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Moved at last

May 30th, 2006 at 05:55 am

We are in the new house at last, and it hasn't been a cheap weekend. Between our first grocery shop (fortunately I have been saving my customer reward vouchers from the store for this) and paying the rent and deposit I am now spent up until payday.
Have spent my lunch break wrangling with various utility suppliers to find out who supplies the propertyand get the bills into my name. It's a good thing I arrived at work an hour early today and can afford a long lunch break! (I totally misjudged the traffic coming in from the new house)

Still no move

May 16th, 2006 at 05:56 am

Our new house won't be ready until the weekend, but at least the tenancy agreement is in place. This month already looks like being an expensive one, as we are trying to get fiance set up to drive my car - I need to add him to my insurance, but we also need to pay for lessons and his driving test as he needs to get a UK licence within 12 months of moving here. We could do without the lessons, as he can already drive and passed a test in his own country but certain things are different here (like using the handbrake) and I think it'll work out cheaper for him to have a couple of lessons and pick up on things like that than to have him resit the test. I can cover it all out of this month's wages though. I got paid yesterday, and had £170 left from last month's pay to go into my wedding account. (I normally pay into my savings at the start of the month, but anything left over gets added to the wedding account too) Maybe I should start some kind of log for exactly where I'm up to with my wedding account. Something to think about...

April's total

May 8th, 2006 at 12:59 am

I have just checked my spreadsheet and realised that my total expenditure last onth was £475.81, not whatever I posted it as. I had forgotten that I would have to pay to park at the airport when I went to pick fiance up. In the first week of May I have spent £96 - over what it normally is, but that includes filling up my car after the trip to the airport.
I am almost over the stress about the wedding now, because we seem to have found a few places that have not increased their rates. They are closer to where my parents live than the city centre (where we are actually getting married) but that's ok. Fiance is now getting stressed out though because he feels personally resonsible for checking out the hotels our overseas guests plan to stay in.
On the bright side, it looks like we may be able to move into the new house this week, and my parents will be able to pak their car in their garage again because all my stuff will be out.

Cheap day out

April 17th, 2006 at 10:00 am

My mum and I took my young cousin out to the cinema today. He had told her how much he wanted to see the Narnia film. We didn't think it was still on anywhere, and were surprised to see it at the local shopping centre. We took him down there this morning, and my mum went to get the tickets. When she cam back she remarked it was a real bargain at £3.80. I agreed this cinema is normally over £5 each. It turns out it was £3.80 for all three of us, as they have a promotion on during the school holiday for morning screenings. They are showing a different kids film every day, and for each child one adult gets in free. I just wish I was off work the rest of the week - I would take him down there every day!

£10 trap

April 12th, 2006 at 05:20 am

This is a handy name my sister and I use for a trap weíve both fallen into at one time or another. It describes a situation where you might be out shopping, not actually on purpose, but because youíre passing the shops on the way to somewhere else or killing time while waiting for someone. Whatever the reason, youíre browsing aimlessly when you see something, say a pair of shoes or a CD priced at £9.99 or £7.99 and you think ďOh, thatís less than a tenner, thatís not a lot of money!Ē and before you know it youíve spent £30 on stuff you never knew you wanted.
Well, since this time last year, when I started my budget Iíve managed to avoid the £10 trap mostly, by only buying things Iíve budgeted for, but I think Iíve discovered the frugal version of the £10 trap Ė and itís the £1 trap! I donít tend to go into £1 shops all that often, but just occasionally I will get some things for the Guides in there Ė large packs of candles in particular tend to be cheap, as do colouring pens and paintbrushes. While I was in there recently, I found myself standing at the counter with the stuff for Guides, and also a pack of cleaning cloths and some clothes pegs. I looked at these last 2 items again and realised that I could easily find them for cheaper than £1 elsewhere in the same shopping centre. They werenít a bargain Ė I just thought they were a bargain because, hey they were only £1, and I was in a shop where the atmosphere said ďeverything in here is a bargain! Look at it all stacked on the floor and improperly labelled, with bad lighting! Bargain!Ē Needless to say, I put the merchandise down and headed out of the shop!

1st week over

April 7th, 2006 at 08:06 am

Iíve managed to get through the first week of the month fairly unscathed. Spent a total of £38 (These figures are rough, and I haven't checked them yet). £5.10 on groceries. £1.25 on snacks. £12.50 on fuel. £1.98 on stuff for guides. £3.10 on postage. £9.80 on books. 24p on toiletries. £3.60 on stationery. This is well within my budget for the week. Letís see if I can keep it up next week.

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

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