Living on a budget — can you ever splurge?

When times get tough financially, frugality is where it’s at; however, if you are canny with your pennies you can shamelessly fritter a few pounds from time to time, when you want to.

There is definitely a lot to be said for identifying the difference between want and need and being sensible about it, (boo hiss!).

So, here’s a few tips to help you cut some corners. Then maybe you CAN afford that ‘gotta have it’ treat!

Here’s a great website. Check out the hints and tips on it! http://www.frugal.org.uk/

  • Shop in the evenings at supermarketas they tend to discountperishable foods later in the day. Alison says she eats strangely sometimes but it’s all edible, some can be frozen and she usually gets change out of £15.00 for her ‘weekly’ shop.
  • Set friendly with someone who has one of those ‘bulk-buy’ cards. 50 loo rolls please…
  • Re-cycle fashion. Combine a day out road-trip to a lovely, upmarket, town, (i.e. where people have brass!), and a visit to their charity shops. My RVN, Alison, has been able to swank around in some really lovely clothes from such, ahem, specialist boutiques.
  • If, for any reason, driving is not your thing, go on-line e.g. http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop?pscid=ps_ggl_shop2014-brand&gclid=COLj2rS6rc4CFUMq0wod0GUI-Q&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COvNgrW6rc4CFQMi0wodLScMJg
  • Shop in the evenings at supermarkets. The tend to discountperishable foods later in the day. Morrisons do a great 9p line! Alison says she eats strangely sometimes but it’s edible, some can be frozen and she usually gets change out of £15.00 for her ‘weekly’ shop.
  • Get friendly with someone who has one of those‘bulk-buy’ cards. 50 loo rolls please. . .
  • Pound shops (just make sure the product you are buying is not normally LESS than a quid elsewhere!).
  • Compare your staff discount for medications and preventatives against a written Prescription and ordering on-line. Same for food orders. Don’t assume that you’ll get the best value directly from your workplace. Sad but very true at some practices.
  • Car share.
  • Always, always shop around for insurance.
  • Chip in with mates to buy a voucher for something you can share out https://www.groupon.co.uk/ or http://www.wowcher.co.uk
  • ”¢ Rattle your pockets!
    Loose change, say from 20p down, goes into a jar, (don’t be tempted to nick it). Write the start date on the jar. In 6-12 months time, empty it out and use the money to splash out on something special. Alison bought herself a session of spa treatments. Swanky!
  • Cut down on heating bills.
    Keep the heating off for as long as possible. Put extra blankets on the bed and wear jumpers and socks in the house instead. Save the heating for when it is really cold. I am also told this is healthier!
  • Cut down on your electricity bill.
    Don’t leave equipment plugged in or on standby.


Instead of going out, arrange nights in with your mates — that bottle of wine is much cheaper from the supermarket. Maybe you can treat yourselves by sharing the cost of ingredients and having your own cocktail making night? So Lush!

  • Ask your boss for a raise.

If you’re nervous about trying this and stumped for ideas how to do it effectively I am covering this subject soon. Keep ‘em peeled and watch out for it!

It’s not unfair to say that if you consistently live above your means, then it’s an odd way to keep your sanity intact. However, on a vet nurse wage, sometimes it is far from possible to permanently keep in ‘the black’ and the ‘very nice to haves’ are nearly always too far out of your reach. However, with some consistent penny saving activites you CAN go mad and enjoy the occasional spree!

A friend in need?
In case you’ve reached a difficult time; please speak to someone and ask for help. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/