In January I blogged about February having to be a month of super-scrimping, and it was, we made it through the month, by the skin of our teeth, but still. We had a near meltdown when Hubby didn't get paid on Friday like he was supposed to, and were forced to re-enter credit card debt temporary (which we'd just got out of), but that's only until I get paid tomorrow. Knowing our mortgage would be going out of an almost empty bank account at any moment caused a few grey hairs to appear, but it all got sorted out yesterday, and accounting screw-ups aside, it's been a pretty good month. I asked for your help at the start of the month, but now we're at the end I thought I'd share what tips and tricks have worked for us this month.
Bonus points schemes
Now, this can cover a multitude of things. I recently realised I've not been getting any clubcard vouchers from Tesco because my address was wrong, so have been quietly accruing quite a gold mine there, which is going to be shameless splurged on dinner & movie date nights when they arrive. Nectar points have gone on Sainsbury's vouchers and so has the money I've earnt by doing online surveys at Valued Opinions, which have both gone towards the cost of petrol & food. Boots advantage cards points covered the cost of medicine when I got sick, points from the BARB panel we're on (they record what you watch of television and you get paid for it, it's awesome) went on birthday presents and treats... The list goes on. It's really worth signing up for anything you can, because this 'free' money has helped stretch our income SO far this month.
As well as using the vouchers we got from these schemes to put towards some presents for birthdays this month, I've also carried on making homemade presents from Christmas. I plan on blogging more about this at a later date, but it's a cheap, thoughtful way of giving presents to your friends and family that doesn't involve compromising your ethics on fast fashion or plastic toys either. And who doesn't love receiving presents they can eat or drink?
Selling on unused items
I know this in an obvious one, but we've sold a load of our 'tat' on eBay this month - stuff that has been lying around, cluttering up the house for months, and made a tidy little profit from that too. Not everything always sells, but it's free and really very easy to just keep re-listing things like CDs and clothes until they do. And if they haven't after numerous attempts, then I just take them to the charity shop. Another similar thing is to take old CDs, DVDs or computer games (which don't sell as well on eBay) to CEX for trade-in. You don't get much money for that either, but we ended up with lots of duplicates when we merged our CD collections - we passed some on to family, and sold the rest. Alternatively, just have a car boot sale!
Obviously there is more too it than that, but these things have really helped us save money this month. Hopefully next month will be a little less bleak!
Do you do any of these things already? Do you know of any other bonus point schemes that I didn't mention or have any good homemade present ideas you'd like to share?
P.S. Fun fact: I collect pressed pennies. I'm not sure why. I just always get one when I see a machine, so I was devastated to be confronted with this when I visited the Wensleydale Cheese Factory in Hawes...