Argh, argh, argh, I spent way too much in December. Special food, presents, and charity donations all added up – as did the fact that I joined my work gym! More on that later – though for now, it’s worth noting I had to pay the whole year’s fee up front in one go. Ouch! Eminently worth it though – it works out that I get each month for less than £15, including classes. I still managed to make my regular savings payment at the end of December, but right now my everyday account is not looking particularly flush.
It doesn’t help that January is a long month. In fact, in my world it’s extra long. I got paid for December on the last working day before Christmas Day…and I won’t get paid for January until the very last day of the month! I have to admit to feeling a little bit perturbed when I looked at my calendar and realised that is still three weeks away from today.
In order to deal with this, I’m going to have as frugal a January as I can. I’m feeling very inspired by Frugalwoods, who are doing an Uber Frugal Month. If you go to that post, you can even sign up to receive an email a day for the next 30 days, with encouragement, tips and tricks. I find it really helps to feel part of a community, and her tips are pretty good.
So far we’re ten days in, and I’m not actually feeling ground down by the experience, which is good. I have a tendency to let a perception of ‘being broke’ make me miserable, and then sooner or later I give up on the whole thing. Not so this time! I’ve just got to remember I’m not broke, I’m saving.
In terms of spending this month, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve done extra work to keep spending down, with the result that I’ve spent next to nothing. Exclusions are paying now for events that will happen later in the year, and thus getting a reduction in fees, and a few bits associated with visiting my mom at the weekend. So, a couple of cups of tea and snacks whilst we were out, and the toll road fees to get there. I even managed to take my mom around a number of shops and not by anything at all for myself, even though I was tempted!
I have a day in the city scheduled next week, to meet up with a friend who just happens to be down from up-north, but hopefully I will be able to avoid spending too much. It’ll be worth it, for sure. I’m really looking forward to it, and that’s worth a little expenditure, as I need to have good things to look forwards to. Thanks to a very kind friend, I even have a giftcard for a coffee shop I can use if I need a pick-me-up this month, which will be really handy.
The aim of all this is to build up a buffer of cash in my regular account. I avoid using an overdraft facility, even for surprises/emergencies, but that only works if I make myself my own little ‘overdraft’ buffer. And of course, I’d still like to replace my phone, if I can just build up enough cash…!