Four Things We Did To Save Our Emergency Fund in just two months

  1. We cut out grocery budget by £20 per week by shopping three times a week instead of once a week.  Smaller more purposeful shops have suited our large family (and me as the shopper) far better than a huge once a week shop.  Over the past two months this has saved us £160
  2. Gary reviewed his mobile phone and managed to get a fabulous deal, costing the same each month as his old deal, with unlimited calls and texts as well as £200 cash back
  3. We have reduced our home school budget by £100 per month.  This is a short-term solution for us, as this will not work in the long-term.  However as a means of finding our £1000 emergency fund, it is a viable option.  Over the past two months this has given us £200
  4. In February and March we don’t have to pay our council tax.  This is usually a time when we treat ourselves to some much-needed adult clothes.  This year we put it straight into our bank account.  This meant we were able to put away £400.  In the same vein, the monthly payments for water usage are stopped from November through to March. Added to the council tax money, the phone rebate, the home school savings and the grocery savings, we managed to put into our account just over one thousand pounds as an emergency fund.

Our next financial goal is to save between 3-6 months of expenses.  I’m certain this will take much longer than 2 months!


  1. Well done, that’s seriously impressive. How come you don’t have to pay council tax for those months? Is that a regular thing for all residents in your area, or is it related to your personal circumstances at the moment? I am not meant to be required to pay council tax, but my landlord decided it was easier to register all the occupants of the three flats as one household and include the tax in the rent, and I’m afraid that if I challenge it, he’ll increase my rent by the amount I’d save in council tax (it hasn’t increased since my lease elapsed).

    1. We pay by direct debit each month but for some reason instead of dividing the total amount by 12 months, our council divide it by ten so during Feb and March we don’t have anything to pay. It is a useful thing just after Christmas….!

      1. That is useful! So you’re not actually paying less, but it feels like it. I have almost the opposite problem; my student loan doesn’t come as a monthly payment but as a lump sum twice a year, so it’s hard to know how much money I really have each month.

  2. Well done, Claire. I know how important this was for you so I’m pleased you managed to do it so swiftly.

    1. Yes, any financial management book says the same – the more shop visits the more money spent. Only it really doesn’t seem to be the case for us. Many, smaller shops suits us much better. I guess it’s about finding something which works for you!

    1. I was so fed up with feeling like we were playing catch up all the time, and simply awaiting for our next emergency, that the emergency fund was an important step in stopping the cycle we seemed to be in. We literally threw everything we had at it. At least now if the washing machine breaks down, we have the money to cover it!

  3. That is impressive. We have the same council tax arrangement but the benefit always seems to just evaporate-thank you for the inspiration to use it more sensibly next year.

    1. I do know what you mean, somehow there is always something to spend it on. This year we were just a bit more intentional. I really needed some financial breathing space!

  4. Wow. That is fantastic. I wonder if your council tax is like our property taxes? Ours is factored in with our house payment every month. We are looking for ways to cut back expenses every month. I think our paid television is going to be one of the first things we cut. We have enough DVD’s to last a lifetime. Seems silly to pay the satellite company good money for television we only watch on the weekends.

    Good for you and I pray you have no need to use that emergency fund any day soon!

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