Save, Save, Save

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Now that we have paid off the majority of our debts, our mindset has definitely turned towards saving as much money as we can. Whilst we still owe some to family and friends, we have a plan in action to pay them back so that we can focus on putting some of our wages in savings each month – I have already suggested to Steve about four different accounts for all the different things we need to save for – otherwise the temptation to overspend on one of those things would be too great.

Between us, we also have a number of cash ISA’s opened up over the years. One from when I was younger has the grand total of £25, another has about 70p so is pretty useless right now but I am reluctant to close it in case I want to use it, despite how easy it is to open a new one. Since the new ISA rules came into effect on the 1st of July allowing a greater amount to be deposited in an account (a maximum of £15,000 split in any proportion between a New Cash ISA and a New Stocks and Shares ISA), I have been considering closing the ones I am not using and opening one of these for our savings.

Scottish Friendly are warning savers not to be drawn into automatically putting all their funds into the cash ISA – with interest rates lowering all the time, investments would be a much better return for their money. I am inclined to agree. We have seen both ends of the spectrum – with Steve having a full cash ISA and then an almost empty one….the interest wasn’t that much difference which seems crazy! To every one investment ISA opened, three cash ISA’s are opened – whilst they seem to be in the minority, I am definitely considering opening an investment ISA – after all, if I am saving I want to get some sort of decent return on my money! They may not offer as much security and incur penalties for access but for a much better return, I don’t care – I don’t want to use the money until it is fully saved up so why not go for something that will benefit me greater in the long run?

We need to completely fund an emergency fund for all life’s little niggles, a wedding fund, a house deposit and savings for Jack for when he is older. Surely it makes sense to try and get the best for our money that we can? Everyone loves getting some sort of interest on the money they put in and cash ISA’s just don’t seem to offer as much as an investment ISA.

So how am I going to save to put into my ISA and savings accounts? Lots of hard work (even considering going back to my old job for a day or two here and there), selling anything unwanted in the house and of course, entering competitions – if I can win cash or prizes I can use for Christmas, that is more savings to go into my ISA.

I think it is great Scottish Friendly are ensuring people make an informed decision before jumping straight in with one of the new cash ISA’s – some people aren’t realising how little they are getting for their money. You can follow Scottish Friendly on Twitter and like them on Facebook to keep up to date with their posts and advice.

Would you ever consider an investments ISA or would you stick to a cash ISA despite not getting much of a return?

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How Do You Save Money?

Picture Credit to Stuart Miles


If you are a regular reader of my Wedding Planning Wednesday posts, you will see that I mentioned perhaps starting a spending ban from the beginning of September until the end of November, only spending out on necessities (ie. bills, food, etc) and Jack’s birthday presents (his birthday is the 4th of December and I can’t leave it until the last minute to pick things up for him). Whilst trying to stop myself from spending any money (meeting up with other bloggers makes this very tough!), I have also been scouring various moneysaving forums and bookmarking money blogs in the hope of finding some new ideas for saving or even making money.

*Start food planning – This is something Steve and I always say we will do but never get round to doing and then we spend money we shouldn’t on things we don’t really need and may not get round to eating!

*Make a budget – and stick to it! – I have lost count of the number of times I have asked Steve to work out his average mileage in a working period and then work out how much petrol he will need with a little extra just in case. That way, he won’t be caught short and we will not end up out of pocket halfway through the month.

*Utilise deals – If you know you are going to need to buy something, why not try and get a good deal on it? Search for a voucher code from to see if you can bring the price down a little.

*Check for all old bank accounts – I am pretty sure I don’t have any other accounts but Steve’s mum recently mentioned that they were getting letters for Steve at their address for a bank account he had completely forgotten about. There may only be pennies in them but they are worth double checking!

*Get rid of all things you don’t need – I have a current pile of to-sell stuff which I am planning to sort this weekend! This also stands for any bills for stuff you no longer use (mobile phone insurance etc) – cancel them and have a little more money to play with each month!

*Try to save energy wherever possible – I am sure we could bring our utility bills down a little if we were just a little more careful! Whilst I can’t find a cheaper rate just now, perhaps with a little bit of care we can save ourselves some pennies!

*Utilise your skills – If you can write, try freelance writing. If you can sew, try selling your creations. The options are endless.

*Online surveys & market research – Whilst not for everyone and some certainly aren’t fast earners, these are handy for a little bit of cash or some vouchers at the end of the year! It all adds up if you constantly check but make sure to cash out often as you never know what could happen to the site! I always cash out when I get to the withdrawal threshold and either keep the voucher codes safe or the money in my savings account. It soon adds up!

What do you do to save money?

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Budget Bucket List

I was recently tagged by the gorgeous Helen from Beautifully Superfluous to enter the Budget Bucket List competition by Money Supermarket. I never normally enter these kind of things here on the blog but this seemed interesting and of course, the prize would be quite handy if I was to win too! Redundancy and saving for a wedding/home don’t really mix all to well, especially when bringing up a young baby! If you’re interested in entering the competition yourself, you can find out more details here.

You have to pick two things from your bucket list: something budget and something a little more extravagant and explain why you want to do them and what is stopping you. Shouldn’t be too hard then.. or so you’d think!


This probably sounds really selfish considering I’m engaged and have a child but what I would really love is to go on a night out with my girls. If its anything like the good old days, I can also do it pretty cheaply. It doesn’t have to be anywhere fab, just down the local on a Friday would be great, because I could catch up with some much missed friends – what with silly working hours, Jack and various other commitments – I barely see any of my friends anymore and I need to change that!


I didn’t have to think too much about what my extravagant bucket list item would be – getting married. The wedding pot is basically empty apart from a few measly pounds and although I am writing a weekly series about wedding planning, I seem to have a bit of a wall as it is very hard to plan a wedding when funds just aren’t there and obstacles are at every turn instead. I am under no illusion that weddings are cheap and plan to do as much as possible myself to cut costs but it is a little disheartening when the funds just aren’t there to start with and likely won’t be for a while!

I tag the lovely ShonaLouise and Sarah to take part – good luck everyone!

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Handy Little Tip: Moneysaving

Just a quick post from me today. I’m sure all of us are currently trying to save for something or other, whether it be a wedding, a car, a house…but how far can we really stretch our money? I must admit that recently I have had to dip into my savings quite a lot just to get by – babies aren’t cheap! – however, I plan on building them up yet again by taking heed of some tried and tested tips.

If you know of a great moneysaving tip that isn’t on the list, please feel free to let us know in a comment – that way we can all benefit from it!

Run out of hand soap/handwash? Use baby shampoo. The cheapest value range at the supermarket will do the job.

♥ Ebay your heart out! I know this is probably the most obvious one, however so many of you don’t use it to its full benefit! Try to fill a bag a week with bits and pieces to sell on the site. They don’t have to be huge pieces, maybe a few pieces of old costume jewellery. This helps to declutter your living space and make money too!

Voucher Code it! Before committing to buy anything online or instore, check to see if there are any better deals elsewhere. If not, then search for a voucher code to bring the price down. Also, keep an eye on deals sites such as Groupon, Wahanda etcetera for your wishlist items at a bargain price.

Be loyal. Invest in brand loyalty cards wherever possible. Most loyalty cards offer fantastic discounts and free gifts and most are free to sign up to, so where’s the harm? Who can say no to a free   Boots makeup product or the chance to triple their Clubcard points for a fantastic day out?

Got a craft? Utilise it. Sounds really obvious but if you’ve got a knack for photography or art, sell your work. You can knit? Sell the stuff you make. Why waste a talent?

Don’t fall for brands. Buy own brands from the supermarket – often, the only difference between the two is the packaging.

Like shopping? Why not get paid for it? There are hundreds of companies out there willing to pay you to visit some shops and fill out a report for them. 

Got a load of old clothes that you can’t use? If they aren’t in any fit state for you to donate them, why not cut them up and turn them into rags for when you dust and polish your home? Saves you having to buy cloths at the supermarket when these will do exactly the same job. Old socks can be used too.
♥  Like answering questions? Fill out some online surveys. Get paid in cash or vouchers for your opinion – the vouchers you can save for your Christmas presents!

In need of a large piece of furniture or equipment? Always check “free” sites such Freecycle or Freegle before committing to buy something. These sites are moderated so that no payment can be asked of you. You can often find some fantastic things if you look hard enough!

What are your favourite moneysaving tips?

Handy Little Tip: Coupons

I’m sure you have all heard of the show Extreme Couponing and believe me, I am nowhere near as mad about coupons as the people on that show. However, as a mum I am always looking for the best deals on everything and am signed up to all the major loyalty cards.
This means I regularly get mail with my points balance and coupons inside. I struggle to keep my purse clean and tidy at the best of the times, so add a load of tiny pieces of paper and it is absolute chaos! I decided to come up with a neat way of storing them – pretty and practical and can easily be slipped into a handbag pocket. 
What you need:

*Your coupons 
*A pretty little organza bag (this originally came with a prize, I wear the jewellery regularly so I have repurposed the bag for this)
The next steps are pretty simple:
Cut the coupons into handy little sizes; you may have to lightly fold a few, depending on the size of your bag. Then place them in the bag.
Voilà. Neat and tidy, pretty and practical. This can be tucked away in a little pocket in your handbag and you don’t have to clutter up your purse with little scraps of paper.
Do you use coupons? If so, what extreme do you go too?