* I’m keeping a saving diary each month to show you how much extra money the tips and deals we feature could save or make you. You can read previous month’s totals and the ‘rules’ for this challenge. The main point is that this isn’t about being frugal for the sake of it. I’m still going out, buying things etc within my budget, I’m just able to do more with the same amount. *
Another month over, another month of savings. And seeing as I’ve spent more, I’ve also managed to save more than in February. The grand total I could have spent but didn’t for this month is…. £1,329.39!
I spent at total of £2,209.29, so without those savings I would have spent £3,538.68. That means I cut my expenditure by a huge 38%. That’s the best yet this year!
So what are some of the ways I saved this month?
A trip up north is easier for us when we hire a car as there’s various people to meet up with. We discovered by accident at Christmas that it’s often cheaper to get a van rather than a car. It was the case again this time – saving us a third on the price. That it ran on diesel saved us another third on fuel costs. It also allowed us to head to the tip with some broken things and buy a cool rug from John Lewis – not a saving there I’m afraid, but it is awesome.
For many, going out for some drinks is one of the biggest outgoings each week. I’m out a lot less now than I used to be, but if you’re looking at £5 a pint in London, it quickly adds up. Well thanks to some group buying vouchers and happy hours we had a couple of very good nights drinking delicious cocktails at the London Cocktail Club worth a total of £73 each for just £21 each. They worked out as £2.63 each! It’s worth keeping an eye out for deals like this, even if your price per drink is more likely to be nearer £4. We’ve got another couple for a different cocktail bar in April, so we’re looking forward to giving them a try!
Sites that often have cocktail deals include at Tap4Offers, TimeOut Deals, Groupon, Living Social and Amazon Local. We’ll let you know if we see any really good ones and post them in our deals section.
Ok, so this is one of the more theoretical ones I mentioned in the first Save-Ometer post. The idea of this challenge is to imagine the person who doesn’t worry about cost and just spends. Any saving I make (and record here) is against any conscious decision I make to spend less. Well this month we got tickets to the French Open tennis championships and to the Kate Bush concerts.
For the tennis, I chose a ground pass vs the show courts as I’d still get to see loads of matches, saving me £62. For Kate Bush I was lucky to get in quick and buy the limited £49 standing at the back tickets – I couldn’t afford anything higher. Right now similar tickets are going for a grand on resale sites, but I’m putting the saving at £50 a ticket – roughly the price of a mid range seated ticket. Though some Kate Bush fans would be prepared to pay more than that!
The point is that with both events, I chose to go for the cheaper (though not necessarily cheap) option. I also saved 40% (£24) on a ticket to see The Weir in the West End, a deal we featured this week.
To help you get gig tickets, read my Running Up That Bill blog post and our 6 Ways To Save On Gigs guide.
I wrote a blog recently (The Winner Takes Eiffel) about competitions. Well in March I received the £100 Cafe Rouge voucher part of the prize. I’m counting it in the savings because a) It will save me £100 on food, and b) as the blog explains, it’s an easy way to try bring in extra cash which is also a big part of Be Clever With Your Cash.
It’s sale time (though I’m not sure they ever end nowadays?). Anyway, I managed to get some much needed running shoes, some less needed new Converse, a few shirts and some picture frames in the sales. Oh and a Princess Peppa Pig Palace for my niece. I paid £47% less than the full price for all of these, saving £226.
So running total so far
January 2014: Value Of Spend £3,817.86 / Actual Spend £2,401.21 / Saved £1,416.65 (37%)
February 2014: Value Of Spend £1,888.20 / Actual Spend £1,305.25 / Saved £582.95 (31%)
March 2014: Value Of Spend £3,538.67 / Actual Spend £2,209.29 / Saved £1,329.38 (38%)
All of 2014 So Far: Value Of Spend £9,244.73 / Actual Spend £5,913.75 / Saved £3,328.98 (35%)
READ THE SAVE-OMETER INTRO BLOG TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW THE SAVE-OMETER CHALLENGE WORKS