This Wonderful World of Purchase Power: Financial Review of Week 8/52 2018

Ahem.

I spent more on Thursday and Friday on personal spends then I have in some months. In fact it is very easy to say I spent more this week than I have in some months.

It was all stuff that I needed, and also included The Boy’s birthday present, but the thing was I couldn’t really afford to buy any of it, so I put it on my credit card, reasoning that I had about 6 weeks before the next statement and therefore next due date to find the money. I figured I would do it in instalments.

But it turns out that I have such an aversion to owing money that yesterday I paid the card in full, even though none of the items had cleared yet so my account will be in credit first.

It may mean that I have to not have any fun until I have money again, but I’m glad my debt is cleared.

Let’s get down to business.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Milk £1.10

Bread, Cookies, Garlic Bread, Chilli Spices x 2, Spaghetti Bolognese Spices x 2 £6.10

Milk, Margarine, Pizza, Baguettes x 2, Pasta Sauce, Crisps, Baking Potatoes, Stew Pack, Apples £8.96

TOTAL = £16.16

Now let’s move on to the B I G spends.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

WORK EXPENSES

3 x Cartons of milk £1.79

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD

Jacket Potato and tea £6.70

Coffee and Biscotti £4.15

GIFTS

Sweets for a work colleague £0.75

The Boy’s Birthday Treat Number 2 £63

BEAUTY 

Hair cut and tip £25

Hair Mask, Special Hair Brush and Hair Clips £7.72

CLOTHING

Running Trainers £108.05

16 Pairs of Pants/Knickers (4 x 4 packs) £20

Dressing Gown and Slippers £22.50

SOCIAL

Baguette and Wedges £4.15

Comedy Gig Tickets £6.50

Indian Takeaway £16.10

HEALTH

Dentist appointment £14

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus Ticket £1.60

(Let’s add up this scary amount of money)

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDS = £302.01 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £318.17

The funny thing is we are now £1.31 over the food shopping budget after doing the weekly shop, and I knew we only had a little bit left so I was saying to The Boy I wanted to restrict our spending to just the essentials. The Boy, who has plenty of money began ‘It’s great that you have a food budget and that you do all this, but….”

‘You don’t want to be deprived because you have lots of money’ I said.

‘….Yes’

Now, in order to try and claw back some self respect from you all, I will go through my ‘wombles’.*

10% Discount on the Running shoes = £12

Multi Buy savings on the Hair Products = £1.25

Free Biscuits that The Boy has brought back from work = £1.25

Using vouchers I had earned on the Dressing Gown and Slippers = £22

Watching a film for free at the Cinema through volunteering = £7.90

Total savings this week = £44.40

So it could have been a lot worse.

*Womble = Saving money, getting money off, or getting something for free. Based on The Wombles, a UK Children’s TV show about furry creatures who ‘make good use of the things that they find’ (that is a line from their song, yes, they had a song).

 

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I Have Wombled over £2000 This Year

I have ‘wombled’ over £2000 this year.

Now, I bet you are thinking ‘What is wombling?’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Is wombling some sort of weird British sex game?’

Ha ha…no.

You may have heard of a lovable British children’s book series and later a television show called The Wombles. The Wombles were little furry, pointy nosed creatures who lived in Wimbledon and they aimed to help the environment by collecting and reusing and recycling rubbish in new and creative ways.

The Wombles TV series became so popular that they later released pop songs, and grown up performers and musicians would dress up as The Wombles and perform on Top of the Pops.

This is an important part of British history…maybe.

Anyway, originally ‘Wombling’ became a term for people (like me) who are obsessed with a bargain and saving money and may do slightly legally ambiguous things to save some cash. It has come to mean a lot more than that, but I will just explain it’s origins.

It all comes down to receipts.

Receipts can earn you money.

So, I will give the example of a certain big chain supermarket. If you find a receipt for certain big chain supermarket and it has the magic words ‘If you had a (store loyalty card) you would have earned X points with this transaction’ on it.

And any money saver will have that loyalty card, so they can take this receipt to certain big chain supermarket’s customer service desk and say a little story of how they recently did a shop and ‘forgot’ their card and could the points be added on.

So it is recycling…to a degree.

You can make serious dosh with another big chain supermarket who do a price match guarantee, so if you find one of their receipts and enter in the special code at the bottom on their website, you may find the person that did the original shop could have gotten their shopping cheaper elsewhere, and thus big chain supermarket number 2 will give you a voucher for the difference.

So that is what wombling originally meant (outside the context of the TV series), but it has come to mean (at least on the Money Saving Expert website) anytime you get a bargain/money off/get given something.

So no, I did not make over £2000 in ‘wombled’ receipts (most supermarkets have cracked on to us wombler’s and thus a discarded receipt is very hard to come by anyway). BUT, I have used coupons, vouchers, special offers, promotions, discounts, and free gifts (such as my recent OLIO squashes) to have effectively retained the value of £2000.

So, if I had paid full price for everything this year, it would have cost me over £2000 extra.

I’ll give an example of today’s wombles.

I went to have an eye test done, I had a voucher for a free eye test at Vision Express. Their eye tests are normally £25, therefore that was a womble of £25.

The boy bought some ciabatta rolls that were on offer for £1. They are normally £1.96, therefore that was a womble of 96p

And remember when I did my Christmas shopping and got over £120 off because I paid for it almost entirely with vouchers I had earned? Or when I got £64 worth of clothing for £2?

Wombles, my friends, wombles.

Next time you have a deal like that, take a moment to register that you have saved money on it, maybe make a note of it (to be honest I am very surprised I don’t have a a spreadsheet for it). It does get a bit addictive after a while.