Tuesday, 28 January 2014

JANUARY!

Well, January is nearly over, but if you have the January financial blues, you're not alone.
1 in 5 people start the New Year in debt from Christmas!
If you are in debt on your credit card and can't pay it all off, then switch to a 0% balance transfer credit card. 
If the 0% deal is for 18 months then divide what you owe by 18, add 2 (or more if you can) and make that your monthly payment, to ensure the debt is gone before the end of the 0% deal.
The average credit card interest rate is 18%, so on a debt of £1000 a 0% credit card would save you £180 in a year!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 41

Don't buy brand name over the counter medicines!
It has been said that the average person spends £8,500 on over the counter medicines in their lifetime! That's an awful lot of money and I suspect that many of us feel we should always buy the big name brand as it's somehow "better" or is the "correct" one to use - no, it just has more advertising, fancy packaging and higher prices.
It's fairly easy to compare - just check on the packet that the "active ingredient" is the same (and the same strength) as that is the important factor.
So here's some suggestions  for you to have a look at (prices correct at 9.12.2013) and save some money!
  • Hay fever remedies - Clarityn (Loratadine, 7 tablets) £3.15- own brand Boots equivalent is 99p, Clarityn Zirtek (cetrizine hydrochloride 10mg, 7 tablets) £3.29 - own brand Tesco equivalent is £1.
  • Indigestion remedies - Zantac relief £3.20 for 12, own brand Asda Indigestion relief £1, Gaviscon Liquid 500ml £7.20, own brand Tesco equivalent £4.25.
  • Pain killers - Nurofen (Ibuprofen) £2.10 for 16 tablets, own brand Tesco Ibuprofen 32p, Anadin (Aspirin, 32 tablets), Boots own brand 32 Aspirin is 50p.
  • Diarrhoea remedies - 12 Imodium Capsules £6.39, own brand Lloyds Pharmacy DiaFix £3.89, 6 Dioralyte sachets £3.99, own brand 6 Lloyds Pharmacy rehydration sachets £2.49.
  • Cold and 'flu remedies  - 10 sachets Lemsip Max Strength, Tesco own brand Max Strength £1.80.
The prices speak for themselves! However if you are unsure, ask the pharmacist on duty and make it clear you want the cheapest "generic" equivalent. 
Remember the cheaper alternatives may not be so easy to spot on the shelves, so do ask! There is no reason at all to pay the higher prices.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

RANDOM MONEY-SAVING TIP NUMBER 40

Don't waste those nuts! 
 
Got loads of nuts left over from Christmas? Before they go yucky, pop them into a bag, label and freeze them - they'll be fine for 6 months, (check storage times here) or finely chop them and mix them into muesli, cakes, flapjack or crumble toppings.

HAPPY NEW FRUGAL YEAR!

Well, the old year is over and the new year begins! Even more frugality is probably needed though! 
My Year Of Not Spending is over. I'm not not spending - if that makes any sense! But I'm thinking long and hard about what I really need, not what I want - and I have a goal in mind as, for various important reasons, I really need to get my mortgage paid off sooner rather than later! 
So, this year I'm going to concentrate on doing a bit of everything - bit of saving (i.e cash into savings account), a bit of overpaying on my mortgage, a bit of frugal cookery (I spent a bit too much on food in December - who didn't?), a bit of creativity (what can I make, what can I sell, how can I bring in some more cash?), a bit of cost neutral spending (using reward points to pay for as much as possible), a lot more gardening (whilst not spending too much on it) and a lot more allotment growing for more veg, veg, veg (and some fruit) as I need my allotment to be more cost effective! 
I'm also back on the 5:2 fasting diet having had a 2 week break over Christmas and the New Year (when I put on 5lb!) so exercise is also going to feature large in my daily routine! This will not be in the form of expensive gym memberships or spending on cute exercise gear, oh no, not me - I'm walking (for at least 40 minutes at a time) and putting on some dance music and dancing about the house (again 40 minutes) and hoovering - yes, hoovering! When you vacuum the house you burn about 230 calories per hour - definitely makes it worthwhile doing that housework! And all that exercise is for free!
Phew! Got my whole year mapped out then!