So the year is only 2 days old, how have I been doing?
Well the universe seems to be wishing me the best as on my trip to the shops today to get milk I found £5.
This is great for me as I had been panicking about the £2.50 I owed my other half for the printer paper (which led to the hastily assembled ‘Home’ category on the years budget) and then last night whilst trying to watch Netflix from Computer to TV the HDMI cable stopped working, so my OH bought a new one on Amazon for £5.
That means I was already over budget on the ‘Home’ category and the year had barely begun.
So as soon as I walked in the door I handed the £5 note over to him.
If things keep going like this I should be fine.
I also picked up milk for me to take into work tomorrow, which comes under the ‘Work Expense’ category and I had my two online food shops arrive this evening.
I should explain a little about our food budget. As it’s just my OH and I we have set a budget of £185 for the month. The food budget month runs from my payday to the next payday. I generally get paid on the 27th, unless the 27th is a weekend day or bank holiday.
As my December payday was before Christmas our food budget this month runs from the 20th December to the 26th January. Our budget for the month is £185 based on no other factor than that’s the number we settled on. I think it is a little lower than the national average for a 2 person household, but I am a pescetarian who rarely eats fish and my OH is an omnivore who eats a mainly vegetarian diet (thanks to me) so it is fine for us.
Now this is where you may go ‘WTF? That’s madness’ but I usually (not always) get TWO monthly food deliveries, one from Tesco’s and one from Morrison’s. The reason is we find this works for us as we can compare the deals (making sure we get the best ones on offer) and also some products we cannot live without, and they are only available in one of the stores.
So my Morrison’s food delivery was £49.91, and the Tesco’s delivery was £46.14.
Now thanks to it being a longer food month then usual I find that we have less than £30 of the food budget left to last us till the 26th.
I also seem to get to this stage every month.
But do you know what? Somehow I usually manage to sneak in past the payday finishing line with a couple of pennies to spare. This does mean we often spend the last week of the month eating strange meals and not having much in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables, but until my debts are cleared we can’t spend much more on the budget.
But I make sure we have beer and my OH has steak this month, so I am not a cruel mistress, we do have some luxuries.
We also have a hell of a lot of basic own brand labels but I have never been a brand snob and thankfully my OH isn’t either. I say we eat frugally rather than badly or desperately. For this I am grateful.
As this year goes on you will get to know more about me and my ‘childhood traumas numbers 1 – 256’ that may explain a little bit more about how I got in this mess.
But one thing I don’t want you to do is feel sorry for me. There is nothing wrong with my life that time won’t fix. I have so much to be grateful for. I’m doing ok. For the first time in my life I have a direction, a purpose, a reason to get up and go.
I once said getting into debt was the best thing that ever happened to me. Whilst I now know that was going WAY too far, I do have to acknowledge that there have been positive benefits to my life as a result of having to dig deep and use my resources and develop some wily ways about coping with life.
It’s back to work tomorrow. Am I nervous? Yes, of course. I hate having an extended break from work as I become convinced I will have forgotten everything. And I know it will be busy for the next few weeks at work.
See you tomorrow for more Money Managing adventures.