Review of February 2018, both Financial and Personal

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

In 2017 my food budget ‘months’ ran roughly from the 27th to the 26th of the following month, this was due to being paid on the 27th.

Now, I am paid weekly, so I have decided that my food month will now be a standard month in terms of the budget.

Sadly I decided to do this mid way through February when my original end date of the Feb Food Budget was set to be the 23rd, having begun on the 26th of January.

So by continuing to the end of the month this is perhaps why we have ended over budget.

£273.78/£250

I think we will do better next month.

DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING

As you know by now I divide my disposable income spending into sub categories.

I also spent a lot of money in February and now have approximately £40 to last me until the end of March.

But at least I have cleared my credit card bill.

SOCIAL = £89.60

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) = £15.30

WORK EXPENSES = £5.26

GIFTS = £111.88

HOBBIES – HEALTH = £64.77

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING = £11.20

HOMEWARE = £2.49

CLOTHING = £163.55

BEAUTY TREATMENTS = £25

NON ESSENTIAL FOOD = £21.29

HEALTH = £14

HAIR = £7.72

TOTAL = £532.06

That’s a lotta wonga.

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I read two books in February, the above photo shows the two books. Both were very good, particularly Runner although I do love Lauren Graham a lot. Both were from the Library because I am being economical.

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WOMBLES

I wombled over £219.73 of free stuff in February, using vouchers, special offers, things given to me, free cinema tickets, meerkat movies and so on.

NO SPEND DAYS (NSDs)

A small but mighty 5 No Spend Days occurred in February, bringing my total for the year to 18, which is under my target of 10 NSDs a month.

RECIPES

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I made this yummy Granola.

WEIGHT LOSS

I lost 4 pounds in February.

SICK DAYS

Today was a sick day, bringing my total for Feb to 2.5. I feel awful about this, almost as awful as I felt this morning with my head in the toilet being sick (No, I am not pregnant).

LET’S SET SOME GOALS FOR MARCH!

  1. Lose 4.125 more pounds (target weight for March will be 14 St 7 Lbs).
  2. Run a 5k distance all the way.
  3. Find a second job.
  4. Stay within budget.
  5. Read 2 more books.
  6. 10 NSDs.
  7. Womble another £200 of free stuff.
  8. Try 3 new exercise classes at the gym.
  9. Try my best to not be ill.
  10. Make 3 new recipes.
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Losing Weight the Frugal Way Part 5

I have lost my first stone!

Ok, so I stood on the scales about 3 different times on various parts of the bathroom floor as the floor is uneven and I was trying to get an accurate reading, and maybe I stopped checking the levelness of the floor after I got a scale reading that confirmed I had lost my first stone…but if the only person I’m fooling is myself surely that is ok?

Hmmm.

The trouble is, I am keeping a bit quiet about it. Yes, I am posting about it on a public blog under my own name, and I have demanded that The Boy makes me another certificate marking my achievement, but I haven’t told any friends or work colleagues yet.

This is because since summer 2016 I have gone up and down and round and round the scales between about an 18 pound difference.

From 16 Stone to 14 Stone 10 Lbs.

That may be the first time I have publicly declared my weight, so please don’t judge me.

I started this weight loss adventure at 15 Stone 12.75 Lbs.

On Saturday, my official weigh in day, my weight was 14 Stone 11.25 Lbs.

I have lost over a stone in about 5 weeks.

More impressive than that (to me) is that I am training to learn how to run again, and the training plan I am following asks me to train/run 4 times a week.

Since starting that training plan I have not missed a single session.

I have to fit it around my life, and sometimes it has been tough, sometimes I do my ‘run’ on the treadmill at the gym rather than the streets, but I have done every single one.

But I am still keeping quiet about my weight loss, apart from with The Boy and all you guys reading, because it won’t be until I have lost that magic 19th lb (and weigh 14 Stone 9 Lbs) that I will feel the ‘curse’ is broken.

I am so glad I have lost this stone, because I cheated and booked a hair cut for Thursday, and didn’t want to cancel if I hadn’t lost the weight. My hair cut is my reward for losing a stone. But it is sort of being frugal because I am going to a beauty training college, and I haven’t had my hair cut in over 2 years so I think it is a necessity more than anything else. My split ends have split ends (sorry for being gross).

Now, onto the running.

I wanted to run the half marathon that takes place in my home town each October, but I couldn’t afford the entry fee.

The Boy rang me on Thursday after I had been to the gym (go me!).

‘Hi Flo, do you still want to run the half marathon?’

‘Yes, but I can’t afford it’

‘Well, this is your lucky day’

The Boy then proceeded to tell me that he had gone to sign up for a free place through his employer at an open event. He works for one of the Universities in our town. It was there he found out they had many free spaces going, and they were available for:

Staff

Students

Alumni

and…

Members of the public.

All I have to do is raise a set amount of sponsorship, which is the rather achievable £200.

The Boy and I are obviously being very mature about it and have decided to have a competition between us to see who raises the most money.

The bonus point is we could choose between 2 of their charities, and whilst both were worthy, we opted for the Mental Health charity because of my experiences.

So that is another frugal bonus, and a rather good ‘womble’ because I also got a free T Shirt and water bottle.

I am now Walk/Running 5K, and today was my Personal Best of the year at 41 Minutes 40 Seconds.

In more frugal news I bought a sports watch on Amazon using my vouchers which cost me just £5.99 after discounts.

The thing is, what I think is working for me, the reason why it is all going well, is because I am just doing it.

By which I mean, normally I overthink things to death, or I have an all or nothing approach and believe if I am not running 5k all the way on day one then I am a massive failure and waste of space. Normally I push myself to unrealistic targets and pick up an injury and then stupidly carry on until I really hurt myself and have to take 3 weeks off by which point the sofa has become rather comfy and pizza is very tasty.

I am being so sensible, and I am not doing anything with any fanfare or fuss. It’s not a case of before where I was like ‘I HAVE BEEN TO THE GYM, LOOK AT ME, I AM GREAT, I SHALL HAVE A BEER AS A REWARD’.

Instead I am just going to the gym, because….crucially…I want to.

I can see myself in the mirror, and although I still have a large belly and haven’t seemed to have dropped a dress size, there is definition to my stomach. They aren’t abs, they are my ‘fl-abs’. And I am very proud of them.

I am still drinking alcohol (in moderation), I am still eating treat meals (in moderation), but I am being healthy most of the time.

In regards to my running training, I have already repeated one week because I didn’t feel ready to progress, and I am going to do the same with this week’s training. Before I would have felt like I was being weak, now I know it is the reason why I am getting stronger.

I wish I knew what the secret was, because then I could market the hell out of it and pay off my debt very quickly, but I think it can be summed up with a famous sports brand’s slogan.

JUST DO IT.

Financial and Personal Review of January 2018

Hi Everyone!!!!

So it is now mid-February, so I think I can safely say I survived January, let’s look at how well I survived January, financially and personally.

Long time readers of my blog will know I do financial reviews of my spending and accounts each month, but I have decided I will reflect on how I have developed on a personal level, or something like that.

FIRST OF ALL MY DISPOSABLE INCOME SPENDING……

WORK EXPENSES (Milk, Coffee, Things for my Desk) = £7.08

HOBBIES – BOOKS = £13.98

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) = £26.70

CLOTHING = £51.13

SOCIAL = £44.35

HOMEWARE = £17.51

GIFTS = £8.18

HOBBIES – HEALTH = £4.50

TOTAL SPENDS = £173.43

Not bad, I think it is clear I need about £200 as a disposable income each month, just to cover all my expenses.

JANUARY 2018 ACCOUNTS

I also like to look at my money in versus my money out each month.

Let’s have a gander.

MONEY IN

Christmas Present Money £120

Wages £144

Loan £750

TOTAL = £1014

MONEY OUT

Bills £674.15

Expenses post Dec payday £55.55

Expenses Pre Jan payday £147.13

TOTAL = £876.83

MONEY IN – MONEY OUT = £137.17

So I was in profit in January, of sorts. I did have to borrow money off The Boy, so I was not really in profit, but at least I didn’t spend more then I had.

PERSONAL REVIEW

In January I posted 2 Recipe posts.

I had 13 No Spend Days.

I (think I) read 2 books. I know I read 1, which was Dave Ramsey’s ‘Total Money Makeover’ , I sense that I read another one but I can’t remember what it was. Either way I need to read more.

I went to the gym 8 times and had one personal training session.

I believe I had 4 days of illness, boooooo!

I ‘wombled’ £197.76

I lost 8.625 pounds.

A good start to the year, but I want to do better.

 

 

 

My goals for 2017 updated (and progress so far)

Hi Everybody,

At the start of the year the boy and I set individual goals and combined goals.

On our epic train journey back home yesterday I decided for s**** and giggles to have a look at them in my notebook and see how we are getting on.

I think the boy would be horrified if I posted his again, so lets just look at mine.

THESE ARE THE GOALS I SET FOR 2017 IN DECEMBER 2016

  1. Be able to fit into leopard print coat by Winter 2017.
  2. Pay off 2 credit cards or 1 credit card and £500 of my overdraft.
  3. Get a full time, permanent job.
  4. Take my health seriously.
  5. Blog consistently.
  6. (BONUS GOAL) Love the boy as much as humanly possible.

Let’s see how I am doing:

Be able to fit into leopard print coat by Winter 2017.

Well, I am not there yet. But I will be.

Pay off 2 credit cards or 1 credit card and £500 of my overdraft.

I think my aim here was to pay off £1000 of my debt this year. And my current debt repayment amount stands at £1196.15.

And the year isn’t even half way through.

Can I get a hooray?

Get a full time, permanent job.

Well, sort of. I have got a new job, one that I applied for and beat everyone else that was interview for, but, and I say this not to discredit it as it is a good job, but it is a fixed term contract job.

Take my health seriously.

I could do better at this. But I am trying.

Blog consistently.

Yep. There have been a few blips recently, but I’ve got this s*** covered.

(BONUS GOAL) Love the boy as much as humanly possible.

On the train I asked the boy how I was doing at this and he said I was failing miserably at it. He was joking. I hope.

If you had asked me how I was doing at achieving my goals I would have said I wasn’t doing very well at them, but look at what I’ve achieved! I’m going to smash the debt repayment total this year, and I’m making good strides in all the other areas.

Bring It On.

Hi, my name is Flo, and I’m in debt

Hi everybody.

Well it’s a new year. In 2016 I started the year with  £5150 of debt. I was determined to cut back, reduce, and most of all stop spending money. Oh, and to pay off my debts.

I clearly did a great job because I ended  2016 with  £5996.12 of debt. Uh oh! How did that happen?

Well I should explain. I had a great summer in 2016, with lots of time off. That’s because I was unemployed!

Yes, in 2016 for four months between one contract ending and gaining a new one I was living off my Ebay sales, my money making scams and what remained of my wits. I didn’t do too badly to have only gained debts of  £900 during my summer off, but that’s  £900 I am gutted to have added to Mr Big Bad Credit Card.

So somehow I ended 2016 in more debt then I started it in.

It looked like it was back to the drawing board.

Here are my stats.

I am 27 and have a contract at my job until April 2017. I am hoping to be either reassigned immediately after this, or to get a job closer to home (I technically work in a different country to the one I live in). Working closer to home would do wonders for my disposable income and debt repayments as my season ticket to work is a little under  £300 a month.

I have five credit cards.

I recently transferred the largest balance from the card I lovingly refer to as Mr Big Bad Credit Card due to how much I hate it and how much pain it has caused me to a 0% credit card. I have 24 months to pay it off but if I was to make the same payments I had to make to the old card then it will be cleared a good while before that.

I have one credit card which has a balance of less than  £90 and I am focusing on this card until it is all paid off.

Another card also has a relatively small balance, whilst another is basically maxed out.

And finally I have one card which was a 0% balance transfer card last year and the 0% interest runs out in the next two months. I will be looking to apply for a new 0% balance transfer credit card very soon so that I can avoid paying any more interest then I have to.

I also live in my  £1000 overdraft, but am focusing on the credit card debt first.

Anyway, I did some assessment about how I spent my money last year and there were two things I noticed.

I continued to buy things (true, it was at a much lower rate) but I still bought things, including memorably a  £30 vintage Barbie alarm clock during my summer of unemployment.

and two

I hardly saw my friends or socialised outside of a house during the whole of 2016.

So I want to flip this for 2017. I want to socialise….and I don’t want to buy anything.

When I say anything, there is obviously a few exceptions to that.

I am allowed to buy Gifts for people, I am allowed to buy food and groceries for the house, I can spend money on travelling, health related costs, essential home ware, work expenses and posting things.

What I can’t buy are things like DVDS, books, stationary, accessories, ‘non essential food’ (takeaway coffee’s, work canteen lunches etc) and Clothes.

I am allowed to spend money on clothing ‘maintenance’ such as dry cleaning (when absolutely necessary), alterations and resoling shoes, but I can not buy one single items of clothing other than underwear.

And of course, I am not allowed to buy vintage Barbie alarm clocks.

I figured I would live this year by a strict budget (being finalised as we speak), by reducing, reusing and recycling (I hate waste of any description and feel bad if I throw away so much as half a mouldy lettuce) and by reconnecting with my friends.

To say I didn’t see my friends because I didn’t have any money would be too simple. There is also the harder fact to face which is over the last year I have developed somewhere between bad and extreme social anxiety meaning I can feel petrified about going somewhere on my own. Also when I get invited to things by my friends I can get into a state of panic before hand and become convinced they only invited me out of pity and would be a whole lot happier if I wasn’t there.

So I have a few things I want to work on in 2017 and they are

My debt

My social life

My health

Do you notice what isn’t up there? I don’t want to focus on ‘My Spending’ other than by eliminating the non essential spending. I don’t want to spend 2017 making sure I buy lots of DVDs, clothes and books etc.

So that’s it. In 2017 I want to stop buying things and instead see my friends. I want a life free from clutter. Either physical in terms of too much stuff in the house or mental in terms of too many bad thoughts invading my mind.

It won’t be easy. I expect I may fail, but they do say it’s better to aim big and bold then to aim small.