Saving grace

As I have considered recently, the Global Economic Crisis (tm BBC) is causing everyone to think about cutbacks and so forth, so here’s what I’ve been doing.

  • Plan is to switch my ISA to Natwest in the new tax year, then link it to my current account so that I don’t go overdrawn.
  • I insist (almost always) on making coffee in the machine in the office, rather than the admittedly cheap LSE Garrick. 95p per day saved, £1.49 spent every two weeks or so, overall saving £4.00/week.
  • As the coffee is always accompanied by some sort of tasty treat, I’m on to bagels as a replacement. £1.16 spent per week (or per fortnight when bagels are on 2-for-1) against £1.45 per bacon roll, net £6.09 saving.
  • Cycling to work is the big one. Despite many complaints from my thighs I’m now up to biking every day to work. My annual travelcard, bought through work and therefore cheaper than it would be was costing me £94/month, which is £94 extra I’ll get to keep in my payslip, minus whatever I have to pay for the odd occasions I use the tube.
  • Cycling also removes the temptation of snacking on the way home (my waistline thanks me as well), so that’s a minimum of 60-65p saved (the cost of a Wispa in central London) per day, possibly more (£3 a week)
  • Saturdays are still spent in charity shops rather than Bluewater, flexing my thrift muscles rather than lounging in boutiques or Borders. Still, we’re cutting back there too: now we’re aiming for mostly just one place each weekend, with added lounging around in coffee shops rather than frenetic bargain-buying exploits. 
  • What’s better than buying cakes? Making cakes! So far I’ve learnt to make victoria sponge, bread pudding, cheese scones and muffins and I plan to learn more (fruit scones, rock cakes, lemon drizzle, apple, coffee and walut, carrot…). It’s about a billion times cheaper than buying them out. Soon: patisserie!
  • Driving more efficiently (according to Martin Lewis’ instructions) and finding the cheapest diesel around at PetrolPrices.com

Some good’ns here, although there’s plenty more to do. I’m still reeling a little from a whacking great car bill over the new year, but I’m recovering and will soon be paying off the overdraft…

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