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January Money Challenge

S: 9st11lb C: 8st9lb G: 8st9lb BMI: 22.1 Loss: 1st2lb(11.68%)
#1
Hi all, well it's been a long time since we've done this type of thread, but I thought a New Year is a good time to start this again.

We all start the new year with good intentions, one of which is to be better with money. One of the tips I learnt on here last year was to put money in different pots in my online bank account. What that means is my bank allow me to set up & name savings pots, I set up two, one Holidays & one Birthdays, I have direct debits which go into these on pay day. The birthdays one I use for birthdays & car stuff, I just worked out how much I'd spend on birthdays in 1 year & approx car costs for the year & set up a direct debit to cover the monthly cost of that, so far I've not taken any money out for birthdays as I didn't really need to, but I have taken money out for my car which was a life saver I can tell you. The holiday pot isn't my regular holiday money I'm saving for our 'Special Trip' on the Trans Siberian railway & I put savings into there, for example I saved £2.43 last year on pet insurance, ok so £2.43 doesn't seem much but that together with other savings, like I used to be in the Virgin wine club but stopped that so transfer that money there as well.

This year I'm going to make more use of my Tesco clubcard points & Sainsbury's points so any pointers that way would be gratefully received.

We can look at making savings from 1st Jan by taking a look at credit cards, are they 0% if not there are offers out there for balance transfers & purchases.

I don't know if there are any food money saving vouchers/BOGOF offers anywhere.

Well that's all folks, but any other money saving idea's would be fab :D

I would also love to hear what you are saving for this year.
 
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Cai

has a thin girl inside!
S: 16st9lb G: 10st10lb
#2
My bank e-mailed me for credit card transferred at 0% for 20 months an I do believe the card they are on now runs out in feb so perfect timing!!

I also saw somewhere a person was putting money to save which is hard to explain but let me try
Week 1 = 10p
Week 2 = 20p
Week 3 = 30p etc etc

I'm sure I read at the end of the year it would b 130something pounds :)

Hubby and I have made an error tho. We have a coin jar which we have added to for years. It broke so decided to cash it in. Bagged up over £600 of coins and the bank wants to charge me to put it in my own account!! I'm fuming!! Any advice on where I can exchange for free appreciated!! Xx
 

Cai

has a thin girl inside!
S: 16st9lb G: 10st10lb
#3
Take your change to a Coinstar. They are in most supermarkets. They produce a voucher which if I remember right you can go to Customer service and they will give you the cash. Or you can use it for your weekly shop. Best check they haven't changed the rules.
They take 10% which I know it goes to charity but I'd prefer to choose which charity I give that volume of money to (does that make me seem mean?!)
 

Cai

has a thin girl inside!
S: 16st9lb G: 10st10lb
#4
What about asking local market stall holders or small shops if they would like the change.
Good idea - prob would t change it all in one go but I can save it together.
Not sure what we are going to spend it on yet but we said we would choose together :)

I'm thinking holiday deposit and he is thinking football tickets lol x
 
S: 9st11lb C: 8st9lb G: 8st9lb BMI: 22.1 Loss: 1st2lb(11.68%)
#5
What's the change, could it be used for 'everyday' shopping, like buying a coffee/newspaper/magazine etc, and put the same money in £s into your bank account, I know it will take a while to do but just an idea. Or would another bank change it for you for you to deposit into your own bank account. We have a holiday tin and in the first year saved something like £800 OH put that in his bank account & we put the money into Premium Bonds for savings. Another thought, the post office are usually quite good, would they take the change?

I didn't realise the coinstar things took 10%!!!
 

Cai

has a thin girl inside!
S: 16st9lb G: 10st10lb
#6
Yeah 9.9% but to me that's 10% to work it out easy!!

Never thought about the post office - do I need an account??

I was only trying to put the money into my bank account to spend later when the cashier said they charge to 'handle' such large volumes of coins!!
I should charge them to 'handle' my wage each month!! Lol.

I could use it for ever day but we have £55 in 5p's...not sure how I'm going to pay those for my coffees lol.

I have taken the coppers to the coin star to get then out the way as we had just short of £30!! :) spent it already ha ha ha
 

jogirl

Silver Member
S: 15st2lb C: 9st6lb G: 9st9lb BMI: 21.3 Loss: 5st10lb(37.74%)
#9
Cai, if your bank only charge for "large volumes" of coins, could you pay it in a bit at a time? I cash up my coin jar a couple of times a year - It's usually about £70 and they've never charged me. I know it would be a bit of a pain making several trips to the bank, but it's better than paying 10% to Coinstar.
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#10
My bank e-mailed me for credit card transferred at 0% for 20 months an I do believe the card they are on now runs out in feb so perfect timing!!

I also saw somewhere a person was putting money to save which is hard to explain but let me try
Week 1 = 10p
Week 2 = 20p
Week 3 = 30p etc etc

I'm sure I read at the end of the year it would b 130something pounds :)

Hubby and I have made an error tho. We have a coin jar which we have added to for years. It broke so decided to cash it in. Bagged up over £600 of coins and the bank wants to charge me to put it in my own account!! I'm fuming!! Any advice on where I can exchange for free appreciated!! Xx
DONT GO TO COINSTAR!! THEY CHARGE!!!

Go down your local high street and ask any shops if they want change - most of them will want £1, 50p, 20p, 10p and possibly smaller as the banks now charge for services.

the smaller change spend in the supermarket on self service tills, make sure you put the coins in slowly ;)
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#11
Also banks and such places will exchange coins in smaller amounts - £30 here or there, each time you go to the high street will be fine. Some banks are funny if you're not a customer so go to a bank you have a card with just in case.

When i used to do carboots, I'd end up with £100+ of change; took it straight to the high street and it got gobbled up by newsagents, shops and pubs who all LOVE people with change :)

With regards to the money challenge, mine isn't a challenge as much as it's a necessity. I have no income and very limited savings, am hoping to limit my spending to £100 this month until the 25th (old payday, when all my bills are set to come out, and my new month 'begins') All I need to do is buy food, get a bit of diesel for the van (£20 should cover me), pay my £10 insurance bill and...that's it AFAIK. Doesn't sound like a lot of money does it :( But when you're skint, you have no social life so my only outgoings are literally food, diesel and bills.
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#12
This year I'm going to make more use of my Tesco clubcard points & Sainsbury's points so any pointers that way would be gratefully received.
I find having 2 clubcards/nectar cards you can play the offers off on each other. I have 1 that is still registered at an old address, and if I don't use it for a while i get loads of really good vouchers, however I'm going to stop using this now as I have decent deals/vouchers on my new one for the next 6 weeks and no longer live at that house/city. i also find doing 'little and often' rather than big shops gives you bigger discount vouchers at sainsburys.

Also might be obvious but make sure you have the right address listed so any deals/vouchers can be posted to you.

In terms of what I'm saving for, technically I was saving for emigration to NZ and Aus for 2 years. However I'm now out of work, so my savings are being used to live on while I find another job. Hopefully i'll have a job by the end of the month, then will need to frantically save and be even more frugal than I am now as I am 3 months behind my saving schedule and have van tax, MOT due in May. Plus my credit card is maxed out (only £300, but I don't like being in debt)

My saving at the min is spending as little money as humanley possible. Every day I don't have a social life beyond the internet is saving; walking to the shops instead of driving is saving; finding pennies on the floor is saving; etc etc. Hopefully get back into proper saving when I get some work!
 
S: 9st11lb C: 8st9lb G: 8st9lb BMI: 22.1 Loss: 1st2lb(11.68%)
#13
Flippin eck you've not much left for food after the bills are paid. Do you have a date in mind for NZ & Aus?

i'm using my Nectar points towards a flight and I find Tesco boost voucher thingy good value, I bought a toaster a couple of moths ago for about £4, bargain.
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#14
Nope, not a lot of cash at all. But I have no choice really. I could sell some of my record collection/possessions, but it's not that bad yet. If I don't have work in 2 months time then I'll have to look at selling stuff, or possibly selling my van (worst case scenario!) but I'm sure it won't get to that. Am going to tramp around the agencies next week, and have had lots of responses from care jobs, I'm just trying to find one that won't kill me working silly hours and being back at square one (loads of money, but no social life/personal time)

Date for Aus & NZ is up in the air, as I don't have enough money to even contemplate it at the moment. I want to get out of the UK by end of October really, as I'm hoping to have a 2 1/2 year long summer by hopping around. Depends how much I save before summer festival season begins, I'm hoping to work full time until end of June/mid July, then will do agency/bank work over summer between festival work. If I'm still a bit short of cash I can stick about in the UK until January next year, but I need to be in either Aus or NZ by my 30th to activate my working visa, but that means missing out on summer, working in England for longer and selling my van once the new LEZ rules will have come out (thus devaluing it by a fair chunk I should think. Plus the middle of winter is a crap time to sell a van)

I need about 1k to get there - I'm not a good flyer so will do it in 4 goes (sounds excessive!) will fly London - Abu Dhabi, stay there for a night. Done this many times before on the way to Malaysia where my dad lives
Then Abu dhabi - Kuala Lumpur. will stick around in KL for a while to see friends and family
Then KL or singapore - Aus.
Then As - NZ. NZ first as the work permit is more open with regards to what you can do, I can probably find work a lot quicker, and you need far less savings upon entering NZ on a working visa. Hopefully save up a load there to tide me over for a year in Aus, where the work will be harder to find but much better paid once I get it.

Plans in action, I just need a job now!
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#15
Will be booking flights in May/June hopefully, once I have had a good few months work and know I can feasably do it :)
 
S: 9st11lb C: 8st9lb G: 8st9lb BMI: 22.1 Loss: 1st2lb(11.68%)
#16
Wow how exciting, at least you'll be getting away this year. I don't think 4 flights is excessive, once over I would have done, but not now, we went to Cambodia in Oct & stopped over in Qatar for 6hrs, so we left the airport & had a wander round Qatar, and it felt like we'd had a much longer than 6hr break, we could have done it with a less stopover time but OH isn't a good flyer & he'd have been panicking had we been delayed.

It's hard job hunting this time of year, we're recruiting at the mo & had no success, we've had to extended to closing date until end Jan, which isn't ideal but we've no option.
 
S: 16st0lb C: 13st0lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 28.5 Loss: 3st0lb(18.75%)
#17
Blimey! I noticed that from middle of Dec, jobs weren't listing 'immediate start' and they've been very slow in getting back to me compared to before. Am going to hit it hard this week, fingers crossed something comes soon. It's frustrating as I'm trying to get away from care work but no one seems to want to give you the time of day to learn things these days, they want 2 years experience :(

I'm awful at flying too, compared to when I was younger I'm a lot better, but I still need Valium to go near a plane. I used to have to get really, really drunk too, and considering I lived between the UK and Malaysia for years it was a semi regular occurrence. Now I don't drink, and the last 3 flights I've done have been without alcohol and I even went without valium on a few too. I'm getting there, although I'll never be someone who enjoys flying or looks forward to it. It's a necessary evil, and I've learned that I'm OK with 7/8 hours at a time, and that I can't do 2 flights back to back. I have to have a good day or two between flights to rest my mind and body. I can't sleep upright anyway, so on a plane sleep is not happening even with high dose sleeping tablets, so I have to time my flights to be either in the day (more turbulence, boooo) or in the early evening or night (less turbulence, yay!) but when I do night flights I have to be able to feasably stay awake that long without going loopy.

I used to do 12 hour direct night flights to KL, I have no idea how I did it!!!

I usually stop in Abu Dhabi on the way to KL, but I've seen Qatar airways has some good prices too - so might stop there instead. Have been to UAE 5 times and Oman once so pretty familiar with that region of the middle east, its the perfect stop off point :)
 


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