Branching out

I’ve just returned from a break away which has allowed me to get a fresh perspective on things. I’ve decided to branch out a little in my Minimalist and Zero Waste ramblings. Aside from minimising and trying to be zero waste as much as is possible, I also try to simplify my life in other ways. I’ve been self-employed for a number of years now and alongside this, I supplement my income with earning money online. Not only does this allow me to work more flexibly which is great, as I live with a long-term health condition; it also makes our household finances go further.

I know life shouldn’t be focused on money, but sadly as everything is SO expensive in the UK- we do need to factor it in! I reckon you need around £10,000 per year, just to live in the UK- that pays for food, living expenses, taxes and so on. I’m hoping to show you how you can work for yourself, no matter what your skill set and therefore, have more time to spend doing the things you love. You know, the things that are really meaningful to you- whether that be travelling or simply being able to cook more from scratch (that’s my bag, right there!)

I’m going to start sharing a myriad of ways you can reduce your household expenditure, whilst hopefully still maintaining your Minimalist/ Zero Waste values. Today I’m going to cover how we dramatically reduced our mobile phone bills, by at least half! No-one in this household is bothered about having the latest or greatest technology and I don’t need to start on the ethical dilemmas that come with tech like phones. A family member introduced us to a company called GiffGaff (this post will only be relevant to my UK readers, sorry!)

GiffGaff are a cooperative, which means they are owned and run by their members. I’m all for cooperatives, we use them for our food (as much as possible) and our energy. I’d happily use them for more too! Although GiffGaff have now branched out, they still off great SIM-only deals. We pay just £5 per month for our phones- calls, texts and data. We use our own SIM-free phones which we bought outright from the start (separately). We both tend to keep phones for around 6 years, or until they break! The SIM-only deals mean you have a 30-day rolling contract and you can change your bundle every month, if your usage changes. The bundles are called Goodybags and you can choose from the full range on their website. Now they are even more flexible and if you run out part way through the month, you can simply queue up your next Goodybag immediately. If £5 a month is more than you need to be spending, then just opt for a Pay-As-You-Go plan and spend as much, or as little as you need.

GiffGaff use the O2 Network and we’ve had much better reception all over the UK, than with our previous mobile phone provider Orange/EE. Every technical query under the sun is covered on their website and honestly, we’ve barely had a problem between us in the nearly 4 years we’ve been with them. If you need to, they do have special agents who can help you with more serious problems and I’ve found them to be great.

The great stuff is that no-one is pressuring you to upgrade, no-one is trying to up-sell you a package and their pries are LOW. If you want to experience the GiffGaff love, then you can sign up using my link: https://www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/elizabethhodge and we’ll each get £5 airtime credit as a bonus.

I’m under no pressure to tell you about them, I just want you to start saving some serious cash. Prior to this, I think we were both spending £15 a month on our phones- so we’re saving £120 a year, EACH! Surely that’s part of being Minimalist and Zero Waste- only paying for what you need and that goes for everything in life. I like to think about how much money we could all be giving to charity, if we didn’t waste so much supporting big corporations, but that’s another topic for another day.

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