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Archive for March, 2006

Over budget!

March 28th, 2006 at 05:42 am

Made another payment on my student loan and bought some groceries over the weekend. That takes this monthís outgoings to £736 which is £35 over the budget I had set. I should be able to get to the end of the week without spending anymore as I have all the stuff I need for lunches etc. Decided to have a good look at where that extra went and I discovered: £19 over on groceries, £1.63 on snacks, a massive £62 on gifts, £1 on phone bill, £1.81 on fuel, £8.40 on public transport, £3 on parking, £23.99 on guides, £60 on theatre and concerts, £10.51 on postage, £1 on books, 70p on charitable donations, £2.15 on stationery. Now, it doesnít take a genius to work out that all of that adds up to a lot more than £35. (In fact it makes £195.19) So where did I go under budget? Rent -£40, Food at work -91p, clothes -£10, Car maintenance -£40, car tax -£20, craft -£10, pilates -£20, eating out -£10, social drinks -£5, toiletries -£2.91. This makes £158.82. Some of these things make sense as they will balance out over e few months (for example, my Pilates class is paid for 6-weekly, but comes to £20 a month, and my entertainment overspend includes a yearís worth of theatre tickets, paid for in advance). Some of these things are reclaimable from work (parking and transport). It interests me that I was able to come in under budget on most of my "fun categories". On the upside even with this overspend I can still afford to put a good chunk of my monthly income into savings.
Not been forced into a decision about my tax free savings yet, as I've not had anything back from the bank I plan to open the account with. I should chase them up about that this week before the tax year ends next Wednesday.

Busy week = not much spending (don't read -boring)

March 23rd, 2006 at 08:31 am

I've been flat out this week, and can't see a break in it yet, what with training and other work commitments and Guides.
Over the past 2 days I have spent
£3 on groceries
80p on snacks at work
£12 on Mothers' Day gift (this came out of a dedicated gift account, which I put a regular amount into each month)
£8.59 on posting half the wedding invitations to fiance so he can send them out to foreign guests before he moves here
£4.70 on public transport to training (reimbursable)
£14 on supplies for guide activities (refundable)
£6 on book for sister (refundable - it better be or I won't be doing her any more favours!)
Also got £15 refunded in petrol expenses need to cash that cheque as soon as I can.


Total spent this month
£567

A fool and my money

March 22nd, 2006 at 11:23 am

Last year, I lent my sister some money to pay the tuition fees for her MA. It was money I had from an inheritance. My sister had received the same amount, but couldnít release it until her 25th birthday. It made sense to both of us for me to lend her the money until she could release her inheritance and pay me back in time for the wedding and some other stuff. However she approached the solicitor in December and he still hasnít sorted out the release. When she phoned him (after him not returning her calls for 2 weeks) he told her he forgot. All of this wouldnít be a problem, but for the fact that I wanted to maximise my tax free savings allowance for this year Ė and the deadline is the 5th of April. He has now told her there is no way he can clear the money by that date. So now, I canít decide what to do. Do I miss out on my allowance for this year? Or do I scrape together every penny I can from my current account and the easy access savings I have for emergencies and heap it into my allowance pot? And take a risk that this cash will clear before I incur any other major expenses so that I can pay myself back? Itís not too much of a risk Ė because in a real emergency I can always take this money out of my tax free savings. I just canít put it back again, because the limit is on how much you can pay in any one year and not how much you can have in it. Another advantage would be that once the money cleared, if I found that I had managed to pay back my emergency account out of my regular income, I could put it straight into next yearís allowance. The main downside to this is that apart from my student loan payment I would have to reduce my outgoings to almost nothing until payday in the middle of next month. I pay all my bills the day after pay day so it is only small incidental stuff left to come out, but the idea of having no safety net, for however short a time, worries me! Itís one thing not buying anything for 10 days, itís quite another not being able to!

weekend - frugal in parts

March 20th, 2006 at 04:45 am

Spent quite a bit on Saturday Ė but fortunately not of it was my money. I run a guide unit (like Girl Scouts) and had to get uniform for 2 of the girls and some other bits and pieces. 1 has already paid me for hers, the other will give me the money at the meeting this week. Also bought some badges and certificates for the girls who are making their promise this week, and some information leaflets for their parents. I can claim the cost of these back from unit funds (as long as I remember to do it)
On Sunday went to meet a friend who was helping me plan a workshop Iím meant to be delivering next month Ė we only had a small coke each so that was quite cheap , but the 70 mile round trip to our halfway meeting point will probably work out a bit more expensive!
Total spend so far this month 518

Making a start?

March 19th, 2006 at 02:34 pm

I've been lurking for long enough and feel it's time for me to start writing to keep track of where I'm up to.
I'm currently saving up for a wedding later this year and also to give us a good foundation for married life. As my fiance won't be able to work for several months leading up to the wedding, it's important I make as much headway now as I can (and I have already made some).
I don't have much debt to speak of - except for my student loans. These are interest free (at least, I only pay the inflation rate on them) so it makes more sense for me to put any spare cash I have into savings.
I have lots of different thoughts whizzing round in my head about my money most of the time, and hope I can use this journal to separate things out and keep track of my successes! (Once money has disappeared into my savings account I tend to forget about it and feel like I haven't achieved anything!)