Slashing my family’s outgoings in just 90 minutes

outgoings, money, family finances, utilities, telephone

To destroy bank note, apply flame. In just 90 minutes yesterday I reduced this family’s outgoings by £1,440 a year. Pic credit below.

Money is a dirty word. Like many families is sometimes very tight. My wife and I have just had an exceedingly expensive few months.

Believe it or not, Christmas was probably the cheapest challenge we’ve faced. We had to pay for major work on the car, there have been two family weddings with associated stag events and gifts to buy plus our central heating system broke down in November and we’re having to buy a new one.

As you can appreciate, we’re presently looking to cut our outgoings. I had a few hours spare yesterday morning and did something I should have done ages ago; I looked at our outgoings. As the children get older, I notice they use more and more electronic devices and toys. To my shame we’re using almost one kWh of electricity a day more than we were 12 months ago.

Armed with this information, I was determined to take action. I hit the internet and telephone hard and reduced our monthly spend on utilities yesterday by £70. It only took about 90 minutes. In that time I changed our electricity and gas tariff and cancelled an obsolete telephone service. That might not sound like a huge amount of money, but that’s an annual saving of £840 and all it took was an hour’s effort.

Added to this, I took a good look at our Direct Debits. I noticed two services we can live without that cost a £50 a month so they have also been cancelled. My 90 minute splurge has, in total, saved us £1,440 per year. Not bad hey?

I think the start of the new year has been a bit of a kick up the rear end. I thought there were ways and means to save cash, it’s simply been a case of getting around to do something about it.

There’s much more to do. Thanks to my participation in IKEA’s #LiveLAGOM project, we’re going to be installing mega-efficient LED bulbs throughout the entire house. We’re also about to install a new central heating system. This should significantly reduce our usage of gas. I suspect the new system will pay for itself in two years.

As a family, I think we’ve been bad at looking at our monthly outgoings. I plan to make this a regular thing, maybe 90 minutes every six months, just to ensure we’re getting the best deal on utilities and not paying for services we don’t need.

Have you got any ideas for saving money on your regular outgoings? When was the last time you took a good luck at your family’s outgoings? Please do leave a comment below outlining your experiences.

Pic credit: Images Money. Sourced from Flikr.com and reproduced under Creative Commons agreement.

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28 Comments

  1. January 14, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Great tips. We are trying to do this as well with me going back to work part-time after maternity leave. My best tip would be swapping weekly shop from one of the ‘big brand’ supermarkets to the more budget ones, without naming names! Our weekly shop dropped from £120 a week to under £70!

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      We did exactly the same a few months back with our shopping and we save huge amounts. Glad we made the switch.

  2. January 14, 2016 / 10:59 am

    Really impressive for 90 mins! Nice one. I need to do this! Now just to find a spare 90 mins lol #brilliantblogposts

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      True, the toddler was dispatched to childcare especially so I could dedicate time to this but it was an investment.

  3. January 14, 2016 / 11:55 am

    I definitely need to do this! It’s so worth shopping around but it’s just the doing it that isn’t so fun. #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Ah, but it is a lot of fun when you stand back and look at how much you are saving. Makes it all worthwhile in the end.

  4. January 14, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Definitely planning! Planning as many purchases as possible prevents waste and last minute buys which are often more expensive. Don’t tell my mates but I’ve got some of next years Christmas presents in this years sales!

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      You know what, I frequently buy Christmas cards a year in advance in the sales. Saves a lot of money.

  5. January 14, 2016 / 1:04 pm

    Good luck 🙂 I’ve got an app on my phone that helps me keep track of what I’m spending. It’s often the little things that make a hole in your pocket. It’s been really helpful and stopped me buying a few things.

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Oh yes, look after the pennies and all that. It does all add up.

  6. January 14, 2016 / 1:05 pm

    My best tip is to use cashback sites for the online shopping that you’d be doing anyway – all the money I get from this I put into a savings account for my son, as I’d never actually had the money, I don’t notice putting it aside, and it builds up slowly but surely! #brilliantblogposts

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      That sounds like a superb idea. I like that a lot. Thanks for commenting.

  7. January 14, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Great post! It shows how easy it is to save money when you try. I have done all sorts of things in the past to cut down. One of my favourites was pricing up all the meals I normally make for the family to see how much they cost per head. It was quite an eye opener. Some of the ones I thought were quite cheap meals were actually quite expensive and vice versa. Thanks for sharing!

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      It really didn’t take a huge amount of effort. There’s more to do as well. We’re just figuring out how energy inefficeint our house is. The results so far have been eye watering! Thankfully we’re now taking action to rectify this.

  8. January 14, 2016 / 2:14 pm

    Wowzers that is pretty impressive. Saving on outgoings in our family usually consists of deluding ourselves that we are saving on things when we are not, and basically moving money from left to right. I need to take a leaf out of your book! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub honorary mum John!

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:27 pm

      Yup, we have been guilty of doing the same as you guys in the past. I shall get “honorary mum” tattooed upon my chest.

  9. January 14, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    just fantastic! i’m all fired up to do the same tomorrow – on a mission now – lets see what I can save – will report back!! Happy Thursday #coolmumclub x

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      Very best of luck. I will be interested to heat how you do.

  10. January 14, 2016 / 9:04 pm

    Great advice – we looked into our insurances last year and reduced our home insurance by 75%…we were being robbed blind! I’d been under the impression we had to wait until the year end to change it, but you can in fact move it any time if you pay monthly. Since I got made redundant we have stripped back on all our direct debits…I just need to figure out how to divert the hubby from pub lunches & costa coffees in London every day! Maybe I need to send him in with some baked goods?….Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub, you are officially our coolest regular Dad 🙂

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:25 pm

      Delighted to hear I am your coolest regular dad! Those pub lunches and coffees all add up. I have to wean my wife and I from eating out. It is a vice we need to get on top of.

  11. January 14, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    Interesting post, I started looking at our finances closely a couple of years ago when my partner lost his (very highly paid) job just before Christmas and we suddenly found ourselves in a position where we could only last 2 months before being unable to pay any of our bills! It was really scary and luckily we are back to where we were again now, however we are still left with the worry of if it ever happened again so I make a rule that before taking on any new direct debits we wait a week and think about it properly. Also we go through our finances every month and make any changes we can. We found we saved more when we compared gas and electricity (something I had never done before) and haggled things like Sky down.
    Its really important everyone looks at their finances as things can go very wrong, very quickly!

    #brillblogposts

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      Oh they certainly can and I was guilty of not going over them in detail (or rather my wife and I were guilty!). It was such a valuable exercise. Well worth doing.

  12. Jason Scott
    January 15, 2016 / 9:59 am

    What new central heating system are you getting?

    • John Adams
      Author
      January 15, 2016 / 12:21 pm

      A Bosch something or other. Should pay more attention to these things!!!

  13. January 16, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Great post – what a return for 90 minutes work, think how long you would have to work for to earn that amount after tax!

    You just did the first 2 steps in my 5 step January Money Detox – so perhaps your next steps could be to look at the other three! http:// debtcamel.co.uk/money-january-detox/