Thrifty Franno

As I am saving my ass off for puppy, I have had to reprogramme my brain into being thrifty. Thrifty Franno is here to stay until at least December – and maybe into the New Year if I am successful with this time around! It feels like I’m writing about my bad money saving techniques each week, but if I keep writing about it, hopefully something will sink in, right?

Remarkably, I have always been a saver. When I had my first job as a lifeguard at 16, I had worked it out so I put 10% of whatever I was earning into my savings for a rainy day. This continued through university and working, and I’d saved enough to throw myself a pretty awesome leaving party at the end of my 4 years.

And of course, after university, there’s the evolution into adulthood. I have been rubbish at saving. I blame the increase in bills to pay for the house. Although I was pretty self reliant at university, my parents did pay for my rent and gave me £250 a month allowance (which was gone in like, a week – hence the job!). I’m obviously being taxed more as I work more hours now than I did at university and earn more money for it. And I have to pay for my car, which I never had a university. And that is scraping the surface of excuses I can throw at you for why I’m not handling my saving abilities correctly!

The two  items I successfully have saved for are the television in our bedroom and my wardrobe. I am pretty proud of myself for saving for that long and eventually getting what I want. There are always things we need to save for. Why doesn’t my head realise that saving is awesome?

I suppose people “spend to their means” and are of the frame of mind, “I earned that money, therefore I deserve that overpriced dress”. Well, I do anyway. But do you end up getting value for money? For me, no; I’ll end up staining it in an awkward place or growing too big (or hopefully, too small!), resulting in giving muchly desired item to a charity shop or, and probably the more likely option, throwing it out. I bought an overpriced dress in the sale the other week and I’m still unsure if I even like it. I was persuaded by Mum and thus, it is still in its bag, in my hallway and not even in the Wardrobe of Love and Dreams. If I return it and as it was in the sale, I’ll get a credit note and next time I go in the store, I will shop with the credit note – and probably end up spending more money than is on the credit note – and be in the red again!

I digress…

I have to work out how much money I can put aside each month for puppy fund and into general rainy day fund. I would love to save enough to go on holiday with Jay on our own next year, but right now, that does not look likely as I’m either a) not earning enough or b) not saving enough to even think it! My head needs to think in the long term. So here are my ‘rainy day’ goals:

  1. First and foremost, the puppy. You all knew this was going to be #1. This is the ultimate thing that I am saving for, for the rest of the year. I have to remember that my outgoings are also going to be affected by ownership of puppy – dog food, pet insurance, dog toys, vet bills, etc. but I’m hoping they won’t impact my outgoings massively…
  2. Secondly, work on the house. I would love for our house to be completely finished before we decide to move on elsewhere, but this includes a complete revamp of the kitchen and I don’t know when I can start getting this sorted, especially as we are now in the colder months. I might have to confer with my Mum on how to go about this complete mission of a job!
  3. Thirdly, holidays. Jay and I have been speaking about weekend breaks to different places, but I would like to ensure I have enough money to cover all the bases, e.g. food, drink, souvenirs, etc. Weekend breaks are also ideal for us as it saves up our paid holiday and I know Jay has stag dos planned for next year already!
  4. Skinnier clothes for when I have eventually lost more weight (Yes, my weight is in every single one of my blog posts. Annoying, isn’t it?). I’m thinking that this will probably be around spring time, when I am hopefully down another dress size. Positive thinking, eh?
I have to remember all these things that I want to do next year (although it is only September this year) and keep them in my mind as goals. I have to start using thrifty cutbacks to save more and basically, do what I want to do. Here’s some of the things I am thinking of:
  1. No more Subways. Too expensive and probably not the best food for you when you’re losing weight. The local sandwich shop charges about half of what Subway charge for a sandwich!
  2. Zumba class cut backs. It saddens me to get rid of Zumba classes as they are completely awesome, but at £4 a session (£8 a week, £32 a month!), I’m best sticking with my Wii Zumba game or going swimming, as I’m already paying £35 a month for that anyway. I have started to use an app called RunKeeper, (thanks to Jodz who’s been posting it on Twitter) which is a useful tool to help track your runs, how fast you’re running and improve how you get on. I’m so not a runner and started yesterday, running 0.45miles in 7 minutes (I don’t even know if that’s good, I was just working out how many lengths that’d be…) but it’s a start, right? And it’s going to help me lose weight for free! Bonus!
  3. No more Bingo. To be honest, I haven’t played bingo for like, a month now and I’m not getting the shakes or anything. Kicked the habit and not gambling any more!
  4. No more pub outings. I’m detoxing anyways, so that’s completely fine.
  5. No more using credit card for online shops. I don’t have the pin for my credit card, so I only use it to buy things online, however I shouldn’t really use it ever. The monthly payments are not helping Thrifty Franno, so maybe I should cut it up…
So that’s it. Five things for the four things I want to achieve for the rest of this year and next year. And they are doable. When I get paid in a couple of weeks, I’ll have more of an idea of what I can be saving. Of course, I have to take into account when things go wrong, e.g. my windscreen replacement a couple of weeks ago, but if I get more of an idea of what can be done in Month #1, what’s going to stop me for the next few months?
What habits have you guys used to save a little bit of extra money?
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