Archive for credit crunch

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide – Shopping Intelligently: Part 2

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by stanleyriiks

We’re talking about groceries here, if you’re even thinking about any other kind of shop you need to stop right now. Unless you can’t eat it or drink it, or need it for washing, then don’t buy it.

Never ever go shopping without a list. Big mistake. Also, have something to eat and drink before you go, so you won’t be tempted to buy yourself a snack (this is my biggest problem, I go to buy myself some lunch and eat up with £20.00 worth of crisps, biscuits and chocolate!).

Stick to the list!

You will need to buy essentials, food, drinks, cleaning stuff, washing powders, you know the type of thing. Check out the offers, half price and buy one get one free (BOGOF) are the best. If they have something you will use, shampoo, shower gel, frozen pizza, toothpaste, get double you normally would. If it’s something you use all year-round such as shower gel, then stock up when it’s BOGOF. I recently bought sixteen bottles of Original Source Shower Gel in Tesco when they had a BOGOF offer which will keep me going for several months, at half the cost.

It’s important you don’t get carried away with offers. Never buy anything you might use just because it’s on sale, only things you will definitely use and are on your list.

If you do internet shopping it’s much easier to check all the offers, it’s how I choose half my shopping.

It’s also worth changing your supermarket once in a while. The big supermarkets will often send you a discount voucher to use online to entice you back, if you haven’t been there for a couple of months.

Shopping intelligently is about not buying more than you need, making offers work for you, and adding value to every purchase.

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide – Shopping Intelligently: False Economy, it’s not cheaper!

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2010 by stanleyriiks

Don’t buy smaller than you can use.

A small tub of butter/spread is more expensive than a large one in terms of weight (per gram the smaller tub is more expensive). If you’re going to use a kilo tub before it goes off, which is fairly likely, then you are better off buying the larger one.  Buying the smaller one because it’s cheaper (although more expensive per gram, and therefore worse value) is false economy.

This works for almost all products, and supermarkets are now being quite helpful by giving the price of items and the grams, rolls, sheets, litres, cost.

Buy sixteen or eighteen rolls of toilet paper rather than four. (Can save £2.00 a month on average)

Buy a five-litre bottle of mineral water, or a six-pack instead of individual bottles. If you need to use smaller bottles for work or ease of use, buy a big one and a funnel and pour it in. Ok, so it’s slightly more work, but it’s less money. The average family can save over £100.00 a year by giving their kids small bottles filled with water from larger bottles. (Of course investing in a water filter jug and several filters will be even cheaper, it costs about 2p a litre. If you live in London and have to drink the hideously cloudy and foul-tasting recycled liquid, it may take a while to get used to it after Evian [trust me!]).

This also uses less packaging, which is good for the environment. Good for the environment can be good for you!

Use this technique for everything that doesn’t have a short shelf life, soft drinks, bottled water, toilet rolls, butter/spread, tinned goods, frozen goods. Doesn’t work so well for short-life products like milk, but work it out. If you can use a six pint bottle then it’s still better value than a four and a two pint, or three two pints.

You can save hundreds of pounds shopping this way.

Credit Crunch: Saving money without going without. The no pain savings plan.

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by stanleyriiks

You need to start thinking about how your money is spent and being aware of waste. Most of the things I’ll mention are just common sense. All of us waste money to a certain degree, and don’t think you don’t. If you are paying more than you should for something then that’s a waste. If you’re using something you don’t need to use then that’s a waste. If you can cut out as much waste as possible and live more efficiently then you will save money.

Get loyalty cards for everywhere that offers them for free, Sainsbury, Tesco, Iceland all offer loyalty cards. What better way of saving money than getting something for free, even if it is only one week’s worth a shopping a year, it all adds up!

Turn the light off when you leave a room (providing no one else is in there!). This can save you upwards of £5.00 a month.

Use Energy Saving light bulbs, good for the environment, good for your wallet! (can save you another £5.00 or more a month).

Reuse plastic bags, particularly in Sainsburys (where you can receive nectar points for using them) and Tesco (where you get clubcard points). (Can gain you £1.00 or more a year depending on how many shops you do a month).

Put on a jumper when it gets cold. Ok, so when it gets really cold you need to put on your heating, but only use your central heating to heat, then turn it off until the temperate gets low again, then turn it back on. Set your timer for the minimum time you need it and make sure you never have it on when nobody is home. (can save £20.00 or more).

Never put things on the radiator to dry! It will suck the into the wet towel and the room will not be as warm as it should be!

If there are rooms you don’t use, such at the hallway or spare room, shut those doors and turn off the radiators. Don’t heat rooms you don’t need to. It might also be worth turning it off in the kitchen, normally when you are in there (whilst cooking) it’s warm enough.

Go to bed early. Not only will you benefit from all that extra sleep, but you can turn off the lights and heating while you’re in bed.

You think that’s all a waste of time? That little lot could save you over £500.00 a year!

Credit Crunch: A Survivor’s Guide

Posted in Life..., Personal Finance, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by stanleyriiks

The credit crunch has hit me hard. I haven’t lost my job (so far), but my income has decreased significantly (about 25%), the threat of redundancy has loomed over me for the whole of 2009 and is likely to be an issue again in 2010. During this time of difficulties I’ve had to tighten my belt, to cut costs, I’ve had to crunch my own credit, look at my needs and expenses and try to put together a back-up fund for emergencies.

It has been hard. The credit crunch was unexpected by most people, including me, and because there was no warning I found myself unprepared.

To give you some background, I have a full-time job (the joy!), I live in rented accommodation (which until recently I enjoyed alone). I enjoy good food, regular holidays, lots of tv channels, unrestricted broadband internet access, buying things when I want them, not having to save forever to get an iPod touch, and being in control of my money.

That is until I realised how precariously balanced I was on the financial divide. The divide between the haves and have-nots. Because of the credit-crisis it’s not so much of a divide any more, and there’s no border patrol stopping you going over to the other side now.

I plan to put together a series of articles aimed at making you look at your money and getting you to think about how you spend it. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, it’s not a 12-step debt removal system, it’s just a common-sense way of looking at money and how you use it. The idea is to take in this information and use it to save yourself some money without having to go without too much.

Next time: Budgeting