Monday Money #63 Time to check your bills & Mindful Spending

It was week 3 of the summer holiday for us last week. The boys were in the super bargain Sainburys Active Family camp from Monday to Thursday. This was great for me, as it gave me time to catch up on lots of work. Not so great for the boys as they decided after day 1 that they hated it. But it got better, as these things always do! They made friends, Josh found people to be naughty with, and they got to do some sports that they love like Basketball and cricket. By Thursday all was good! And it cost just £90 for 7 hours, 4 days, 3 boys including food!

Is it going to make me shop at Sainburys? Um no, I am Aldi through and through (with a bit of Co-op Top Up, or Tesco in a real emergency). But I appreciate the cheap/subsidised childcare though!

Checking my Bills

I am really focusing on personal and business spend currently. Focusing for me means writing everything that I spend into a notebook, every day. Being generally as mindful as possible about what I spend. I often have an angel/devil debate in my mind about the spending. But when I am mindful I find that my angel takes over and I don’t spend. As much.

I have been going through my bills at the moment. Again. I do it every few month. You would be surprised what creeps in that you are paying for that you didn’t expect. I am paying £8.99 a month for Netflix as well as £12.83 for TV license. I question do I need both of these? But then I only ever watch iPlayer and Netflix so maybe I do. But it is still £21.82 per month £261.84 per year. When you multiply it up the number suddenly looks a lot bigger.

I am really happy with my energy bill at the moment. I check the smart meter every day, normally when I make a coffee. It makes me happy to see that monthly usage is around £60 per month. The direct debit is £92 per month, so I am over paying at the moment to build up a balance to cover the winter months when spend is more like £120 per month. 

Time to check your bills

Did you know that STILL around 70% of the UK population are on an electricity and gas deal that is too expensive! Surely you want to save £300 or £400 a year? Switching your energy can often result in annual savings like this. That would more than cover those Netflix and TV License bills.

Have a look at Octopus energy and compare your current bills to them. They are great value, the energy is renewable and their customer service is award winning. I know this and I test them all the time with my different questions. They are generally very quick to respond on Facebook Messenger, tip there;-)

If it looks like the deal is good then switch! Save yourself some money. PLUS both you and I will get a £50 credit on your bill. Its worth a check isn’t it. 5 minutes of your time and few details (name, email, address, current energy provider and monthly direct debit amount) to see if you could save a few hundred pounds??!!

Getting refunds and sorting out complaints

I always have a list of things to get refunded or to complain about. This week I have sorted out a load. Firstly my Amazon Prime is up for renewal and I have cancelled it, as part of operation Amazon boycott. I have not bought anything from Amazon since June:-). There was a £79 charge for Amazon Music in June. I called them, said it was an error so they refunded the charge.

My annual travel insurance auto renewed at £79. I called up and cancelled that and got a full refund. It was in the cooling off period. And I had a broken drinks bottle, the company, Be Water sent me out two new lids as a replacement. To sort out this week, DJ’s beats headphones have stopped working. Not good enough for something so expensive bought just 8 months ago. I shall exchange or refund.

Free slime making at Hobbycraft

I have been trying to find freebie fun ideas and this was a good one. Hobbycraft store nationwide are offering free craft classes to children, and they are all free! You just need to head over to this website to book yourself in. Not an ad, just sharing a cool freebie I found.

So we made slime, which the boys really loved. The upsell, there is always an upsell, was Hobbycraft of course sell the magic stuff to turn glue in to slime. At £5 a pop, and the bottle isnt exactly big. Of course we had to buy and Josh has come home and made 10 different coloured pots of slime. It kept them happy for several hours, £5 well spent.

Time to check your bills slime

Wednesday in London

I had a bit of run around day on Wednesday, packing in several meetings. I started in Knebworth, then regents st and then Victoria. By 3pm I was done so headed to St.Pauls for a few hours of work before meeting my ex-EE friends. I walked past Ping Pong Bow Bells branch and noticed that it was happy hour from 3pm to 6pm. That was my office space for the next three hours.

I had dim sum snacks and 3 drinks. My bill came to £18!!!!!! And the drinks were cocktails. What a bargain. I do love Ping Pong. I wrote a review about a recent birthday visit here.

Bar Bus from The Original Tour

I am excited for a new thing this week. I have tickets for the The Original Tour Bar Bus. Yes those big tour buses that are everywhere in London now have a bar. Okay one of their buses has a bar! It feels like Las Vegas so I have to try it out. Watch out for picture on Wednesday evening.

Blackberry Picking

Total fun freebie time. There is a section of brambles right near my house packed full of blackberries. Jack and I went picking this weekend. I have box now cleaned, drained and frozen. They are going to be used to make blackberry gin thanks to this recipe from Mint Custard who sent it over in Instagram yesterday!!

https://mintcustard.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/blackberry-gin-world-gin-day/

This post contains affiliate links and links to post with gifted tickets. If you click on the link and buy I get a small payment, as disclosed within the post.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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