Slow and Steady

Posts Tagged ‘money saving tips

In this post, I spoke about making an announcement about something important. I can now reveal what it is. I had found a way to move back into my flat! To simplify it, I was going to move back in and get assisstance with my mortgage, and could afford to pay the bills.

I had also figured out that even if I started work, I could manage to pay my bills but needed to make sure one of my benefits was renewed. I was waiting to see if it was renewed before I gave my tenant notice.I was going to be using my mortgage holidays, so needed to wait until the end of the month.

I got a letter from work. From the sound of it, they want to get me doing light duties quickly. I decided to hang on until I was back in work so I wouldn’t have to use my mortgage holidays. I want to keep that for the last ditch option.

Then the budget happened.

From October this year, they are going to slash the amount of help they’ll give you by half.  There is no way I can move back in now. Pissed doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling. I’m sure they’ll be a silver lining, but I sure as hell can’t see one now.

I got my brand new phone . Letter writing helps!

Thing is, now I’m thinking it’s going to stop working. There are a few things that it isn’t doing that is really annoying. I don’t seem to get texts to let me know that I’ve got voicemails, and it doesn’t automatically connect to my car stereo so I have to faff about with it.

I keep on thinking to sell it, and get something a bit more basic, but then suddenly the benefits start showing.  I was at my Aunt’s funeral, and I took a picture of the horse and carriage and it came out beautifully. I was able to use the free sat nav to find the hall, and it’s great as a music player too. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to listen to the new hypnosis mp3 I’ve got.

So all in all I think I’m going to keep it.

Me. Miss Internet savvy extraordinaire!

I was making a few bill payments and signed out. About 20 minutes later, I got an email from what appeared to be my bank, and without really thinking about it, I open the link and put in my details. As soon as it didn’t take, I stopped because I knew it was right. I rang them up and they immediately blocked my account, and told me to download some software called rapport. I also had to forward the email to them. I can’t believe I did it, what a twat!

Oh well, all sorted now so I’m gettng ready for my first swimming lessons.

Well last weeks meal plan was followed until Sunday when I started to have a flare up.

I ate a salmon salmon dish yesterday as I didn’t have my fish dish on Monday as planned.

This weeks meal plan is going to be very vague because I’m going to stay with a friend from tonight until probably Sunday.

So Monday to Wednesday, what I plan on doing is rubber chicken.

Rubber chicken sounds disgusting doesn’t it? Rubber chicken isn’t a recipe, it’s what you call making chicken stretch over a few days.

So using next week for example, I’m going to make roast chicken on Monday, and then on Tuesday, I’m going to use the left overs to make a chicken and pasta pie recipe I have in my home-made cook book. Wednesday will be a veggie soup made with the carcass of the chicken as stock and any leftover fresh veg in the fridge.

The only things I need to buy are potatoes, mushrooms and a bottle of white wine for the pasta pie recipe.

Has anyone else noticed how reasonable Marks and Spencers have become recently? I’m loving the 3 for £10 on fresh meat and fish. I’m going to stock up once I’ve taken the chicken out of the freezer and have some space, if the offer is still on of course, it should be as it’s supposed to be a month long. Depends if their month started on the 1st I guess.

I decided that I want to buy the Paul McKenna I can make you thin journal. Now before I had to start watching the pennies, I would have gone straight to Amazon. Now what I done was went to Amazon and as of today (29 September) it’s £8.49 however there is a used one in the market place for £4 including postage.

I then went to Play to see how the price compares to Amazon, and it’s also £8.49, but has one in its marketplace at £3.42.

If it was still around the £4 bracket, I would go to greenmetropolis.com to see if there is one there, as all the books are £3.75, but as I have one that is cheaper than that there’s no point.

Next stop is ebay, and I change the search so that the price and postage costs are at the lowest first. I was watching one that started at 99p, and then it went over the price of the one on Play.com.

I’ve now bought that one, saving myself £5.07.

As I said the day I got my laptop, I downloaded a few sites from recommendations. I thought I’d do a little update in how I’m finding them a month later.

First of all, I had to slap myself for forgetting an important programme… Skype! I can think of a few people I couldn’t speak to without it.

Abiword – I changed to openoffice because Abiword didn’t have a thesaurus. I’m happy with it, and looks so much like Word I forget I’m not using it. I can save documents in Word format, so it’s really handy.

Thunderbird – It took me a few goes, but I got it up and running, and I love it!

Workrave – I have to say, I haven’t played around with the settings, so I haven’t really used it as it was annoying me.

Picard – Took it off, it didn’t work for me at all.

Media Monkey – It is a good music player. I still haven’t learnt all the features yet though. I’ve just made a few playlists.

Finally after months of searching, I have a car. I’m so pleased because that means that I have a bit of my independence back and will work towards being able to drive long distances again.

I ended up getting it from Leeds from an ad I saw on ebay. As soon as I saw it I knew it was the one.

I had a bit of palaver getting the money out from my bank though, I didn’t realise that you need to order money if you are taking out more than £500.

Anyway it’s been so well looked after, I even have the original recipe for the car when it was new! I have named my baby Chilli, and will definitely look after this one better than my Corsa.

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So far this year I bought a used laptop, a 2nd hand bed, and now a used car.

As I bought the car for less than the budget I decided to treat myself to a brand new entertainment system that has everything: Bluetooth so I can hear my phone calls and any music on my phone over my car speakers, a usb port so I can plug in a flash drive and listen to music,  and an aux facility to plug in a mp3 player. I was going to buy it from Halfords and get it fitted there too.

I went to my local one and spoke to one of the audio fitters, and he didn’t seem very clued up, I really didn’t trust this person to touch the electrics of my car.

I went on Ebay, and found the same set I was looking at for half the price, it’s used, and still had a 6 month warranty. I found a local audio fitter on Google. When I phoned to ask for prices the man told to me come in before I buy the set to make sure it can be done as the car is old.

I was very happy with the attention to detail he gave, and he showed me the 2 ways he could install it. I went with the cheaper version which means that the old system will still be there, so if I decide to sell Chilli, I could take the system out and rewire the old one to work again.

The cost of the used system and fitting is less than the cost of the new system in Halfords!

The set came on Friday and I went straight to the fitters and it was done within half an hour. I drove home listening to songs on my phone via bluetooth, and even took a call. They said they could hear me clearly which I was very happy about.

Second hand doesn’t always mean that they’ll be cheaper though. As I explained when I bought my laptop, there were cheaper ones that I could buy new, but I’d much rather buy something used, that has won lots of plaudits, and awards, than a cheap new product that is going to fall apart in a year.

However in other cases, when the new ones aren’t going to last that long anyway, I’m all for buying cheap stuff. I looked for car mats, and Argos ended up being the best place for them.

I definitely think that it’s worth looking for a second hand version first.


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