Frugal Resolutions

Have you made any financial New Year’s resolutions yet this year? With a feeling of trepidation I went back to my entry this time last year to remind me of the resolutions I set myself in 2008, and whether I stuck to any of them…

 

Last year I resolved to:

– Stop buying things I don’t need.

– Stop using the tumble dryer to dry my clothes instead of the clothes line.

– Take my books back to the library on time.

– Learn to cook Indian and Chinese food to avoid eating takeouts.

– Learn to make my own toiletries and cleaning products.

– Possibly learn to make my own clothes.

Wow. I think I was a bit overly optimistic and made too many, which is often the way with New Year’s resolutions. On the bright side, I feel I made good headway in stopping myself from buying stuff and I did make a big effort last year to use the clothes line instead of the tumble dryer to dry clothes. But I still racked up a few library fines, although I try to only take out one or two books at a time to keep the fines down if I forget to return them. And although I learned how to use bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as cleaning products, I didn’t make much headway in making my own toiletries or clothes, so perhaps these are two things for me to revisit this year.

In 2009 I’ve decided to be more focused and stick to just two resolutions:

Number one is to stamp out frittering – you know the type of thing, buying a bottle of water when you could have taken one from home, a magazine you don’t need, taking money from the ATM that disappears once it goes into your wallet. It all adds up.

Number two is to learn to grow my own vegetables. I’ve meant to do this for years but always forget to, especially as DJ is such a prolific gardener. But this year I’m determined to do it. DJ has been kind enough to build me a raised veg bed, and I’ll go into more detail later this week about what I plan to do with it. Can’t wait to get started!

What are your financial New Year’s resolutions?

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6 Responses to Frugal Resolutions

  1. Christine says:

    Easy really – buy nothing new during 2009 except for food, underwear, shoes if really necessary because the feet are a problem, seeds and compost for the allotment (this is really food production so already covered) and to reduce the amount of rubbish that goes into the bins. The first one is because I have more goods than necessary and less money in the savings than there should be. The second will save me moving the wheelie bin up 7 steps for emptying and down again very often. Both should be good for the environment in that I\’ll be using less resources.

  2. Kerri says:

    This year I want to make some more steps into clearing my debt. Compared to some I don\’t have a lot overall but I want to start saving and putting some funds away for a rainy day and clearing my debt is the first step to being able to do that (no point in saving at 6% apr if you\’re being chaged 16% apr on credit cards – though mine are on a 0% card 🙂 Following on from that I want to start living to a budget. Last month I took out only cash and lived on that – I did quite well until I fell off the wagon a bit just before Xmas in the pre-xmas sales – whoops! I did keep a record of what I spent my money on though and its the odd £1 or £2 items that add up so I resolve to try and rationalise those little spends before making them and only buying what I deff need.Lastly, I want to try and cook more – this again is part of my money saving plans. So far this year I have made meatballs and pasta sauce (thanks Jamie Oliver 🙂 and beef casserole, plus I have some chicken in the fridge to cook on Fri night. I\’m trying to cook more than what I need to one night when I feeling good, then freeze some portions for when I fancy a \’night off\’. I guess my overall resolution is to spend my money a little more sensibly and thoughtfully.

  3. piper says:

    Wow Christine – what size shoes do you wear? Good for you Kerri. Writing everything down that you spend is a great idea. I used to do that when I was a student and it was a great help. And cooking is definitely the way forward. It depends how big your household is but DJ and I have found that using just half the packet of meat to make a casserole or serving it with couscous or other veg makes it last two days instead of just one. Often tastes better reheated too.

  4. Kerri says:

    Like you Piper, there are two in our household too (well and the two cats!) I have a Le Crueset dish I use for casseroles that my mum passed onto me as it got too heavy for her to lift. No matter what I cook I always seem to manage to fill it so my casseroles (or anything else) manage to feed us for about 3 days (well 1 day and then some in the freezer). It must be like the magic porridge pot! lolWriting down my spending has deff made me think twice about those £1-£2 purchases, unfortunately I haven\’t fared quite so well with the Sales on but I will address that in Feb. I wil also be putting some money aside each month for Xmas 2009 – it deff made a diff in 2008, Xmas wasn\’t quite such a shock to the Dec pay-packet 🙂

  5. Christine says:

    Oh Piper I have the traditional PC Plod\’s feet – size 6 which sounds ok till you see how wide and deep they are. They are a lot wider than the shoes in the high street shops and have to come from a shop on-line that sells specially wide shoes for specially wide feet. If shop wasn\’t there it would be specially made shoes! It means that there are only a couple of pairs of shoes available – one for the allotment and one for going out in – and one pair of slippers. Only replaced when they leak believe me or if there is a very special offer on the website like something that I can wear at half price (can\’t wear court shoes with heel for instance). But still cheaper than some of the Russell and Bromley shoes I spotted yesterday at well over £100 a pair in town!Taking charge of my clothes budget was last year\’s resolution when I was faced with full retirement. Having bought cheap and cheerful whilst working to find that some items didn\’t give value for money, it was a case of looking again at the wardrobe. It\’s been a case of scouring the shops to pick up quality at sale prices or in the charity shops in order to have a good mix and match variety which will last the years. Fashion is for teenagers, elegance is for age. Elegance can cost less with a good eye and careful shopping.

  6. Saeed Khan says:

    Dear Pipper!, Your blog posting on the low/home budget isuues a thought provoking move. I would like to take this in your notice that I have recently invented and offered a SEMFO Global Plan (http://www.saeedabasi.blogspot.com) to the world community. Besides providing a strong socio-economic system anoter feature of my plan is to enable a Deficit Free budget at all levels. I would like to have honor of having you as my online expert/blogger on my above mentioned blog and project.

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