Penny’s Savings 2018 – Weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5

Hmmmm. So that plan of writing this section of the blog on a weekly basis has failed somewhat. Mainly due to a ten day stint of agonising toothache and being somewhat off my head of pain killers!

What I did learn from that little episode though is that if you don’t leave the house for anything other than the school run fo a week you don’t spend much money. The savings are further enhanced when the antibiotics from the dentist don’t allow to drink for a week and at once point the pain is so bad that all you manage to eat in a 48 hour period is two soggy Weetabix. Then again, it’s not the kind of lengths that I recommend when you’re wanting to save money!

The other thing that’s been taking up my time is trying to find us somewhere new to live. Buying a property isn’t going to be cheap, but in the long run it is going to be so much more cost efficient than renting in this part of the country. With the deposit that we have saved up and the price range of property that we’re looking at, chances are that our mortgage outgoings will be about a third of what we are currently paying in rent each month. There are some additional costs that come with owning a home over renting, but we are really hoping that the difference in monthly accommodation outgoings will enable us to put money away into a savings account (or offset mortgage) so that we can be prepared for those extra costs when they come in.

Penny's Savings KidsPass

As far as main savings over the last month, I carried on what I started in week 1 and we had another family trip to the cinema where having a KidsPass enabled us to save a whopping £15.98. That means a total saving on cinema tickets of £27.24 in the month. So worthwhile.

I also made a couple of sales purchases in January which saved me about £8 in total (one being a new swimming costume for my daughter). Finally I also got round to downloading the Wuntu app (a bit like O2 Priority, but for Three customers) and was able to get a free cup of tea at Costa which saved me £2.

In addition to the above, regular use of Topcashback means I earned another £4.79 of Cashback with them (mainly on my OH’s work expenses) and using my American Express Cashback credit card aded up to a further £24.75.

January was also the month that I finally got round to setting up a proper savings account to make the money from my house sale last year actually work for me. I managed to find one that pays interest monthly and make a whopping £47.83 in just the first month.

All in all it’s not been the biggest month for savings after all, but oh how I plan to turn that around in February!

Total savings for weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5 £65.81

Total Cashback for the weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5 £29.54

 

Total savings for the year to date £387.19

Total Cashback for the year to date £62.26

Total saved for the year to date £449.45

Five ways to save water

Tap Save Water

On the first Monday of each month I head into Radio Verulam where I appear on the West Herts Drivetime show as their “Thrifty Correspondent”. It’s a wonderful opportunity to share some thrifty tips with their listeners and also means I get to do a spot of radio, which I love! This month I’m going to be talking all about how to save water, and hence save money too. The theory is that if you can reduce the amount of water you use you also reduce your other energy bills too. After all, it takes less gas or electricity to heat the water up for starters.

Once the show’s gone out I’ll link to some clips from it, but if you’re wanting to save water then here are my top five tips.

1. Shower

It may seem obvious, but shower instead of having a bath. And even better still, have a short shower. The “recommended time” for a thrifty shower is four minutes, but to be honest that seems quite long to me. Work out how long you normally spend in the shower and then aim to reduce that time as much as possible.  There are even loads of shower timers on the market to make sure you’re in and out as fast as possible!

If you’re already a shower person, ask yourself if you have an eco shower head or not. These can use up to 30% less water than a conventional shower head – hence saving you even more water and money.

2. Turn off

Whether brushing your teeth, washing your face, or doing the washing up, turn off the tap as much as possible. It doesn’t need to be running all the time as otherwise you are literally throwing money down the drain.

Also, if you do the washing up by hand consider investing in a washing up bowl. Not only do they hold less water than a kitchen sink does (hence saving money instantly!) but also your washing up water is likely to stay hotter for longer in one – another little energy saving measure!

3. Full loads only

If you use a washing machine or dishwasher then make sure that you only ever run it when you have a full load. It’s the most efficient way of running your machine and the programmes normally use a volume of water that assumes it is a full load, so otherwise it’s just more water down the drain.

4. Fix the drips

Talking of money down the drain… that’s exactly what a drip of a leak is. Get those dripping taps and leaky toilet fixed as soon as you can. It may be that you just need something simple like a new washer in a tap and a few pence on one of those can save you loads in the long run. Most DIY stores have some excellent guides now online to help you do jobs like that yourself – just like this one that can help with sorting out dripping taps.

5. Use a butt

If you have a garden of any size then it’s definitely worth considering getting a water butt. You can buy a simple kit to connect a water butt to a downpipe from your gutters and then every time it rains (which let’s be honest happens a lot!) you’re basically getting free water to use on your garden. If you want to go a step further you could even use this water to wash your car with!

 

Tap image via Shutterstock

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