Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Home Wedding Cars Super Saver tells how she gets money from holidays and weddings

Super Saver tells how she gets money from holidays and weddings

Chloe Carmichael refuses to pay full price for anything (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

Chloe Carmichael knows a thing or two about saving money.

The brand manager refuses to pay full price for anything – not even her weekly store, new clothes, or even her dream wedding.

Her frugal ways have more than paid off when you consider Chloe and her husband James left £ 105,000 bail on a four bedroom property in Glasgow five years ago.

That means that at the age of 23 she bought a house for £ 220,000 with a salary of £ 18,000. Impressive, isn’t it?

When Chloe and James tied the knot in 2018, Chloe wanted to cut costs there too and managed to haggle £ 15,000 off the wedding price so they could head to the Maldives for their honeymoon.

“My motto is never to pay full price,” says Chloe, who shares her tips for saving money on Instagram.

“I get a buzz every time I find a deal or get a discount.

Chloe Carmichael and James on their wedding day
She managed to cut the cost of her dream wedding by £ 15,000 (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

Chloe Carmichael in the Maldives
Of course, they could afford a honeymoon in the Maldives (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

“I like to have incredible vacations and have nice cars. I currently drive a Range Rover. But people don’t know that you can cut the cost of these types of items as well.

“I work hard for my money. So why not go further?”

Chloe’s journey to the expert budget began when she started work at the age of 17, inspired by her late father, Patrick Wynne.

“He was always looking for deals, finding discount codes, printing restaurant coupons and bargaining,” she said.

“At the time I found it embarrassing and would often wait red-faced outside the shops without understanding why my father could never just pay and leave.

Chloe Carmichael with her dog
Chloe took inspiration from her father’s frugal methods of looking for discounts (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

“That changed when I was 17, after getting my first full-time school-to-university job in a call center making £ 13,000 a year.

“After months of lacking a sense of money, I realized that if I could save extra pounds, why shouldn’t I?”

Chloe moved out of her parents’ home in Glasgow at the age of 17 to study product design and innovation at university. She worked three part-time jobs trying to save money on a future property.

Thanks to that hard work and determination, Chloe managed to save £ 7,000 while in college.

Upon graduation, she found work as a marketing assistant, earned £ 16,000, and set a goal of clearing away at least £ 300 a month. Work promotions soon raised her salary to £ 27,000, which helped her keep those savings on.

In August 2016, Chloe and James posted bail on their dream home. At the time, she was making just £ 18,000 as an e-commerce assistant.

Chloe Carmichael and James stand outside their home
The couple placed bail on a house worth £ 220,000 five years ago (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

She says, “When I was 23, we bought a four bedroom single family home for £ 220,000 while taking three vacations this year in Aruba, Dubai and Iceland.

“We had saved £ 20,000 and inherited £ 85,000 from my father so we could make a deposit of £ 105,000. Now we only have £ 104,000 on our mortgage. ‘

When the couple tied the knot in 2018, Chloe wanted to celebrate her dream wedding – but she knew she had to haggle as they only wanted to spend the £ 23,000 they had saved.

In total, she negotiated £ 15,000 for her honeymoon and big day. She only paid full price for one item: her dress for £ 1,499, while her veil was only £ 11, her flower headers were £ 10 each, and her wedding favors were only 49p from Home Bargains.

She also managed to get a free night for her honeymoon in the Maldives worth £ 2,000.

Chloe Carmichael and James on vacation in the desert
Before the pandemic, they made three public holidays a year (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

Says Chloe, “I’ve gotten brilliant offers and come up with thrifty ideas to save money on things that nobody really notices, so that I can spend a lot of money on the things that matter.

“I saved £ 2,300 on flowers by contacting a small local florist beforehand instead of choosing a popular wedding florist who extorted me.

‘Our favors were mini glass candles from Home Bargains for 49 pence. I also made my own save the dates, gold foil invitations, a table plan mirror, a welcome sign, and a donut wall.

“Then I sold some of the things I did after the wedding to get the money back.”

Holidays are approached with the same determination to keep costs down.

Chloe and James after the engagement
Chloe recommends getting multiple quotes from tour operators and asking others to beat them (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

If she’s planning a trip, Chloe will get an offer from one company, then go to another and ask her to beat it until she gets the lowest price.

This allowed the couple to enjoy three vacations a year (before the lockdown anyway) with the cheapest round-trip flights costing just £ 25.

Chloe also recommends booking a vacation early, noting that after emailing the hotel for an early check-in, she was upgraded to a better room for free.

“I search the listings sections on travel agency websites. That way I saved £ 640 on our trip to Dubai,” she adds.

“In our absence, we pack lunches instead of going to expensive restaurants, and we never book day trips, we always rent a car and drive ourselves.”

Chloe Carmichael is working
Chloe is now sharing her money-saving tips online with her group, Chloe’s Deal Club (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

Pennies are also sandwiched in grocery shopping, which costs Chloe and James only £ 30 a week.

Chloe advises, “There are many ways to save money, including loyalty programs like the Lidl Plus app, nectar points and club cards.

“And you can plan your meals in advance by making a list. I also opt for alternatives – ground turkey is much cheaper than ground beef. ‘

And instead of jumping into designer clothes, Chloe is a sucker for supermarket brands.

Chloe Carmichael and James with their dog
She hopes to give other people the thrill of getting a bargain (Image: Chloe Carmichael)

“Now I only buy clothes and shoes in supermarkets like Asda and Sainsbury’s and stores like Matalan,” she admits.

“They offer a good price-performance ratio, good quality and are massively underestimated!”

Chloe took her money-saving wisdom to the masses by starting her own online group called Chloe’s Deal Club, which has saved members over £ 250,000 in total.

“I’m really happy to continue my father’s legacy of finding deals, but this time for thousands of people,” she adds.

“Helping others save money on their favorite things is the world’s most rewarding and fulfilling job.

“No matter what someone deserves, you can’t beat the feeling of bagging an amazing deal.”

Chloe’s top tips for saving money:

  1. A deal is only a deal if you bought it anyway and the price is reduced, otherwise you are spending money.
  2. Think of each purchase as a cost versus the hours worked – how long would you be willing to work on it?
  3. Just because something is for sale doesn’t mean it’s a deal. You need to adjust the price before parting with your money.
  4. Give yourself a cooling off period on all purchases (I do 14 days, but you can do anything from a few days to a month). If you still want / need the item after the cooling off period, you can buy it.
  5. Use an automatic rounding feature at your bank to save pennies. So if you spend £ 1.75 it will put £ 0.25 in a pot. It adds up quickly!
  6. Buy the retailer’s own brand (especially groceries!) Cheaper doesn’t mean lower quality.
  7. Use cashback sites like Airtime Rewards, Quidco, and TopCashback.
  8. Use an automated savings app – I love the plum app

For more tips and tricks on saving money, chatting about cash and getting notifications about offers and discounts, join our Facebook group, Money Pot.

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