This morning I recycled some jars and dropped off some donations.
Later, I baked raisin biscuits and tomato scones. They will be for snacks.
Yesterday I checked my eligibility for a credit card balance transfer. The check said I would be accepted, however, I haven't applied in case I don't get approved. Also, I'd rather use a balance transfer for my highest credit card, and that balance transfer doesn't run out until October.
I was going to go shopping on Sunday, but hubby made me realise that we don't need anything, so I'll hold off another week.
Yesterday we were in Edinburgh for an appointment and I
spent 18.69 at Burger King. It was unplanned. However, walking through Edinburgh is exhausting and we all needed it (we had some snacks with us).
My budget app alerted me that I'm close to overspending on groceries. I've only spent 72.xx,but it told me to lower my daily average.
This morning I recycled some jars and dropped off some donations.
For next pay, that is. Thanks to being off work I'll have less money to work with next pay. So, I need to try to cover this shortfall.
I really don't want to pay less to debt repayments, since it'll be my first month snowballing. And I don't want to stop savings, since these all help long-term. My variable categories are: food shopping, utilities and kids expenses. I can adapt these.
I'm sure I can claim for my two nights staying in hospital from my health plan - I'm not sure how much though...
I could start earning Swagbucks again, although I only have 300. And that takes time.
Hmm... I'm mostly just thinking right now.
I spent two days in hospital with SG because she had breathing problems. It was unplanned, of course. I spent a lot of money on junk food and sandwiches for me, since SG was having hospital food. I must've spent about 20 on food, although I didn't really keep track. Hubby got a takeaway so that was another 21. I also got a taxi home for us - we had so much stuff and I was shattered. All in all, it must have been about 50 in total.
She is doing better now. The doctor gave us medicines and an inhaler for the next few days.
In other news, I just paid off one catalogue today. That was 75.02. The other one is now 330.
Today is payday. Next pay I will be short because of phoning in sick for those two days, but we will manage.
In other news, I've been thinking about budgeting for other expenses such as school stuff. Each pay I send fifty pounds to my EF. From now on, I'll allocate twenty to these miscellaneous items that could potentially break the budget. I'll have to write it down though, otherwise I'll lose track of it. Yep, it only takes a small leak to sink a ship so I want to make sure that that doesn't happen.
Well, it feels that way...
I bought the kids new clothes and shoes, paid for sponsored walks, a trip. I also done another Approved Food order because I had a promo code to get delivery for 1.99 ( I normally pay 5.99). My cupboards are filled to the brim. Next pay I should only have to buy fresh stuff so this should help when I get paid again next Friday.
I also realised that I don't properly budget for annual expenses, so I'll need to figure something out. I only regularly save for Christmas. Come August I will have a child at school and one at nursery. Two lots of expenses for school photos, trips, meals (well, I think they're free until Primary 3 - I have to check) Then there's birthdays. Just when I think I'm getting myself together, I realise this. I have to budget in for this stuff; I just need to sort out the details. Hmm.
Payoff catalogue #1: 75.02 remaining
Send payment to catalogue 2: 440.xx
Hopefully by August this will be gone and I can focus on my credit cards. I'll start with the smaller balance first, which is cc1. Then, finally, credit card 2, which has 2k on it.
The interest free period for cc1 finishes next month. However, the catalogues are higher interests and smaller balances, so I'm choosing to focus on them first.
Hopefully I'll be debt free by the end of 2019.
Yesterday I paid 12.50 to SG's nursery: 6.50 for a trip to the zoo and 6 for football/soccer lessons. The lessons are for six weeks and are subsidised by the nursery, it's supposed to be 3/wk. A coach came to the nursery this week and SG loved it,so I thought "why not?" If she wants to keep it up after, I can get in touch with the company.
Hubby has a stag do coming up this month. I'm expecting that to be at least fifty pound. Then I have the wedding reception in June - assuming I hear about transport, that is.
June is also J's birthday. I'll be getting him a bed. Right now, I only have a duvet set and sheets that I got in Asda/Walmart when they were on promotion for 20% off. I got a new one for SG too. I still need to buy the actual bed and mattress, so I've been looking online. I'm hoping I can get one for under 150.
Also, I want to take us to adventure mini golf for his birthday. We'll only go for one game since I know how grumpy and tired he gets. I checked and it's 23 for a family of four.
Lastly, I want to try to get us out more during the summer, so I'll need money for that.
I deposited the cheque from my utility company. It was for 9.53. I paid the same amount to the catalogue, the balance is now 75.02.Once this is gone, I'll put that payment towards the other catalogue. Then, finally, towards my credit cards when both catalogues are gone.
I went into M&S for a look, and left 20.80 lighter. I only had one bag. This is me who was trying not to spend a lot on food shopping this pay. I got us a Summer meal for two for 7.00 and we really enjoyed it. I guess a treat is fine once in a while.
We had the other wedding at the weekend there. Hubby went, since no kids were invited. I'd booked us two nights in the hotel, but I only stayed one with the kids. SG was ill so I came home a day early with them. Good thing too cause I had a really bad night with her. Total spending for the hotel was 330.90 and about 60 on train fares and taxis. Kids really enjoyed it.
I'm going back to basics with food shopping and tracking expenses.
One catalogue is at 84.50,i think. I want to get that gone this month. I have two cheques to cash which I'll put towards it.
Getting ready to go away this weekend to the wedding. I had to buy hubby a new suit and shirt for this one because one he wore last week was uncomfortable.
Must have spent about sixty pounds on taxis to and from the wedding last week. J was really grumpy and fell asleep at the meal.
I'm buying snacks tomorrow to take when we're travelling. It's not too far, but we need to get two trains. Also, have to put money in the card for the newlyweds.
Other than that, I've been decluttering and cleaning.
I started watching a new show this week: Save Money, Good Food. It's given me some new recipe ideas. Well, apparently people are complaining because "they only help rich people" Some people are just never happy.
I can't remember when I last posted...
SG's birthday went well. She really enjoyed bowling and now wants to save to go again. The next time we go, we'll be eating first, J was tired and grumpy by the time we got to the second game. We got a taxi home, but it was worth it. People before money and all that.
We've been invited to another wedding. This time, it's evening only. Kids aren't invited so hubby is going on the stag night and I'll go to the reception. This particular couple have a honeymoon gift list. I read through it the other day, it's mostly flight upgrades, hotel stays and experiences. They will probably just get cash from us (the most extreme gift is something for 300gbp)
I worked some overtime today.
I'm using up what we have this week then going to Aldi on payday. Usually I order from Tesco, so this should save us some money.
I've been seriously thinking about increasing my pension contributions, especially after seeing how well you guys are doing. Asking around at work, I found out that one person in their fifties is still only contributing the minimum (2%), although I think her husband has a good pension. There's also my co-worker who only just started contributing in the past year or so, when they made it compulsory.
Anyway, I was doing some shredding yesterday and I found hubby's pension statement. His pension is in the same place as mine. I found their contact details so I'm going to email them to increase my contribution, at least by a little. I still have all of this debt hanging over me so I don't want to increase it by too much (even though I know I should)
It's payday, but I'm a week short, so I'm going to have to take it from savings. My supervisor obviously didn't put my holidays through last month. I'll need to talk to personnel when I'm back in.
I got a bonus from work:144. I transferred 140 to savings to cover the hotel in April, so that's 290 saved now. I left the 4 in my account. I'm pretty sure that last year I had to use my bonus for daily expenses, so it's nice to use it for something different for a change.
I've been handwashing clothes. I'm hoping hubby can fix the machine though. He looked at it yesterday, tried it but it stopped with two minutes left in the cycle. Then he mentioned something about a ball... I'm hoping it's fixable anyway. He's checking again later.
I'm dropping off a couple of bags of donations soon. It's so nice to get rid of stuff. I've been doing my best to find a bag a day, which Creditcardfree talks about in her other blog. We have so much stuff.
The washing machine isn't working. Hubby is taking another look at it today. I had to buy the kids some new pyjamas in the meantime. Found some in the sale: 11.70
I've been thinking about upcoming expenses. I still need to buy an outfit for the weddings (although, we found out the kids aren't invited to the second one. We're all still staying in the hotel anyway.) I need to give both couples money and have money to get there and spend on the day. Also, SG's birthday is next month. I'm so glad I put the money for her dress aside earlier.
Yesterday we got another letter from the council. It said that they had made a mistake sending the last letter, so we were to ignore it.
On my birthday Swagbucks emailed me. I went to my account and seen that I had enough to redeem two 5GBP PayPal rewards, which were on sale. I transferred the money to my account today, then to savings for the hotel.
I booked an activity for SG's birthday, although it'll be a surprise for her. The day after her birthday we're all going bowling and then for lunch (she's at nursery on her birthday). It's called Bowl and Dine, you get two games of bowling and a two course meal. I made sure to go during off-peak times so it's cheaper. I also need us to be home at a reasonable time, too. All in all, it'll be 48.00 (excluding drinks).
I had two butternut squashes to use up, so I roasted one with red onion and feta, and I made the other into a curry for tomorrow.
This month is depressing me. So far, less than two weeks since payday, I've spent 143.09 on groceries. I did include the money DH spent on snacks for the kids today while they were out. Tomorrow I actually need to buy a few more groceries, but it'll be the bare minimum.
Tomorrow I need to buy a new jacket for SG and jeans for hubby.
On the plus side:
-I've paid 209 to the catalogues this pay (less debt)
-I've put money aside for SG's birthday present (dress) next month (we might be going out for it too, but I don't want to splurge too much...)
-we have food to eat
I made saag also and lentil tomato Dahl for the first time tonight. I'm freezing the leftover dahl, I really don't want it tomorrow.
At work, the system for holidays is this: fill in the form, give to your supervisor or manager, get the form back which tells you whether it's been authorised. I did this, a year in advance. I have the slips.
Last week I left work knowing I was on holiday. The next day, there was a phone call from work. I had to call them back. It rang out. When I finally did get in touch I was told that they didn't know I was on holiday (therefore, no pay). I told my supervisor I had the slips right here. Luckily, she was fine with it and it's now been sorted (and I don't have to withdraw a week's pay from savings)
Got a letter this morning saying we're no longer getting Housing Benefit (aka rent paid) because we had ignored other letters asking for details. We never got any other letters. I'm still going through this one, we're waiting on somebody phoning us back - probably next week, I'd guess.
Had a birthday. We went our for lunch. Spent 28.xx. The plan was to have tacos that night for dinner but we were all really full, so we're having them tonight instead.
Hubby got invited to a stag weekend in England. He can't go because we don't have enough money for both. It's still nice to be invited.
My shopping arrived today - all 80.63 of it.The fridge,freezer and cupboards are all full.Its the first timr that shopping has arrived and the salad drawer has been empty - usually we end up throwing some out. Im feeling a bit bad about all the spending though. But we did need the stuff
I booked us two nights in the hotel for the wedding. Almost 300.Sigh. Ive got money set aside from the current account transfer last year,and im getting a small bonus soon.
It's SG's birthday next month. For J's birthday I ordered him a waistcoat from a girl who has a small business designing clothes, amongst other things. I've asked the same girl to make a dress for her birthday. She told me that it'll cost 25 so I transferred the money to savings for when I get the invoice. The money is essentially spent, right? I even input it into my app. I figured it made sense to transfer it now. I should really do things like this more often. If I don't, it really upsets my budget.
Speaking of budgeting, I'm a bit annoyed at myself because my online food shop is more than last month. This one is 78.xx and last month's was 58.xx.i have added extra because hubby is baking me a cake for my birthday.
I got in touch with hubby's friend about hotels near where he's getting married. I'm waiting on a reply. I want to get it sorted soon. I also need to decide how much money we're giving both couples...
Not much to report as I've only just paid the catalogues. I paid 147 to the smaller balance. Catalogue Debt is now 819.06. I'm looking forward to getting rid of this!
Almost all of us are ill. I went to bed at 8 last night and I'm still shattered today. Took kids to the doctors and let SG pick a meal for dinner. This is the worst she's been.
I got it wrong. I have 105 in my bank, so I must have miscalculated.
I have to finalize my meal plan for next week - probably not today though...
Payday on Friday. I'm not planning on going anywhere tomorrow.
I think that was a quick month. I was definitely more conscious of my spending. I said goodbye to impulse buys at the checkout (sweets and cola, usually) - they were replaced with a bag of nuts that I got from Poundland, and I drank the water I had with me.
We also didn't get a takeaway at all, despite Pizza Hut regularly texting hubby and the Indian texting me. My only eating out was 7.40 and that was with J.
For the first time ever - except for when we were really struggling - we made an effort to eat what we had.
Now, my totals might be a bit off because my spending app was playing up in the beginning and I uninstalled it - which meant I lost my data. But I spent 154.24 on groceries (less than normal), 34.24 on repairs, 7.40 on eating out, 50 on utilities (will be more next month when the 140 we got in November finally runs out), 67.40 on bus fares and 46.22 on kiddy stuff. All in all, I should have an extra 112 to put towards the catalogue on Friday (I'm just going to pay it on payday as normal).
I'd love to continue another month of uberfrugalness but I have to start getting organised for SG's birthday and I know we're going out for lunch for my birthday next month. Either way, I'll still be paying attention to my spending because I've got goals I want to reach.
I've been at home all day. I baked raisin biscuits with SG then made a fruit loaf. There's rice pudding in the slow cooker for later. We had butter bean and vegetable curry for dinner. I'm going to use the last tin to make butter bean dip.
I've started an online food shopping order to arrive after payday. I want to make the pinto beans and rice recipe that Ceejay gave me so I've ordered a bag of those, and chickpeas too. I've decided that they're cheaper so I'm getting those from now on.
Last night we finished watching Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I think I want to read the books now. Suits is back tonight so we'll probably watch that.
I think that's all.
I woke up this morning to find that our heating wasn't working. I was getting ready for work so I text hubby about it. Later, he said that he'd fixed it. So, crisis averted.
I had a long day at work. Bought a couple of frozen pizzas and garlic bread for dinner. Only spent 2.xx. Way cheaper than a takeaway. We're having peach crumble for pudding (homemade)
I have to total up what I've spent this month. I do have to get a few things on Tuesday though.
I'm not sure if this will work. The blogs weren't working earlier. It looks like they are now though.
Here's some meals we will be having, in no particular order:
-lentil meatloaf recipe with potatoes and veg http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/5969/lentil-meatloaf.aspx?o_is=LV
-belly pork strips in barbecue sauce http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/collections/barbecue-recipes/belly-pork-strips-in-barbecue-sauce
-falafel with pitta bread and salad (uses up chickpeas)
-cottage pie/lasagne (ragu in freezer)
-butterbean and veg curry http://www.thriftylesley.com/butter-bean-and-vegetable-curry-24p-a-se/
We had a leak on Sunday. Luckily, we got a plumber out via the council at no cost to us.
What I did have to spend money on, however, was a new pump and filter for the washing machine. Spent 34.42.They tried to charge me 9.xx for next day delivery but I noticed and changed it to standard.
I haven't read Frugalwoods' email yet.
Had leftover soup for lunch. I feel like all my posts this month have been about food. I guess that's one area that I can control.
Not much going on. Still trying to be Uber Frugal. I made creamy tomato soup yesterday rather than buy a tin of Heinz. Everyone loved it. Kids are eating it for lunch today. I also made tomato and bacon spaghetti - we've got a full tub leftover!
I'm making us salmon and rice for dinner tonight. I need to start making more dishes using lentils again, I've still got a bag of red and green lentils to use.
I need to buy some baby wipes this week, and some fresh stuff.
I'm going to attempt to make apple pie for pudding later. I bought a shortcrust pastry mix for 38p so I want to try it out.
Hmm, I don't think there's much else.
Snafu asked about making scones. I found a recipe here:
It's basically the one I've been using. I'm sure a few of you have baked scones before - I'm thinking My English Castle, CJ and Brenda? - but I could be wrong.
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