I recently made a post about saving money on your weekly shop back in April, but I thought I’d add a little bit to it.
If you have trouble budgeting and don’t usually have a lot to spend come the end of the month, you might sometimes worry about having enough to buy essentials such as food, drink, soap, toothpaste, shaving equipment etc.
If you get paid monthly, you can’t expect to make one trip to the supermarket a month as some of the foods you buy will to off. Having lived with my parents for the first 26 years of my life, I never really came across this problem until I moved to London.
At the end of March I changed jobs. Due to an admin error I was given the wrong start date. Because of this, I found myself getting paid less than expected in March. Being me, I decided to budget in food and drink without thinking about some unexpected costs coming in (I’d always factor this into any budget). Around half way into the month, I started to develop a killer toothache. A trip to the dentist later, I had a sore mouth from root canal and a £200 deficit in my bank.
I managed to struggle through and finally reached the last day before payday. Having literally no food and only a little bit of change to spare, I decided to take a walk to Asda and change my coppers into money (I only had around £1 but that was enough to get me a few rations for the night) using the copper machine. So, embarrassingly I tipped all my change into this machine, filling up the lever. Only then did I discover that the sodding machine was out of order!
The walk home was up there with the most humiliating times of my life. Luckily for me, there were only 4 hours until midnight and as soon as there was money in my bank, I treated myself to some fried chicken.
From this experience, I decided I’m never letting this happen again. So I went down to Asda the next day and bought myself a gift card.
They’re called gift cards because they’re usually bought at Christmas (although if I found an Asda gift card in my stocking, Santa would be in for it). It works like a debit card – you put money on it, spend the money and it gets taken off the balance. You can check your balance whenever you want and it automatically appears on a receipt when you shop. You can top it up whenever you like with however much money you like. So from now on, I top mine up whenever I get paid.