Small successes: refinancing and cost cutting


It has been about two weeks since we have embarked on our ambitious plans to become completely debt-free in 10 years. I have been daunted (and haunted!) by this task and to be honest after crunching and re-crunching numbers am not convinced it is achievable just yet. That being said, we have had some successes in getting us closer to our goal and I am trying to focus on these rather than our debt mountain.

Financial successes this month:

  • Student loan – This loan bugged me, so after some reader advice, I went straight to the internet and found a better deal. I was quickly approved for a £7,500 loan through M&S bank at 3% over 5 years. I estimate this will save me around £1,400 in interest plus the monthly payments have decreased by £26/month. 10 minutes of research for a £1,400 savings – I’ll take it!
  • TV, Phone and Internet – Our monthly expenditure on TV, Phone and Internet was £102 per month, split as £44/month with Sky and £58/month with BT. After reviewing our bills I was convinced this could be improved, so Mr Small called Sky, threatened to leave, and they offered a combined package of TV, Phone and Internet for £55.20/month. That’s a savings of £46.80/month or £561.60 per year. I’ll take that! Note: I understand that Cable TV is a luxury and could be cancelled completely; however we enjoy watching family movies and TV shows and see it as a good alternative to going out and spending even more.
  • Shopping deliveries – We were paying £9.99/month with Ocado on their Smart Pass. This allows us to get unlimited home shopping deliveries. I am looking at our grocery spending and considering changing stores so I called Ocado and asked to cancel the Smart Pass. Lo and behold, they then offered the same exact product for £2.99/month with the first 3 months free. I took the offer.  I will now have 3 months  to look at alternatives without paying a penny for deliveries.  So the savings will be £9.99/month for 3 months and then £7/month thereafter if we stay with Ocado.

In summary, over the past 2 weeks we have saved £82.79 per month in regular outgoings. This is not life-changing savings by any means, but we can put that savings directly into our emergency fund. It also means that all our debt is at a 3% interest rate or less. After a useful reader comment, I have now decided to focus on our emergency fund rather than debt overpayments to try to build it to £10,000. We have 2 old cars and need both of them for work, so I want to make sure our emergency fund will at least cover the cost of 2 new (old) cars. A decent used car can be purchased for £5,000, a price which also falls comfortably within Financial Samurai’s one-tenth rule.

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the above products and do not endorse them in any way. The savings realized above are based on my personal circumstances only. 



One thought on “Small successes: refinancing and cost cutting

  1. I have a note on my computer that says, “Millionaires are made $10 at a time.” Or pounds, in this case. How incredible that you’re paying attention to the small expenditures. I’m a firm believer that the same self-discipline and care carries over to other parts of your life, too. I agree with the reader comment that you should build up your emergency fund. Only 3% interest across the board is quite low, so I think you’re well served to have some cash in the bank. Congrats on your progress!


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