Tuesday, 12 July 2016

It happens automatically.

Hello. Whenever I am asked to do an interview, the question that pops up most often is, 'What are your best money saving tips?' I am finding it harder and harder to answer that. It's not that I have given up on saving money, it's because my tips are so embedded into my life that I consider everything I do to be normal, and I don't need to constantly think about it.

Saving money has become a habit that I do automatically without thinking. People want the shock horror, oh my God, you don't do that do you, kind of tips. Like, why is wearing boys pants seen as weird when they last a lot longer than women's knickers? I think that's normal because it makes sense to me. I don't need to buy replacement underwear for years, pants can be washed thousands of times before they need to be chucked.

Why is it strange to dilute wash up liquid, shampoo, and orange juice to make it last longer? Water is very very cheap, I can double the volume of liquids for a penny or two, making them last much longer. Seems daft not to do it.

What's wrong with having a bath once a week and washing in the sink at other times? We did this when we were kids, and look, I am clean, I am still alive, and it didn't kill me. Using the bath water to flush the toilet and other cleaning jobs saves me money. It's normal to me to reuse bath water, not such a big deal when I am used to it.

Isn't it normal to cut up old sheets and towels to make dishcloths, floor cloths, dusters and cleaning cloths? I haven't bought these items from a shop in years, no need to I reuse what I already have.

It is normal for me to take food with me from home if I am away from the house for a few hours. I make a sandwich, I reuse a plastic bottle and take a juice drink with me. Yes, it saves me money, but better still, I know what I am eating. Why would I want to buy a coffee out when I have just had one at home before I left. I can't understand this walking about with a cardboard cup of coffee. Taking pack ups is what I do, I don't have to think about it.

It takes no effort at all for me to walk in a shop, can't find what I want at the right price, and walk out again. I am not tempted by the in your face chocolate and sweeties at the till, I have cast iron will power. That's normal for me, it's no big deal.

If I need clothes or shoes I will look for them in a charity shop or a car boot sale. Over the course of a year this saves me a lot of money. Why would I go to a shop and pay full price if I can get it cheaper second hand. This is my normal way of shopping.

Cooking a meal in one pan, isn't that the best way to cook? Cuts down on washing up, saves money on the gas, and less faffing around in the kitchen. This simple approach to cooking is normal for me, I do it without thinking.

All my money saving tips are how I live my life, I don't have to think about them, I do things automatically. Sometimes they might only save a few pennies here and there but they all mount up and it means more money stays in my purse and in my bank account, without me even making a conscious effort to save. I am constantly amazed how my emergency fund builds up all by itself. Every month I get a surprise when the statement comes and it looks good, and I haven't had to make any sacrifices, not gone short on anything, not worried about any bills that are due, and all because my money saving happens automatically without me giving it a second thought.

Thanks for popping in. we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

23 comments:

  1. Well MQ, I used to wish that I had your willpower when I first read your blog and for these 'tips' to become automatic. I thought that for someone like myself with my lack of mental discipline, especially since my mind closed down for those dark years, learning such self control would be impossible. But as I read your post I realised that I too am doing things like your 'tips' automatically these days. My savings are slowly growing, my debts slowly reducing and my inner self is learning to leave turmoil to the side at last. So I guess I did take notice from your words upon being frugal and those of others who live the same, so a great big thank you to you all is the order of the day.

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    1. Thank you John. I think the key is not to panic, think long term, change habits bit by bit and eventually you will stop feeling deprived and miserable.

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  2. Well said Ilona. We are all capable of changing things in our lives. We've all had to learn to recycle since it was introduced, now we do it automatically.

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  3. Thank you, Mean Queen. My savings are showing signs of increasing and I don't worry about what others say or do. Additionally, I do not purchase much either except for the animals and our food. I have a coffee out habit I need to stop, that's the next to go. Have a good night.

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  4. I totally agree. I too simply do it automatically without thinking. In fact I wince at the thought of paying upwards of £2 for a cup of tea when I can buy an entire box of teabags for less than that. Besides which I much prefer my own cup of tea... made in a teapot and not just a teabag chucked in a cup.

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  5. My friend works as a part time cleaner. Food that is chucked where he is working comes home to me. In the last few days, some lovely tea towels were put in the bin. They were washed and I am using them. Natalie

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    1. Go for it Natalie. People are daft to throw things out when they still have a use. We are clever to retrieve them and use them again.

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  6. You are such an inspiration, Ilona. I am the same with clothes - just can't bring myself to pay as new prices when I know what I can buy so cheaply secondhand. I do like a shower every day though - it wakes me up for work! I hardly ever take a bath. If more people were like you they would be happier and less worried about money.
    Jane

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    1. I bought a 100% cashmere jumper in a charity shop the other day - I looked the brand up on line when I got home, a mere £285 if bought from the retailer. It's a bit small for me but it'll make a lovely present.

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  7. Very well said! Fools are the folk who chuck money down the drain purely due to laziness or thoughtlessness or in today's language CBA (can't be arsed)!

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  8. I think that a lot of people automatically do these things but don't like to talk about it. You are an inspiration because you talk about your frugal ways and every now and then you give me a different way of thinking about our resources. Thank you.

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  9. Well said. I hate that we live in a throwaway Society. I have been cutting plastic tubs in half for years as there is always
    so much left in each end - people used to laugh at me but I just hate waste! SueM

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    1. I do that too. Plastic tubes of face and hand cream have an amazing amount of cream left in them when they are supposedly finished. I cut the tops off and then use a bag clip to keep the contents airtight.

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  10. Have to agree with you Ilona, I think some of it comes from the era and the family who raised you. For me this includes make do, mend, don't throw that it will do for this etc. I still have towels/sheets that I know are 35+ years old still in service but now for other jobs. Maybe living in the "sticks" helps as you have to make do with what you have sometimes. Rae x

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  11. Have you tried making your own yoghurt? I am going through a yogurt making phase and Tony is having yoghurt with fruit for dessert every evening. He hasn't complained yet but pretty soon he will be hoping that the yoghurt making phase will pass. I drizzled a bowl full with maple syrup for breakfast this morning and it was scrummy.... I would not have thought that I would like toffee yoghurt. It costs pennies to make as I can buy four pints of full fat milk for 89p locally.... it makes a lot of yoghurt

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    1. Hi. Yes I have made yogurt in my slow cooker. I wrote about it somewhere on here. Thanks for the reminder.

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  12. You have been the inspiration for our family. Our circumstances changed and our income (not great in the first place!) was reduced by half! We have done everything you do and for nearly 2 years have managed to continue to pay our mortgage, partially support 2 kids in Uni and live a full and happy life. No, we haven't had a holiday for 4 years, we don't go out and never buy new clothes. Circumstances have now improved 3 fold but we are continuing with our way of life because it's fun and VERY satisfying! Off to Cornwall for a week soon and cannot wait! Thank-you!

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  13. I wish I had some of your will power! I've had to cut back on spending several times over the years and now we are living on a fixed income and we HAVE TO cut back and watch our monthly income. It has to last all month! I admire how you can pass things up without buying them (things that you love like Magnum ice cream). Good for you. I am not considered a big spender but I am not as thrifty as you are. I'm learning through you though.

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  14. Fantastic post again Ilona :) most of the time I won't buy clothes unless I feel like I need them, and I'm not afraid to wear the same outfit time and time again. Can't understand those people who feel like they can't be seen in the same thing twice. I did however treat myself today to a leather jacket as it was down to £20 (originally £65!) Which I thought was a bargain, especially for real leather.
    Also agree with the takeaway coffee - absolute madness the prices they charge for a brew these days! I love a cup of tea but there's no way I'd pay even £1 for a cup when out and about. Just wait until I get home when I can relax and enjoy one properly :)
    Nothing wrong with treating yourself now and again as you say - everything in moderation after all.
    I do have a shower every night though, I sweat a lot with my job so that's one thing I couldn't change as I would soon start to smell ha ha.
    Keep up the blogging Ilona, I love coming home after work to chill out (with a cup of tea!) and a read of your blog :)

    Alex :)

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  15. Here,Here I totally agree with you.Last week I was looking for a new purse as my old one was really falling to bits, I went to a small local charity shop in a village nearby that only opens for two hours on a Wednesday lunchtime.I had priced what I needed in a local shopping precinct and decided that £15-20 was far too expensive for a purse.Found exactly what I wanted and the lady said was 60p OK ?.I was more than pleased as it was pink suede leather. Having got a bargain I treated my self to a delicious two course lunch at the loacl pub for £5.99 and came home more than pleased and to my mind still in front money wise :) a treat and a bargain rolled into one

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  16. I just wanted you to know that I look forward to your posts every day and you are always an inspiration. I have stopped using many paper goods such as paper towels, etc. I now use old cloths and towels for dishes, cleaning, etc. Saves me lots of money. If I lived alone I could be much more frugal but I am raising my 6 year old grandson with my husband and that incurs expenses. (Lots of laundry, food, etc.)

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  17. Great post Ilona. Far too much perfectly good stuff is consigned to landfill and I really don't understand the 'need' to have everything new and matchy-matchy - must be like living in a show room window!
    Saw your 1940's friend Joanne this morning - looking pretty in a wonderful 1940 button back apron - like you, she is an inspiration!

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  18. I am called many names for my way of living, but I too just hate waste of any sort. Even as a child I was careful with my money though not from watching my parents. It allowed my husband and myself to get out of the workforce early. We have had one vehicle for a majority of our working life and have trouble understanding why couples insist they need a car each in retirement. It does require give and take and sometimes a little planning but for the most we travel together. I walk the streets for exercise and pick up rubbish and have collected alumimum cans for nearly thirty years. It keeps me exercised, then I cash in the cans, and spend my cash buying knitting yarn to knit/crochet items for charities. Even my late mother didn't know what to say to that and find it is a win for everyone. I also say "there is not much you have to buy new if you don't want as most things can be bought used'. Another saying I follow is the less you spend the less you need to earn. This is a topic close to my heart and could going on, but will stop now.
    Melinda from down under

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