I am trying to cut down on spending this year. Most days I’m being successful with this, but ZipZero allows me to reclaim a little bit of cash back from purchases that I do make which I can use to put towards bills.
ZipZero is a free app. When you buy something from a shop (it doesn’t work with online receipts) you scan the receipt. ZipZero recognises the information in the receipt and adds about 1% of the total into your account. When you have enough money (above £1) you can withdraw the money to a utility provider or similar and it takes just a little bit off your bill.
When I read about it I thought it all sounded a bit too good to be true. But having tried it for a week, it has been every bit as good as it sounded. I have scanned in every receipt and the app recognised the info and added some money to my account. Once I had accessed the correct pay info for my utility bill provider, and I had enough money in the ZipZero account, I withdrew it and it has indeed paid off a little money from my bill. (I use Igloo so can instantly see any payment made.)
So far, I’ve used receipts from supermarkets, the post office, pubs, newsagents and coffee shops and they’ve all worked. I have had two that didn’t – one was a car park receipt and one was a receipt which was badly printed (and I didn’t realise until I got home).
How the scanning works, I don’t know, but it does.
How on earth can ZipZero afford to give you money back? Apparently: ZIPZERO and their retail partners have created a circle of user consumption. ZIPZERO provides retailers with an opportunity to offer products and services directly to app users in exchange for a system that rewards users with cash to directly pay such bills. I don’t really get it, but that’s not going to stop me using it.
So, I’ve been 41 for a month now. And, I have to say that I hate it.
41 is a prime number and although I like prime numbers, I don’t want to be one. I don’t subscribe to the prime number age theory.
Prime numbers are awkward numbers. Nothing fits in to a prime number and that’s how I feel right now. I’m not fitting in.
I’m really fed up, if I’m honest. Things aren’t going too well and life is getting to me. Financially things are really hard. Work is hectic and I can’t switch off from it and I can’t keep on top of everything that I need to do. There are not enough hours in the day. I’m not seeing enough of my friends because I can’t afford to. I cannot keep the house tidy. I need to do some improvement work to the house but can’t afford it right now. I can’t eat properly as food seems to make me ill. My car needs replacing.
I love my job but it is really tough right now. The only thing that gets me through each day is my gorgeous family.
Things have got to improve this year and I’ve got to sort my life out as I can’t go on. I’ve heard that people feel unhappiest in their forties so I have got to get a change of mindset soon.
I am rubbish at keeping to new year’s resolutions. Lots of the promises I make to myself are immediately hard to keep for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s my birthday so early in the year, so I almost immediately break the routines I am keen to get in to. Secondly, because I have no willpower. At all.
But I am going to try to keep to these during 2020, so I am sharing them so I can remind myself about what I’m trying to do.
In no particular order:
Spend less money – a big one. A HUGE one. I need to do this. 2020 is about spending less money wherever possible. The things I buy need to be essentials.
Find out what is wrong with my stomach or at least what foods make me poorly – in the last few years I seem to have developed intolerance to certain foods – bread in particular. I can’t go on making guesses and feeling poorly. I need to get this sorted.
Collect stamps and coins – see, I have no willpower. I am trying to get into buying first day covers of stamps and coins (specifically 50p coins). But this is such an expensive hobby, I will need to see how it goes. If they announce, let’s say Lego stamps – I will get them. If they announce stamps with caterpillars on, I will not. Same with coins – if I’m interested, I might take the plunge. I will write about this potential hobby at some point. This will be the one treat this year. Although I will hopefully buy the Friends Lego set at some point.
Keep the house tidy – I can see clutter, even as I write this. But I can’t carry on having an untidy house. I need to get everywhere as straight as I can get it.
Use my phone for less crap and be more productive with it – I waste so much time reading social media. I want to limit this and use it for more productive things, like keeping a diary, maybe.
Create more social media content than I consume – I want to use social media to build a platform for this blog and for a professional blog. I also want to develop my wife’s online presence for her little craft business.
Go to bed earlier one night in the week – I am beginning to feel my age. I need more sleep.
Read more – I have found it hard to keep up with reading in 2019 for various reasons. Back on to it in 2020.
Regularly spend time sorting the garden – I say regularly instead of weekly as I couldn’t commit to that. Spending any time doing this at all would be an improvement compared to last year.
Iron once a week – hate this.
Eat more fruit – looking forward to this, actually.
Clear the garage and loft – we have so much crap that needs getting rid of. And we have so many things we could sell and generate a bit of money.
At work I want to be relentless in our pursuit of high standards in the school, keep everyone focused on our school development plan and avoid making errors in administration which I have managed to do this year and last.
A few months ago I started using Chip to save a little bit of money. It’s called skimming – once it has read-only access to your bank account it can work out if you can afford to save a little bit. It deposits it into a bank account (actually a Barclays e-Wallet account) and quietly builds it up.
I have found that it works very nicely. I managed to save over £100 in a couple of months which I then withdrew to use for Christmas spending.
As Chip only has read only access to my bank account I haven’t had any experience of being hacked or anything like that. The first time of savings it tried to take way more money than I was expecting. So I asked them to cancel the first saving and then reduce the amount I wanted to save going forward which they did with no problem.
The app is passcode enabled and I’ve added fingerprint recognition for further security.