5 things to help you enjoy the finer things in life on the cheap

Photo: Flickr

For freelance and self-employed parents, a lot of us understand that making ends meet at the end of the day is not always easy. Bringing in your own income means the more you work, the more numerals you get on your bank balance. When taking into account spending time for yourself and most importantly, your children, the freedom of working longer might not be so easy and can bring a sense of guilt. Thankfully finding shortcuts to still enjoy luxuries in life aren’t impossible and won’t set you back on your family holiday savings either. All you need to be is a little savvy and creative.

Look at where your money is going:
First things first. Before you try finding ways to spend less on luxuries, do an analysis of your home finances. If you are struggling to get by, or even if you think you could do better in some aspects of your finances, a good place to start is by seeing how your power is being used. The Energy Saving Trust Organisation provides plenty of useful advice on how to use your energy more efficiently, like installing a water meter or improving on home insulation. Many of these tips don’t involve a lot of monetary investment, only altering your daily habits. Habits that will sure save you a fortune in the long run.

Search for discounts on daily deal sites:
We all love finding a bargain don’t we? Websites like Groupon have proved popular in the UK with ever-changing daily specials happening in local areas. What also makes the site great is that they list a wide range of deals from beauty consultations to special outdoor activities like those here. Keeping track on discounts by having them on your toolbar or set as your homepage will make sure you’re one of the first to secure a good bargain. If searching for new things to discover in your city or town, then daily deal sites, will certainly help you out in that department.


Now I always thought that auctions were just to sell real estate or rare whatnot’s like those on Antiques Roadshow. I came across the benefits of going to auctions during university when my friend’s mother would go local auctions every week to purchase old furniture to refurbish and re-sell. Most of the pieces came from businesses going into liquidation and needed to be sold off – usually at really good prices. Other auctions include unclaimed lost and found auctions by the police. You can find out more on Bumblebee auctions. As the name suggests, items that are being auctioned are things sent to the police but have not been claimed.

Cheap ways to purchase books:
With many of us spending their time looking at a computer screen, sometimes it’s nice to find the time reading a book. Purchasing them at a bookshop can be expensive, so if you are looking for ways to recycle your books then visit, Readitswapit. This is a really handy site to swap books with others and is a great example of reducing and reusing. Another alternative of course is visiting the library! It’s a good habit to go there, every now and then especially with children to get them enthusiastic about reading. Being a community service, many of them provide readings and other interesting events that are worth knowing about.

Food deals:
Food always takes a huge chunk out of our finances. Finding bargains through a myriad catalogs isn’t the best past time. My Supermarket can look at your grocery list and find supermarkets with the cheapest prices and discounts. Easy as that! Otherwise visiting your weekly farmer’s market can be a way to find some unique delicacies. They may not necessarily be the cheapest option but you will certainly be promoting local producers and businesses. As a family, visiting a market can be quite a pleasant activity from your standard supermarket and can help your children have a better understanding of where their food is coming from.

If you have any tips on indulging on luxuries on a shoestring, feel free to share them in the comments section.


I’m Mary Cummings, a ghostwriter, collaborator and all round word doctor. I help business owners write and publish business books; I'm also passionate about helping creative freelancers find work that they love - their work sweet spot with work on their terms, projects they love and clients who are a dream to work for.

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