Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daily Money Diary

For those of you who have been reading money saving/personal finance blogs for some time, you may already be aware of the importance of keeping a Daily Money Diary. A DMD allows you to keep track of where your money is going week by week, so if your someone who withdraws £50 from the ATM on your way into work Monday morning and has nothing left come Friday, then keeping a DMD is an ideal way for you to make immediate savings.
The idea of a DMD is that each day you list what you spend, Latte on the way into the office, Tights from M&S at lunchtime, a magazine for the journey home etc etc

Once you have done this for a whole week, you can then sit down at the weekend and take a close look at where you are wasting money and cut back accordingly.
We have all heard a million times that if you give up your morning Starbucks and your lunchtime sarni from Pret - that you could be saving the equivalent of £5 a day which equates to £25 a week! So over a year that is a massive saving of £1,300! (Oh I feel a Chanel bag coming on…).
Taking homemade sandwiches to work can get boring and if you work long days, can take up precious time but you will soon reap the financial rewards.
Some of my pack lunch ideas:-
1. Alternate Bread with Soft Tortilla wraps (they often come in reseable packs), bagels and rolls. All these can be kept in the freezer and taken out as required (the night before) to cut back on waste.
2. Avoid expensive supermarket sarni fillings by making your own. Any chopped meat, egg, cheese, tuna etc can be mixed with a little mayo and maybe some chopped spring onion or peppers.
3. To avoid waste use short date code products up first and when these have gone, use egg, cheese, tinned fish etc
4. Adding lettuce, tom, cue etc to your sarni will make it more like a shop bought one. A plain cheese sarni is dry and boring and bound to have you running out at lunchtime!
5. Pasta makes a great lunch alternative so if you have any leftover from supper, mix with some mayo, tuna and sweet corn. I always find this more filling than a sandwich.

1. If you commute and have a laptop with you, read the news online instead of buying a daily paper. You can always leave your seat last and pick up one that has been left behind to read on the way home!
2. I have stopped buying Magazines completely and now rely on my eldest daughter and friends to pass on the likes of Grazia, Heat, OK etc. I read Vogue online and follow the life and style pages of The Telegraph and The Times to keep abreast of Fashion etc

Going to work
Going to work can be costly, especially if you need to look smart. Save money by:-
1. If you have to wear smart clothes to the office, avoid paying out for tights by choosing trousers or trouser suits in winter. These will keep you warmer anyway!
2. Check out ebay for suits, shirts etc. My husband gets through suits like there is no tomorrow, wearing them away at the top of the legs, so always buys 2 trousers to 1 jacket. The days of Saville Row tailoring are over in our house, so I recently got him an M&S suit, brand new with tags, 2 trousers and 1 jacket for £50! For what we normally pay in M&S - we saved about £100!
3. Are there cheaper ways to travel to work? Coach instead of Train, Car share?

Other ways to save on daily expenditure:-
1. Avoid corner shops for bread and milk etc always get enough when doing your weekly shop. Remember Semi and Skimmed milk can both be frozen and buying a 6 pint carton works out cheaper and you can decant and freeze half. Also freeze bread and take out as required. I feel guilty saying avoid corner shops as we are all struggling to make a living but if you really need to be careful with your cash, then best avoid.
2. Never drive into town specifically to buy petrol, buy it when you are in town or passing a garage anyway. I saw my mother in law in town on Friday, I had got the bus in and she had apparently just gone down for petrol! I was livid, she could have got it when we went to Tesco on Wednesday and saved herself the time and the cost of the petrol for driving in again two days later! Also, if she had told me, I could have got a lift with her and saved the £3.70 bus fare!
So you can see there are many ways to keep that cash in your purse each week and if you have any more ideas or can share with us the ways you have managed to make savings on day to day expenditure then please let me know.

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