I'm going to start a new regular feature on Wednesdays as there are now quite a few people reading the blog and it might be helpful to know how we do things to keep our spending low. I got the idea after seeing a feature in my regular, free magazine (paid for with TESCO vouchers) that called itself, your money-saving BREXIT cookbook. I had a look at the recipes and they were all too expensive for me !
We haven't always lived on a shoestring. Apart from the many years we spent doing voluntary service we have both worked and usually carried some credit card debt inspite of our good income. If the debt got over £1000 then we would work at paying it off, but childcare costs, choosing the most convenient option and spending a lot on our hobbies (because we deserved to, after working so hard during the week, so we thought !) meant that the cycle repeated itself several times.
We did know how to live frugally and had done it many years ago in university, but that all went by the wayside with 3 children and 2 jobs. However, one day, in a copy of the "Woman's Weekly" I saw an article about Mr Thrifty. Intrigued, I sent for the book ! Here was advice on how to save money on everything and none of it too extreme. I implemented all the tips and we began to have money left over at the end of the month. Soon, it was enough to start saving and then buy big things, like uniform for the fancy school that USAShoestring won a scholarship to. Our life began to change as over on the horizon we began to see the possibility of doing some quite adventurous things, such as moving abroad for a few years ! All because of thrifty living !
Now, living on a shoestring is not about poverty, it's all about having all the things you need to be comfortable and quite a few of the things that you really like ! So, I thought that I would start a series to show how we have reached the place that we are now. I'm studying for a change in career and MrShoestring is working two and a half days a week. We still have 2 children living full time at home and one is still at school and growing at a great rate. Doing the April reckoning helped me realise that we are living comfortably on even less than we were last year when we were both working full time, so the next article will start with how we are doing it- namely how we write a budget !
I would live to hear how others "live on a shoestring", so do add a comment to help us all !