Before we dive into this post, I acknowledge nobody should have to write about this topic. However, whether we like it or not, most of us are facing financial difficulties at the moment. With the cost of living crisis in full force, no solution is going to come immediately. Therefore, we must all try and make savings to weather the storm. And hopefully, reach In this post I discuss how we plan to reach financial wellness eventually.
Because we’ve struggled financially over the last few years, my mindset towards money has totally changed. I now approach every money-spending endeavour in a practical and methodical way. With a new year approaching, it’s the perfect time to discuss how I plan to save money, repay debt and reach financial wellness within a year.
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I have moments where I think, what is the point? But I am trying to have a healthy money mindset and my goal is financial wellness. Everyone lender wants money we simply don’t have. It’s taken time, patience and resolve to get the correct plan in place. I no longer want the dreaded feeling when the post arrives, because I know it will be letters confirming how much we are behind with payments. The feeling of having to put back items in the supermarket, because that week we don’t have enough money. It’s time for us to finally take control of our finances. Keep our resolve and look forward to the position we want to be in a year from now.
If you struggle to see how you will reach your financial goals or get to a better place, I have some suggestions for you below.
I hope my tips help you through this difficult period
Play the long game
If you follow the blog, you will know our family was hit with several life-changing events, over a period of three to four years. These resulted in a prolonged period of financial difficulty. And we are only just making plans to catch up with bills which are behind.
If you’re struggling to see a way out, try to make a plan. Then look forward to where you want to be in three or six months from now. Setting up smaller payments towards debts or savings all adds up over time. Before you know it, you will be in a better financial position.
Plan, then revise your plan
Following my mental breakdown, I finally felt able to get our household finances in order and created a spreadsheet to track our spending. Over several months, I then revised this and added any new costs or commitments we had made.
For us, it will be a slow process to bring our bills fully up to date. However, tracking this spreadsheet makes me accountable and excited about the prospect of finally reaching some of our family’s financial goals.
If you want to get on track with money or understand where you are spending and what costs can be cut, create a checklist or spreadsheet.
When this buzzword is used in the media, I sometimes think what does that actually mean?
Because we literally had to put items back in a supermarket, on more than one occasion. I now walk into any supermarket and add up all items in my head, as I go around. I’m a pro at this now! Even if I have enough money in the bank.
Stop wasting money
The times I had to put back the £1.20 loaf of bread have stuck with me. My mindset is now about not wasting money on items we simply don’t need to purchase. From a sustainability and money-saving perspective, I would encourage you to do this in all areas of your life. I recently wrote about how to have a thrifty Christmas. We’ve had the same Christmas decorations for six years. They still look great and I have no plans to change them.
As a family, we plan on continuing to budget like this. But save any surplus money to pay off debts and achieve financial goals in the not-too-distant future.
Search for a deal
I don’t make any online purchases without first searching for a discount code or deal. You can check out my blog post on how to ensure you get a deal when purchasing goods.
Use spending and savings apps
If you have any items you really don’t need to spend money on, sit down and reassess what your priorities are. Spending apps like Monzo have helped us track the amounts we spend on groceries and entertainment. And we plan to use these accounts purely for spending and household costs. Completely separate from our bill account, which is with another bank.
EverUp is a great, fun savings app. You cannot lose the money you put in, but so far I have added over £9 in winnings from their daily games and my partner has £7 (he signed up a little later than me). There is no current savings account on the market that would allow you to accrue these extra funds. And this is the reason we both love the app so much. Sign up using this link AND my add referral code RSAM271407UYQYDO and we each get 500k coins. These can then be spent playing the savings games to add to your overall balance.
Sign up to Curve using my link to get a £5 welcome gift. It’s a smart card and app that lets you aggregate and handle all your bank cards in one place, making it easier to manage your spending while also gaining various benefits.
CashApp is a great way of sending money. Sign up using my code ZQRCXNT and you will receive £5 after completing these steps. Enter my referral code after signing up, link a new debit card or bank account, and then send £5 within 14 days of entering the referral code.
Supermarket apps and reward points
Even before the cost of living crisis, I would shop around supermarkets and discount shops to snap up the best bargains. Granted, this option isn’t practical for everyone. And when we are both working full time, we do find it difficult some weeks, to get to even one supermarket. Sometimes, I give myself a break and order an Iceland delivery. However, even now I only purchase frozen goods and don’t overpay for items I could find cheaper in another supermarket.
I recently did our Christmas shop at ASDA, using their click-and-collect service. Taking the opportunity to try out the Asda essentials range. So far, some of the products are great. However, some of them we wouldn’t ever buy again! Once I have tested out the full range, I will be giving my opinions on the products.
We’ve used the Lidl shopping app for a while now. They run an incentive where you receive four rewards at certain spending markers, up to £250.00. Every calendar month, we spend this amount, on household shopping and other essential items throughout the week. Therefore, it’s great that we receive some rewards for spending, including a £2 off coupon and 10% off our overall shop.
I previously had a nectar card when I was younger. However, we recently signed up for one prior to collecting our euros from the Sainsburys money exchange. We also now use it for any purchases in Sainsbury’s and we’ve linked it to our Argos account.
The Body Shop
With the Love Your Body Club, I recently earned two rewards of £5 and was able to visit the shop and purchase two items, for just £1, as I had £10 worth of points to spend. It was a real treat! Over on Mummy Conquering Anxiety, I have a long-term partnership with The Body Shop. You can check out the latest offers and discount codes, for this brand and others, on this page.
Cash back apps
Have you heard about Super? Shop your favourite brands and get next-day cashback, plus upgrade your welcome bonus to £10 with this invite, when you spend £10 or more (excl. delivery). Using this offer, I recently got £13 worth of Boots.com products for just £3. In addition, I also earned 28p cashback for the transaction.
My hubby used my referral link, and I ordered another £20 worth of Boots.com products. Each of us received the £10 welcome bonus. And cashback on the transaction.
Feel free to use my referral link to earn money. Once you are signed up, you can then share your referral link with everyone you know.
Other great cashback apps I use for every purchase I make
Sign up to TopCashBack using my referral link.
You can get the Airtime Rewards app, to save money off your phone bill, by earning cashback on purchases. Download Airtime Rewards for free and enter my code L7BTH9EJ. Saving money every time you shop with brands like Boots, Greggs, Wilko, Argos and loads more!
Be wise about energy usage
I’ve seen so many TikTok videos and social media posts on the topic of saving money on your gas and electricity bills. To reiterate, nobody should have to put this tip into practice. But at this point, it is clear there will be no reasonable solution knocking on our door anytime soon. Therefore, I want to equip my family and other people with this knowledge. To hopefully help you.
Learn about how much your appliances are costing and make a plan
We currently have a dispute over our account balance with our energy provider. And they are asking for an unreasonable monthly direct debit. It’s simply not possible at the moment for us to pay more. Therefore, a representative emailed me confirming we pay a lower rate per unit between 12.30 pm and 7.30 am. Based on this, we have completely switched our household cleaning routine. We load the dishwasher and washing machine and set a timer for these appliances to run around 1 am. My hubby’s job means he is up for work early in the morning, at which point he can load the dryer. Due to these simple changes, most of our energy-guzzling appliances are charged at 26.1p less than the day rate.
More energy-saving solutions to try
I even had the idea for my hubby to boil the kettle before work and load our two travel flasks for my morning coffees. Although we haven’t yet tried this, it’s something I would absolutely do. Stay tuned for updates.
Anyone in the blogging world, who likely makes their income from several smaller sources, will understand fully that small amounts add up over time. As do cost savings. We have our appliances on daily and therefore, I expect this to make a big impact over a month of energy usage.
Until next time
I hope these tips will be useful for everyone. We need to do something until this cost of living situation corrects itself.