Saturday, 1 April 2017

No April Fool !

Borrowed from Google
Good grief it's April 1st already!  Who stole March??  I was determined not to be a fool with my  our :/ money in March never mind April so I have spent some time (quite a lot of time actually) online, checking price comparison websites and haggling reductions as advocated by Martin Lewis and his team (SUPER chap!)
Successes as follows:
Main car Insurance:     renewal quote £329  Paid £260 (haggled it down)
Second car Insurance:                         £237          £167  (
Caravan Insurance :                            £260          £182   (rang around for quotes)
                                                            £826          £609
In addition, I checked the bi-annual electricity bill and we had been overcharged by £90  I very quickly queried it before I paid the bill.  This is why I try not to set up DD s for some things unless it gives us a big saving.  It's easier than trying to get our money back once the DD has been paid. 
The first 3 months of the year are heavy on bills as most things seem to be due at once;
ground rent, rates, water & sewage charges, caravan parking spot, home insurance, LPG top up etc 
Thankfully, the money has been put aside week on week so although our account is pretty much depleted there is still a small balance in there.  The amount saved by haggling and shopping around will be left in the account towards the next round of bills.  Council tax has been pretty much frozen again this year, an increase of just £23 which isn't bad considering how strapped for cash the council seems to be.  We DO have a DD for that as we know in advance how much we will be charged.
I am so relieved to get it all sorted at last and to know exactly where we stand.  We have had loads of  birthdays to buy for too so I have been eBaying like a maniac and on Thursday last I sold a couple of pieces of scrap gold jewellery to a lovely dealer chap we know for £50, which was a bit more than I was expecting.  That has been put aside for emergencies. 
I'm now debating whether or not to suggest to friends and family that we cut down on gifts a bit more this year.  Already I tend to send the adults a handmade card with a scratchcard in for luck and the children get money to spend as they (or their parents) wish but we have 2 extra small children to buy for now so thinking ahead to Christmas do I suggest we don't buy for the adults at all ??  DD and her family will be the exception of course.  I stick to a budget but I enjoy choosing something special for them :)
Do you intend cutting down this year? And have you haggled to reduce your bills in any way?
The food budget will remain at £50 a week and will have to cover non-food items like loo rolls, cleaning stuff, toiletries, washing powder etc as well as feeding visitors at the weekend.  I am hoping for a small weekly surplus which will be saved in a pot for Christmas 2017.  Can I do it, I wonder?
A warm welcome to my new follower Pauline Williams, it's lovely to have you aboard :)
Have a wonderful weekend everyone x


  1. Its awful when all the bills come at once, but like you say at least you know how you stand. We are cutting down on Christmas gifts this year, as well as carrying on with all the usual money saving xx

    1. You are so thrifty anyway Marlene. I learn a lot from your blog x

  2. Well done on your savings.
    I haven't haggled as such but I did save us over £500 per year on our house insurance by going on a comparison website. I also tried to save money on our electricity but the provider being recommended was one I wouldn't touch with a bargepole after reading so many bad reports about them.....all the others were around about what we are paying now. Oh well the house insurance saving was pretty spectacular so I was pleased with that-x-

    1. Wow that's a whopping saving, very well done!x

  3. I agree...I will not do DD either, because of the same reason....hard to get the money back after they get it....

    1. That is so true. I'm a bit old fashioned in that way but better safe than sorry, I think x

  4. I encouraged hubby to haggle with our TV, phone and Wifi, and we made a nice saving, plus my car insurance we got cheaper this year. If you look you can find the bargains, we had our 1st and only home delivery from Sainsbury this week, they gave us £18 off a £60 spend, money for nothing!

  5. It really is worth the effort, isn't it Marlene. Well done on the Sainsbury's savings!

  6. You've done brilliantly with your savings. I always compare every year when renewals come through. I hate to think of being ripped off. This year for Christmas (and I have made sure to voice it early) I have said I am no longer buying for siblings and their adult children, I am buying for my family only. As much as it is for financial reasons, I find buying gifts for them quite stressful. They have so much already. X

    1. Thank you Jules. I have decided to act early and let some adults know that we WILL be cutting back next festive season. Like you said, some people are so difficult to buy for as they have everything including designer this or that so my £10 each spend seems pointless xx