I’ll let you into a secret: I like champagne. I also like pretty shoes, holidays and nice food. But, much to my continuing despair, I’m not a millionaire and nor do I have a limitless supply of cash.
My lack of disposable income is no obstacle to my love of the finer things in life though. The past few years have taught me a few savvy tricks in the budgeting department. Saving for a mortgage deposit was hard work, but having a goal to save for was a great incentive to avoid spending cash on other important stuff like, er, champagne.
If you’re looking to make 2015 the year you buy a house, then look at TSB’s mortgage repayment calculator to see how much your repayments would be. In the meantime, here are some of the ways we live a champagne lifestyle on a Lambrusco budget.
I like new clothes as much as the next person, but my clothes budget is minimal. I have no issue with buying second hand though, so eBay is my friend. I look up brands I like and have bagged myself a few bargains over the past few months. It’s the same when it comes to kids’ clothes. Both baby girl and Frog have a decent supply of lovely clothes and many of those were found on eBay or from second hand seller accounts on Instagram (two favourites: @toosmallforhenryandivy and @cissywore).
We do a weekly meal plan which is a great way to avoid food waste and succumbing to temptation on the cheese aisle. Planning our meals in advance is a great way to eat well without spending a fortune. We always plan a “treat meal” for a Friday night which helps avoid impromptu takeaways which can cost a lot over a month. A home-made curry is just as tasty (and healthier) than a takeaway one – and it leaves more money for those occasions when you just can’t say no…
We may not spend our summers in Monte Carlo but there are ways to enjoy holidays without splashing out hundreds of thousands of pounds. When we’re at home during the holidays we spend at least every other day out of the house – trips to the beach, the park, walking and picnics in the countryside. And whatever our budget we always manage to get away too. Camping is a brilliant budget holiday, especially when there are young and excitable children in tow. This year we’re planning to go abroad for a camping adventure and our four year old is already counting down the days.
We’re slowly doing up our home in a way that suits our style and family. From the baby’s nursery to our living room revamp, it’s all being done on a budget. I love unique style when it comes to interiors, so that means upcycling old pieces, giving second hand furniture a new lease of life and embracing my inner crafty goddess. Decoupage, chalk paint, photo walls, eBay wins and a bit of creativity are all you need to make a home that looks like it’s walked right out of a magazine (or trendy interiors blog).
Have you got any tried and tested ways you get more out of life on less money?
Disclosure: Thank you to TSB for working with me on this post.