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.
Viewing the 'Spending' Category
It's been a while since I last updated. So, what's been happening?
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.
It was SG's first nativity play yesterday (at nursery they just sang, they didn't tell a story). I spent:
-£4 entry (£2 each)
-£1 at the craft fayre
Then I bought a raffle ticket from J's nursery (£1)
Completely unrelated, I also got my hair cut (£18)
It's dress down day today, so that's another pound. Last week it was Christmas Jumper Day/Save the Children and I spent £2 for them both to wear theirs.
This is mostly for my notes. It's all in my notebook in my bag anyway.
Oh, we just wrote cards to each of the staff since DH and I ate the chocolates I bought for the teachers (they were two small boxes). Lesson learned: buy them later next year.
I'll also be spending £36.75 at the butchers next week.
I just signed up for Uber Frugal Month, starting on 1st January. It should get me in a good mindset for the rest of the year, and hopefully save me some money. I told hubby I'd signed up. He's fine with it, but he didn't want to read the blog post about it.
I went to Aldi today. Spent 53.xx.
Paid 75 to my 0% card - that'll increase in February when I've paid off the catalogue.
I read an article about the company I work for planning to cut 800 jobs.
Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday's post.
Edited to add:
I'm trying to think of ways to be Uber Frugal next month. I can reduce the number of screens/devices on Netflix, always pack lunch (extra for a Saturday) and pack extra snacks to eat before work when I get there early. Hmm. I'll also use up the food that we have before going shopping.
I can't remember when I last updated...
Ive been really lax at tracking spending this pay, so that'll change as of tomorrow when I get paid. I'm still meal planning, so that is helping. I've been making an effort to use things up. In fact, I've almost finished the bag of dried chickpeas that have been in the cupboard for months. Next on the list, is scotch broth and vegetable broth. And pinto beans. I keep forgetting about them.
I haven't started Christmas shopping yet.
Still paying down debt. Nothing changes.
I took SG to the cinema. It was 2.49 each. I got her a kids snack tray too. Spent 7.49.
Later, I bought her a new jacket and socks. Plus socks for hubby. 25.05
By this point, I was hungry and it was lunchtime. Spent 4.25 on a sandwich and fruit salad for us. Not frugal at all.
I spent 23.69 on shopping today. I ended up going to Aldi, rather than hubby. I wasn't well last night and he's the same today. I must have bought all of their Super 6 today.
This week's meals are:
-bangers and mash
-roasted veg and feta puff pastry tart (I've still got another packet of ready rolled puff pastry to use up next week)
-Butternut squash risotto (the mix is from a jar though, not sure how it will be)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Don't think I'll be sleeping anytime soon, so thought I'd quickly update.
Things are going well, I think. A few weeks ago I ordered SG's Christmas present from my mum and she gave me the equivalent in high street vouchers. I'll be using them for food shopping next week probably.
I'd say my Christmas shopping is basically done- just need to sort out a picture gift for my mum.
I'll be baking gifts for SG's teachers this year. I just need to order some bags.
Hubby is going to take SG to the cinema at some point, she's not been yet. They'll probably go to a matinee I think once we down the day.
I'm well into the habit of using cash for shopping. I had a few days of feeling under the weather when I didn't update my budgeting app, but it wasn't hard to catch up. Especially since I finally cleared out my purse and put the old receipts in the shredding pile.
Got our warm home discount of 140.00. It's in the electricity meter just now. I'm hoping it'll really help our budget. It's already good not having to worry about it.
I'm way behind updating my sidebar, so I did that now. It's nice to see the figures going down.
I'm doing quite good tracking spending. Well, at least I have been for the past few days. Today's spending should only be a pound for SG's nursery for Children in Need. I also need to hand in the form for nursery photos. That's 17.00.
Have a good day everyone!
Today is payday. I need to figure out how much I actually spend each week on variable expenses. I'm still sticking with cash - except for my Tesco order, which comes on Monday.
I only have 37gbp left to pay on the last bnpl item from the catalogue.
I dont think we're going to visit my friend in Feb, it's looking expensive.
I'm basically done Christmas shopping - just need SG to pick something. She picked a toy for my mum to get her today. I also need to get my mum something, so I'm not really done, but I'm not stressing.
I need to buy a filter for the washing machine and a phone charger this pay. I've been putting off buying the filter.
I think this is my first update this month. I never leave it this long normally. Things have been busy.
I've been spending a lot of time the past six weeks or so, working on a hobby, I guess you could call it that? I'm being optimistic and hoping that I can turn it into a career within the next year or so. I need to do some studying first, amongst other things.
I cancelled Amazon prime yesterday. I barely used it during the free trial. I barely had time to watch my usual programmes never mind adding more to my list.
Hubby joined something, I'm not sure exactly what it is. Anyway, every month he gets a 5GBP Amazon voucher. So that is sitting in my Amazon account now. It's something to do with tv or something. If I can make myself do a swag bucks survey I could get another voucher, for ten pounds I think.
Got the kids Halloween costumes. Spent less than a tenner.
I have one more BNPL item left to pay off. The catalogue keep trying to tempt hubby with offers but they're so bad. Also, he's not allowed to. He's banned.
I need to pay for nursery photos soon. We never got them last year, we just kept the little copy that they gave us.
I think that's all.
I got a letter from our utility company saying they have received my request for Warm Home Discount. They will be in touch within the next twelve weeks.
A few weeks ago, hubby got a letter from the catalogue company saying one of his extended warranties would be renewed if he didn't get in touch by the end of the month. He phoned today and cancelled it, 98 pounds saved.
Trying to figure out where we're going in February. Hubby thinks it's too expensive to go away, but I told him I'm desperate for a change of scenery.
I'm considering my future recently. I've started to be interested in a particular area, so I'm hoping it will help my career prospects in the future. Time will tell.
Started Christmas shopping. I went to a baby and kids market. Spent 20,got two toys each for both kids plus books.
It's payday in eight days.
Just a little update.
Nationwide sent me a letter about increasing my credit limit. I'm ignoring it; I don't want an increase.
I found husband's PIN in my budgeting notebook, so no need to get in touch with the bank.
I paid the last of my Christmas high street vouchers this pay. It's only half of what we saved last year. We should get them soon.
Bought a new winter jacket for J and some clothes, SG got clothes. Her jacket needs replaced next but J didn't have a warm enough jacket for winter.
I also bought a collection of Peter Rabbit books from Amazon. They were 29.99,originally over 100. When ordering I accidentally signed up for Amazon Prime so I'll have to remember to cancel.
Bought husband a book for his birthday. 12.91.
I planned meals for next week. I've got a Tesco order coming on Wednesday.
I applied for Warm Home Discount yesterday. I heard about it through Martin Lewis. I'll see if we qualify, it's first come, first served. If we do that's 140 towards our electricity.
I think that's all for now.
I'm on my phone, so excuse the typos.
I picked SG up from nursery today and she told me that her feet were hurting her. After I dropped her off at home, I went to tesco to pick up an emergency pair of trainers for her. I found a pair half a size bigger than she was wearing, on sale for two pound.
I've been using the Notes app on my iPhone to keep track of spending. It seems to be working.
I finally added another ten pound to my Asda Christmas savings card. This should cover the cost of what we spend at the butchers in December - hopefully.
It turns out that my mum actually didn't have a stroke, at least according to her specialist. She is getting an mri soon to confirm or find out more.
Spoke to a random guy at work today. His partner works in the same place as me too. He was telling me that every two years they take their entire blended family to Florida, costing them 9k. He suggested I do this in the future with the kids (we were talking about holidays) I said that we'll take the kids to England first since they've been nowhere.
I think that's all.
I just paid 25 to my Tesco credit card.
I transferred money to hubby's account because his phone bill is due out in a few days and he was short.
Husband hasn't switched banks yet. There's a problem so he's phoning the new bank tomorrow, as per instructions from current bank account.
I've been buying in frozen mince instead of fresh. I'll use it for tacos this week.
I worked extra today, then I spent 12.51 on food shopping afterwards. SG wanted macaroni so I bought in ingredients for that. Kids will have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
I'm not impressed. This year is going in far too quickly.
Things are going ok here. I sold one of J's old playmats for 17gbp.i had given up on it ever selling, but I bumped the post up yesterday and somebody commented and picked it up the same day.
We're meeting my cousin and her kids at soft play later. It will be 9gbp entry total for the kids. I'll be packing lunch.
Catalogue debt is now sitting at 2177.66. Next month it'll be under 2k. Progress. Also, my loan will be under 7k next week.
I seen my mum this week. I think she has abandoned her idea of saving up now that I'm not involved. I'm leaving her to do it.
I spent some time looking online at washing machine parts. Luckily, I haven't had to buy any yet. Fingers crossed.
I applied for a zero percent card for hubby but was declined. At least I tried, I'm telling myself. The debt will stay on his credit card.
I've installed a new budgeting app, Wallet. I like this one better than the others so far.
My mum text me to ask who she banks with, or rather confirm their name. She disagreed with me at first but then realised I was right.
We're all going on a trip this week with the toddler group I take J to. It was only 20gbp for us all. Going ourselves it's 13 per adult, so already we're saving a lot. I need to buy snacks to take with us.
I can't believe that it's already the third of July!
Well, I met VS last week. Actually, I met her and her friend. I brought hubby and the kids with me, so they got to meet her too! I told SG that morning that we were meeting my friend from Australia, so she was excited. I don't think she understood how far away Australia actually is, but I think I got my point across.
The meeting went really well. We met in a pub in Edinburgh for lunch. We were there for a few hours, just chatting. Near the end the kids got restless but overall they were OK. I thought it was going to rain that day but it didn't, so we were blessed with a dry day.
I don't have an exact total but I think I only spent over 40gbp, for lunch and drinks (wine for me, two beers for hubby) and travel. We had frozen pizza for dinner that night since I knew I wouldn't want to cook, the kids were supposed to have leftover macaroni but they filled up at lunch so they just had a sandwich.
I thought we were going to be moving soon. However, hubby went to see the place and we drew up a pros and cons list later to help decide. The cons outweighed the pros so we're staying put.
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