, freezer & cupboards. Then I sit back and try to work out what meals I can make for 7 days with what I have first, before I start my list.
For example I might have:
Half a pot of salad
DINNER #1: Chicken + veg + gravy + sweet potato mash
DINNER #2: Sweet Jacket Potatoes + beans + salad
DINNER #3: Eggs + mushrooms (omelette)
I now only have 4 dinners worth of food to buy.
Top Tip: Always write your meal plan down so you don’t veer off by Thursday!
Shop Around: On Payday I always do an online Tesco shop (I prefer online as I’m not as tempted to buy half the bloody shop as I would if I were mooching around)
The 3-4 other weeks I shop in Aldi because it’s much cheaper, I’ve saved SO much money since I swapped!
I buy a ‘Monday Pack’ sometimes from our local butcher. It’s £18 and contains a family sized lasagne, chicken breasts, sausages, a huge pie & mince.
Quick Tip: Use leftovers for lunches/more dinners!
Round Off Your Bank Account: This has saved us so much money without even noticing it’s gone!
Every time you check your online balance, round off the extra pences & pounds and transfer into your savings account. Ie if you have £478.76 in your account, transfer £8.76 into your savings, £51.20, transfer £1.20. You get the jist. You’ll be surprised how quickly this adds up, and you’ll never miss those little pennies!
Top Tip: Use a ceramic jar to save your spare change – we have 2, ones for 50ps, £1 & £2 coins, another for 20ps and under. You can only take the cash out by smashing the jar so you’re less tempted to dip into it until it’s full!
Limit Your Spending: Are you a beauty box addict? Love a cake from the bakery every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and sometimes Fridays too!? Whatever makes you weak at the knees, own it & take control. My weakness is small eBay & Amazon purchases so I add them up in my notebook and when I get to £50 I stop (or try to, sometimes I go a sneaky £10-£15 over!)
Top Tip: Delete the apps if you’re at or over your budgets. You can download them again on payday!
There is something strangely sayisfying about living on a budget I think. Making it to payday with money in my savings account + choosing purchases wisely, showing my kids how to budget… it’s a fulfilling practice & important in this day and age to take care of your finances.
Do you have any tips to add? Have you found this helpful?