Gransnet forums

Legal & money

"Ausperity" ; - live webchat with Lucy Tobin Weds 16 Jan 3-4pm

(74 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 02-Jan-13 11:43:25

It's probably fair to say that these days we’re all feeling the pinch. It's post Christmas. Our wages - if working - probably haven’t risen for a long time, but taxes, food, heating, clothes, driving, kids/grandchildren, rent, mortgages and going out – certainly have. Life costs more – but, according to personal finance expert Lucy Tobin, that doesn’t mean it has to be rubbish. Treats can stay on the agenda and there’s no need for a hair shirt or holiday-less year if you trim your costs elsewhere. That’s "ausperity" – living a prosperous life on an austerity budget.

Lucy's new book contains so many money-saving ideas and tips that added together they can knock thousands off the cost of living. If you'd like tips on, say, slashing your heating bill by a third, finding free and cheap days and nights out or raising quick cash without a trip to the pawn shop (and loads more) Lucy's your woman. So to find out how to squeeze more out of your hard-earned cash by adding your questions for her here (and don't forget to join in on 16th.)

Lucy is personal finance editor of the London Evening Standard, where she writes a weekly column ‘How to Save It’ filled with money-saving ideas.

cheelu Wed 02-Jan-13 23:15:56

Is she going to tell us anything that will really help..imho if you need more money you need to work more may be able to save money if for eg you don't throw the last of the soap away and put it in the drawer instead of paying out for a freshener, but little things like that don't change lives, working more hours does...not sure anyone going to want to hear that though so ready for the fall out!!!!

crimson Wed 02-Jan-13 23:49:28

Well, as I'm keeping a close eye on my finances with a view to cutting my working hours later in the year I'm open to any advice. I've got to cut corners in every way possible and sometimes we're not aware of things that can save us money or things we're entitled to. In fact I might even buy the book before the 16th to get me started! I've saved quite a bit recently by changing my internet provider and having a new central heating system [I know that cost a lot of money but it had stopped working and had to be replaced. So my question would be that I'm due to have my state pension in September so is there anything I need to do now eg do I have to actually put in for my pension, bus pass and heating allowance or will it all just 'happen'? How much can I have in the bank but still get any benefits I'm entitled to ?

Anne58 Thu 03-Jan-13 12:12:28

Not sure I'm on the right track, crimson but I think those questions are sort of specialist ones, and I think that Lucy's field is more about money saving and doing more with less, if you know what I mean?

Riverwalk Thu 03-Jan-13 12:36:47

We have to fork out for the book first, before we can save any money!

Did I detect a hint of sarcasm in your soap hint cheelo? grin

crimson Thu 03-Jan-13 13:23:26

See what you mean, phoenix; still if she's a personal finance editor she might point me in the right direction wink. I like these books such as 1000 uses for vaseline [I've got that one!], Everyday uses for ordinary things etc. Spend a fortune on them confused. They make me feel all green and wholesome.

Anne58 Thu 03-Jan-13 15:30:50

crimson !! grin

Brabant Thu 03-Jan-13 17:40:58

I live in France, Acquitaine and Germany Niederbayern: both are poorer regions and I have to say Germany is much cheaper than France which in turn seems cheaper than I remember the UK to be. Feel like writing a column/book for the rest of Europe?

My question is simply put as, can you direct me to hints for Germany and France?

Stansgran Thu 03-Jan-13 21:18:05

In The Times today a letter pointed out that careful driving can cut costs . I know keeping at 55mph is cost effective but well nigh impossible in my sort of driving. Any other suggestions?

crimson Thu 03-Jan-13 21:48:50

Don't keep loads of junk in your car [which I'm guilty of]. Don't fill up with petrol when it's hot as you don't get as much [not much chance of that at the moment]. And, when in traffic turn your engine off if you're not going to move for a while. Never used to do that as always had cars that were prone to not starting again.

theMulberryTree Wed 09-Jan-13 14:45:43

Following from Stansgran - Do you think it's beneficial to get one of those boxes stuck to your car to track your speed/what time you drive etc to save on car insurance, or is it better to just get the normal annual/monthly car insurance? Do you really make a saving?
I've heard with those boxes (sorry not sure what they're actually called!), the insurance companies can penalise you for driving out of certain hours etc.

crimson Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:12

I thought that was mainly for young drivers?

cinnamonstix Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:39

To what extent do you cut corners to save money? I could cut £1076 a year by not getting the high-speed train (gets me into London in 25 minutes then a further 10 minutes to work) and getting the slower one (takes an hour to get to London, then a further 40 minutes on the tube), but my standard of living would be rubbish.

cinnamonstix Wed 09-Jan-13 14:54:17

And also, can I ask what you think about childcare costs and if you have any tips on saving money on that front?

theMulberryTree Wed 09-Jan-13 14:55:18

Crimson - I know most of them are for young drivers, but I thought there were a few companies offering it for all drivers? Could be wrong mind you.

Grannygee Fri 11-Jan-13 11:49:12

I've just retired. Yippee! I also have a new grandson to add to my other adorable one. Both live in London. I would like to become a busy person as a retired granny like I was before I gave up work. I have both parents living nearby, both in their eighties and dad's got early dementia and mum's quite frail and gets worn out so I'm there for them as is my husband who has endless patience! I'm planning on joining a voluntary body and doing some outdoor work say for Suffolk Wildlife Trust but I'd also like to have some fun for free so ideas for 'free' treats would be great! Look forward to the chat! smile

FlicketyB Fri 11-Jan-13 19:24:51

The government is always talking about workers increasing their hours of work as if the decision rests with the employee. Employers take on staff for the hours they require them for the job or because it is cheaper to have 2 employees working under 16 hours than one working 32 hours.

The employee rarely has any power to choose to increase their hours of work

nortonsmith Sun 13-Jan-13 16:34:21

This is a first for me at 72 I've never written before anywhere.
I look forward to seeing what wonderful things I can save money on. Believe me the only way I could possibly cut my budget further would be to give up breathing!!

Even if anyone would give me a job I couldn't work as I have various health issues which limit my mobility.

Have cut everything to the bone and more - Have a wood stove in sitting room and the rest of the heating is off. Water meter installed. Save all bath water to flush loo. 7 water buts for garden and also loo when there is no bath water.

Rang all companies for best deals on TV Sky, broadband, energy. Never buy convenience foods, grow all vegetables, sell surplus, have chickens for eggs. If this lady can save me any money then 'she's a better man than me gungadin' as they say.

distaffgran Tue 15-Jan-13 09:13:33

As far as I can make out, there are money saving websites - price comparisons and discount codes sights and for all I know other things too - springing up all over the internet all the time. How on earth do you work out which are the good ones and how do you find out about the new ones?

sneetch Tue 15-Jan-13 09:18:43

Distaffgran talking about discount codes reminds me that whenever I buy anything online, there is usually a box to put in a discount codes. Who is getting these codes and where from? Why do I never get them?

Actually, to be fair, I do occasionally get one if I get a catalogue through the post. But they are even on websites for expensive luxury goods these days. Lucy, any ideas how else to get them?

milliesmum Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:39

On the subject of car insurance which I see further down I really have to shop around every single year to get a better deal or is there a way I can save myself the hassle as well as the money?

libertybodice Tue 15-Jan-13 10:25:15

I have a question about energy providers. We have both gas and electricity with British Gas - mainly because that's who supplied our house when we bought it. Sometimes I worry about the bills and think I should shop around to find better deals - but I have very little time to do so and have had my fingers burned before by a tempting introductory offer that ended up costing more. What's you advice?

leila Tue 15-Jan-13 10:26:49

Is it better to have phone, internet and satellite (etc) telly through one provider (such as Virgin, Sky or BT) or to have them separately?

fruitloop Tue 15-Jan-13 10:46:05

discussion with a friend - perhaps you have the answer. If you like in London and therefore have access to a fairly decent transport network is it cheaper to use trains and buses etc (with fares going up) and hire a car for longer trips, weekends or holidays away etc - or to run a car with the costs that entails (ie petrol, tax, insurance, servicing) I ask this question on the basis of already owning a car rather than having to buy one

swizzle Tue 15-Jan-13 10:50:22

My savings account (which is - alas - not very full of savings) used to offer a decent interest rate but now I get pennies. Any tips on how to find accounts that offer more (and not just for an introductory three months)?