I have a new aim to make my remaining years as easy and stress free as possible, what with a family of demanding boys, who not only seem to have hollow legs but also just refuse to stop growing life can be pretty expensive!! I spent much of 2016 looking at our finances and I have made a pledge (new years resolution) to make 2017 the best year yet (Financially speaking!!) Being a WAHM, we need to save where ever we possibly can, without cutting back on life's little luxuries for my family (unless we really need to!) Whilst helping my family I thought I could also help Mummy’s and Daddy’s by sharing some tips and ways we saved in 2016!
I know life is busy and I know it isn’t always easy to find the best deals when time is short. But let us all make a pledge for 2017 to be our best year (financially speaking) Let's attempt to end 2017 with a jar of savings on the top of our wardrobe, or our debt paid off! (or better still both!)
Here is a collation of my top tips and ideas.
CASHBACK? YES PLEASE - So first (and definitely most important in this household) is Quidco.com! This site is amazing! We are in an era where most of our shopping is completed online, whether it be for Christmas, Grocery shopping, Birthday gifts or that muchneeded party dress at the weekend. This fantastic site gives you cashback with most retailers we know and love like Very, ASOS and Argos. You get cashback with EVERY SINGLE online shop you do, providing you access the retailer's website through Quidco. Sign up for free here and use the site to visit the websites and retailers you normally would, and shop and checkout as normal. I made £250 cashback in just 6 months, just by using this site to shop as I normally would. Imagine what £250 would buy you? I plan to use quidco to do my weekly food shop in 2017. I want to triple that figure!! Don't shop online without it!
EXTREME COUPONING- This has become an exciting new venture in our house hold!! Coupons really are everywhere! LIKE REALLY!! Hunt them down! Find them in newspapers, or magazines, through the post with your loyalty cards and pick up the free supermarket magazines you get. I shall post about how we do this in further detail in another post but for now here are a few sites I regularly use to print off discount codes and vouchers. I use these alongside the coupons I find in magazines and papers and the mail we get through the post. We tend to save around £20 to £30 a week on our grocery shop on average. But add to that, the money we save in restaurants using buy one get one free vouchers in Prezzo’s or Pizza Express and vouchers and cashback used at Christmas and Birthdays we save ourselves quite a few pennies over the year.
http://www.freestuff.co.uk/printable-vouchers/shops/ a massive round up of 1000’s of vouchers enjoy!!
http://www.victoria.co.uk/coupon-offers a Procter & Gamble owned website that has coupons for P&G products, including toiletries, pet food and cleaning products.
http://www.caringeveryday.co.uk/ owned by Johnson & Johnson, offering a range of health care products. It has new coupons about once a month.
https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/instore-vouchers vouchers and discount codes for tonnes of retailers with a handy app to shop in town with.
https://www.vouchercloud.com a selection of codes and discount vouchers to be used in a huge selection of retailers
If you play it correctly, by using the Quidco site first, to access your chosen retailer, then by use your coupon codes at checkout and look for free delivery codes or £5 off for a £40 spend you really can save yourself some money with cashback and money off!
THE HAPPY MAIL BAZAAR - This is definitely my favourite little community (both for making money if you are a crafter and saving money if you are a buyer) just head here to the Happy Mail Bazaar on Facebook. The concept behind this group is about showcasing beautiful art and gorgeous handmade items, and making these works and artists accessible to everyone! Twice a week, (on a Wednesday and a Sunday,) a small selection of the many crafters and small businesses who list on there, offer vouchers towards their unique and original handcrafted items. There will always be a limited number of vouchers avaliable (maximum of 25), with each voucher costing £2.28. This guarantees you money off with each company. You then have the chance to win that item too, made just for you. Something worth well in the region of £50, may be yours for just a little over £2!! I have listed a few times and bought a few times and love this concept. There are many groups that offer this for all sorts of goodies, but this is my fave as you really do find some amazing and alternative gifts on there!!
REFUNK MY JUNK - If any one in your family is a little bit creative or crafty, this is the perfect way to generate a little bit of income for 2017. Purchase old furniture, peices or frames, (from charity or car boots) or use stuff lying around at home and give them a new lease of life! Then resell your beautiful creations on sites like Etsy or your local facebook selling sites. There is quite a huge market for 'shabby chic' and the repurposing of old furniture and peices. Be inspired!! You can go as simple as giving that table a new lick of paint, and bringing it back to life or go crazy and make an old pallet into a headboard. Just tap into your creative mind and see where it takes you!
SELL YOUR CRAFTS FOR PROFIT - This follows on from the previous idea. Crafting is a huge industry and the United Kingdom has become a place where we really appreciate the independent sellers and the ‘Made in Britain’ tag. It is also becoming more and more online shopping orientated. The web is an amazing place and you can sell your beautiful creations to people all over the world on sites like your own stand alone website (use create.net )or a online site like Etsy which happens to be the perfect online shop for handmade pretties. Turn your hobby into a business and show the world what you can do! So pull out your knitting needles or your dusty sewing machine and have a go! What have you got to lose!
ONE MAN’S JUNK IS ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE - Outfit’s too small? Clothes still have the tag? Just don’t wear it any more? Toys no longer played with? Perfume’s that don’t agree with you? SELL THEM! Certain things sell really well on ebay or your local facebook sites and you can make a few extra pennies on those things whilst decluttering your house! Anything that is vintage, or that can be used as craft supplies sell amazingly on Etsy and anything big and bulky or thosed used toys sell really well at car boot sales or local table top stalls. If you keep a collection of old unused stuff throughout the year and then have a massive clear out before Christmas (November time) and sell everything at your local market you can generate a bit of money for Santa!!
EXTRA TIPS –
PAY OFF DEBT FIRST - Debt is definitely an expensive way to spend and if you have a credit card with say £1000 on, your yearly interest over a year could be £120! Save that money by paying off the debt first and foremost as quickly as you can!
RECYCLE - use sites like MusicMagpie.com to sell your unwanted DVD's Cd's, gadgets, phones and old pc's. This will definitely generate a few extra quid!
LOYALTY CARDS - Sign up for EVERY loyalty card you possibly can… I currently have over £600 sitting pretty on loyalty cards for when I need them (rainy day funds, Christmas, treating myself) They also send coupons to your house monthly and with some loyalty cards you get extra treats like freebies and free food or coffee! (Ikea, Boots, Co op, Nectar, Tesco, Toys R Us, Waterstones, Starbucks, Debenhams, House of Fraser, B & Q)
COMPARE THE MARKET Utilise these amazing sites to ensure you are getting the best deals from your utilities, insurances and bills. If not!? SWITCH, SWITCH, SWITCH!! Find the cheapest deals then use Quidco to purchase these utilities and get more cashback. Companies like Sky and EE can get you £50 cashback straight away!
FIVERR - Good at something? Advertise and sell yourself and your skills! Use fiverr to sell your services whilst making a little bit of money on the side!
COUNT THE PENNIES AND THE POUNDS WILL COUNT THEMSELVES!! - Use notes to spend in shops and save all your loose change in a jar, cash it in at the end of the year and save it!
BUY FROM SMALL INDEPENDENT - Now purchasing from small independent businesses not only helps the UK economy, but it gives you more of a chance to get discount codes and money off from gorgeous independent companies. Don't be too greedy and expect too much but ask whether they have any codes avaliable. Even a 5% or 10% off helps your back pocket, while guaranteeing you get a gorgeous unique item from a beautiful small retailer! Etsy, notonthehighstreet and not your ordinary gift are great places to visit! Don't be afraid to ask if you need to, I personally advertise all my coupon codes online publically at OliHarri Creations but obviously, some retailers you will need to ask.
Now i need to stop rambling but I do hope you have taken away some ideas with you, and find some things you can put into practice easily for 2017! Now what are you going to do with all that money you haven't spent!? SAVE IT!! Set up a standing order with your bank to move money from your current account to your savings account. Set it up weekly or monthly, whichever is easiest. But just send over however much you can afford £5, £10 even £20 a week!! Because I utilise everything above I manage to save £20 a week into a rainy day fund. This equates to £1040 a year into this account alone. But even if you save just half that, that is still £520 saved a year! Imagine that? Christmas is paid for, or a nice weekend away in January, or a nice fund for if the boiler breaks or the car needs some love!! Add that savings to the money sat in your paypal from selling your unwanted goodies on line and your cashback generated from Quidco and you have smashed 2017 financially!