Friday, 21 July 2017

Photo 53

Second day of the summer hols and Thomas is full of a cold. Sienna started with a sticky eye yesterday afternoon so I'm wondering if she's passed something on to him. Not that he really went near her but they were in the car together on the way to park. Mind you, it could be the fresh air and outside germs that he's not used to!

Anyway, it was Middleton today with Mum and he wanted to come with us. He sold some games and skylander figures a couple of weeks ago and got a voucher for them so he took that with him. He wanted to go off on his own while we did our shopping which I was fine with, so off he set with his voucher, £2 and my phone. When we met up he'd bought a poster, a Wii U Game, a sausage roll and a drink. The fact he's confident enough to do all that is brilliant. Before anybody has visions of him wandering around on his own in somewhere like The Trafford Centre, Middleton shopping centre is very small and a good place to start your first solo shopping expeditions.

Back home I very conscientiously entered all my expenditure on a spreadsheet I set up at the beginning of July. I've been meaning to do this for years - no exaggeration. I start off well but within a few days I get bored and stop or lose receipts and don't know where I'm up to, but this month I've stuck to it. 

Oh. My. Goodness. I've bought 'nothing' but have so far managed to spend £362 and the only proper bill in there is 2 weeks of shopping. What an interesting exercise and what an eye opener. If you asked me what I spend at Lidl I'd reply about £70 but not really think about the top up shop I do at the butchers, Iceland or the bits I buy from Bury. If you asked me if I've bought anything out of the ordinary, I'd say no, because already I've forgotten about the teacher's gifts, Thomas' prom outfit and bits for his bedroom when we decorated. If you asked me have I been out, I'd say, just for a meal with my friends, but that meal, plus coffees with Mark, Amy and Mum has seen me hand over £50 this month. 

It's very interesting when you think you don't spend any money how much you do actually spend and on what.

There have been a few 'no spends' as well, she says, feeling all virtuous. No flowers this week because we're at the van and the lisianthus I bought a couple of weeks ago have been cut down and are still pretty. Plus I keep cutting what seems to be a never ending supply of sweetpeas from the garden.

No chocolate because after happily munching my way through all my birthday treats I've decided to take a break from the sweet stuff for a while.

Nothing from The Works because as well as having a break from crafting, I also have several books in my reading pile that I need to work through. 

And no wool, because I've two balls in my stash and that's all I need at the moment to finish my poncho.

Actually, if we could all just forget about the £362, I'd say it's been quite a frugal month so far!

Do you keep a tally of what you spend, try to and fail, or not bother at all? 


xxx














23 comments:

  1. I don't but I should. Just popped into our Walmart and ended up with an $80 bill...only one somewhat frivolous item (a summer top) but hey a girl's gotta have some new clothes now and then!

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    1. It's a really interesting exercise if you're that way inclined Lynn - obviously I'm not as it's the first time I've been on track to do a full month. There is nothing I would/could really cut down on and even though certain things won't crop up again something else will in their place. It just makes you think....money really doesn't go anywhere. xx

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  2. Costco is our downfall! Every time we go in there, which is at least once a week I come out with way more than I went in for, which is usually nothing. Garry is a terrible impulse buyer, especially if he's hungry.

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    1. I'm not really an impulse buyer where food is concerned, especially sandwiches - I look at them and think I could make that for pennies, but I do buy bits and bobs for crafting, books and lots of wool, although I have a nice stash of that at the moment which should keep me going for quite a while.

      One thing has annoyed me this week. The fries I buy were £1 per bag, now they are £1.50 per bag or £2 for 2 bags. It's not just the money, I struggle for freezer space sometimes. Why couldn't they just leave them at £1 - I find that sort of thing really irritating. xx

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  3. It's amazing how spending adds up before you know it.

    I tracked our spending from September until May and while it was interesting it didn't change my spending habits one bit, so I stopped and don't miss doing it one bit!

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    1. It is amazing and it just goes to show money doesn't really go anywhere. I'm not sure I could do it regularly as what I buy I generally need. It wasn't so much to make savings as to see where it was going. Now I know - nowhere really! I know teacher gifts, prom outfits etc won't happen in August, but trust me something else will crop up. That's life I suppose. xx

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  4. Living ony pension for two years prior to retirement was a real eye opener. I saved over £25k which is helping buy any special extras until I receive my state pension.

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    1. That's a good exercise to do if you're thinking of retiring or your income is going to change drastically and saving £25k is a fantastic achievement.

      There's nothing I'm looking at on the list and thinking 'totally frivolous and unnecessary' so I don't think my spending will change much, but it's interesting to see where it all goes. xx

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  5. I watch all my spending meticulously. I've always been this way (no idea why.)
    I have a little notebook and mark down every time I use my debit card so I know exactly how much I have at any one time. (I'm aware I'm sounding obsessive now). I have never had any debt, other than my mortgage, so I guess it works for me.
    We are fortunate in that we get to enjoy some fabulous days out for very little cost or often nothing at all. I also don't like shopping. X

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  6. I used to be very money aware Jules and I did all the household finances etc but When I had the HA I handed the reins over to mark and have never asked for them back! Lately money just seems to slip through my fingers with nothing to show for it which is why I've done the exercise. I've still nothing to show if I'm honest but at least I know where it's gone - not very far!

    I don't enjoy clothes shopping and I don't buy make-up/perfume regularly but I spend on Amy and Thomas, books, bits for charity, fabric and wool. All these Little things mount up.

    You are to be commended for having never been in debt. It's an easy road to go down but a hard one to get off. Xx

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  7. Money can slip through my hands like water. I really should write it all down. I keep a monthly budget for bills so I know exactly where that money goes - it's the trips out / cafe/treats/bargains, etc, where money just seems to disappear!

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    1. Yes, it's exactly that Mrs. The bits for a coffee, books, wool etc. are only small amounts but add up to a LOT over a month.

      Bills are the easy part - they're the same every month but the other stuff is harder to keep track of. Even when I come in and get all the receipts out of the bag I'm amazed at what I've just spent when all I've done is pop into Wilko and the £1 shop! xx

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  8. I find that ignorance is bliss!! I'm mentally keep
    Note but I'm 199% positive I don't keep a list because I'd be horrified!! It doesn't help that the HG is an avid supporter of Amazon! I think the bin men hate us on cardboard recycling day! I was going to write something vair witty but it's gone out of my head! Can't believe I'm awake at 2am. Enjoy your time in the Van x

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    1. Ignorance is bliss, until I sit at the end of the month and think where's all my money gone, I've only got a ball of wool to show for it haha. My mental capabilities aren't what they used to be which is why I've noted everything down this month. I'm that bad that even when I come in from Middleton and go through the receipts I think "oh yes, forgot I popped in there" - all of 2 hours ago!

      2am? Hope you managed to drop off and get a lie-in. xx

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  9. Ah, the spending thing. I've never kept track of outgoings but one day last month, just out of curiosity as we seemed to be visiting there at least once a day, decided to add up how much of our income was going to Mr Sainsbury and on 'little treats'. A huge amount, as it turned out. Then, just as I was gearing up to a 'only buy what we really need' month, almost all the electric appliances ganged up on me and needed replacing. So now I'm skint. Job done! have a great week.

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    1. Those little treats add up to a lot don't they and it's even worse when it's in front of you in black and white.

      You did get on a run of things needing replacing didn't you so the odd bit here and there probably pales into insignificance. Thankfully our washing machine was replaced at a not too expensive price and the laptop that was dropped was insured. I'm praying the third thing to go wrong will be something small like the iron or my hairdryer. xx

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  10. I've tried several times to keep a tally of our spending - and never keep it up. It doesn't help that OH doesn't keep receipts and cash drips through his hands at a fast rate :( Even when I try for a frugal month there's always something going on - like you, I've had a Y6 leavers do this month. I've also bought some of the new uniform required for September. One of the loo seats cracked, so we've had to get a new one, I bought DD a duvet set for her new student flat (double bed - she only has single sets), socks and underwear for OH and DS2, 2 lots of re-heeling of OH's shoes @ £34 total .... the list goes on! :D x

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  11. I feel your pain Mrs G. There is never a month in this house where something doesn't crop up that needs money throwing at it. Big jobs like decorating and the bills are always taken care of and there are never any surprises there but it's the other family life bits that mean the purse is constantly open and my cash is always gone at the end of the month. I'm grateful I can cover all these things but it would be nice to not to have to keep forking out for stuff. Xx

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  12. yes and no. Weekly shop is usually kept around the same each week, give or take, but there are top ups during the week which I turn a blind eye to.

    I have money for myself twice a month, once it's gone it's gone, so I always know exactly where I am and what I've got left. Doesn't mean I'm great with money, I always spend it quickly! It is surprising how quickly money seems to vanish.

    The lisianthus are so pretty. x

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    1. Turning a blind eye is exactly what I do as well Sadie. I tend to think that's the shopping done after I've been to Lidl, but from what I've made a note of it's obvious I can spend half again on the top ups.

      I have money at the beginning of every month and I always promise myself that I'm not going to spend so much. Never works. Sometimes it's gone in a matter of days, sometimes I can have it until just a few days before my next lot comes in but then something is needed and it's gone again. I think the general consensus is, it doesn't go very far and there's always something that crops up.

      The lisianthus are beautiful aren't they. Apparently they are used in a lot of bridal bouquets and I can see why. xx

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  13. I had almost finished typing out my comment when I hit a wrong key and the whole thing disappeared!

    I'm sorry to hear that Thomas has a cold, but glad it didn't stop him from going shopping by himself. Sounds like he's making great strides in becoming more independent. Hope the cold goes away, soon.

    Well done on keeping track of your spending in July! It is a big eye opener, isn't it? I tend to keep track of my spending, too. I have a very detailed budget with many categories and sub-categories, as needed. Everything is broken down to monthly expenses - even those expenses that occur annually or semi-annually or quarterly, etc. My budget categories include groceries, clothing, craft supplies, eating out/entertainment, gifts, etc. I also have that all important category of "Miscellaneous", as well, to cover those occasional expenses like parking (I actually made it a budget category during my treatment, when I had to go to the clinic practically every day!) and any other unanticipated expense! :D

    I never needed to do the envelope method (where you put the budgeted amount in cash into an envelope with a label stating what it was for - "craft supplies", for example, or "eating out") because I kept good accounts, but that's another good way of knowing what was being spent on what.

    Your flowers look lovely! They'd maybe last a day in our heat, even inside the house!

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    1. I knew you'd be proud of me Bless. How many times have I said on your blog "I really must make a note of what I spend" then never do.

      Your accounting is excellent in its detail, at the moment mine is just a case of writing everything down to see where it's all gone and as I've said before, nowhere really! There's nothing on the list I could take off but there's plenty on the list that would come under your Misc. heading. No doubt the same will happen again next month and we are on holiday as well so there will be extra treats.

      Thomas seems a little bit better today thank you. It must be a caravan thing. He's never quite 100% when we're there or he has an accident of some sort or other - we ended up in A&E last year with a suspected broken ankle.

      The flowers are gorgeous and I think I've had them over 2 weeks now so definitely worth the money ;) xx

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  14. I am with Jules, as we have been contractors for so long it becomes a habit of only spending the bare minimum and budgeting and saving for everything. I have 2 compartments in my purse where notes are supposed to go. in those I keep all of my receipts. I give all of my receipts to the Mr once a week, when I say give I dump them in a box on his desk, shut the lid and scuttle away. This all entered on to a spreadsheet. This keeps us on track. but also we can predict the next years out goings and add on extra for inflation and especially for oil for the heating etc and petrol for the car. We can also see things that have become super expensive and what we need to change, like suppliers for electricity etc

    It has made it so we can afford the misc items that crop up. like when I had my accident and I had to buy a new car, (we cant have any loans incase a contract ends suddenly and it takes a month to find another).

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