I just checked, and my loan is now under 1k. Only 4 more payments to go!! I'll be applying that money to my credit card when it's gone.
Viewing the 'Budget' Category
I've reached the halfway point. Baby is doing well,according to my recent ultrasound. We haven't bought anything yet. However, we now need to start getting organised.
I've still been decluttering,although not as much as before. I need to step up before I add baby stuff.
I need to get started Christmas shopping soon. Luckily for me I have a 6 year old who is happy to tell me what she wants. She is an advertisers dream. I do point out to her that she can't get everything. I've started an Amazon wish list for the first time ever.
Speaking of Amazon,I've just claimed a £5 voucher from swagbucks. I need to get back on it so that it can help with Christmas shopping.
It's been a while since I last updated. Since then I've been a bit lax tracking my spending. Time to get focused again.
Last night I meal planned and wrote today's shopping list. It's payday today. I'm going to make sweet and sour chicken in the slow cooker (a first for me). I'm hoping there'll be plenty of leftovers.
I'm 17 weeks pregnant now. I'm definitely making an effort to eat good stuff. Of course, this pregnancy is already heaven compared to the last because I'm healthy.
I'm trying to continue to declutter. My mum wants to buy stuff for the baby already, but I told her I need to check what we have first. If I can get stuff nearly new,I will.
Debt is going down. I have to update my sidebar.
I've been really bad these past few weeks, getting a takeaway impulsively last week and buying little things here and there when I'm out. So bad.
I also bought a coat rack from amazon. £23
Kids have school trips coming up. For once, I had money set aside in my sinking fund.That was good.
So,one of the reasons I've been distracted is because I was having bladder problems. I had a catheter in for a week. I went to the doctors the other week because I hadn't peed for almost a day.Two litres of urine later.. then a catheter. I'm now without a catheter and doing it myself, when needed. I wasted some money at the hospital a few times on sandwiches from the cafe.
So,the reason I'm having issues,if you haven't figured it out already... I'm pregnant. I don't know when I'm due,I haven't seen the midwife yet or had my ultrasound. Plus,family don't know yet. We will tell them once I've had my ultrasound. It's nice to tell people, even if it is anonymously.
I've spent £112 on food so far since payday last week. Ouch. My tesco order was huge though. I've been looking into portion sizes and trying my best not to waste leftovers.
I found a bean and pasta soup recipe that I'm going to make for lunches next week. I cooked up some pinto beans and I also have cannelini beans in the freezer.
I'm going to a speech therapy course for parents of children with social learning difficulties. It lasts 6 weeks. I think it'll help a lot.
My new hours started. My first pay will be at the end of the month.I'm looking at that budget now.
I'm really hoping for a Low Spend April. I've ordered, what I hope, is two weeks shopping from tesco. It doesn't arrive until Thursday. I made sure to order dried cannelini beans, pinto beans and adzuki beans. I've never tried adzuki beans.I'm going to make sure that i cook and portion them up for recipes. My new contract starts next week so I need to make sure I limit my shopping trips. If I can get most of it at once,the happier I'll be.
My meal plan is looking like this:
-slow-cooked pulled pork with potatoes and veg
-sweetcorn fritters with salad
-carbonara-style pasta with pulled pork and mushrooms
-penne with red peppers and spinach (SG picked)
-tostada with chicken, black beans, salsa
-frozen pizza (twice)
-sweet potato and white bean chilli (Jamie Oliver)
-chilli con carne with rice and tortilla chips
-leftovers (definitely need to make sure there's no waste)
I cancelled one of DH's direct debits. It was only for a fiver,but every little helps,right? Next I'm going to look into reducing our cable package.
I bought a bag of dried turtle beans (black beans). I'm going to definetly incorporate them into our meals. We've already tried black beans with a tortilla and an omelette. It was from my new recipe book. A few meatless nights a week are the way to go, I think.
I finally opened up a savings account for my sinking funds. It's for birthdays and school/nursery expenses. Hopefully I'll have more in the future.
So, I had my meeting at work. It went better than I thought it was going to. I was completely shocked when she said that my hours weren't changing. However, as she started reading through my hours I realised that they had one day wrong. Well,I explained that I can't do that shift because I can't get there early enough. She had a think and suggested a long day. I pointed out that buses are unreliable at that time so she shortened it. The result was that I was now 4 hours less. She said that I can pick up another day to make up my hours,in fact another very early start was suggested.
Well,I came home and spoke to hubby about it. Another very early rise just doesn't work - I'm talking before 4 - so we're just going to rework the budget. Before I left work that day I spoke to another woman who is also reworking her budget.
So,it's not official yet because I haven't signed my new contract. Was it the best decision financially? Probably not, but for my sanity and family life, I think it is best.
I've just done an online shop which is getting delivered on Friday (payday). Before that, I done a meal plan:
-slow cooker pulled pork
-black bean tacos with salsa and guacamole
-pulled pork carbonara
-Mediterranean spiced pasta
I'm also going to try baking an orange loaf cake for the first time, and banana bread.
Took out an amazon prime free trial. I didn't plan on SG buying the Frozen movie accidentally today. That was 9.99, but thankfully I had gift cards on the account.
It's SG's birthday soon. All money for it will be coming from this upcoming pay. I wish I had sinking funds already. Mothers Day is also next month.
I've decided I'm going to put an a4 sheet of paper on the fridge with our grocery budget, and spending, on it.
My work are being a nightmare. I had a meeting to discuss my hours. They want everyone to be as flexible as possible. Well, I explained that I'm not. They noted it down. I asked if redundancy was on the table? No, it's the last option. At the next meeting they will give me hours that some computer decided is best (to meet the needs of the company). I'm dreading it. Someone told me that she was offered hours, but she couldn't work that late and they wouldn't negotiate with her. So, it's all or nothing.
For now, I'm job hunting and resisting the urge to hand in my notice.
So, any idea what I should do meanwhile? Minimise expenses? Put away extra cash? Or towards debt?
This is one thing that I don't have, but I know I'll need to set it up ASAP. I know a few of you have sinking funds. How do you keep track? Are they in a separate savings account? Right now I think I'll need one for school/nursery and clothes for the kids. Us too, possibly. I know this'll help my budget in the long run if I can get this set up.
It's been a while since I last updated. So, what's been happening?
First of all, I started watching a lot of budgeting videos on YouTube. Actually, I started that at the beginning of the year when Creditcardfree mentioned it in her blog. Now, I'm trying to figure out if I'm more of a pen and paper gal, or if spreadsheets are the way forward? And, do I prefer updating daily or once a week? And cash only? Right now, it's mostly cash for variable expenses.
I had a birthday. I treated myself to a new cookbook from Amazon. I had vouchers so the book was free. The aim of the book is feeding a family of four for £40/wk. I'll be making some stuff from it.
I also just spent a Christmas gift card today. I added a couple of things for the kids. I was 6.49 OOP.
I had a check up at the dentist. One of my fillings needs replaced. It'll be £56. This wasn't in the budget so, today, I made sure that my health plan is updated online. I can make the claim the same day so that's good. I also made sure that both kids are on it. They are. (Youngest has had a lot of referrals since last year. Possible autism diagnosis. We've been to lots of appointments for him. Next one is ophthalmology this month, since they really did refer everywhere).
Hmm, what else? SG's birthday is next month. She told me the other day she'd like a party. I had to tell her that's too late notice to book a party. Looks like I'll be planning one next year.
On Friday I spent more on food shopping than planned: 72.xx in Iceland and another five in Lidl.
Yesterday it was 16 - I think? - on pull ups and some snacks.
Today it was some new shoes for littlest, whose went up half a size. I also got him a jacket that was on sale. Spent 38 on trainers, then another 26 on the sale stuff.
I think that's enough for now.
I finally phoned to cancel my phone contract. I'll be taking over hubby's next month.
I realised from just using cash this month, that a lot of our money goes to debt. I knew that was the case, but this makes it clear. At least, I'm paying more than the minimum and I should only have to do this until the end of next year - hopefully I'll be debt free by then (November 2019,hopefully). So, although I won't have saved a lot, I think I'll keep up this cash only habit because it really makes me think.
In other news, I'm almost finished that bag of lentils. Finally. I'll buy in a 500g bag the next time, not a kilo. We're having the last of the turkey for dinner tonight. Afterwards, we'll have rice pudding that's in the slow cooker.
I started this blog 12 years ago today. Way back when I was a young twenty year-old. Wow.
I was thinking the other day that I need to actually write down estimated payoff dates. I know the loan is May 2019. I can't remember when my 0% card finishes - August 2019? Then after that, I'll put all that money to hubby's card.
In other news, I spent 43.xx at Aldi. Way more than the 25 I wanted to. Ugh. But never mind. I'll deal with it.