It started so well and it ended so badly. I have less than £5 between my bank and purse and 6 days until I get paid. We have been ill for most of the month which impacts everything. Was it all bad? Well no, it wasn’t but it has illustrated to me how out of control I am when it comes to spending what little money I have. The sad reality of living on a low income is there are 100 ways to spend a tenner and I will spend that tenner.
WHAT I DID WRONG
I had a number of unplanned purchases this month of a larger slow cooker and some clothes for my ever growing son and books for university. They in themselves were not bad purchases but necessary? No.
When I think back I wasn’t going to buy ANYTHING and yet I bought some really stupid things like some decorative pieces for the living room and a couple of mugs which were cheap but it all adds up – none of which I needed.
I didn’t freeze some of the food I bought at the start of the month so had some expensive food waste as a consequence. I am cooking more than ever but I gave in to the food delivery apps more than once and overdid Meerkat Meals too and what is worse is that it can be anything up to £35 a pop and there is only two of us. I was especially bad in the second week of January. I spent too much money at breakfast and lunchtime on campus too. I need to cook every day, food and exhaustion has always been my greatest downfall, I will say I reigned myself in after week two but it was too late and there were some unintended consequences.
I had two fines that required paying immediately which was frustrating and should have been avoided plus I also missed two hours of paid work for one client. The reality is if I stuck to my own rules and done all my work I would have money to spare despite the fines.
WHAT I DID RIGHT
I am glad that I am doing this now and didn’t wait until the end of the academic year when my income drops in half.
I cancelled all my extraneous subscriptions, moved my broadband supplier, I renewed other contracts to keep the costs lower. I have stopped buying movies and clothes for myself, I have also not bought any stationery.
I am cooking more than ever and I am taking packed lunches to university some days, the slow cooker is my friend and so is Asda because it is cheap and good quality plus they make a lovely pizza which saves us a fortune.
I lost 4kgs.
I didn’t spend on Amazon or Groupon.
I said no a lot.
We didn’t go to the cinema every week.
I avoided driving great distances so only been to refuel once, which is not only great for the bank balance but also the environment, (yes I know food waste is bad).
I am now planning in greater detail what I am going to spend in this month of February. I am still ill but by planning I am less likely to give in to my old bad habits. I am going to assume there is a big bill coming and wait. I will continue to review my services and contracts to make sure I always have the best available deals. I need to stay away from the nick nacks in Asda, I think that was the reason why I said last time I was going to shop online instead of instore. I also have to repay £250 on payday which is not a great start but if I really stick to the rules and cook it should be all good.
So the rules for February are:
- Breakfast at home.
- Packed lunches and water.
- Homecooked meals every day.
- Pizza must be store bought.
- Shop at Asda and freeze stuff.
- Meerkat Meal once only.
- Meerkat Movie only for a good new movie.
- Pay for the Ferry*
- One art lesson~
- Have something in the bank on my next payday.
- Have all my bills paid on time.
- No surprises.
catch you later
*We are going to the Western Isles in April for a long-planned trip to visit friends and aid us with our Gaelic.
~for the kid.