We are so busy right now as there is just so much money saving to be done and we are bursting with ideas and inspiration! The current series is called #selfcareseptember and was sparked by the exhaustion following the school summer holidays, every day we are highlighting a frugal or free top tip for looking after yourself as you navigate the maze of frugal family life – I sincerely hope it helps you to reconnect to something that helps you relax and find yourself again. I have certainly been reminded of a few things I could be doing… and there is lots more to come.
In addition to this we are about to launch our free e-book (it’s just being checked for spelling mistakes) – which is our 7 Starters to Frugal Freedom, and should save you over £1,000 if you complete all the steps. It’s what we did in 2016 and have continued this year as well. This links, in my head at least, to the idea of self care and frugality. One of the compromises we made when becoming a more ethically frugal family was to stop a number of the ‘treats’ we had as part of our self care plan. It turns out that these expensive options didn’t work any better than the frugal ones in terms of relaxation and winding down, but I am conscious that there are occasions when self care might cost money, or that a treat is in order after a stressful period or experience. The challenge then becomes to find the money for something special.
One way we have decided to allocate money for ad hoc splurges is by keeping some of our savings from these 7 Starters in a separate pot. For us living a more frugal life was about much more than reducing our bills, it was about reducing our environmental impact and increasing our activity as a family as well as living and sharing our values.
We have decided that any money we save from moving our utilities annually will go in our ‘treats pot’. Last year we saved nearly £300 using the Money Supermarket online system, it was OK and met our needs at the time, however you have to go through the process as each tariff ends and we forgot as there was so much happening during August! Having missed the deadline we were put onto a standard tariff which is not usually the best rate and had to start the whole process again. It’s another thing on the ‘to do list’ isn’t it? While the savings from changing energy suppliers can be substantial the work involved can make it one of the chores we put off – which isn’t great for any frugal family.
Then – quite by accident – I came across a new kid on the block called SWITCHCRAFT, and they do all the hard work for you, it’s bliss! I completed the very simple form online to join their service. You need to have your last bill or a note of the amounts you currently pay either monthly or annually and immediately you are offered the range of alternatives, we chose a green energy supplier as this suits our ethos but you can search via the big six suppliers or on a number of criteria that suit your needs. We have saved another £325 this year – from moving off the standard tariff we were on, as well as securing our payments for the next 18 months. What appealed to me in particular was that Switchcraft will now move us whenever a better tariff comes along, working with our contract end dates to email us the best option at that time – we just then agree or not and they do all the work – savings in disguise!
Our new energy company Green Energy Networks have impressed us with a nice introductory email and a Welcome Pack explaining our policy and their systems, they have dealt with our previous supplier and we haven’t had to do anything more than the initial Switchcraft sign up. So far, so good! We are so happy with Switchcraft that we have partnered with them, so if you would like to use any of the links on this post to change your energy suppliers we will get a small commission (at no extra cost to you) – you could save £££.
To keep our values at the heart of this website we have decided to donate £5 to charity: water for every one that moves their gas and electric using our affiliate link.
The £325 is now in our ‘self care’ pot, Mr Frugal is going to spend some on going to watch his football team next weekend, and I have a sewing course I’m thinking of booking on for the weekend after. All made possible due to changing our energy supplies, it took about 10 minutes to find the information we needed and complete the online form. Worth. Every. Effort.