Tag: Frugal living

Setting Financial Goals – Remain Debt Free!

You have been successful in paying back debts. So, now what?

Your job doesn’t end here. You have to set a goal to remain debt free or at least manage your debts effectively.

By setting goals you can stay on top of your finances and live a happier life. So, set effective goals, stay debt free, and build a better financial future.

In this simple guide I will discuss how that is possible and how you can achieve success when setting financial goals.

 

 

How to set effective financial goals

Goal setting will not be fruitful unless you plan them in an effective way. The effective way includes a technique, i.e. SMART financial goals. SMART is the abbreviation for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

 

Set specific goals

When you are setting goals, it is important to be specific. Specific in the sense of taking particular steps to achieve the goals.

You might have a goal like “saving for a down payment” but have you decided the amount you are going to save for a down payment? If not, then your goal is the vague one.

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To make your goal specific, you need to determine an amount you want to save in a year or month or week.

For example, suppose the amount of your down payment is £20,000, which you need to save in three years. So, you need to save £6,666 in a year, and that means £555 in a month.

You can also set a goal of building an emergency fund worth of 5-6 months of your lifestyle expenses. It can help you if you’re laid off for a certain period.

Top tip:

I noticed when I write my goal on a calendar that I tend to work harder to achieve that goal by the date. So don’t just add a goal without a narrowing down a deadline date.

 

 

Set measurable goals

It is important to make your goals measurable for some reasons like to stay motivated and assess the progress toward the goal achievement.

For example, you have set a goal to “save money” by spending less. In such a case, you’ll have to know how much you are spending now. Else, you can’t decide how much you have to cut back on your expenses to save the required amount.

So, figure out your expenses to decide the amount you want to cut back and put it in savings.

It will help you save a required amount every month which you can put into your emergency fund to avoid falling into debt.

 

Set attainable goals

Your goal must be a realistic one so that you can attain it with some easy moves. In case of unrealistic goals, it will be difficult for you to achieve, and in turn, you’ll lose hope.

While there is no will, no hope, you can’t achieve any goal. So, before you set goalsmake sure you can achieve them, and for this, you need to know some secrets to set achievable goals.

Suppose, you aim to save £150 per week but if you have only £30 extra at the end of the week. And, it’ll be quite impossible for you to achieve your aim.

Therefore, get well aware of your financial state and then set goals so that you don’t have to face any hardship to achieve them.

Also, one good way to avoid debt is to restrict using your credit cards and paying back the bills in full at the end of every billing cycle.

 

Set relevant goals

Set goals that will keep you motivated to save a significant number of bucks. If you set goals which don’t make you excited to save extra, then it will go in vain. Because there is a higher chance to quit it in a middle way. So, set goals that you love to achieve, not those which make you feel difficult to achieve.

Take a sheet and a pen to list the goals you want to achieve in the next five years or ten years or more.

Your list can include building an emergency fund, planning for a vacation, replacing your car, buying or renovating your house, saving for your kid’s education, planning for retirement, and so on.

Just make sure you are setting relevant goals.

If you want to achieve financial independence, then calculate your FI number and set your goals accordingly. Measure your achievement at regular intervals to keep you motivated.

Top tip:

Invest in a good planner, organise your finances and prioritise your goals.

 

 

Set time-bound goals

Most of us have a tendency to delay making money related decisions. But you need to set a timeline so that the sense of accomplishment motivates you to work towards achieving your goals.

To set a deadline, you need to figure out when you’d like to accomplish your goals.

For example, if you are planning for a vacation next year, the timeline is one year, and somehow, you’ll manage to save a certain amount to reach your goal within a set period.

What you can do is, calculate the overall expenses of your tour and divide the amount by 12 and save that amount every month.

Doing so, you can avoid swiping your cards and fall into debt. Your vacation will be more enjoyable when you know you don’t have any debts to pay off later.

 

Types of financial goals

While setting goals you need to know about the types of goals based on the timeline.

  • Short-term financial goals

Short-term financial goals take less than one year to get accomplished. Examples of short-term goals can include planning for a tour, buying a new TV, or paying off small debts.

  • Mid-term financial goals

Midterms financial goals take more time than the short-term goals and less time than long-term goals. Midterms financial goals can be buying a car or paying off debts.

  • Long-term financial goals

Long-term financial goals generally take more than 5 years or more to achieve. Long term goals examples include saving for a child’s education, saving for retirement, or buying a home.

It may take about 20 years or more to achieve financial independence.

 

Setting financial goals – Does having a financial goal lead to a debt-free life?

Yes, there’s a connection between having financial goals and living a debt free life. When you have financial goals, your mindset will be saving money.

Saving money or putting aside a certain amount works as a strategy to avoid debt. It prevents you from falling into a debt trap as you have already set aside a certain amount in your savings account or in an emergency fund.

Moreover, you also plan your finances effectively to have a better financial future.

Setting financial goals and strategy will help you keep an eye on your expenses and in turn, win a monthly savings challenge. Moreover, it will teach you to live a frugal life where debt has no entrance.

However, even after following these strategies you fall into debt, don’t waste time. Select a suitable debt relief strategy like debt consolidation or debt settlement and work your way out of debt. At that point in time, set the goal of getting out of debt as early as possible.

So, set goals, achieve them, and have a wonderful life ahead!

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10 Tips To Save Money On Groceries – Tried And Tested Guide!

When shopping for groceries, there are many ways to save money. Whether your grocery budget is £50 or £250 a week, there are savings to be made.

The amount of money we spend on groceries is huge, but we need to eat right?

That doesn’t mean there isn’t money to saved, and we don’t have to break the bank every week while shopping.

Are you spending more on shopping than you need to?

Your grocery bill does not need to cost a fortune! It’s totally possible to feed your family healthy food without breaking the bank.

This guide will give you some tips and tricks to save money on grocery shopping.

 

 

Create a list

One of the most important things when looking to cut grocery costs, is to make a list and stick to it.

Before you go to store, think about what groceries you need for the week and make a list. Then, remember to bring that list to the store. And most importantly stick to the list!

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If you prefer writing it down on paper, then do it this way, whatever works the best for you.

I prefer to create a list on my mobile phone, this way I know I’ll always have my list on me and not forget it. This way is also ideal, because you can edit the previous week and just add and delete what you need to.

Using your list to ensure you pick up everything you need in one shop is a great way to save money, because it stops you making second trips where you can impulse buy and spend more.

 

Prices of items

It’s important to familiarise yourself with the prices of the items you purchase on a regular basis.

Buy doing this you will know whether an item is on sale or not, or how good the sale is.

How would you know what the usual price is?

Grocery prices can vary by location, so your best option is to keep track of the prices yourself.

Keep a little note book on you, jot the prices down of the items that you regularly purchase. This way you will soon memorise the prices.

TOP TIP:

Cashback sites are a great way to save money online, you can earn cash back on your purchase you were going to make anyway.

Two of my favourite sites are Topcashback and Quidco.

Click on the links above to find out more about saving money through these sites!

Also, take a picture on your phone of any items for sale, so you can compare when you get home.

You might feel a little silly doing this at first, but you will soon see the benefit in doing so, when you see the savings you make.

Of course, if you’re actually buying the item, you can save the receipt to record the price.

After a period of time, the prices will soon stick in you mind and you will know what’s a good deal and what’s not from the top of your head.

 

Swap for cheaper and healthier alternatives

Did you ever realise that raw coconut oil can work out as a cheaper and healthier option to expensive moisturisers?

Or how about reusable kitchen towels instead of paper towels?

There are many ways to swap for better alternatives and even though you might only save a bit of money, it all adds up by the end of the month.

 

Buy in season

In-season fruit and veg and always reasonably priced. You will notice exotic and off-season fruit maybe double the usual price. It’s good to choose wisely unless you really need to use them in a special recipe.

 

Scout deals

It’s a great idea to simply look at the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Just from the top of head I can tell you that Asda, Aldi, Co-op and Lidl all have weekly and monthly deals that they promote online.

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I’m sure that many of you shop at different stores, but these ideas can still apply to you.

Just visit the websites of the stores that you shop at.

Take a look at the savings programs that they offer and make sure that you’re taking advantage of them!

TOP TIP:

The Honey extension/app is one of the best free coupon apps that gives you the latest coupon codes to apply at checkout. Install this app on your desktop, and every time you shop online, it will automatically show you coupon codes to use.

Click on the link above to find out more about saving money through this site!

 

Expiration dates

This may seem obvious to you, but the freshest food will always last the longest.

Check the expiration dates of everything.

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Stores will always put the older date items to the front of shelves and push the older stock towards the back.

If you’re not bothered about having a mooch to get the newer date items, then go for it. By doing this you are lesser likely to throw away out of date products, and therefore save money in the process.

 

Buying in bulk

Bulk shopping isn’t just for big families.

We shop at Costco and stock up when we can. There’s a lot there that can benefit anyone or any size family.

We buy all sorts from there when we visit and it lasts us a long time. We buy our eggs, frozen veggies, meats (that we can freeze), spices, and olive oil from Costco.

Costco is also great for paper goods like paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues.

Bulk buying is great for saving money in the long run.

Here are some products with a long shelf life:

Disposables/Cleaning:

  • Toilet Rolls
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Toilet bleach
  • Laundry detergents
  • Garbage liners, dishwashing liquid
  • Hand wash
  • Diapers, wipes and milk powder
  • Sanitary towels
  • Shampoo, body wash, moisturisers
  • Over the counter pain killers also have a long expiry
  • Batteries – can come in handy

Groceries:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Dried Lentils
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt/Sugar
  • Cereal, peanut butter, jam
  • oil
  • Frozen food of your choice – vegetables, berries
  • Canned food – baked beans, tuna, soup, carrot/peas
  • Plain/Self Raising flour

Buy these items in bulk when there is a price drop and watch the pennies you save mount up.

 

SuperCooks

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

Limit your trips

Visit the grocery store just once a week. The fewer times you visit, the less money you’ll spend. Your menu plan will help ensure you get everything on your grocery list in a single visit.

 

Limit Meat

Meat usually has a shorter expiry and can cost a lot more expensive than vegetables. So, if you can limit the amount of meat you buy each week, you can definitely save some money there.

Another way to save on meat is to avoid buying meat in smaller portions. Most supermarkets charge less when you buy in bulk. You can buy a larger portion of meat, use what you want and freeze the rest.

 

10 ideas to save money on groceries – Final thought

Saving money with groceries can be done with a bit of effort, and over time the money that you have saved soon builds up.

I use to overspend on shopping week in week out, and was surprised at how much I saved when putting these steps into practice.

This guide has really helped me cut back on the spending; I hope it helps you too.

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Simple Frugal Living – Beginners Guide To Saving Money

If you’re just stepping into the world of saving money and are interest in simple frugal living , but you’re not sure where to begin, then this post will give you a few pointers on where to start.

For those who don’t know what frugal means, I will explain this for you.

A frugal person is someone that is careful with money and food, someone that is prudently saving or sparing, not wasteful and is economical.

Living in frugal way can seem a bit overwhelming, so to help I have put together a small beginner’s guide to getting started.

The small changes I will talk about can be implemented one by one, and make a big difference financially and to the wellbeing of your life over time.

So, lets get started with my tips for living a more frugal life.

 

How I started

Until the ripe age of 37 I use to be really bad with money, like really bad. I spent it faster than I could make it, and every month I was skint by the second week after being paid.

After some major lifestyle and financial changes, I would like to think I’m pretty decent when it comes to money these days.

If I can adapt to a better way of living, then anyone can.

I started off by setting myself a money goal to achieve and build on. Then I put a plan together and started to put into practice the mentioned things below.

Let’s get started with my tips to save money and live a more frugal lifestyle.

 

Beginner’s Guide to Being Frugal

Even if you can just save a small amount, save what you can, all the time.

Master one of the below tips then move onto the next. Before you know it, you will be doing them all, and then looking at more ways to save money.

Follow these and over time I have no doubt you will be successful in living a frugal lifestyle in the long run.

 

Expenses

Evaluate your monthly expenses.

The chances are that your monthly expenses are costing you too much. This could be the reason you’re looking to save money in the first place.

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This is where you will need to ask yourself some tough questions, like…

Am I overspending in general?

Could I cut costs with my groceries?

Do I really need to spend money on coffee every morning on the way to work? Or on food at lunch?

TOP TIP:

Tackle your biggest bills first, like your electric bill or your phone bill.

 

Shopping

I only shop when I need to. If you’re one of those people who shops for the sake of it and spends money like it’s going out of fashion, then cut down or stop.

While doing this you always purchase things you don’t need. In order to save money, you have to stop shopping for fun.

I only go to shops these days for essential items, and it has helped me save a lot of money.

Every pound I spend is vouched and tracked for.

I don’t go near a shop unless if it’s for something I definitely need.

 

Grocery budget

Spending money on groceries is a difficult one, every family needs to eat.

I find that sticking to budget every week, really helps with saving money. There’s no needless buying or putting things in the basket for the sake of it.

Put aside a certain amount every week for groceries and stick to that amount.

Seems simple, which it is, but it’s really effective at cutting costs.

 

Enjoy your home

This may not seem obviously connected to saving money, but I believe it is.

When you’re in love with your surroundings, you’re so much less likely to go out and spend money for an escape.

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Consider the small things you could change that would help you love your home more. Here are some examples:

  • Add a few candles in your living room, I find this makes the room cosier.
  • Start making your bed everyday, so you don’t feel bad every time you look in your room.
  • Turn your desk (if you have one) so it faces a window instead of a blank wall.
  • Redecorate rooms to your favourite colour, to give you a lift when you walk in.

If you put your mind to it, there are so many little things you can do to make your home feel more homely.

Walk through your home and make a list of simple things you could change to make it more enjoyable.

This is an investment, and if it keeps you in and cosy instead of looking to be outside spending money, it soon pays off.

TOP TIP:

Create an outdoor space that you love too. Whether it’s a corner of your garden of a little patio area. Make this space yours, somewhere that feels comfortable to escape the drama of life.

 

Fix it, instead of throwing away

People in general, seem too quick to throw things away, I use to be the same.

Instead of being one of those people, try to fix or refurbish what you can.

YouTube is a great place for videos that show you how to fix and refurbish just about anything.

One person’s rubbish is another’s treasure. Just because something is old, broken or worn out, that doesn’t mean it’s at the end of its life.

Give it some TLC, work some magic and give it some more life if possible.

You never know, you might find yourself a new hobby you enjoy!

 

Used goods

Before purchasing something new, always browse for used items beforehand.

There is some great stuff out there, and there are more sources than ever online. You can find quality used stuff of just about anything on the internet

Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are just a couple of those available, that are great resources.

You can also buy used items on Amazon. When you’re looking at an item, check below the main price for it to say “new & used from”. Click that link and it will send you to the listing of the used versions of that item.

There are many ways to buy good used goods, when you think beyond only buying brand new.

 

Vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

 

Car sharing

Driving to your usual places each day costs you money. Mostly in the petrol that it takes, but also in wear and tear on your car.

Depending on your commute, you may also be paying money in tolls.

Find a co-worker who lives nearby and start see if they’d be interested in car sharing.

Even if they don’t care about saving money, they may still be interested just because they would love not to have to drive to work every day.

Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather be on your phone than driving? For most of us, that’s an easy yes.

This works for kid’s activities too. Start switching off with another parent and gain back some time and some money in driving costs.

 

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are way of earning money while you spend money on shopping.

Some good sites are Topcashback, Quidco and Boom25.

The cashback site will earn a percentage for referring you to the retailer through their website, and you take a cut of the profits.

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It’s an easy way to earn some extra money while making a purchase you were planning to make anyway.

Here’s my posts with all the details of exactly how Quidco, Topcashback and BOOM25 work.

 

Big purchases

Have something big in mind you believe you absolutely need?

Give it time.

Instead of rushing out and spending big right away, give yourself time to think about it.

Let’s say 30 days…

In those 30 days you might find you don’t actually need that item at all, or maybe you will find something else that is a cheaper option.

Either way you are giving yourself that bit of additional time to save and think about the purchase.

If you then decide that you definitely want it, you can make the purchase confidently, knowing you absolute need it.

 

Simple Frugal Living – Final thought

Now it’s time to start saving.

You don’t need to dive right into extreme measures of frugal living. Instead, start with these starter tips and things will naturally gain momentum for you.

Start by evaluating your expenses and find places where you can cut back. Shop less and stick to a grocery budget when you shop for food.

Consider car sharing to save money and time. Shop smart by using some vouchers and getting cash back. Enjoy your home so you want to be there more, to avoid going out all the time.

Fix or refurbish broken items before buying something new. And when that doesn’t work, try buying used. Make it a rule to wait 30 days before purchasing big purchase items.

It’s really not that hard to do, you just need to get the ball rolling.

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