Living a simpler life

Our family has a reasonably simple, laid back existence, and we’re fortunate not to have to worry about paying the bills, but that’s mostly because we’re resourceful, and good at making do and mending.

Over the last couple of years I’ve been reading an increasing number of blogs about non-consumerism, frugal living and so on. In our own quiet way we too are pretty passionate about living outside the control of the corporations. Not for any overtly political reasons, but because we consider ourselves intelligent enough and adult enough to make our own decisions about how we’ll spend our hard earned cash, rather than being brainwashed by the marketing man. I think too that because we do make things we can see the lack of quality in much of the stuff on offer. That makes us very choosy about what we buy. From the outside we’re like any other middle class family with our share of branded goods, our fibre broadband and our National Trust membership, but our phones are a couple of models old, our laptops are refurbished and our car just keeps on going year after year!

Having said that, there are several things I’d like to spend money on this year, and I made a wishlist for some of them. Ticking things off that list is more likely to happen if I spend less on food, clothes and landfill.

Fortunately I can knit and sew, I like to cook from scratch, and we have enough garden to grow stuff.

A few ways to reduce outgoings:

Clothes and home furnishings: using the stash

Shopping for food: being frugal and growing more veg.

Home improvements: making and renovating stuff.

Change phone tarriff to sim only deal saves £13 per month, or £156 per year

Cancel AA membership saves £100 per year

A few ways to increase income:

Change our current account to one with benefits and interest: even a little is better than nothing

Swap savings to accounts with the best rates.

Use what I have on hand make things to sell in my Etsy shop.

Sign up for  Ipsos-iSay and earn vouchers for completing surveys. Use them at John Lewis, WHS, Argos, Amazon etc. More survey sites here

Use coupons and voucher codes. I signed up for myVoucherCodes as a start, but there are others.

Keep track of the cash

Finally, to keep track of it all, I have a few apps on my phone

Online banking apps for our current and savings accounts
Money Monitor which is really easy to use and keep track of.

Thanks for reading. Comments are welcome!