Thursday, 27 February 2014

Things I've learnt on my frugal journey

I need my virtual support group
There's lots of advice out there on the web about budgeting. I can create the most fabulous spreadsheets showing how much money come in & goes out but that didn't change my habits. With help from Martin Lewis' I shopped around for 0% credit cards to help clear my debts. I repeated his mantra 'Do I need it? Can I afford it?' 
Frugal Queen inspired me to shop more methidically & cook more. With a freezer full of home cooked food I could ignore the call of the chippy after a hard day at work. 
Chanel 4's Super Scrimpers & Kirsty programs were full of money saving tips of things to do & make.

Half it, double it
This is a tip that I picked up from from Super Scrimpers. If a tube of hand cream appears to be empty cut it in halve. There's still loads left. I was amazed how much hand cream & toothpaste I'd been throwing away. NowI used up ever last bit.

Wood working
My dad gave me some basic instructions years ago, but I'm mainly self taught. OK,  I've only made a few shelves and a 1950's record player prop, but I think I now have enough basic skills to tackle boxing in the bathroom pipes.

Tree Maintenance
When I was first on my own I got someone in to cut the trees back. It cost £130. I don't have that spare money now. I've learnt as I go along. The first few years I just hacked them back, but now I can see they've grown all twisted where I haven't cut them back properly.  

I now have a better understanding of how they grow & how to look after them and I'm much more confident in cutting them back. Last autumn I even cut a tree down following the instructions from James May's Manlab. (It's not just for men). 

Make do & Mend
I've always tried to make do & mend with my clothes, but now I'm mending the mending on some things. The pocket on these trousers had been mended a few times. I added a patch to cover the mending & reinforce the fabric, saving the trousers yet again from the bin.  

 I've also mended draw runners, re-grouted & sealed the shower. 

Being debt free was just the start of my journey to staying debt free.

But most importantly ..............

Keep Calm and Carry On