Getting by on less than £1000 per month
When we started on our frugal journey, it was mainly a way to save money faster to reach our goals. We never thought we would get by on less than £1000! But after we had reached our savings targets we realized we could definitely make a frugal life work long term, the benefits of being frugal far outweighed and negative ones.
Since then we have managed to cut our total living costs to £954.50 per month for a family of 3 with the help of our 52 money saving tips and tricks. In other words we need £31.38p per day to pay all of our overheads including our transport, mortgage, food, insurance and just about any other bill we have. Below is an in depth look at our current outgoings:
|Outgoings||Total Cost Per Month|
|Internet / broadband||£20.00|
|Mobile Phones & Finance||£47.00|
How we live on less than £1000 per month
People always ask us how we keep our over all living costs below £1000, the simple answer is we live a frugal lifestyle. However, being frugal does not mean we go without, In fact we live better now by spending less than we ever did before we started our frugal journey. Below are some of the ways we cut our costs down significantly.
Lowering our food bill
Our food bill was where we seen the largest cost savings, we used to eat out regularly and when we did cook at home we never compared ingredient costs. Cooking at home, stocking our kitchen with basic ingredients and adjusting recipes to be as cheap as possible as well as buying your groceries in bulk helped us lower our food bill by over £200.00. We also mimicked some of our favourite takeaway favourites like our Quick and Frugal fakeaway pizza recipe. Although we can lower our food bill even more, we find £200.00 for food is a comfortable amount for us.
Lowering our mortgage
What can i say, i know compared to average mortgage payments ours is tiny. This was not by chance, we planned it this way. Buying a house with low monthly repayments was one of our goals of buying a house in the first place. I can’t recommend buying a house that needs a lot of work enough. We haggled £12.000 off the asking price and placed a 20% deposit down. Buying a cheaper home, with larger deposit and paying down the debt quickly has left us with a £60.000 mortgage balance.
We do It ourselves
I can’t recommend picking up a hammer and learning some DIY, It has saved us £1000’s! We have done a lot of DIY projects in the house, from demolishing a utility room and running electric wires under the floors and in walls for an electrician to connect to installing our own loft hatch wich alone saved us over £1000.00. We even re-fenced our garden and built our own deck area. Hey it may not be to a expert standard but it’s practically free and simple to do if you do the correct research. Just Please don’t put home improvements on a credit card!
Haggling with our utility providers
One way we keep our outgoings down is by making sure we call our bill providers on a yearly basis to get them lowered! They will put the cost of their services up every year and hope they get away with it, so it’s always worth giving them a call or changing providers. I explain that we’re unhappy with the cost and want to leave as we have have found it cheaper elsewhere, and i guarantee they will suddenly realise they have a better deal for us! We change electric and gas providers every year as soon as our fixed tariff ends, loyalty means nothing to these companies!
Buying our car with cash
It was never an option for us to have a car on finance, it just wasn’t something we wanted to be burdened with. We always said we would save up and buy it outright with cash, and that’s exactly what we did! We bought a cheap run-around for £450 and used that for a year whilst we saved up for a more reliable car, and it really payed off! We were able to buy a fairly new car with very low mileage and it gives us such piece of mind that we don’t have to worry about the payments every month, saving us on average £250 per month!
We stopped taking on debt
Although we have a couple of smaller debts left to pay, we decided long ago that we will not take on any more dept. Whether it be for a holiday, home improvements,high ticket items or anything that would require us to take on more debt. Dodging the consumer driven lifestyle has allowed us to finally get ahead quicker than we expected. It’s not like we go without, having less dept allows us to buy a lot of the things we require in cash, its one large non dept circle.
We had a baby on a budget
When we found out we were having noah, we figured out exactly what we would need. We purchased anything we could second hand, we had a little help from relatives in terms of his pushchair and cot. Although we had a frugal baby as we like to call him, there are some things we won’t skimp out on. We make all of his food from scratch and freeze whatever he likes. We buy his care products in bulk when we find a good deal and overall he has been a lot cheaper than we thought he would be.
How can you live cheaper?
If you want to live cheaper or get by on £1000 maybe a more frugal lifestyle is just what you’re looking for. You could follow some of the frugal things we do on a day to day basis that have worked well for us. In this post we are just scratching the surface and showing you the numbers we have achieved up to now on our frugal journey. We do however write a lot of articles on frugal living that we know will help you reach your financial goals.