Tag: saving money

How to save money during Christmas spending

December is a tough time for us all financially. We are suddenly inundated with buying gifts, extra food and home decor. Am I the only one that thinks the price…

saving money during christmas spending

December is a tough time for us all financially. We are suddenly inundated with buying gifts, extra food and home decor. Am I the only one that thinks the price for a Christmas bauble seems to have doubled?!

Not only do you have to pay for all of the extra strains, you still have to keep up with your regular bills and maintenance costs. This is extremely hard especially if you are surviving off maternity pay.

It can be very tempting to dip into that savings pot you have worked so hard for through out the year but, I’m here to tell you now don’t!  Check out my very handy saving whilst spending tips first!

Honey

On Chrome, you can simply download a FREE extension. Guys, let me just say that this took me under 5 minutes to do. It was so easy!

Honey will pop up when you are at the checkout on your online shop with a discount code. Not only that, Honey searches for the best possible discount code for you! Amazing.

Here is the link: Join Honey

Quidco

Using a website like Quidco, you will get instant cashback from shopping online. All you need to do is log onto Quidco first and then shop through there onto your retailer of choice. For example, I want to buy a pair of trainers. I will log onto Quidco site first then I will look for the Nike website and click on it and carry on with my shop. Simple.

You can get rewarded cashback on so many different products, whether it will be gifts for people this year or you want to take out that break down cover you desperately need but can’t afford at full price.

If you are a new customer the chances of your cashback amount being a better rate will increase!

Sign up with my link for a free £5!

Here is the link: Join Quidco

CamelCamelCamel

Did you know that companies regularly change the prices of products on their website? Amazon can do this multiple times a day! So let’s say you are on Amazon, and you really want a new TV, if you put what product you want to track into CamelCamelCamel, you will be notified with an email when that product is at its cheapest or the price has dropped.

There is also a free browser extension too.

Here is the link: Camelcamelcamel

Groupon

Sometimes you just want to treat someone to a really lovely gift. This could be a trip out or a spa day. Check out  Groupon. They have amazing offers where you could save yourself so much money rather than booking direct.

They even have a full section on handy discount codes too!

Here is the link: Join Groupon

Basket Abandonment

You have done your full online shop and got to the checkout at the end and realised, you know what? I can’t afford all of this right now. So you leave it.

If you do this whilst logged into your account. You can get an email saying “Hey, we have noticed you have left items still in your basket, here is 10% off to complete the purchase.”

A great way to save extra money. I know that Pretty little Thing do this, Apple and Ebay. It will be trail and error finding companies that offer this way of discount but will be so worth it! Just be careful with risking your product will be still in stock.

 

Happy Saving and Happy Shopping Everyone!

saving money during christmas spending

*Some links are referral links.

 

 

 

 

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Help To Buy ISA | DEADLINE

Are you a first time buyer? If you save for a mortgage deposit in a Help To Buy ISA the government will add an extra 25% on top of the…

Are you a first time buyer? If you save for a mortgage deposit in a Help To Buy ISA the government will add an extra 25% on top of the amount you have saved!

But, time is running out!

When is the deadline?

The deadline to open a Help to Buy ISA is Saturday 30 November.

help to buy isa

How much money do you need to open one?

All you need is just £1 and you can be eligible for up to £3,000 towards your first mortgage.

Who is eligible?

You need to be a first time buyer ages 16+. You have to have a valid national insurance number.

What does the government add?

The government will add 25% tax-free to whatever the amount is in the ISA when it is used to buy a home. There is even a bonus of up to £3,000 if your total amount in your ISA is £12,000.

The minimum amount in your ISA to get a bonus is £1,600 and you can get a bonus of £400.

Buying a house together?

If you are both first time buyers then you can both get a Help to Buy ISA.

Can I use the bonus on the house deposit?help to buy isa

Be aware that the Help to Buy ISA bonus is for the mortgage deposit not the house deposit. You only get the government’s bonus with the Help to Buy ISA bonus on completion. So if you are planning on using the bonus towards the house 10% deposit. You may need to speak to the seller to agree on a lower deposit that you can afford.

You get the bonus when you become the legal property owner.

It is designed to help cut the cost of your mortgage and reduce the amount you need to borrow.

If this is an issue for you, the Help to Buy ISA might not be the best option for you. A Life time ISA pays you a bonus monthly.

What happens if my circumstances change?

If you find yourself in a new job down the line where you have to move abroad then you can still rent out the property you have even if you used the Help to Buy Isa. You can not rent out the property if renting is your intention when buying. You may have to pay the bonus money back.

Will I lose my money if I don’t end up buying my first home?

You will not lose your money. In fact you can withdraw all of your money penalty free.

What happens if I have already invested the money into a cash ISA?

A Help to Buy ISA counts as a cash ISA. You can only make payments into one of these ISA’s in the same tax year.

You can transfer your savings over into a Help to Buy ISA but, this depends on the total amount of you have paid into your cash ISA this tax year.

The best option is to speak to your provider if you are wishing to transfer as not all providers allow this option, especially, if you have paid more than £1,200 since April.

If you have paid more that £1,200 into a cash ISA, you will need to open it with a provider that allows you to transfer and then ‘split’ your cash ISA.

Natwest and Nationwide allow you to open the Help to Buy ISA and the cash ISA where as, other providers if you have paid £1,200 will make you either withdraw £200 or invest the £200 into stocks and shares. Again speak to your provider if you need more advice.

What happens if I can’t make the max payment this month?

help to buy isa

Still open one and keep your options open. You just won’t be able to make a double amount next month. You will only be able to put in £200 not the £1,200 the first month offers.

If you are interested in the Help To Buy ISA then you can apply online right up to the closing date. But, remember the closing date is approaching so don’t leave it until last minute.

You don’t need to be currently banking with the ISA provider and you don’t have to have your mortgage through the same provider either.

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Qualifying for tax free childcare

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per child What is Tax-Free Childcare? It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive…

The Government scheme that gives you up to £2,000 per childtax free childcare

What is Tax-Free Childcare?

It is the Government backed scheme to simply help parents with the cost of expensive childcare.

The scheme was launched in April 2017 and if you’re eligible, you can get an extra 20% towards childcare costs. If you are eligible, you can get up to £2,000 (£4,000 if your child is disabled)  a year per child towards the cost of childcare for free.

You can even use the funds to pay towards activities like summer clubs.

How does Tax-Free Childcare work?tax free childcare

For every 80p you spend in childcare, the government will add 20p. This essentially gives you basic-rate tax back on your payment.

You can open a centralised account to make it easy. So for every 80p you put into the account, the government will add their 20p. You can then pay your childcare provider directly from that Tax-Free Childcare account.

With the scheme, you will be able to pay for up to £10,000 of childcare.  This works out as you would pay £8,000 and get an extra £2,000 per child each year! If the childcare bill reaches the government maximum, you will not be able to get any more financial support that year. However, you can still pay childcare through the tax free scheme using your centralised account, just with no additional funding. If this happens, it may be easier to pay for your childcare directly with the childcare provider.

Do I Qualify for Tax-Free Childcare?

The scheme is open to all qualifying parents.

  • You (and your partner) need to be in work to qualify for tax free childcare – This includes self employment.
  • Available to single parents
  • Your child must be 11 or younger.
  • For children with disabilities, this is up to the age of 16.
  • You (and your partner) must be earning at least £131 a week. This is the equivalent of 16 hours/week at the national minimum wage for 25 year olds or over.
  • You’re self-employed and your income varies on a weekly basis, use your three month average to see if it meets the £131 a week minimum.
  • Each parent needs to earn less than £100,000 a year.
  • If you have been self-employed for less than 12 months, the minimum income requirement does not apply to you.
  • If you are currently not working but are due to start in the next 21 days.

If you or your partner is in work and the other is not able to, you can still be eligible, if you receive any of these benefits:

  • Carer’s allowance
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Contribution- based employment and support allowance
  • Incapacity benefit or long-term incapacity benefit
  • National insurance credits

Can I qualify for Tax-Free Childcare whilst on maternity leave?

Yes! paid or unpaid statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave is still classed as being in work. You just can not apply for the child that you are currently on leave for. You can use the scheme for older siblings.

Example of Tax-Free Childcare

Lt’s say that if your total childcare bill was £500 a month, you would pay £400 and the Government will pay the remaining £100. Therefore, this would cut your £6,000 yearly costs down to £4,800.

If the childcare bill for one child is £1,000 a month, you would pay £800 and have £200 paid for by the Government. However once the maximum amount of £2,000 has been given by the Government, in this case, after 10 months, you will have to pay the full total.

Who is Tax-Free Childcare best for?tax free childcare

  • Self-employed or couples earning less than £100,000 each.
  • Families with more than one child and high childcare costs.

How to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare

First of all you need to create an online childcare account here: Government Tax-Free Childcare site.

You will need:

  • 20 minutes spare
  • National insurance number
  • Unique taxpayer reference (if you are self-employed)
  • Debit card

You will pay money in using your debit card through a standing order, or a payment from your bank account. Although both parents can use the account, only one parent can open it and you will need to decide who’s name you will use.tax free childcare

The government should top the money up hours later after you put money into the account. It can take up to five working days to pay the childcare provider.

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10 Money Saving Tips | Baby Shopping

Baby shopping. Now, if you’re anything like me, you can just spend, spend and spend. Baby shopping is my biggest hobby. For some reason, when it comes to shopping for…

Baby shopping. Now, if you’re anything like me, you can just spend, spend and spend. Baby shopping is my biggest hobby.

For some reason, when it comes to shopping for my baby, I do not seem to focus on a budget even when I really need to. It is like a part of me thinks if my baby needs it then I will buy it her. Which is okay but half the time, does my baby really need it?

Look:

I have been strict on myself to save more money as my maternity pay has come to a stop. It is sad, yes, but I feel so much more secure financially now.

You’re probably wondering how:

By following these ten tips I have been able to think twice about my biggest outgoing which is baby shopping.

10 Money Saving Tips When Shopping For A Baby

  1. Think twice before you buy
  2. Shop around and compare prices
  3. Go for second hand
  4. Re-sell anything you no longer need
  5. Avoid baby clothes shopping unless necessary
  6. Do not stockpile
  7. Join baby groups for freebies
  8. Shop neutral
  9.  Spend with cash
  10. Prepare your baby’s dinner from scratch

 

saving money tips with a baby

Think twice before you buy

Did you know some parents spend over £10000 in their baby’s first year?

I can guarantee that most of their spending would have been on items they really do not need.

Have a good think before you put the product in the basket. Ask yourself will you use it enough times to be worth the money or will your baby get their use out of it before they grow out of it.

A good idea is that if at that moment in time you are set on buying it, wait a few days before you go ahead with the purchase. If I have been online shopping and I go back after a few days to check my basket 9/10 times I no longer want it and do not purchase it.

Shop around and compare prices

You can get many brands for less at different stores. Do not jump on the product straight away. Check for price comparisons online first to see if you can get the product cheaper.

Go for second hand

There should be no shame in second hand items. Mole has had tonnes of second hand items from clothes to her Jumperoo. We love it! It has helped me out so much that friends have been able to gift us with what their baby no longer needs. Plus, Mole would never have been able to tell the difference if it was second hand or brand new anyway.

Re-sell anything you no longer need

Selling your baby’s items that you no longer use is a great way to make some money. I love to sell Moles preloved clothes and I think its amazing knowing that another baby out there will be wearing her outfit. It is recycling clothes at its finest.

All the money I earn back from selling her items I use for her next clothes. It has been really fun selling her items. There are so many ways to do it now it makes the process so much easier.

I have a Depop site where I sell her clothes: @zjwaite. But there are many other ways such as Facebook Market Place.

 

Avoid baby clothes shopping

It is so easy to flitter away your saving when you shop for baby clothes. Try to avoid the baby clothes section when you can. Obviously if your baby needs new clothes then you can get what you need. I always do this when I go shopping, I end up picking clothes out for Mole even though her wardrobe will be full.

I have found to really look for good quality in her clothes now. I tend to avoid the really cheap shops as I know how much I wash her clothes they will not last and I end up buying more to replace them.

I love to count out exactly how many pairs of leggings she has then I know how many tops she will need. That way, when I am shopping, I don’t get distracted in buying another pair of leggings lets say when she already has more than enough.

Do not stockpile

It is extremely easy to stockpile on baby products. Whether it is their food or nappies. It is always a good idea to have spares in the house but when the wardrobe is bursting at the seems with spare nappies or your draws are becoming draws just for baby wipes then you need to stop.

baby products savings

If you’re trying a brand for the first time, do not go and buy more than one of their products as you might find you do not like them and you could have used the money on your favourites.

Join baby groups for freebies

Joining as many baby groups as you can, you will be sent vouchers or free samples. These can really help you save! Check out what baby group your local supermarket has!

Shop neutral

Shopping neutral will be ideal if you are planning on having any more babies. You will be able to hand down their clothes or nursery items no matter what the sex is of your baby. It saves you from having to buy lot’s of items twice. Items you will  fall in love with too will be able to stay in the family for longer. It’s a bonus that it will save you money in the long run.

Spend with cash

Now we have contactless payments and our wages are paid through online banking, we rarely have cash. This is a downfall as we can not physically see how much cash we are spending. If you took your spends out in cash rather than on your card, you are likely to spend less.

I love to withdraw a budget then once that cash has gone I can not spend anymore on baby products I don’t need. It’s also fun challenging myself to a spending budget and rewarding when I find the bargains.

 Prepare your baby’s dinner from scratch

baby products savings

Food has to be one of my biggest outgoings at the moment for Mole. Especially during her teething phases I find that I open up more than one shop bought pouch at dinner times to see if I can get her to eat anything. But with most ready made shop bought pouches of baby food costing around £2.00 each now, this all adds up and gets pretty pricey.

I have set the time aside and bought fresh produce or frozen from cheaper stores like Lidl or Aldi and prepared her food myself.

I am saving so much money doing so. Any spare meals I have for her can go in the freezer too. I remember doing this when she first started off weaning and I was saving around £8.00 a week!

 

 

What are your favourite saving tips?

 

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