Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Counting our Pennies

In the last couple of weeks I've realised we need to try not to spend as much money. I don't mean that I'm out shopping all the time but there a couple of cost saving exercises I've been meaning to put in place since I went back to work in April and I've decided enough is enough. The two things I mean to tackle this week are my train fares and stopping buying lunches.

Train fares: since I went back to work I've been buying daily travel cards. This is very stupid. A daily card costs £15.80. A weekly card costs £53.40. I travel to London 4 days a week so you can see I'm over spending by £9.80 a week if i buy daily ticket. What are my reasons for doing this? Well there aren't any good ones. Simply I lost my photocard that I'd had for 15 years and I haven't gone and got a new one! Excuses like I keep forgetting or I don't want to be late back to the kids for sorting it out. Pure idiocy so I plan to get the photocard tomorrow and then buy the more economical travel card. It might turn out a monthly or annual season ticket will be better but if I do that I need to think things through in terms of taking holiday and therefore not using it or the other thing with season tickets is it may not be good economy if the kids get ill and I'm not using it. Getting to work used to be so simple pre-kids there were never these ifs and buts. I got a annual season ticket and that was that. Don't even get me started on the cost of train travel. How rail companies can justify price hikes I have no idea, I don't see vast improvements in the service and we're not all getting pay rises (certainly no pay rise for me this year).

Lunches: another frivolous use of money. Lunch from a sandwich shop can cost £5 a day. £3/£3.50 for a sarnie, £1.50 for a drink. £5 gone in the blink of an eye. It's Pret a Manger's fault for making sandwiches that are TOO NICE and there are 5 of their shops within 2 minutes of my office! London is one big sandwich shop these days, thing is it's really hard not to buy lunch everyday as everyone else does it, I'll be surrounded by everyone with their delicious Indian Summer wrap or my favourite Falafel sandwich and I'll be drooling. It has to stop though. And actually it was meant to stop today, but I left the frigging homemade sandwich at home on the table. Grrr! I blame Noah for making me wake up too early and not be alert enough to remember the sandwich! Anyway, enough of blaming my defenceless 1 year old. Its not his fault I'm spending £20 a week on lunch (£80 a month, £900 a year - gasp that is too shocking to ignore) and its going to stop this week. Thank goodness I've knocked the morning coffee habit on the head as well, or I'd be adding another £10 a week to my work day refreshment bills!

So these are my two most pressing cost saving exercises and I'll give a little update on how they go next week, if I've done what I promise then we'll start to be quids in!


  1. My main costs are petrol and childcare, unfortunately I can't do anything about either! I tend to make my lunch at home and bring it in (no shop for us, which is a good thing I guess) and fill up my petrol near where I work which is about 5p a litre cheaper. Our worst time is at the weekend when we want to treat ourselves. If the money's there it's too tempting not to pop out for a family lunch or buy some new clothes. That's why I have to shove a load into savings as soon as I get paid. If I didn't it would be gone by the end of the month - considering my main impetus for working so many hours is to save for a mortgage that seems like pointless spending!

  2. saving for a deposit for a house is a great impetus! Ours should be that we have a little bit of credit card debt and we should pay it off or that actually we have the mortgage and it would be nice to pay it off early. However none of these things seem important when we want to spend money on having a nice time. Feels like we're treading water some times doesn't it! Petrol and childcare are also our other major costs, but yes, can't do anything about those and Isla will be getting her 15 hour allowance this week which helps a small amount ;) thanks for stopping by Molly x