Last year, I made small changes each month to make the most of my family’s money.
You know the kind of thing – switching electricity supplier, getting cheaper broadband, opening an account paying higher interest. All that stuff on the ‘to do’ list that doesn’t necessarily get done.
When I added it up, for an article I wrote for the Sunday Times, it came to a massive £9,000. Holy cow.
I thought I was pretty thrifty anyway, so the total was a big surprise.
But it also made me think.
I don’t just do one thing a month to make the most of our cash. In fact most days I do something, however small, to spend less or earn more. Since moving to the country, we’re living on a lower income, so I’m always trying to stretch the money we have. If you read my 5 Frugal Things posts each week, you’ll have an idea of the kind ofmoney saving measures I mean. Anyway, I wondered how much it would all mount up.
Tweeting about my #MoneySavingYear
So this year, I started tweeting every day with the hashtag #MoneySavingYear, to record the little things I do to live well on less.
(Do come over and follow me here on Twitter)
Sometimes things like comparing insurance or checking cash back can seem a pain, but I was hoping that doing something small each day could potentially make a big difference.
Now it’s the end of June, and I’m half way through my #MoneySavingYear. I had a look back over six months of #MoneySavingYear tweets, by seaching on the hashtag.
Partly it made me smile at a diary in financial form, from buying bargain gin for Mothering Sunday, to finding free activities in half term, outings on Fathers’ Day, a deal on Easter eggs and the fixed-price menu for a meal out on my birthday.
It’s also interesting to see which #MoneySavingYear ideas people liked the most.
Top 10 #MoneySavingYear Tweets
After 6 months’ of #MoneySavingYear tweets, here are the top 10 with the highest likes.
- Using up leftovers proved popular in January:
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) January 16, 2017
2. My big yellow sticker haul from our local East of England Co-op: (tips on yellow sticker shopping)
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) January 17, 2017
3. Snapping up a charity shop dress for Valentine’s Day:
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) January 23, 2017
4. Winning a place on a half marathon (eek!): (post here)
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) February 4, 2017
5. Home-made soup for pennies not pounds:
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) March 29, 2017
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) April 7, 2017
7. Earning extra interest from the Chip automatic savings app: (more in this post)
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) May 5, 2017
8. Opening a new Vanguard account to invest for less: (article here)
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) May 16, 2017
9. The leftovers vs take-away face off:
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) May 18, 2017
10. Fending off demands for the vending machine!
— Faith Archer (@MuchMore_Less) May 31, 2017
So it turns out saving on food is a big favourite, whether cutting costs with yellow-stickers and bargain shopping, or cutting food waste with leftovers and soup.
But it was also interesting to see the range of other areas – charity shop clothes shopping, frugal fitness, the Chip savings app and investing for less with Vanguard.
Now over to you – what’s been your own favourite #MoneySavingYear moment of 2017?
And if you might like the odd (and less odd!) idea for saving money, do swing by my Twitter account, give me a follow and look out for the #MoneySavingYear tweets.
And if you have any #MoneySavingYear successes to celebrate, do tweet me using the hashtag!