Saturday, 29 September 2012

I suppose people are stumbling across this wondering what happened.

Answer: Sudden illness. Nothing serious but it knocked me out a bit. I'm still interested in doing a challenge like this so I'm going to double back once the recovery is complete and see what I can do with this.

Apologies if people stumble to this page expecting something.

For what its worth, I did save around £2000 during the year this project was supposed to occur. Bit off my target, but hey, it helped.

If I restart this though, it does make it harder having that already there. Do I count it? Can I find a further 6k or 10k in savings? Honestly, probably not. I might have to do a little bit of hand waving and carry that amount over. The point is to prove significant savings can be done, and save myself extra cash, whether I hit the targets or not.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Not dead

I am alive, just dealing with crash related and work related malarky.

I'm not giving this up, regardless.

Been switching to value branded stuff foodwise, with some success. For the most part there is very little difference in taste etc to mainstream foods.

Starting to sell off some items as well, which is generating a little income.

I will explore these further in a little bit. For now I have things to fill out...

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Phone savings.

Can't believe I forgot to mention this one, (I guess I had the crash to deal with), but I wiped £15 off a month on my Mobile (Cell) Phone bill.

I did this by simply calling up and changing my tariff to one that better suited me. It turned out that I never call anyone, I text and email instead, and even then I'm still under my text and data limit. So by reducing my free minutes a good deal, dropping the free text limit and paying a lower monthly fee, I'm saving a bit.

£15*12 = £180 to the savings total.

This one should be easy for other people to replicate. My contract was up, so I phoned and said something along the lines of "My contract is up, and I am shopping around for the best deals. What can you offer me?"

Some people say threatening to cancel works out well for them - the cancellation team are better trained and have more resources to convince you to keep your business. i didn't quite go down this path, but I was sure to mention that I was shopping around for better deals.

Fellow Savers

I'm starting to 'follow' other Personal Finance Blogs as and when I find them. I like to see what other people are doing, so that I might copy some of their ideas that worked, or find out what didn't work out for them.

One comment is that I think people seem to stress too much about micromanagement of finances, trying to save 50 cents off a cup of coffee and whatever. Again, not my approach, but I do find it put me in the 'save save save' mindset when I read about other peoples efforts, and I do find out about what works/doesn't work for them.

For the ones not hosted on blogger I will maybe add them in a box in the sidebar.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

And we start with a crash...

I had a RTC (road traffic collision) last week which was partially, if not mostly my fault. (the other guy is not blameless however)

It happens, I guess? Noone was seriously injured, but on my part I feel damn damn foolish. It'll take a while for everything to go through as well

The problem is my insurance premiums are going to shoot up to double and of course that has implications for this project.

The main implication is of course that the project becomes more important than ever, as the finances now will have far far less leeway in them. I basically need to get this thing going if I am to enjoy any standard of living.

So screw it, this project starts as of 8th November 2009. By 8th November 2010, I aim to have at least that extra £6000, and I will aim ever so hard for that £10k target.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Saving on shopping

This one is a bit unscientific, I'll admit, but I've changed my shopping habits a little over the last couple of months, and appear to be spending a deal less on my groceries.

I usually buy a lot of stuff at a local mini-supermarket, in fact I'd say I usually do most my shopping there. Now, I've started heading out to the larger chain supermarket a mile down the road, and am finding that even £10 is taking me so much further. This is with buying the same brands too, I've not started buying value brand (Yet).

If I have to take a rough estimate based on my mental notes and whats been left in my wallet every week, I think I've cut roughly a quarter of my shopping bill. £50 a week normally covers everything I get, but the last few weeks it's been below £40. But since I never really took notes about my exact spending down in the first place I'm not sure what figure I should add to the total.

But again, one small change, a bit of a further walk and I've saved a ton over a year. Now I do have a bit of an ethical debate going on - local shops are important and should be supported. But at the same time, for now at least, I do need to save this money.

I think I'm going to add £12 per week to the total, thats about fair (and I have underestimated other savings and will do so in the future, so I think it's a safe figure). £12 a week = 48 a month = £576 a year. I'll round this down to £570.

So to the total goes £570

This is without switching to value branded stuff. I'll spend a month or so switching to that and see what impact it has. If it is anything like I think it's going to be, I can see a total combined savings of £1000 per year off my shopping bill. So wow. Shocked that saving that much on something so easy was in my grasp all these years and I've never taken it.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


So I've not even properly started the project at the time of writing, and I've already found nearly £1200 in savings in my that I can easily apply. That is exciting actually. I'll be at least £1200 better off next year than I was this year. I haven't made any major unwanted sacrifices yet either, nor have I resorted to micromanagement.. If I didn't have stuff to pay off that could buy me a nice holiday.

I've a fair idea of what inefficiencies there still are in my current spending, and I know what approach I am going to take to cut those out, but I'm going to have to do a little research/trial and error to get a sense of what the numbers are going to be over a year by doing do. Until then I can't really post them. Unless they are going to be in the region of £100 per year it's not worth bothering with in my mind.

By the end of the year I can see myself having found at least £1500 in reductions in my current spending. Which is good, because it means hitting the first target (£6000) is achievable at least.

I'm still unable to really commit myself to any part time work, or any after work activities that might make me money on the side, so I don't feel I can quite start the project properly quite yet. This is an unusual situation, I normally do have a bit of time free. But until I do, I don't feel I can give the project a proper shot, because I do think that most of the progress towards the goal(s) will be me finding (legit) ways to make cash in my free time.

At the same time, I can't wait forever, and I really have to push myself on this.

So the way I'm going to work it, is that the instant I make any money on the side that isn't a saving on an activity that I already do, then the timer starts. Otherwise, the timer starts on the 1st Jan.

But in the mean time, I'll still be updating with the results of my hunt for reductions in my expenditure.