Tips for managing your money when things are tight

My husband has just changed jobs and doesn’t get his first full wage for 10 weeks. Whilst the new job will be better paid than the last, it does mean I’ve had to budget differently this month.

But less money doent have to mean less fun. Here are five ways I’ve cut down on expenditure without cutting back on our very sociable lifestyle.

1. Staying in is the new going out

Instead of going out to eat or going out for drinks, we’ve invited friends to join us at home. Where we would easily spend £100 on a meal and drinks for the family at a restaurant or pub, we can host friends for around £30 or £40. The added bonus here is that the toddler can go to bed when he needs to so we can enjoy our friends company for longer.

2. These boots were made for walking

Most days I drive to work even though it’s only a 10 minute walk. It just seems easier than trying to navigate three children across the busy road and means we have a better chance of being on time, because I’m always on the minutes. So this month I’ve been walking to work instead when it’s a dry day, and therefore saving on diesel. An added bonus is the weightlifting I do when I babywear my toddler as well!

3. Food, glorious food

This seems an obvious one to me because I do often write meal plans anyway, but when I look back over my bank statements there are all too often debits to Just Eat or McDonald’s. We have fast or takeaway food quite often because we are such a busy family, but with a little more effort and some better organisation we really don’t need to be doing that. Meal planning and batch cooking are great ways to save money on food bills.

4. Look after the pennies

I’ve taken a good look at our outgoings, and noticed just how much we’re paying out unnecessarily. Streamlining our finances has been a bit of an eye opener. Netflix? Spotify? YouTube Premium? Are we really making good use of these types of subscriptions? Do we need them at all? Cancelling bits and bobs like that can save you a fair bit so I’ve scaled those back.

5. Covering the basics

Once I’d been over our finances with a fine tooth comb, I made sure there was enough money to cover the bills. Socialising and eating out would have to be put on the back burner altogether if there wasn’t enough to keep a roof over our head and food on our table. If there was a shortfall, then maybe some no credit check loans might have been an option, but if that’s a consideration for you then always know what you are signing up to when you borrow money.

I think I’ve done quite well to scale things back a bit while still enjoying life, but I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could do. Being frugal is quite enjoyable really in some ways! Especially when I see us being able to save a little extra.

What frugal tips do you have? How do you make the pound go further?

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