Sunday, 29 March 2015

How to Save Money on Days Out and Around the Home

Ah the power of advertising!  Lara saw her first Disneyland advert when she was about two years old and since then she has been asking when we can go.  She'll be perfectly happy with the Paris version (remember when it was called EuroDisney?!), which is just as well as the chances of a happy flight with an SPD child are fairly limited I should imagine!  But even the French version, with Channel crossing, accommodation, spending money etc is going to cost us a couple of grand, easily.

We were planning to go this September but due to one thing and another that's not going to happen, unfortunately.  So we have set up a 'Saving for Disneyland' account and are doing our best to put a bit into it every week.  If you want to save some pennies this spring , here are our top moneysaving tips for days out and around the home:

On Holidays and Family Days Out

  • Buy your tickets in advance on the official website, and search the Internet for any discount codes that may apply.  Most sites like Paulton's Park offer around a 10% saving for advance bookings.
  • If there is somewhere you go to regularly, consider buying a season ticket, it could save you significant amounts if you use it regularly throughout the year.  Or choose a nationwide scheme like the National Trust for unlimited day out potential all year long, and remember under 5s are free.
  • Don't overlook the possibilities for free days out, there are endless parks, beaches, and natural sites to explore, all for nothing.  And don;t overlook all the free museums and art galleries that abound too, there are sure to be plenty near you.
  • Always take a picnic, and lots of snacks, with you so you can avoid spending at expensive on-site cafes etc.  Dependent on your consumption levels, this could save you around £30-40 per day out!
  • Keep a snack box in the car for on the move nutrition and to avoid expensive petrol station and convenience store stops.
  • If you're in the mood for ice cream, seek out the nearest supermarket, express mini market or frozen food shop to buy a multi-pack of lollies or ice creams.  You'll be spending around £1.50 as opposed to £5.  Every little helps ;-)

In the Home

  • Don't dismiss Freecycle and Freegle, the potential for free furniture, children's clothes and toys is huge.  Just remember to offer some of your unwanted things to others too, it's a two way street.
  • Make sure you have the best deals on your gas, electricity, phone, Internet, mobile, TV, insurances etc.  There are some great guides on Martin Lewis's MoneySaving Expert site.  once you've foudn the best deal, you can use cashback websites to earn some money back too making it even cheaper!
  • Question whether you really need all the outgoings you have, is a mobile phone and a landline really essential?  Have you got anything else you can cut back on?  Could you live wihtout expensive TV subscriptions?
  • Do a proper family budget of all your essential outgoings, see how that tallies up with your wage and other incomings, and allocate what's left to your discretionary spending like food, going out, clothing etc.  Set limited amounts and stick to them!  Make sure you set an amount for savings too, and if possible put even more than that in each month.
  • Don't waste money on food: make a meal plan, learn or collect some budget recipes, use your leftovers, and don't be too rigid on best before dates.  Look out for our meal planning posts coming soon.

Once you have started to accumulate a bit of money in a straightforward savings account, don't let it just sit there.  Instead make sure you learn about investing and start making your money work for you.  It will all add to your hard-won savings and mean you achieve your goal all the quicker.  Good luck with your saving!

1 comment :

  1. some really good tips. we also have a saving for disney fund. Any old toys, clothes etc we put on ebay and we then put that money into a seperate savings account - it soon adds up.


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