What a week! I spent last Friday and Saturday in back to back blogging workshops, conferences and catch ups. As someone who normally works peacefully at home, it was pretty exciting, I tell you.
Check out my five frugal things from my fresh start to September!
Headed to the SHOMOs, a free blogger conference
One of the highlights of my blogging year is heading to the Show Me The Money (SHOMOs) conference and awards.
I get to catch up with familiar faces, meet new money bloggers, talk to companies and learn loads. Plus, I always come away fizzing with ideas and inspiration for Much More With Less. So if you’ve noticed some tweaks, such as whacking up the font size, adding a ‘subscribe’ button to get emailed about new posts and sorting out the menu for my About Me page, blame the SHOMOs!
I posted last week about booking my hotel room, train tickets and station parking for less, and even picked up a cheap breakfast via the To Good To Go app, to share with my roomy Lynn from Mrs Mummpenny.
Previous post: My 5 favourite apps for cutting food costs
The frugal aspect for the actual event is that tickets to the SHOMOs are free for bloggers.
I was very overexcited to be a finalist for four awards, and delighted to win runner up for best Personal Finance Blog. Here I am grinning away in my charity shop dress, with winner Andy from Be Clever With Your Cash and Maike Wolstenholme from award sponsor Yolt.
Brought freebies back from the SHOMOs
One of the good things about the SHOMOs is that you get to meet different companies keen to talk to money bloggers. It was great to catch up with people I’ve worked with before, including PensionBee and Vanguard, and meet new companies too.
It was also brilliant to pick up some useful freebies. Reckon I’m sorted for notebooks, reading matter and power banks, even if my family have filleted some of them! The fab Quidco cupcakes came in very handy for child bribery. There were also some brilliant reusable cups, but as I don’t drink coffee I’m just sticking with my trusty water bottle.
Nabbed second hand clothes in a sale
I’m now more than half way through Second Hand September, the Oxfam campaign to say no to new clothes for 30 days.
Last week I took advantage of the half price clothing sale in our local East Anglian Children’s Hospice shop to buy a pair of M&S trousers and a flowery Next skirt for the princely sum of £2.25 each. I hate hate hate buying trousers, so finding a plain black pair that are actually comfortable and the right leg length was brilliant. I promptly wore them for a couple of work meetings, with one of my favourite charity shop tops, a Monsoon flowery number (action pic above).
It was also really brilliant to see so many other money bloggers support Second Hand September at the SHOMOs – check out the group pic on Twitter!
Restarted Couch to 5K. Again.
However, I figure there’s no shame in starting all over again. If it helps get me back out running, enjoying the fresh air and actually taking some exercise, it’s worth it. It’s tricky for me to fit in when the kids are on holiday, but now they’re back at school I have no excuse.
Best of all, from a frugal perspective, I already have the kit – running shoes, running socks, sports bras, leggings and suitable tops. So going running costs absolutely nothing but time.
Right now, I’m aiming to head out three times a week. I’ve almost finished my second week, including carting my running kit to London for the SHOMOs and staggering round Moorgate on Saturday morning. Let’s see if I can keep it up…
Updated the bonus on my savings account
Part of my new start to September involves tidying up our finances.
Last year, I signed up for the Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account, a super simple easy access account only available online. It paid a table topping rate of 1.5% a year, including a bonus.
This week, with the bonus due to end soon, I actually got round to logging into the website and clicking to say ‘yes, please do apply a new bonus’. Means the rate drops slightly, down to 1.45%, but it’s still better than I could earn on my emergency cash almost anywhere else. Always glad to grab some free money interest, and tick something off my financial to do list!
More on the Marcus account: Where to stash your emergency cash
Now – over to you. Any frugal success for September? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!
Want more frugal inspiration? Do head over and join the Much More With Less #MoneySavingYear Facebook group, to share thrifty tips and support. It’s a private group so your comments won’t be splashed all over your friends’ Facebook feeds.
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