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This week’s Thrifty Finds second week March 2019

Thrifty Finds, Saving Money v ia secondhandtales.com

 

I had last week off work as I still had annual leave to take. This meant I could get on top of some decluttering jobs and sort out some finances.

  1. I sorted through my younger girls’ bedroom and filled a couple of bags for charity.
  2. I was also able to get on top of some of our savings accounts. I’ve rejigged what we are saving for some things as we are about to have a salary drop. I discovered that I had been over saving for one fund which will come in useful as…
  3. The car broke down again! We were warned that the problem may be more serious and it may need to go back to the garage. I think the next job they will do on the car will involve the engine and is going to cost a lot more 😦
  4. I spent a quiet week at home working through my list of jobs as well as enjoying some time to read. I went out for lunch twice with friends but just to local cafes. I had planned to go to the cinema but there wasn’t anything I wanted to see.
  5. However my husband has just discovered his Vodafone rewards app so we can claim two Odeon tickets for just £7! He also challenged his new bill and was able to get the discount he was originally promised (although it involved two phonecalls, filling in an online form and then returning to the store!)

 

On a completely separate note at the weekend I completed a Fearless Flyer Course with Easyjet!

I haven’t flown for 13 years and this summer we are taking a long haul flight. I’m not a great flyer and, having not flown for so long, it has been building up in my mind. As the course was only in Bristol I decided to go for it. The first day was in a hotel in Bristol and involved motivational talks, mindfulness and some very mild hypnotherapy techniques. We also had a talk from a pilot who explained all the noises and – basically – how planes work. The following day was a short 40 minute flight from Bristol airport. Having done the first day I felt surprisingly calm at the airport and didn’t mind boarding the plane. The take off, and landing, though were pretty bumpy (due to the tailend of the recent storms). The course pilot talked us through the take off and landing which was so helpful. Although I felt uncomfortable and uneasy I was a lot better than I would have been having not taken the course. I still can’t say I’m looking forward to our summer flights but I feel I have more tools and techniques to utilise.

Thrifty Finds for first week in March 2019

 

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  1. I finished my #10×10 challenge last week. I succeeded in only wearing ten items (eight items of clothing and two pairs of shoes) for ten days. While it was feasible to wear a different look each day, which made getting dressed a lot easier, I did find it a little boring. Everything I chose to wear HAD to match, which means I couldn’t fit anything quirkier into my wardrobe. I also had to wash my clothes A LOT more! I would definitely use a 10×10 challenge when packing for holiday as it shows you can wear less – but as a day to day exercise I found it too limiting.
  2. I finished the book I borrowed for Book Group. We are now reading Michelle Obama’s autobiography, ‘Becoming‘, which I’m really looking forward to. I decided to borrow the audiobook from the library, as I believe she narrates it. Thankfully we are not meting until mid May!

 

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3. While at Book Group I also borrowed another book from a friend: ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ by George Saunders. I have next week off work and plan to do a lot of reading.

4. In order to reduce our outgoings we have cancelled a couple of unnecessary direct debits for TV and music. My husband has also renegotiated his mobile phone contract which should significantly reduce that debit. My own phone has started to play up (I’ve had it for two years and it is second hand). I’m going to use my husband’s phone when he gets an upgrade, so I will still be paying for SIM only with my contract.

5. On the downside, our car broke down last Thursday 😦 😦 Thankfully we have breakdown cover so my husband was picked up on the side of the motorway (where the breakdown occurred) and he and the car were taken to our village garage. However, at present (Monday) it is still in the garage while they work out what is wrong. This is NOT good news! I’m glad we have some savings put aside for car emergencies but I suspect it won’t be enough for this repair 😦

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Thrifty Finds for last week February 2019

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These are my Thrifty Finds for the last week in February:

  1. My parents were able to pass on the girls’ old playhouse to someone else in the village. This playhouse had originally been a play fort which my parents had – very cleverly – turned into a playhouse. However the girls (and their cousins) are growing too old for the playhouse so we put it on the village ‘Free, Sell, Swap’ page and had three offers to collect! By the end of the weekend it had gone to a lady who was going to give it to her granddaughter – so it will now have its third incarnation!
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2. I borrowed the book we are reading for Book Group, rather than buy it.

3. I had a big win with a Boots offer and points! I received a money off voucher for Number 7 cosmetics (my go-to brand for foundation and concealer) but was also able to make use of their ‘Three for the price of two’ offer at the same time. What should have been £45, only cost £28. I was also able to claim my double points voucher so I already have nearly £5 saved for Christmas (I save all my Boots Advantage to help buy Christmas presenrs).

4. I decided to take part in the #10x10challenge on Instagram. The idea is to wear just ten items of clothing for ten days. I thought it would be a good idea to see how much use I could get out of my clothes, and make me rethink how I wear some of them. I’ll post the results next week! Interestingly, only about a third of the items were second hand.

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5. Knowing I was only going to be wearing ten items of clothing (incl shoes) made me get my sewing kit out and mend a couple of items!

Have you tried a clothing challenge? Are there any tips you can pass on?

Thrifty Finds for end of January 2019

thrifty finds2Apologies (once more) for another fortnightly post. Last week I came down with a really horrible cold (flu?) and ended up spending a few days in bed. Although I’m now back at work I still don’t feel 100%….

Here are my Thrifty Finds for the past fortnight:

1. Being sick at home meant that we didn’t really spend much money and had to cancel a couple of social engagements. One of them was pre-paid but I didn’t mind as it was a charity event.

2. When I did return to work I did get my free flu jab! Ironic I know! I had been waiting for the pharmacy to order in some more innoculations as they had been out of them. Apparently it takes two weeks to start working so I think I would have picked this cold up anyway 😦

3. While I was stuck in bed I started reading my second hand  Amazon pile, bought with my birthday gift voucher:

img_80784. We had snow at the weekend and ended up being snowed in on Friday and Saturday (being 500 metres above sea level and on the edge of the Cotswolds means this does happen!). Being snowed in is great fun – as long as you have supplies! We didn’t spend half as much money as we would have done at the weekend as I made sure we just spent the cash we had lying around. We still managed a trip to the cafe for hot chocolate and the obligatory trip to the village pubs – but didn’t put anything on the card which is one of my golden rules of budgeting. We also had lost of free entertainment – sledging and playing in the snow!

5. Finally my husband got a new job, which he will start after Easter! This is such a big change for us as it means his  commute will be reduced from one hour to just 20 minutes! He will be so much happier and we should get to see more of him, HOWEVER  it comes with quite a pay cut so we are going to have to get our budgeting seriously sorted. But I’m looking forward to the challenge….

Do you have any big changes planned this year that will require you to budget?

Thrifty Finds: second and third week January

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Apologies for no post last week-the week was just very hectic! Here are my Thrifty Finds for the past fortnight:

1. I have now bought my Christmas cards for this year. I must remember to buy stamps at regular intervals this year to spread the cost.

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2. I used a £20 Amazon gift voucher from my birthday to buy five secondhand books. That should keep me busy for a while!

3. As an early birthday treat for my eldest, we went to the Thermae Spa in Bath with some friends. Because the steam rooms were being refurbished we received a free return voucher – two visits for the price of one 🙂

4. Last Friday I popped into the local Dorothy House charity shop in Bath. They had a ‘fill your bag for a tenner’ promotion and I couldn’t resist! I was disciplined, though, and just bought clothing that will work for Spring and Summer (rather than my winter wardrobe which is completely full). In the end I came away with four tops, one jumper, one skirt and a dress.

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5. At the weekend we hosted our annual 80s party. I had picked up this 80s dress for £12 from the Dorothy House vintage shop in Bath. It was the perfect dress with massive shoulder pads, electric blue and made from some godawful man made fibre that made me sweat all evening!!!

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Thrifty Finds for first week January 2019

Happy New Year! How was your first week of 2019? I took the first week off as the girls weren’t back at school until 7th January. We had a lovely, lazy week.

These are my Thrifty Finds:

1. I went through my food spending for Christmas and made a note for 2019 of the things we didn’t really need. For example we never got round to eating the Christmas pud :0

2. My mum picked up some Christmas wrapping paper for me that was reduced at the charity where she volunteers (Dorothy House Hospice).

3. After two weeks of ridiculously slow internet I called BT and they came round to fix it. As a result we have a brand new phone line (the old one was over 40 years ago and corroded, which explained why our internet would drop during bad weather). I also upgraded to super fast – all for no extra cost.

4. I had an honest clear out of those clothes that are now too tight for me 😦 I also donated a bag of books and games to a charity shop,

4. I couldn’t resist a little trawl around the charity shops in Weston, Bath. My daughter had an appointment at the hairdressers there and I had a few minutes to spare. Once more, the Dorothy House Shop came up trumps! With some Christmas money, I bought a pair of trousers (originally Mango, on sale for £7) and a gorgeous 50s style dress from Country Casuals (£10).

Apparently January is a good time to browse the charity shops as they have lots of post Christmas donations!

Thrifty Finds: second week in December 2018

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Last week wasn’t the thriftiest one I’ve had as I went to Brussels for a mini break (!). My husband was at a conference there and I was able to tag along. My accommodation was paid for and the Eurostar was very cheap (£73 return from London). However the rubbish exchange rate meant that everything was expensive 😦 So I did lots of walking and only paid to go into one museum – which was well worth it (Musee des Beaux Arts)

 

 

Grand Place, Brussels

Grand Place, Brussels

 

Apart from a trip to Brussels these are my other Thrifty Finds:

  1. After some online conversations I managed to receive my £43 Amazon voucher from Quidco, which went towards some Christmas presents.
  2. I used an M&S voucher for some money off another present.
  3. I finished writing all my Christmas cards, using ones I had bought in the January sales.
  4. When in Brussels, I bought some supermarket chocolate for the girls as gifts, rather than expensive Belgian chocolate (they wouldn’t notice the difference anyway!)

This next week will be a rather frantic one as I catch up on all the washing, attempt to wrap all the presents and finish putting the decorations up! As next week is Christmas week I won’t be posting but wish you a very Happy Christmas !!! x