New Year’s Resolution – August edition

A good month! Fourteen days where I spent absolutely nothing! That’s almost half the month and more than the required eleven to keep up with my New Year’s resolution. Rather a relief after last month’s.

In a more general way, this month I have spent the least of all months so far in 2016. Mwahahah, go me. Well, in part that is because I stopped therapy halfway through the month, and it looks likely I will not start it again in the immediate future. So I should have less fixed outgoings, and I am keen for that to translate into higher savings.

My highest single outgoing category was festival attendance and kit; I bought a new giant (and astoundingly comfortable) camp bed, in addition to the usual petrol and higher food costs of being away. Second highest was medical costs, predominantly therapy but also the cost of a wrist brace for my dodgy right hand.

My partner largely covered groceries this month, so that’s a little misleading (perhaps I should start tabulating their costs as well?), but I spent nearly £85 on eating out this month, which I’m less pleased with. This is predominantly coffee when out in town, and lunch when I’ve failed to bring it to work, and food and coffee on the road to festivals. This is definitely an area I could work on, but one I struggle with the most. I find it really hard at lunch time, particularly if we’re just back from a weekend away and there’s nothing in the cupboards. Trying to avoid animal products doesn’t help either – there’s no handy cheese in the fridge that you can just stuff between two pieces of bread. Ah well, something to try and stay on top of in September.

After that we have a bunch of small costs; a tank of petrol, a couple of trips to the cinema, and an emergency taxi I had to take due to being a chump. All together, pretty good! This is good as I am on holiday in the coming month, and I still have a half-broken phone that needs replacing. But let’s leave it on a high note – fourteen days consumerism-free! Yes!

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New Year’s Resolution – August edition

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five

Well, I’m currently not feeling great, but at least the sun is shining and the U.K. is enjoying some good summer weather. It is also excellent washing-drying weather too, and that’s good for saving energy and money!

  • I have finished therapy! I have never regretted paying for it, but it is very nice to be able to reclaim that £40 a week. It’s going straight into savings, but I did use it as an excellent excuse for lunch out on Wednesday.
  • I visited all of our local charity shops (and that’s a lot!) and didn’t find anything I needed. I have to admit to being diassapointed, but that is how it goes sometimes. Charity shopping is a bit hit and miss. I am pleased I didn’t bring any impulse buys I didn’t need home.
  • I have nothing planned this weekend but a few hours at my voluntary job. This should mean that I don’t spend very much (if anything).
  • Letter from the water company came this week, telling us they need to reduce our monthly payment by £10 due to our low consumption. We have built up £230 in credit with them! Our four person household consumes just two litres a day more than the average two person household.
  • Even though I have been forgetting to make my breakfasts the night before, I have made sure we have bread in the cupboard and I’ve been making jam sandwiches in the mornings. I have had a couple of lunches out, and bought one breakfast, but it wasn’t a total disaster. Gotta keep working on this, as packing lunches and breakfasts is such a relatively easy way to save money.

As ever, this post is inspired by Katy’s blog and readers.

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five

A good week!

  • After July being such an awful month, I had to get my spending under control. What I want is to be spending substantially less than I earn, every month. In order to achieve that, I basically need to stop spending money most days, in the same vein as my by-nothing-days challenge. I am very pleased that in the last seven days, I have only spent money on one single day! This month is going so much better than July’s.
  • Remembered to pack breakfast and lunch every working day this week. This saves a substantial amount of money, and I’d been really bad about this last month. It was helped by the fact that we’ve had some cheese in the house due to having guests – and nothing is easier than a cheese sandwich!
  • Walked home from work on Wednesday. It’s just under 5 miles, so I always take a bus, but the weather was good and it was wonderful to walk through the countryside in the blazing sun. I figure it’s frugal, as it’s healthy, and having good health is ultimately cheaper than not.
  • Hung washing on the line, on racks, and over the bannister rather than use the tumble-dryer. We are still running the water heater, but we don’t have heating and we don’t have any cooling or fans. Just lovely open windows and a coastal breeze.
  • My partner is making a storage box for our camping trips out of wood from an old futon we stashed in the attic about eight years ago. We are really keen on using up supplies we already have, and this is a fantastic reuse of material that would otherwise go to the tip.

This week has honestly been such a relief after last month. Whilst we have lots of camping trips and trips to see friends, and I’m sure this coming weekend will be expensive, I feel like having spent the first ten days of the month solidly under my belt in terms of almost-zero expenditure has made me feel a lot less awful about my spending.

As ever, this post is inspired by Katy’s blog.

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five

Mmm, not a bad week, if not super…

  • My partner and I worked through an extremely large backlog of washing, from last week and from the camping trip, and largely air-dried the whole lot. I caved at the end of the week and threw the pants and socks into the tumble-dryer because I was out of space and time, but since realising it’s at least 50p if not £1+ in electricity every time I use the dryer I have become more motivated to line-dry! I think my partner is too.
  • Took camping left-overs to work on Wednesday, which consisted of a few chewy bars and a punctured pot-noodle. Not great, but better than a) buying some food or b) the leftovers going to waste.
  • Didn’t get coffee on the way home from the camping trip, just drank a big soft drink I shared with my partner.
  • Didn’t take any cash with me most of Saturday so I didn’t impulse buy anything. I just made do with what I had already, and it was fine.
  • Mucked up my holiday days, but my boss gave me permission to just work extra  this month and take off this Friday in lieu, as I am going camping again. This should mean that we travel earlier, hit less traffic jams, and therefore consume less petrol.

And one fail… ate two lunches out this week (boring sandwiches), not for pleasure but just because I hadn’t been organised enough. I really want to cut down on this kinda thing this month.

 

As ever, these posts are inspired by Katy’s Krew.

Friday’s Green and Frugal Five