Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Thrift By Stealth - Part 1

Something dawned on me a little while ago.  My current income  as a single parent is about £10K per annum less  than it was  nearly twenty years ago when I lived in a house where two professionals contributed to a household budget. There was no child then either. They're expensive little buggers.   It's no wonder that I have to work really hard to keep things on an even keel financially but I just about do it - and sometimes gain a bit of admiration about my monetary wizardry.  I can make those pounds stretch!  This is not Ebenezer Scrooge stuff either.   No-one would know that I'm penny pinching.

Here's a round up of some of the things in my role as a stealthy thrifter.  I'm making this up as I go along and they'll probably be few things that I haven't spoken about before.   I'll keep writing until 6:30 when I have to get Lou up but something tells me that this post will need more than one visit.

Car

Some might have thought that I chose Leif, my little green Citigo because he looked funky but my primary goal was to save money.  I  do a lot of miles each year in my business and personal life so he needs to be reliable.  I have a personal rather than the more expensive NHS lease,  My choice of an eco-friendly car was deliberate in terms of the savings to be had on fuel and running costs.  I eco-drive except when I fancy letting my hair down.  And I make every journey count by doubling, tripling, even making them quadruple purpose if I can.  Oh, and parking.  I try not to pay for it ever on a day to day basis.

Food

We eat like kings here and no-one would ever know that there's been skimping involved.  There's lots of secret ways of cutting a bob or too here:  Yellow stickers, choosing where I shop from, batch cooking and freezing, foraging, making own packed lunches, cooking from scratch rather than using pre-prepared ingredients, limiting eating out  and  doggy bags when we do......

Clothes

The charity shop is my friend.  Occasionally Ebay comes up trumps and there's the occasional new bit of kit, normally from George at Asda.  What I look for when I buy new are clothes where the fit, fabric and design give them an air of being far more expensive than their actual cost.

I don't have a massive wardrobe.  Okay blokes might beg to differ but it's not so in girlie terms.  In buying anything, even if it costs a fiver from the chazzer, I think in terms of how many wears I'm going to get out of that particular item.

So what else?  Well I wear leggings instead of tights, mend stuff to get extra wears and I buy good quality footwear. More expensive initially, even when discounted but this is an area where paying a bit extra upfront means savings over the long run.

Travel

Maybe those Romany genes mean that this is an essential rather than a luxury.  So how's it done on that solitary income.  Well I plan ahead and try to get the best deals on flights and ferry costs.  My membership of Brittany Ferries Travel Club has saved me thousands of pounds over the years.  My friends, family and I have had really good times when we're away and so many good memories are laid down.  But there's no fancy new holiday wardrobes,  the scales tip towards free activities rather than expensive attractions and eating out is limited in favour of fun outdoor eating.

There you go!  I've run out of time.   Maybe this topic needs a revisit in a few days?

6 comments:

  1. Very sensible - frugal where you can be so the funds can be spent for the special wants. You are not on your own.
    xx

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    1. And it's having money over for the special things that is the driver. Watch this space! xx

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  2. Sounds like you've got it figured out. I love the world stealth in the budget context.

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  3. I love this post I love a bit of hidden frugality. I spent years on my own had limited clothes as everything went on the kids always cooked and ate good food and always took my kids all four of them on holiday. I'm not so good buying clothes from charity shops though I just don't seem to have the eye lol

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    1. You'll have to arrange a time to come charity shopping with me. I'd sort you out! xx

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