As I mentioned in my new years goals post this year my main goal is to sort out mine/our finances. I really want to start saving more this year, spend less and lower our out goings. 

I think its important to be more aware about where your money is going and areas you can cut down on. Before I moved in with Stuart back in late 2008 I wasn't sensible with money and had no savings. Over the years I've learnt to be a lot more thrifty and frugal but there is definitely more room for improvement, especially when it comes to unnecessary spending on Blake for example. 

I wanted to share with you some of the things that caused us to loose money in 2016 and what we will be doing this year to prevent similar pitfalls.

Here are things which caused us to loose money:

 Not meal planning
Not meal planning meant that we ended up wasting food and not using up what we had in. This meant we were literary throwing away our money into the bin.

 Not having a budget 
 Not having a budget meant we didn't know where our money was going. Having a budget means you can see where your money is going, therefore being able to see  the areas where we need to cut down on

 Not having insurance on valuable possessions
Not having insurance on valuable possessions meant that when my tablet broke I ended up loosing out on money as I had to buy a new one. So lesson learned and now I make sure I have insurance on my tablet, mobile and other expensive gadgets.

 Not keeping an eye on when bills go out 
Not keeping a record of when certain bills go out has meant on a few occasions going overdrawn leading to fees as our bank accounts don't have an overdraft

Not saving 
Not saving has meant that when we had an emergency we didn't have the money to help us out meaning on occasion credit cards had to be used.

So here are some ways I plan on saving money in 2017:

1. Meal plan 
I have started doing this using a magnet meal planning board which also has a handy memo and shopping list section. We have already decided a budget for our weekly food shop which we didn't do before which is helping to stop waste. 

2. Using a budget planner
We have started to use a budget planner and will look at what we get in each month and what will be going out. The planner has sections for monthly and weekly spends and any monthly and weekly income we receive. The planner i'm using has has different sections for your outgoings such as bills, car, childcare, clothing, food, healthcare, insurance, leisure etc. 

3. Insuring valuable products
I've recently got insurance on my new phone and also made sure my tablet has insurance too. I would recommend insuring expensive gadgets such as Iphones especially if you have children. 

4. Use a filofax/diary 
I've started using a filofax and diary to keep any eye on when certain bills go out which is very helpful as I can make sure we have the money to cover for them. 

5. To do lists
I've started using to do lists in my filofax to remind me to do certain things for example set up a direct debit to my savings account. 

6. Set up a direct debit to savings
I am setting up a weekly and 4 weekly direct debit into my savings account I'm starting off small with £5 a week and £20 every 4 weeks to see how I get on. 

7. Use cash back sites when shopping online

8. Spending ban 
I plan on doing a few weekend and also a month ban at some point this year 

9. Sell unwanted items 
Any money I get from sell unwanted items will go straight into a money tin

10. Cut down on takeaways and eating out.
By meal planning we will know what we are having each day so the temptation to go out or have a takeaway will be less. 

I hope this post is helpful to you if you are like me and looking at sorting out your finances. 

*In collaboration with Contact Numbers 

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