Happy New Year! This is the beginning of a new series of blog posts on frugal living. We’ve always tried to avoid waste and save, and have to say, we’ve got pretty good at it. We could do better though. For us, the end result of our frugal living goal this year is to dump a lot more money in our savings and pensions and to enjoy a somewhat more simple life. Ditching plastic where we can is also on the cards, as is more recycling. We will be clearing the clutter and looking at ways to save and make more money to add to our various savings pots).
Here is my first proper 2019 frugal living update.
We spend too much money on food. I have some rather specific dietary needs however even including that, we overspend. This has been down mostly to a lack of planning on my part. Here’s what I’ve done/am doing to remedy this, and you can to if saving money on your grocery spending is a goal:
Move to a Cash Budget: Yes, if you withdraw your spending money in cash you are much more reluctant to part with it. I certainly am. I’ve stopped using the grocery account debit card wherever possible and withdraw only what I have budgeted for the week. Anything left over at the end of the week goes into savings.
Take Stock: Do you know what food you have in your house? I thought I did until I did a full inventory of my fridge, freezer and cupboards. I really do not need to buy any more pasta or chopped tomatoes! Using my stock list I created a weekly meal plan for this week.
Meal Plan: I’m using a fab diary my sister bought me for all things grocery related. I keep my stock lists in there, create my weekly meal plan from it, then write up a shopping list (which I plan to stick to!).
Shop Cheap: Aldi and Lidl are my friends. The local butcher can also save you a fortune. Some are put off using a butcher because prices are per weight and so on. If you say you want a pound and a half weight of mince, that’s fine. If you say you need three steaks but don’t want to spend more than £x, they can work with that too.
Our car has been fab for years but in the past 6-7 months or so we’ve come to realise that it is time to let her go and trade her in for a newer (smaller) model. Smaller for fuel efficiency (ours is a 2.0l engine) and smaller because we live in a Victorian terraced street which means parking outside requires excellent timing and a shoe horn.
Once we’ve had her **fixed (an engine light has come on and she doesn’t like accelerating – such a diva) we’re off to the dealership with her. We’ve had a quote for her and plan to trade her in and buy something a little cheaper (save the difference) but we’ll see what’s what on the day.
**We use a local mobile mechanic who is excellent at what he does and has years of experience under his belt. If you are local (Thirsk and surrounding) and want a recommendation, just ask!
Last year (September) I bought a halogen cooker. This is a tabletop cooker which replaces your oven and is cheaper to run. My mum has used them for years. I don’t know why it took me so long to get one. They are fantastic! Sadly, just after cooking our New Year Day lunch, the halogen gave up on me. I’ve contacted the company I bought it from and they’ve agreed that is must be faulty and that I need to return it for a refund. I’ll order a new one once that refund hits. The pain of this (other than being without my halogen) is that I have to find suitable packaging and a courier! Any recommendations on a cheap and easy to use courier service?
Switching Energy Supplier to Bulb
I moved us over to Bulb Energy 16 months ago and can honestly say that I have been over the moon with the savings and the service. Their commitment to renewable energy also ticks a big box for me. I earned £50 into my Bulb account when I joined as I used someone else’s referral link. A friend later joined through me using mine and we both received £50. If you want a quote (and want to use my referral link) start here: http://bit.ly/nickibulbreferral
Frugal Living 2019
That’s pretty much where we are frugal living and savings wise. It’s only the 2nd January though so we’ve made a good start. Keep reading for further updates as we commit ourselves to spending less, saving more and altogether enjoy a more simple and frugal life.
Do you ever think about your retirement? We do. We’ve been working so long that it becomes a puzzling question of what shall you do now for the rest of your life? Work gives us routine and something to aim for, but retirement seems to take all that away. That’s what it might seem like on the surface especially to people who haven’t done proper research into their options. Retiring for many people seems scary because it’s like a confirmation that they are heading into their twilight years. However, retiring from the workforce and living your own life without any worries of a 9 to 5 should be uplifting. Now you get to do all the things you never thought you could and really spoil yourself post retirement.
Using Your Senior Skills
Many people above the age of 70 still retain a lot of enthusiasm for their profession. In fact look around the world and you see many people in their 70s in the most senior positions of business and many other jobs. This is because they have a lot of experience, knowledge, and have made the right decisions to become a senior figure in their industry. If your parents are looking to retire and are one of these people or you believe that they have such great skills that they shouldn’t be wasted, speak to them about working for themselves as a consultant. Consultants are basically like freelancers, they offer their skills and expertise to anyone that is willing to listen and pay them.
You don’t have to do anything that is tiring or requires a lot of legwork. Your wisdom and words are the only thing people want. These people that would hire you would be entrepreneurs that want knowledge of special tactics, small business owners that want to grow and expand, and of course corporations that need cool and calm experienced heads in their boardroom. Many c-suites will use senior consultants as their personal advisors and these positions can easily fetch a cool six-figure salary. So if you have parents that are retiring from a busy office, tell them that if they still have passion for their industry, they might want to become a freelance consultant.
Low Stress High Reward
Much like the consultant work, there are teaching jobs you can take on to pass on your knowledge. If you are someone looking to retire from the workforce and just take each day as it comes and slowly relax into old age, you can still find pleasure in teaching. For example, if you are a professor in a university and you just want to stop marking coursework and exams, as well as teaching full classes but still love your work, then look towards tutoring. Why should you stop working just because your body is ageing? If your mind is fresh and loves your subject so much that you want to impart knowledge into the world, then look toward becoming a private tutor.
Firstly, it’s far less stressful as you’re only dealing with however many clients you wish. You pick the days you want to work and the hours you want to put in. Since you’re dealing with clients on a one-on-one basis, you can take your time to explain the intricacies of your work and the things they need to understand. You can tutor at your home and have no need to meet up anywhere. It’s simple, it’s relaxed and it’s still mindfully engaging.
Retirement With Care
If you’re someone that is looking to retire but you would still like to enjoy the things in life you have now, then you have many options. Those that know they are physically unable to wander around and go see things they would like to, often find themselves in the house a lot. For that you have options for carers to come visit you at home and perform all sorts of tasks. Take a look and compare the live-in care options that you have regarding your own city. The website offers a directory to many services and then compares them to see which might be best for you. The feedback that each service receives is also taken into account so you can make the best choice from previous users. We’re not quite at this stage yet but it’s good tobe able to have such info to pass onto relatives.
Retirement is far from boring, not in this day and age. That old image of a gloomy few final years is but a stereotype that needs knocking on its head. Now you can still work, but absolutely to your own wishes and probably make more money as well. You can tutor privately, passing on knowledge to the next bright young minds. You may want to take up private consulting so you can help executives in their companies while playing a less stressful role.
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